Fairfax’s Sydney’s Sun Herald has revamped its TV magazine. It has switched to a larger format, away from the small coated paper near pocket size. The new Sun Herald magazine is not only larger, it has more listings, a bit of gossip and program chat and the kids cartoonies at the back. And it is printed on newsprint to save money. So what has the News Ltd Sunday Telegraph been trumpeting on its front page these last two Sundays? It has proclaimed it has “Sydney’s glossiest” TV magazine. To which one reader remarked, and so are the Harvey Norman catalogues. Desperate times at News Ltd breed desperate solutions. — Glenn Dyer

Things you won’t see in The Australian‘s Cut and Paste, contd: Former Communist Party of Australia member and editor of its journal Australian Left Review editor David Burchell is shocked, shocked to find elitism on the left:

If there’s one dark and unmentionable fact about the events of 2001 and the Labor Party, it is that this was when a significant number of idealistic Labor figures fell headlong out of love with the Australian people. …The history of democracy is — let’s face it — a history of disenchantment… If the Bolsheviks’ and Maoists’ faith in the people never wavered, that was only because they had long since replaced it with an official People of their own choosing…

— Government Haunted By Great Unwashed

Today’s Victorian headlines at the Herald Sun. Television more important than human life:

Fairfax publishes print editions of web sites. Fairfax Media will today distribute print editions of its online mastheads in Queensland and Brisbane. In a move which the company is describing as a “one-off promotion”, it will distribute a free 24-page tabloid under the brisbanetimes.com.au and WAtoday.com.au mastheads. Each have 15,000 print runs and are being distributed at key points in Brisbane and Perth. According to the company, the paper “will showcase breaking news, lifestyle, technology and sports stories from the editorial teams of Fairfax Digital’s to dedicated online news sites”. — Mumbrella

Iran jails US journalist Roxana Saberi as spy. An Iranian-American journalist, Roxana Saberi, was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday by the Iranian authorities after being found guilty of spying for the United States. The jailing of Saberi — a freelance who has worked for the BBC – seems certain to deepen tensions between America and Iran following indications that, with Barack Obama in the White House, relations might finally be thawing. The BBC voiced extreme concern at the “severe sentence”. — Guardian

Tough riposte after paper rats on French president. Nearly two years after a national election famous for its intense rivalry between Nicolas Sarkozy on the right and Segolene Royal on the left, the feud is back in the news and getting nastier. Sarkozy’s party said Saturday that Royal, the candidate he defeated in a runoff vote for the presidency in 2007, “needs psychological help.” That comment by Frederic Lefebvre, spokesman for Sarkozy’s conservative UMP party, was a mere addendum in a statement devoted largely to castigating the leftist daily Liberation. And that newspaper touched off the whole uproar by quoting Sarkozy as allegedly insulting other world leaders. — Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Death blog. So you think you’ve seen newspaper blogs on just about everything? Politics, sports, you name it — the Salt Lake Tribune even has one about polygamy, quite the news topic out there in Big Love country. But try this one on for size: obituaries. What, too sensitive a topic? Too much of a downer in the mostly breezy world of blogs? Not for The Washington Post, whose four-person obituary team — affectionately nicknamed “Murderer’s Row” — has been managing its Post Mortem blog for nearly a year and a half. It is promoted as “the blog about the end of the story.” And readers love it. — Editor and Publisher

The real meaning of Ashton Kutcher’s 1M Twitter followers. As media market-share wars go, this one’s epochal. This week Ashton Kutcher — the former “That ’70s Show” star and “Punk’d” auteur now mostly known for being married to Demi Moore and doing Nikon commercials — declared his intention to beat out CNN in the race to become the first Twitterer with one million followers. Kutcher’s, um, triumph can’t be a good sign for the so-called Attention Economy. — Advertising Age

Are e-books the new newspapers? Electronic book readers are still a minority pursuit for book lovers, but the devices have the potential to become the norm one day. With newspapers in crisis, there are now suggestions that e-books might offer journalism a new portable platform and subscription model. Struggling newspapers could be offered a lifeline by the new format — especially as the devices’ tech is developing to include colour and flexible displays. — BBC

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Peter Fray
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