They will be wearing their Easter bonnets a little longer at ACP Magazines. To save money at the struggling publishing arm of PBL Media all staff have been told that they have to take holidays, whether they like it or not, in the rest of the week after Easter Monday, April 13. It is an enforced shutdown, so there will be no exceptions. It’s a cost cutting exercise dreamed up by the head rabbit at CVC, the owner of PBL Media. Of course being a private equity group, there’s an additional pound of flesh being extracted.

To make sure that the week’s magazines are published on time, the much diminished staff will have to produce three magazines over the preceding week to 10 days: the one for the first week of Easter, the one for the holiday week, and the one for the week after holidays (Many of the weekly mags are printed over the weekend and distributed for sale Monday morning). So, to take a management-required holiday, staff will have to work a fair bit of overtime each day and over the preceding weekend (no Good Friday or Easter Saturday breaks for some). A case for the staff works, CVC saves. — Glenn Dyer

Twitter is fun for the whole family — as long as they’re MA15+. Who cares about TweetDeck, Tweetree, and Mr Tweet — Here’s a measure of Twitter’s potty mouths, rated by the frequency of their curses at Cursebird. Check it out. Be offended.

Cover image fail at The Week. If only the artist had known what was coming.

Consortium of pub-going, loose and forward women. A group of young Indian women is planning to send pink knickers to a Hindu radical organisation that attacked women in a pub last month and has vowed to target unmarried couples celebrating Valentine’s Day. The Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women is also urging Indian women to defy the radicals by going to their nearest pub and enjoying a drink on Saturday.

The group was founded on Facebook on Thursday in protest at the Sri Ram Sena (SRS), or Lord Ram’s Army, which assaulted young women in a bar in Mangalore, a once cosmopolitan city in the southern state of Karnataka, last month. — Times Online

Artist sues AP over Obama image. Street artist Shepard Fairey preemptively sued the Associated Press, which is trying to force him to pay up for using a 2006 AP photo as the basis for his iconic Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Fairey says his rendering constitutes fair use of the photo, which was taken by freelancer Mannie Garcia. Garcia, meanwhile, says he, not AP, owns the photo, and he likes what Fairey did with it. — New York Times

Crisis puts a new face on social networking. Facebook, Twitter, My Space and their offshoots have a bad reputation. People communicate but they don’t talk, they exchange words without a face and can function as part of a network without ever stepping outside their house. Because of this optional distance, social networking sites like Facebook are panned by the civic-minded for a lack of humanity and authenticity. The bushfires in Victoria are now testing the usefulness and relevance of the social media. — Sydney Morning Herald

Women journalists abducted, stripped and marched through town. Four female journalists in Sierra Leone have been subjected to an extraordinary attack. They were abducted by a group which supports female genital mutilation (FGM), forced to strip and then marched through the streets. The women were accused of reporting on an anti-FGM campaign last Friday, the international day of zero tolerance for female circumcision. Witnesses to the incident in the eastern city of Kenema said the four were abducted by members of the Bondo society, a secret society of women that traditionally carries out circumcision as part of initiation rites. — Greenslade @ The Guardian

Canadian interns to produce news. In one of the more creative ways to save money, the Toronto Metro laid off all its staff writers and hired unpaid interns to replace them. Union president, Brad Honywill, doesn’t think this is such a good plan. “In this kind of environment, layoffs are inevitable,” he said. “But we reject the notion they can fill jobs with interns hired three days beforehand.” Metro‘s group publisher for English Canada, Bill McDonald, has a different take: “We made a small adjustment to our staff. We’re managing our business in these economic times.” He also said that “content partnerships” will be responsible for providing some stories. The news comes just a couple weeks after the Metro in Spain was shut down. Apparently, there are no interns in Europe. — MediaBistro

Peter Fray

Save 50% on a year of Crikey and The Atlantic.

The US election is in a little over a month. It seems that there’s a ridiculous twist in the story, almost every day.

Luckily for new Crikey subscribers, we’ve teamed up with one of America’s best publications, The Atlantic for the election race. Subscribe now to make sense of it all, and you’ll get a year of Crikey (usually $199) and a year’s digital subscription to The Atlantic (usually $70AUD), BOTH for just $129.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW