No Rome, but Fairfax still burns. This morning marks a red letter day on the Fairfax Media recreational calendar, with its 70 favourite real estate advertisers jetting off on their annual junket, as revealed by Crikey last month. The all-expenses paid trip to Amsterdam, Prague and Berlin (it was originally scheduled for Russia, but amended due to “security fears”) will take in some the cities’ hottest nightspots and even some sightseeing if the boozed-up spruikers can make it out of their five-star hotels before sundown.

Meanwhile, the media empire continues to lose millions of dollars from its ailing real estate division, with former Age property editor Antony Catalano’s Weekly Review continuing to chomp on a firm’s $35 million revenue hole. And all this while some of Catalano’s clients mull a shift from The Age Domain section across to News Limited, leaving the paper effectively without an income stream. What was that about spending money while Rome, which is not included on the agents’ itinerary, burns? — Andrew Crook

Belinda Neal’s Iguanagate return. This morning dumped Labor MP Belinda Neal announced that despite the rumours she would stand as an independent she won’t re-contest her seat of Robertson as an independent. Except, the cameras covering her presser were forced to move so that the infamous Iguana Joe’s didn’t appear in the background during the announcement. “Belinda avoided pics in front of Iguanas — if she’d avoided the place in the first place …” tweeted Michelle Grattan. Amber Jamieson

How WikiLeaks cosied up with the press

“You wouldn’t be reading the coverage of the so-called Afghanistan logs — in The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and The Guardian — if Nick Davies, a senior contributor to the British paper, hadn’t tracked down WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Brussels one month ago.” — Columbia Journalism Review

Teaching journalists to be part of the story

“The International Committee of the Red Cross is breaking ground with a program to train journalists on how to help victims. The organization has found an ideal place to try out the idea: Pakistan, and more specifically the deadly Wiziristan region.” — Huffington Post

Apple doesn’t like subscription apps

“The good news: Time Inc. is very proud of the subscription iPad app it designed for Sports Illustrated, touting it in the print issue of the magazine. The bad news: Apple will still not allow the app to be sold via its iTunes store…” — WebNewser

A pay TV merger? Forget about it

“Austar boss John Porter jokes that after 15 years he has given up waiting for the regional pay-TV group to merge with Foxtel.” — The Australian