Overton watch. Good news and very bad news for the struggling 6pm news of the Nine Network in Sydney. More people watched Peter Overton read his fourth bulletin, but more people watched rival Seven and Nine finished fourth in the rankings for the second night in a row. That has never happened before in Sydney to Nine, so it’s an unwelcome record for Overton, Nine and its management.

Nine’s 6pm broadcast averaged 255,000 last night, up from 241,000 the night before. Seven’s Chris Bath however attracted 419,000 viewers in Sydney, compared with the 383,000 the night before. The 7pm ABC News averaged 305,000 (296,000) and Ten News 288,000 (261,000). Last night’s winning margin for Seven was 164,000, close to an all-time high. It was also bigger than Wednesday night’s 142,000 margin.

Overton and Nine will do better tonight with the one day cricket game between Australia and South Africa as the lead-in for the 6pm news. — Glenn Dyer

It’s always a struggle between news and ads. New Matilda gives conflicting views about what happens at conception…:

Crikey reader Catherine James

AWARD School awards night: the weirdest, wackiest, scariest videos going around. On January 14 Adfreak published an article and a link to this kooky Australian Writers and Art Directors Association video under the headline “Win ad awards, attend weird gay s-x parties” , asking what is going on? Curious (it is the weirdest thing Crikey have seen in a long time) we called AWARD, who were surprised to hear the clip was circulating online advertising circles, because it is not, in fact an ad. Filmed by Jim Hosking using the cast of an insurance advertisement from LA, AWARD told Crikey the clip was the opener footage for the AWARD annual award ceremony in 2008. It just goes to prove how completely insane those advertising creatives are. Watch and be freaked out:

Eleri Harris

Israel charges Palestinian journalists. Israel has charged two Palestinian journalists working for an Iranian TV station with passing classified information to the enemy. The government alleges they reported the beginning of the ground incursion into Gaza while the information was still under military censorship. An indictment said Tuesday the pair knew their broadcast for Iran’s Arabic-language Al-Alam TV could endanger Israeli soldiers by giving Hamas fighters forewarning of the operation. — AP via Canoe

Vice adds seven new staffers. While many publishers have been forced to make layoffs, institute hiring freezes or dial back their hiring practices, one unlikely magazine — the irreverent, free monthly Vice — is staffing up. The Brooklyn-based company has already made seven new hires in 2009, and says more are on the way. Vice publishes monthly in the US — with a circulation of 150,000 — and 16 global editions, giving it a total circulation of about 1,000,000 copies worldwide. — Folio

Los Angeles Times has 50% less Bush than the New York Times. There’s something to be learned here.

LA Metblogs

How to track the Israel Gaza conflict using social media. As the conflict continues in Gaza, where do you turn for up to the minute information? If you’re like us, you want a mix of information from traditional media outlets and social media sites alike. You probably already know about Twitter Search, but are you using custom searches, social searches, grabbing RSS feeds, looking at the aggregate view, or having alerts delivered to you? If you need a little help tracking news as it develops, use this post to find a few quick tips and tactics. — Mashable

The future of television: Streaming ahead. Kevin Rose recently ditched cable and TiVo. Why pay for services tied to traditional broadcasting when premium content, including first-run fare, is available for free over the internet? It’s a question Rose, the 31-year-old entrepreneur behind Digg.com, the massively influential social news site, and legions of his peers are increasingly asking too. Diggnation may not be the future of TV, but it’s a reasonably good indicator of where things are headed: more on-demand, ad-supported, free internet video interlaced with user-generated and commercial content, more personalized programming with interactive options-all watchable on screens of any size at anytime. — Portfolio

Peter Fray

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