Schembri hits back — with an apology. The Age‘s Jim Schembri has penned an apology to his colleagues after Crikey revealed the film critic’s very public blast at the state of ethical standards at the paper last week. Schembri had said during a panel discussion on journalistic ethics in Melbourne that ethics were “an optional extra rather than an ethos” at the Fairfax broadsheet and a poor understanding of basic ethics among some of his colleagues left him feeling like the paper had been “given a lobotomy” and made him want to “throttle somebody like Homer Simpson”. Schembri said in his message sent to all staff yesterday:


At a recent public event I made some comments about internal issues at The Age. I deeply regret those comments. I apologise for them and for any offence they may have caused.

Jim Schembri

Pat McGrath

Sky’s not-so-steady Stream. Sky News — that proudly nimble broadcaster of the digital age — doesn’t need satellites to cover this election. It’s been broadcasting press conferences on the “Streambox” — which looks to us to be nothing more than a glorified web cam. The result has been some highly pixelated vision, and major failures at important moments.

This morning’s crucial presser with Julia Gillard in Adelaide, featuring a passionate defence of her cabinet deliberations in the wake of Laurie Oakes’ damaging revelations, was beamed back via the Streambox. But it failed several times, forcing Sky to repeatedly revert to an audio-only mobile phone feed. Between its part-owners Seven and Nine, couldn’t Sky have fired up the satellite for such an important election moment? Rival ABC News 24 broadcast the speech live and uninterrupted via traditional means.

But credit to Sky political reporter Kieran Gilbert, who came up with one of the best lines from this election campaign in describing Gillard’s leak response: “When you’ve got white ants, you need pest control.” — Jason Whittaker

Why WikiLeaks turned to old media

“Of all the questions raised by the Afghanistan war logs, perhaps the most intriguing is this: why would an organisation as independent-minded and disdainful of the traditional media as WikiLeaks seek out those very media as partners rather than going it alone?” — The Guardian

The kids are reading newspapers in France

“In an age when many children are addicted to computers, iPods and iPads — and when newspapers are feeling the pressure — Mon Quotidien appears to be an anomaly, all the more so in the journalistic climate of France.” — New York Times

Marketers: forget Twitter, it won’t help

“Attention brands: Twitter users aren’t talking to you or about you. In fact, they barely know you exist.” — AdvertisingAge

… and you won’t earn a dime, either.

“The percentage of people who would pay to use Twitter is … zero. Yes, zero, according to a study by the Centre for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California Annenberg School For Communication And Journalism.” — paidContent

FT reckons the paywall works just fine

“What we hadn’t realised, and what may turn out to be bigger benefit, is that it provides a deeper understanding our audience.” — The Guardian