Back to the future on The AFR. Back in the 1980s The Australian Financial Review (when I worked there) started the Mining and Oil review edited by Peter Maher. (It wasn’t my decision to start it; others more forward-looking did). Then management changed and the liftout was canned.

Come forward more than 20 years and what looked prescient back in the 80s now looks like a call that the resources boom has peaked because the slow-off-the-mark management of Fin has started a quarterly resources daily (whatever that is) in this morning’s edition.

The resources boom has been apparent for years, but newspaper managements chop and change as often as the corporate managements they criticise for being “short term”. The headline on this morning’s effort — “Get set for the boom” — should have been written in 2006, with another in 2009 — “The boom restarts” after Chinese buying ramped up. Talk about being yesterday’s management and being behind the game.

Next The AFR will tell us there’s an iron ore boom on and LNG could be big in the future. (By the way, the new CEO of Fairfax, Greg Hywood was at the paper when the Mining and Oil review was started, reporting from Canberra. Just a thought…) — Glenn Dyer

Libya regime’s treatment of journalists

“The reality is that journalists cannot operate freely in Tripoli at all, despite repeated promises from individuals including Gaddafi’s son, Saif al-Islam, and the deputy foreign minister, Khalid Khayem… Journalists are followed or shouted at by government minders when they don’t like the copy. Internet is patchy at best. Phone calls, it is widely believed, are listened to. And in the last few days, an already hostile attitude has become more overtly menacing.” — The Guardian

The gender divide on op-ed pages

New York Times columnist Gail Collins said she’s found that women are much less likely than men to submit opinion pieces. As the Times’ first female editorial page editor, Collins helped initiate discussions about how to get more female contributors and continues to advocate for this. Kristof, who has been at the Times since 1984, said there’s been a ‘stunning improvement’ in the number of women who have become reporters and editors at the Times. But there hasn’t been nearly as great an improvement in the Times’ opinion section — partly because women aren’t speaking up in the first place.” — Poynter

Mardis Gras organisers accept Wilson’s apology for “disgusting” jibe

“The organisers of Sydney’s Mardi Gras have accepted Ten’s prompt apology for yesterday’s on-air comments from newsreader Ron Wilson about parts of the Sydney parade being ‘disgusting’. On this morning’s bulletin Wilson also apologised for the comments.”Mumbrella

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey