Sun-Herald loses its Canberra correspondent. Kerry-Anne Walsh, the Sydney Sun-Herald ’s political correspondent in Canberra for the past seven years, resigned yesterday and will leave Fairfax in three months’ time.

“KA” is a long-serving member of the Canberra media scene. She has worked for newspapers, radio and television, once producing the ABC radio program hosted by Pru Goward, now the Liberal MP for Goulburn in the NSW Parliament, and SBS. For a brief period in the 1980s she worked as a staffer to ministers in the Hawke Government and in recent years she has been a commentator on Barrie Cassidy’s Insiders , Paul Bongiorno’s Meet the Press on Ten and on panel discussions hosted by David Speers and Kieran Gilbert on award-winning Sky News.

Her departure will be a significant blow to Fairfax’s Sydney Sunday paper because she has been such a prolific performer, delivering regular front-page splashes, breaking news stories, writing political comment and co-authoring a regular column, The Naked Eye .

In one of the accidental consequences of her resignation, Fairfax’s dollar-driven CEO Brian McCarthy may opportunistically seize the moment to unfold his plan for a single Canberra bureau serving the major papers in the group, The Sydney Morning Herald , The Sun-Herald , The Age , The Sunday Age , The Canberra Times and the online . Whether the fiercely independent Australian Financial Review becomes rolled into the homogenized single bureau remains to be seen.

Rob Chalmers, editor of the weekly newsletter Inside Canberra and a member of the Canberra Press Gallery for an astonishing 58 years, told Crikey : “Working on a Sunday newspaper in Canberra is never easy. Stories that you might pick up on Tuesday or Wednesday can be knocked off by the daily papers on Thursday or Friday. You are always fighting for exclusives which will hold until Sunday. Kerry-Anne is a topline political reporter and a reliable producer of good stories who has a great network of contacts.” — Ex-Sun-Herald journalist Alex Mitchell

Akerman’s McKew blooper. We all know that Piers Akerman has a fine reputation as a purveyor of fiction and fantasy and his column in Tuesday’s Daily Telegraph only serves to confirm this. His effort, about the victory of Greens candidate Adele Carles in the Freemantle by-election, features this absolute howler: “Veteran Labor strategist and parliamentary secretary Bob McMullan, who is married to the near-invisible MP for Bennelong Maxine McKew, tried to pass the Freemantle loss as a one-off.” Um, wrong. Maxine McKew’s partner is not Bob McMullan, the current Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance, but rather Bob Hogg. And she is not married. The reference has been removed from the online version of the column. Clearly exactitude and accurary don’t rate very highly as one of Piers’ journalistic priorities. Embarrassing.

ABC goes in to bat for ‘Clare’. The ABC last night took the extraordinary step of issuing a press release on behalf of the woman at the centre of the Cronulla Sharks group sex scandal, in a bid to clarify some of the issues raised in last week’s Four Corners program. A statement released by the show’s publicist yesterday sought to “correct some of the rumours and untruths being printed or broadcast in mainstream media”.

The release ended with a statement from Clare, who has remained silent since the show went to air, pleading to be left alone. “I am being harassed in the most awful ways and what is being reported by journalists is horrible and untrue,” her statement said. “They have got people speaking of me that are not my friends or people I have never met. It feels like I am living in a nightmare. All I wanted to do was to make people aware of the culture and stop it happening to other girls.” — The Australian

New York Times launches “Lens”. The New York Times’ new photo blog called ” Lens“, launched last Friday, already contains an amazing selection of pictures from the United States and beyond, taken recently and years past.

It is well worth a gander if you fancy online photo galleries. This is what the NYT say about it:

Lens is the photojournalism blog of The New York Times , presenting the finest and most interesting visual and multimedia reporting — photographs, videos and slide shows. A showcase for Times photographers, it also seeks to highlight the best work of other newspapers, magazines and news and picture agencies; in print, in books, in galleries, in museums and on the Web. And it will draw on The Times ‘s own pictorial archive, numbering in the millions of images and going back to the early 20th century.

Top stories double take. In Melbourne, on a day when local news was dominated by the future of Richmond coach Terry Wallace, was the popularity of the Herald Sun’s story #4 driven by interest in events in Sri Lanka or perhaps closer to home at Punt Road?

  1. Hanks helps in Aussie’s wedding
  2. Mum pleads for Rudd to help
  3. Man attempts to bribe policeman
  4. Tigers’ chief shot dead
  5. Commuters told to get used to…

Outrage as Washington Times computer chooses wrong picture. The Washington Times , regarded as America’s most right-wing daily paper, was guilty of a crass editorial misjudgment last Friday. It ran a front page story about the record number of students who have been killed in Chicago and illustrated it with a picture of President Obama’s daughters. What did the Washington Times editor, John Solomon, have to say? According to Greg Sargent, he explained that it was all a computer glitch. So the paper publishes computer-selected pictures without a journalist seeing them? Can he be serious? And it goes up on the website (removed only after the row blew up) without anyone realising the mistake? Pull the other one. — Greenslade @ The Guardian

Air New Zealand claims it has nothing to hide. This extends from its ticket prices to its unusual decision to paint uniforms on its employees rather than have them wear clothes. And unlike Intel, they used actual employees — more than 90 of them for the campaign, apparently, including eight who got stripped and painted.


The airline’s CEO, Rob Fyfe, was one of the eight — he’s the silver-haired guy loading the bags on to the plane. The passengers all react surprisingly well to the naked people, even when they’re serving food and drinks. It’s a good thing Air New Zealand has such an attractive workforce. A campaign like this would be problematic if, say, Dunkin’ Donuts tried it. — AdFreak

Journalism students trial media mobiles. Imagine that you had everything you needed to edit, combine and file text, images, sound without buying a new PDA or phone. Imagine still that you could edit and file live and recorded video streams and produce and publish multimedia stories of broadcast quality with that same phone. The Nokia Research Centre has created this application, which was first trialled by Reuters journalists. Now they are trialling a further refined version of the technology with RMIT students in Melbourne. — News Frontier

Pay walls alone won’t save newspapers. Even The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal , whose Web sites are perhaps the best examples of paid-for digital news, generate only small fractions of their budgets from Internet subscriptions. For general publications — which, according to surveys, will have a harder time getting online readers to pay — pay walls may just be a transitional step. To develop more viable online business models they will have to take a broader look at where money is actually made on the Internet. E-commerce sites like eBay and aside, there are two main sources: Search engines, which sell billions of dollars’ worth of advertising, and Internet service providers. — New York Times

Ink-stained politicians. President Obama deserves credit for finally identifying an industry he doesn’t want to rescue — ours. Pressed about a bailout for struggling newspapers, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said last week that while it’s sad for cities to lose their daily papers, any public assistance “might be a tricky area to get into.” He added, “I don’t know what, in all honesty, government can do about it.” No matter who emerges victorious, the journalism business will be stronger and more credible if it avoids the government’s embrace. — The Wall Street Journal

Twitters of Patrick Swayze’s death greatly exaggerated . Tuesday morning the Twitterverse exploded with rumors that actor Patrick Swayze had passed on, after his well-publicized battle with pancreatic cancer. Which was news to Patrick Swayze, who is, in fact, alive. His publicist Annett Wolf released the following statement in response to the bogus news:

This is to confirm that Patrick Swayze did not pass away this morning contrary to severely reckless reports stemming from a radio station in Jacksonville, Florida. Patrick Swayze is alive, well and is enjoying his life and he continues to respond to treatment.


Kindle 9 XXXD: a revolution in e-readers . The Kindle skips ahead six models to bring the biggest, highest powered e-reader ever conceived:

Watch the video here. —