Fairfax does it Oxford style:

From: Staff Notices

Sent: Friday, 14 March 2008 10:27 AM

To: All Age – All Staff ; all_darling_park; FCNNSW; FCNVIC-All Staff-DL; Illawarra All Staff DL; Warrnambool; All Newcastle Staff; #All FD Users

Subject: Australian Oxford Dictionary

Fairfax switches to Australian Oxford Dictionary on March 25

After using the Macquarie as their source dictionary for many years, Fairfax papers are switching to the Australian Oxford Dictionary.

Style officers from major papers in the group agree that the Oxford has a stronger sense of style than the Macquarie, offers concise, informative definitions and clearly states its preference for word usage, and therefore is better suited for use in a media organisation.

The changeover will be made on Tuesday, March 25. On this date, a new online dictionary will be unveiled. The online dictionary has undergone extensive testing by a group of Fairfax editorial staff, and their feedback has led to many enhancements to the site’s features.

After March 25, any links to the Macquarie dictionary will be redirected to the new Oxford dictionary site. Some Cyber users will continue to see Macquarie Dictionary in the Tools menu, but selecting that will take you to the Oxford spelling list. This will be fully updated as Genera comes in.

There is a user manual on the new dictionary site.

Bruce Johnson and Judy Prisk

Stylebook editors

Sunday shows up its spoiled siblings. The Nine Network’s embattled Sunday program has shown up its more expensive stablemates — 60 Minutes and A Current Affair — so far this year particularly in the breaking of one of the year’s best story: its investigation of the so-called Butcher of Bega. The reporter was Ross Coulthart, an old fashioned Sunday reporter who has survived the purges and budget cuts. If the Butcher story doesn’t win Sunday and Coulthart prizes this year it will be a travesty and yesterday he turned up another one: a story about an alleged slush fund run by the NSW branch of the Transport Workers Union. It was another genuine scoop from a program that has had its budget slashed by more than 50% to less than $4 million, which is peanuts compared to the $14 million for 60 Minutes and around $12 million for ACA — there’s a message there for Nine management, lead by News and Current Affairs boss, John Westacott. Sunday averaged just 120,000 from 7.30am to 9.30am yesterday, but it’s showing the more expensive, higher rating programs how to do the old fashioned job of finding good stories. Over at A Current Affair, its 1.075 million average for last week is close to the lowest the program has recorded. It boasted of its 5,000th program on Friday, but just 943,000 people tuned in and it was 229,000 behind Today Tonight. And 60 Minutes has had an inglorious start to the year with last week’s return raising the ire of reporter Liam Bartlett, but perhaps he should have reserved his anger for last night’s effort. Bartlett’s segment on binge drinking teenagers was the only newsworthy story on the program which also featured an interview with a German cannibal and a profile of Geelong paparazzi, Darryn Lyons. And the viewers certainly voted: the repeat of the Vicar of Dibley on Seven averaged 1.220 million to beat the back half of 60 Minutes (1.159 million), though it did beat the repeat of Kath and Kim at 7.30pm (1 million). That was a poor result for 60 Minutes and Nine, even allowing for the non rating Easter period. — Glenn Dyer

NRL return not enough to push out Seven. Seven won the last week of official ratings before the Easter break as Nine’s Friday night NRL coverage failed to push it far enough ahead to remain in front after Saturday. It was the first week of 2008 ratings without the distorting effect of the cricket, but Nine still could have won if it had been able to sort out the legal problems over screening Underbelly in Victoria. A decision on its Victorian Supreme Court appeal is due this week. Seven won 6pm to midnight with a 28.2% (27.3%) share from Nine with 27.6% (28.1%), Ten with 22.5% (22.4%), the ABC on 16.6% (16.0%) and SBS with 5.1% (5.3%). Seven won Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday nights. Nine won Sunday, Thursday and Friday nights. Seven won Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth (where the huge margin — 31.5% to 24.8% — that won the week for seven. Nine won Melbourne. In regional areas a win for Seven through Prime/7Qld with 28.5% from WIN/NBN for Nine with 28.1%, Southern Cross (Ten) with 21.3%, the ABC with 16.3% and SBS with 5.8%. This week we’re in a non-ratings period (Nine is screening repeats of Underbelly on Wednesday), but Seven should still win with the AFL starting this week. Seven also has its normal programming on Tuesday night with a fresh ep of It Takes Two and a new ep of All Saints— Glenn Dyer

Chronicling rage. The evolution of presidential campaigns from whistle-stop tours to televised spectacle to post-modern Mobius strips of narratives and meta-narratives has forced a similar evolution in campaign reportage. Read The New York Times on any given day this primary season, and you will find (especially online), various strains of typical “horse race” reportage, boys-on-the-bus-style meta-media coverage, and even minute-by-minute bloggy coverage of debates, practically scored like a boxing match. But what you will not find is the journalism of rage. Rage was Hunter S. Thompson’s specialty, and he may have been its sole practitioner (at least in its most lyrical form.) Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail ’72 has its rightful place on the (short)list of great campaign books, but no one has ever been able to channel his bitingly funny rage, disgust, and thwarted aspirations since then. Not many have tried. His closest heir may be Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who has spent the last five years on the magazine’s National Affairs desk — Thompson’s old beat at the magazine — chronicling the worst aspects of American politics and having a wickedly good time doing it… — MediaBistro

We still need newspapers. For the real thing, the stuff that outs corruption and hypocrisy, revealing the powerful for who they really are and shaking things up in the most immediate, consequential ways — in short, the scandals that are truly scandalous — nobody else can touch newspapers. Where would we be without them? It’s not an idle question. Even when they’re not digging up the dirt themselves (Spitzer was undone by a criminal investigation), the prestige dailies have the credibility and reach to make a scandal like this one fly. — William Powers, The National Journal

Last night’s TV ratings
The Winners:
 Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance Australia was tops with 1.781 million viewers, followed by Ten’s weigh-in ep of The Biggest Loser (1.375 million). Nine News was third with 1.375 million (boosted by the first Sunday NRL game of the season). Seven News was next with 1.342 million, followed by the lead-up to F1 GP on Ten in the afternoon (1.292 million) and the race itself (1.254 million). After the race, Ten News averaged 1.225 million, Seven’s Vicar of Dibley repeat had 1.220 million and 60 Minutes averaged 1.159 million while the repeat of Kath and Kim had 1 million. Robin Hood on the ABC at 7.30pm, 718,000.

The Losers: Nine floated its animal rescue clone, Animal Emergency into the 6.30pm slot last night and 999,000 is OK, but its no RSPCA Animal Rescue on Seven. Nine also returned last year’s flop, RFDS to 7pm and it averaged 926,000. After Seven’s Bush Doctors died slowly there in the first five weeks of ratings, Nine’s program will struggle to improve. It seems there’s only room for one, maybe two medical programs and Nine has RPA which is by far the best. Seven’s movie, Face Off, 770,000; Nine’s movie, a repeat of a thing called 10.5, 676,000.

News & CA: Nine News had big wins in Sydney, thanks to the NRL, and in Melbourne, thanks to habit, but Seven beat Nine in Brisbane because of its better newsreader. Nine also won Adelaide, Seven won Perth. The 7pm ABC news averaged 987,000. SBS News, 145,000. In the morning, Weekend Sunrise had 491,000 from 8am to 10am and the early version had 227,000 from 7.30am. Sunday, 120,000 from 7.30am to 9.30am. Nine returned Wide World of Sport at 9.30am with 234,000, but more people watched Seven. Insiders, 173,000; Inside Business, 126,000; Offsiders, 119,000 and a better watch than Wide World of Sport. Landline, 290,000. Meet The Press, 81,000.

The Stats: Ten won 6pm to midnight with 32.4% (26.2%) from Seven with 25.3% (26.5%), Nine was third with 23.2% (28.7%), the ABC was on 14.6% (14.0%) and SBS was on 4.5% (4.6%). Ten won everywhere but Perth where Seven prevailed! But in regional areas they have no time for the weight loss or dancing and Nine won through WIN/NBN with 28.0%. Prime/Seven Qld were second with 25.6% and Southern Cross (Ten) was third with 25.1%. The ABC was on 16.1% and SBS on 5.2%. In the 6pm to 10.30pm battle Fusion Strategy said Ten won with 26.79% (18.28% a year ago), from Seven with 19.28% (24.33%), Nine with 19.19% (15.25%), Pay TV was next with 17.57% (12.74%), the ABC was on 12.82% (15.76%) and SBS finished on 3.81% (3.64%).

Glenn Dyer’s comments: Last night Seven moved Samantha Who? to Thursday night and dropped a repeat of the Vicar of Dibley into the slot after Kath and Kim and it outrated a poor 60 Minutes. Ten went with its normal Biggest Loser/Dance line-up despite the Easter ratings break and easily won the night. Seven and Nine say it doesn’t matter, but it was only a year or so ago that Seven was competing hard through non-ratings periods to maintain momentum. At the moment the momentum is with Ten, especially in the younger demos of 16 to 39 and 18 to 49. Its advertisers will be happy. Tonight, Seven has a mixture of repeats, new programs and a second rate movie at 8.30pm. Nine has a repeat of CSI, a fresh ep of CSI New York and a throw away Royal Family special. Ten has fresh TBL, Dance, Good News Week and Law And Order. On Wednesday Seven will start showing The Seven Industrial Wonders of the World. It aired on the ABC to big ratings a couple of years ago. So now we have Seven showing repeats of at least three ABC shows: Kath & Kim, The Vicar of Dibley and now Industrial Wonders. Doesn’t Seven make its own programs any more?

Source: OzTAM, TV Networks, Fusion Strategy reports

Peter Fray

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