Last week’s ratings With the final night of the 2008 games last Sunday, Seven was always going to win, but its big wins Monday and Tuesday night, and a solid Friday night, made sure. Seven won the week with 32.1% to 24.5% for Nine, 21.7% for Ten, 16.7% for the ABC and 5.0% for SBS. Seven would have won without Sunday night’s boost from the games. Besides winning that night, it also won Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It lost Thursday comprehensively. A feature was the loss in Sydney by Nine News. seven finished first nationally and in Sydney, but the 7pm ABC News Monday to Friday averaged 349,000 to 307,000 for Nine and 422,000 for Seven’s News. Saturday night saw something odd: just one program over a million viewers: the Seven News with more than 1.4 million viewers nationally, more than 400,000 more than the second program, which was also on Seven. Nine and Ten both start new series this week. Ten has a new pick up show tonight called Taken Out, a cross between 1 vs. 100, Who Wants To be A Millionaire and Perfect Match. Ten debuts Rush, a cops program set in Melbourne at 9.30pm tomorrow night (Will they come across Seven’s City Homicide in investigating crime in the Victorian capita?). Nine started its big week with the potboiler Scorched telemovie last night. Implausible and very silly. It has the Da Vinci Code movie tonight at 8.30pm and then the former Ten comedy, Just Shoot Me at 11.30pm (yes, Nine has run out of product). It has another movie Wednesday night. Thursday night it starts a Gold Coast (Chances redux?) based cops show called The Strip at 8.30pm. — Glenn Dyer

2GB’s Chris Smith at 09:20am today “I gotta say — every since the journos went on strike at the (Sydney Morning) Herald haven’t the papers been terrific? The executives — the people who aren’t actually afflicted with the cynicism endemic in the Fairfax press — have done a sterling job. Haven’t we seen some great articles and news. Who needs ’em? Well done to the people behind the scenes at the Herald.”

Understaffed? Why not get your CEO to multitask? Check out the byline from this sports story in The SMH over the weekend:

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The gap left by the Fairfax strike In 1945, sociologist Bernard Berelson took advantage of a newspaper delivery strike in New York to do some research, later published as What “Missing The Newspaper” Means. With 500 Aussie journos on strike (see their website), I thought it might be instructive to revisit a few of Berelson’s observations, to see how they held up today. The striking journos manifesto says: “Quality journalism matters. It is important that working journalists at Fairfax are able to keep Australians informed without fear of retribution from their corporate managers.” Berelson starts his study by cutting away at that cherished professional myth of “keeping people informed”. — Adrian Monck

Who should control internet content? When the Pew Internet & American Life Project did a survey sampling 15 percent of “hundreds of government, industry leaders and internet activists from around the planet,” they learned that 59 percent of them disagreed with this statement: “My country should have the right to approve the internet content available to the people of my country.” That’s the good news, the bad news is the 28 percent thought countries should have the right to approve Internet content. — pjnet

The importance of linking A lot of research can go into a piece of reporting, and in print the value of that research can only be passed on through brief quotes or references. But on the web, no longer limited by finite column inches, newsrooms can create huge value for readers by providing links to the source material that journalists have gathered. Want some proof that readers value these links to reference material? Nick Carr has been getting requests for links to all of the interesting source material he used in his Atlantic article “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” — enough to prompt him to post those reference links on his blog. — Publishing 2.0

Unconscionable political convention coverage. In May, as part of the Carnival of Journalism, Ryan Sholin asked: What should news organizations stop doing, today, immediately, to make more time for innovation? I have another take on that question, and it is one that more news organisations are being forced to ask. What can news organisations no longer afford to do? What is your news organisation doing that is either too costly or provides so little value to your readers/viewers/listeners that it’s no longer justifiable? Or put another way, if it’s not unique and it’s not really uniquely relevant to your audience, is there something else that you should be covering that is? What is the opportunity cost of covering that event that everyone and their dog, cat, sister, brother and third cousin covering? What are you foregoing to cover that event?– Corante

Google’s “Knol” is direct challenge to media companies. In a June 2006 interview with the LA Times, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was asked whether Google is a media company or a technology company. His response: “It’s better to think of Google as a technology company. Google is run by three computer scientists, and Google is an innovator in technology in our space. We’re in the advertising business — 99% of our revenue is advertising-related. But that doesn’t make us a media company. We don’t do our own content. We get you to someone else’s content faster.” If today’s launch of Google’s Knol is any indication, this line of thinking has fundamentally changed. Google, in short, is becoming a full-fledged media company in direct competition with established news and knowledge sites. — Journalistopia

Imagine the World’s Best Doctor’s Waiting Room… There are a couple of interesting developments on the magazine distribution front that are worth looking at. The first one is Portfolio’s takeout on Maghound, Time Warner’s plan to turn magazine subscriptions into an a la carte business: basically, you’ll be able to decide which issues of which magazines you take on a subscription, switching back and forth between Time, People, Sports Illustrated and 100-plus other magazines. The idea is that you’ll pay a set fee of a few bucks a month and then choose what mags you want delivered to you. — Recovering Journalist

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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