The LNP has now withdrawn its “Queenslanders Stories” from its own site and Youtube, although seems to have forgotten it also put them on Daily Motion (wakey wakey guys). The ads were filmed on the campus of the University of Sunshine Coast, with the full permission of the University, by ad agency Six Degrees Creative, which operates from the university’s “Innovation Centre” next door. Crikey has received several tips that some interviews were not legitimate, including one relating to a young mother who was both about to be thrown out on the street and, in another ad, had endured her cancer metastasising while she waited for a hospital bed, and another participant assisting with the production of the ad who was asked to give an on-screen interview. Yesterday Crikey contacted Six Degrees and was assured that no interviews had been pre-prepared or were not legitimate vox pop interviews in any way. The removal of the ads is presumably just a coincidence. It is an offence under the Queensland Electoral Act to publish material that misleads voters during an election campaign.

The pointy end of the Wayne. As Lindsay Tanner looks to reduce Federal Government spend on airline Frequent Flyer points, he could well save more money by looking at how many ministers and their minders are travelling at the pointy end of the plane. Wayne Swan returned from London this week with no fewer than six staffers joining him in First Class. Qantas staff were somewhat surprised given we’re supposed to be in belt-tightening mode. What’s wrong with Business Class?

Fairfax Media executives have been summoned to a three-day retreat to discuss the company’s short and medium term future following mounting losses and a share collapse to below $1. This morning’s breakfast was spoiled by the front page of The Australian outlining the personal financial squeeze on Deputy Chairman John B Fairfax as he takes mortgages on the family’s gilt-edged real estate to raise extra funds. And inside the morning media were stories from the US that the venerable Seattle Post-Intelligencer had printed its final edition after 146 years and was switching to online publishing. It follows the demise of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News in Colorado, another beacon of US regional journalism. The Fairfax meeting has been described as a “brains trust” but one mole told Crikey: “If brains were gelignite they wouldn’t have enough to blow their hats off.”

Herald Sun: security threat downgraded. I work out of the Herald Weekly Times building in Melbourne. Is Mr Bolt doing a lot more work from home these days or is cost-cutting behind the decision that the security guards can be let go?:

Selected staff notice.

FYI — Security Guards on Podium level at HWT
By: Finance – 17 March

Please note that as of yesterday afternoon Monday 16/03/09, the Security Guards at the lifts area of HWT have been removed.

Though please continue to carry your ID pass at all times so as to be able to access our tenancy areas.

It’s not just the banks ignoring the “do not call” list. Oxfam recently sent an e-mail to recent donors saying they would soon be calling to discuss upcoming Oxfam projects — but the recipient could e-mail to say they did not want a call. It felt rude sending an e-mail simply saying “please do not call me” but less rude than having to deal with an unwanted caller. Why did I bother? Oxfam still called me! I know the charities need money but I value respect for personal space (and listening to requests!) above all this. Sorry Oxfam…

It’s entirely correct that the new ABC mobile site suffers from accessibility and other problems. But don’t blame the hard-working staff of ABC Online. They were told last year that a new state-of-the-art mobile portal would be developed, but not by them. The skills and technology didn’t exist inside the ABC, was the snap judgement from Chris Winter, Manager New Services. Much better to pay some outside agency thousands and thousands of dollars to do it for us. Rather than, you know, *develop* the skills and technology internally, improve the corporation’s capabilities, and have control over the output and all the pesky details that would involve. At least it doesn’t have ads! Yet.

Lots of work to do for the new editor of the West Australian. The West had a front page headline yesterday morning: “Peanut Panic: why deadly nut allergies have skyrocketed in Australia”. Since my son is anaphylactic, I eagerly turned to the Mind and Body Liftout in the hope of learning of some new breakthrough, only to read: “What the researchers do not know, despite a range of theories being espoused, is why many more children from Australia are developing an allergy to peanuts.” WTF?

SMH‘s My Career is being wound up. It will be produced from Melbourne. For how long we’ll see.

Just how interesting can this story be? I reckon I’ve noticed it on top of the Fairfax most viewed charts 10 or more times since the article was published in November last year.