Turnbull the young journo The coronation of Malcolm Turnbull as Federal Opposition Leader has awakened memories of his days in the NSW Parliamentary Press Gallery as a reporter for The Australian Financial Review. It was back in the 1970s that young Malcolm arrived to cover Macquarie Street and prove that he could out-scoop his older rivals. Regrettably, his unconventional news-gathering techniques aroused the anger of Channel Ten reporter Paul Mullins and profane words were exchanged over the provenance of one of Turnbull’s stories. The incident turned physical with Mullins, a Norths rugby league player, grabbing Turnbull by the shirt and pushing him up against a wall in the gallery’s old dining room. Fred Smidt, Deputy Premier Jack Ferguson’s press adviser, came to the rescue and separated them. In another version, retold in today’s Daily Telegraph by Gary Linnell, Mullins is supposed to have decked Turnbull with a single punch and that from his place on the canvas, Turnbull shouted: “Don’t hit me.” Although 30 years have elapsed, Mullins still declines to talk about their confrontation but has dropped the hint that if he ever writes his memoirs it will be prominently mentioned. — Alex Mitchell

Fairfax does a Franco Cozzo Sale! Sale! Sale! The bargains keep coming at Fairfax — check out the mycareer ad sales team’s great deals this month —

Is Hollywood in Trouble That’s Lehman Brothers-Deep? Hearing people around town cluck their tongues over the awfulness on Wall Street but then play down that it will affect film production (or at least their own film production) is a little like hearing your neighbor talk about a housing crisis and then try to flip his fixer-upper. The fact is that a slew of companies are going to face a very different world, and straight-up challenges, getting movies financed in a world where brokerages are collapsing like it’s the latest fashion craze. It’s just a question of who faces it first. — Risky Biz Blog

The Guiness Book of PR This year the Guinness creators are trying to get our attention by including some of the most popular celebrities as record-setters. It isn’t new for Guinness to use celebrities, and Wikipedia notes that they’ve been criticized in the past for creating categories for the purpose of name-dropping. Guinness even made a reference to Angelina’s homewrecking in their PR announcement for the record book this year. — Celebitchy

Is the ad biz ready for black people? Cyrus Mehri is a big time civil rights lawyer who’s won hundreds of millions of dollars worth of corporate discrimination settlements, and scared Wall Street and the National Football League into making serious integration-like movements. His latest project: the white-ass advertising industry. A new study found that only 5.8% of advertising professionals are black—a number that should be closer to 10%, based on the demographics of similar industries. — Gawker

Columbia Journalism Review: Boiler Room. It seems to me that well into Year II of the Panic, the business press is in the process of making the same mistake it made in the run-up to the debacle: focusing on esoteric Wall Street concerns and ignoring the simplest, most basic, but most important one—the breathtaking corruption that overran the U.S. lending industry, including and especially the brand names, and the extent to which Wall Street drove that corruption. Let’s just call it a case of over-sophistication. Its persistence, however, will only impede journalists’ ability to cover this thing going forward. True, as far as it goes. But the journalistic scandal, which will go forever unpunished — except, perhaps, to the degree that journalists will lose jobs in the economic carnage — is failing to go after the story that was in front of people’s noses as the bubble inflated — at a time when it might have done some good. — Citmedia

Do you suffer from internet addiction? Internet addiction is a serious public health problem and should be officially recognised as a clinical disorder, a psychiatrist claims. Dr Jerald Block says there are four main telltale symptoms which include: Losing all track of time or neglecting basics such as eating or sleeping; cravings and feelings of withdrawal, including anger, tension or depression, when a computer cannot be accessed; an increased need for better computer equipment and software; and negative effects such as arguments, lying, fatigue, social isolation and poor achievement. — The Daily Mail UK

Peter Fray

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