Merri Rose’s Australian Story . The ABC’s Australian Story is set to air former Queensland Labor MP Merri Rose’s account of her troubled time as Minister in the Beattie Government, including of the nature of her relationship with former Premier Peter Beattie. Rose was released from prison in August 2007 after serving three months of an eighteen month sentence for trying to blackmail Beattie.  Since her release, she has lived on Moreton Island with her partner.  Rose was said to have been angered at Crikey’s account of her bullying of staff and the role it played in the death of staff member Barbara Daddow. Two successful compensation claims were made by Rose’s staff relating to their time working for her.

The program is currently scheduled for broadcast next Monday, but has been delayed at least once while ABC Legal vets the program.  Beattie threatened to sue Crikey when we revealed that Nationals MP Rob Messenger had referred allegations relating to the concealment of a relationship between Rose and Beattie to the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission. The CMC subsequently announced it would take no action and that it had received no additional information to that which it had already considered about the matter. — Bernard Keane

Disney Makes Reading Cool. The newspaper industry is constantly bewailing its need for a new economic model, as the Internet upends the old one. Maybe it could take a page from The Club Penguin Times . The Club Penguin Times , after all, is more widely read than New York’s Daily News , the Chicago Tribune , or The Dallas Morning News . And it’s not even 3 years old. But this weekly “newspaper” isn’t tossed onto driveways or sold at newsstands. Rather, it’s an online publication distributed to the estimated 6.7 million monthly users of Club Penguin, the Disney-created, snow-covered virtual world visited by more than 12 million children, who adopt a colorful penguin persona and waddle around, playing games and meeting new friends. — Tampa Bay Online

Campaign Articles From Newsweek Become E-Books for Amazon Kindle . It would seem to be a magazine’s dream in these straitened times: Take something you have already published and sold, repackage it and distribute it without all that expense of paper, ink and trucks, and then sell it again. This week, Newsweek will publish four books, one about each of the major presidential and vice presidential candidates — Senators John McCain, Barack Obama and Joseph Biden, and Gov. Sarah Palin — books that will not appear in print but will be available only as e-books from Amazon.com for download to Amazon’s Kindle device. — New York Times

The Tragedy Of Business Media . Here’s the quandary: The biggest story for business media always comes along at the same time as the worst ad market. By definition, unfortunately! Market crashes are great from a reporter’s standpoint. From an ad salesman’s standpoint, they’re horrible. So a site like The Big Money, which would seem to have had the good fortune to launch on the wings of a massive story, is actually getting choked by the very same conditions it’s reporting on. — Gawker

Abu Dhabi to be host to major Western media groups. Twenty years ago, Abu Dhabi’s cultural cachet in the West was as a punch line in the cartoon Garfield. Today, backed with petrodollars, Abu Dhabi is fast becoming an international cultural hub and attracting American media companies. On Sunday, a new influx of companies announced plans to set up shop in Abu Dhabi, an island city that is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The companies are CNN, the book publishers HarperCollins and Random House, the BBC, The Financial Times and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity arm of the financial news company Thomson Reuters. — International Herald Tribune

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW