Is this the worst front page in the history of Australian newspapers? This morning, beleaguered Gold Coast Bulletin editor Dean Gould decided to follow in the footsteps of fictional UK newspaper The Herald in legendary miniseries State of Play by leaving the front page blank, save for a breakout box of Mayor Ron Clarke’s head. The issue, as far as we can tell, was something about increased water rates, a far cry from the Herald‘s oil industry corruption implicating the highest levels of the UK government.

Gould, who recently oversaw a record 11.85% Monday-Saturday circulation decline, is scrambling to save his skin before a last ditch strategy presentation next Friday at News Limited’s Holt Street headquarters. The Saturday figures were especially disappointing, plunging under the crucial 60,000 barrier for the first time in years, and John Hartigan is believed to be keen to lasso other News up-and-comers into the role, as previously canvassed by Crikey. — Andrew Crook

Correction of the week. Goodbye and welcome back Lee Lin Chin. From the Letters to the Editor in Monday’s Courier Mail:

And then today’s Courier Mail:

Is pure Journalism unaffordable?

“Companies have long paid for overseas journalists’ travel and other expenses. It’s a somewhat standard practice that I hear is creeping to our shores. Several technology firms have told me bloggers are often paid to attend events. This is becoming routine.” — Forbes

Magazines pick up, newspapers struggle

“Reader numbers for magazines have improved, but newspapers remained under a cloud last year, according to the latest Roy Morgan readership survey, released yesterday.” — The Australian

Facebook adds ‘Civil Union’, ‘Domestic Partnership’ to relationship status

“Facebook has added two new relationship status options users can include in their online profiles: “in a civil union” and “in a domestic partnership.” The new fields are being rolled out in the U.S. and several other countries, including Canada, France, the U.K., and Australia, starting today.” — Huffington Post

Newspapers begin erecting paywalls in response to Google One Pass

“Google’s announcement Wednesday of its Google One Pass payment system for content led two newspaper owners to begin laying the foundations for paywalls.” — Mediabistro

Fox News airs old CPAC footage, presents it as new

“This weekend, Rep. Ron Paul won the straw poll at this year’s CPAC the second consecutive year. However, when he was interviewed about victory during America’s Newsroom on Fox News, yesterday, they aired the clip of his announced win in 2010 in which there is a significantly higher amount of booing from the crowd. Fox News tells Mediaite that this was a mistake and that they will be issuing an correction on America’s Newsroom tomorrow morning.” — Mediaite

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey