Everything rosy in newspaper land today for sure. Just as clouds begin the gather over the dubious tactics pursued by newspaper proprietors to rort their circulations, it’s nice to be re-assured that the future of old media remains bright, according to the main industry body representing the proprietors. In its unequivocal Facts About Australian Newspapers report distributed this morning, The Newspaper Works — set up by Fairfax Media, News Limited, APN News & Media and West Australian Newspapers in 2006 to put a positive spin on their mastheads’ demise — claims national advertising rose by 11.3% from January to June and revenue had slumped “just 3%” between 2007 and 2009, compared to bigger falls overseas.
The report also cites Audit Bureau of Circulations figures that show Australian sales had fallen by “less than 1% per year over the last 10 years” compared with sharper declines in other markets. Which is interesting, because as Crikey revealed two weeks’ ago, up to 20% of the circulation on leading titles like The Age constitute bulk-delivered copies that are never broken out from the headline paid sales figure.
Since the story appeared, OMD’s Simon Davies, Ikon’s Ben Willee and the Australian Association of National Advertisers have all called for a review of the ABC’s definitions that let newspapers claim the education copies as regular subscriptions because they’re technically deals with individual students and teachers who “sign up” at the start of each year. But as Crikey and Mumbrella have demonstrated, a large proportion end up unread in recycling bins, especially during mid-semester breaks. And that’s in addition to the mountain of freebies that adorn carparks, stadiums and fast food vendors around the country. No mention of those inconvenient facts in The Newspaper Works report. — Andrew Crook
Spida spins an dubious web. With questions still being asked of some Collingwood players about allegations of sexual misconduct in the aftermath of the team’s grand final victory, it’s best if we’re careful about what we say. With that in mind, we’re not sure what was going through the mind of Peter Everitt, a former best and fairest winner at Hawthorn and St Kilda, when he tweeted the following this morning:
Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox
While it’s good to see Spida is careful enough to liberally use the word ‘allegedly’, unfortunately that doesn’t cover you for bad taste. — Tom Cowie
Julia and marriage. The Herald Sun dutifully reported Julia Gillard’s comments on European relations on its website this morning. Speaking from the Asia Europe Meeting in Brussels, Gillard noted it was like Australia had been engaged with Europe for a long time, “but now we’re getting married”. Buried at the bottom of the item, reporters Shannon Deery and Mark Kenny then made their own observation:
“It was a strange comment from a woman who has played down the significance of the institution of marriage in her own case.”
In fact, Gillard was only parroting the line from Australia’s EU ambassador (and former Liberal leader) Brendan Nelson. As ABC Radio’s AM recited in full:
“Well, in the elegant words of our ambassador, if I can adopt them — we’ve had a strong partnership with the European Union, but to quote Brendan Nelson, it’s been like being engaged, now we’re looking to get married.”
But don’t let that get in the way of a good sideswipe. — Jason Whittaker
Vox pop of the day #1 (The Advertiser) in Adelaide: The crab, it lives!
Vox pop of the day #2 (Cairns Post): All we need is the sun and the moon (oh, and the guy in the middle looks like Mick Molloy).
New head Twit for micro-blogging service
“Twitter Inc., which is trying to generate profits from its popular micro-blogging service, on Monday announced that its chief operating officer, Dick Costolo, is now chief executive.” — Wall Street Journal
The data bank spying online
“Sandwiched between a bakery and a health food supermarket in the heart of Cupertino, California, is the headquarters of a new kind of stock exchange — one that trades data, your data.” — Sydney Morning Herald
Who wants to be on Google TV?
“Google TV, the latest service to offer internet content on TV screens, holds the promise of making all the living room’s media as searchable as the internet’s text, but that promise requires at least some co-operation from media companies. And many have been reluctant to help.” — New York Times
Seven kicks a bag with AFL
“AFL has now contributed five of the 10 highest-rating sports broadcasts nationally so far this year, underlining its value to the Seven Network.” — The Australian