Davis’ record on freedom of expression. University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis issued a bullish statement on the climate scientist death threat scandal yesterday calling for “academic freedom” to reign supreme over snipers hell bent on intimidation. But it seems Glyn is a recent convert to the cause. In 2008 he famously demoted leading public transport academic Paul Mees after he dared give a public lecture attacking the state government over privatisation. The university ordered a secret probe of Mees’ “conduct” with the popular academic later resigning to move to rival institution RMIT. Good to see Davis back on the righteous path.

Can-Do campaign heats up. As Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman was well known for his glass jaw and his media advisers’ angry phone calls to journalists when Can-Do was unhappy. Well it seems that trend is continuing in his bid to be Queensland’s premier…

Melbourne media rivalry: the history. Regarding your story yesterday on the spat between The Age and the Herald Sun. Editors at the Herald Sun famously used to make copy kids on the night shift call The Age repeatedly to find out when they were selling copies of the first issue. When they said the issues were available (usually just after 10pm) the copy kids would be made to go across, buy two copies and give one to the night CoS and another to the night editor. They would then scan them for any exclusives they could pinch.

This was at the old building, with a security guard selling The Age at the Lonsdale Street side entrance — a practice that got shut down before the move to Media House after Fairfax got paranoid about poaching. But it was bizarre they didn’t cotton on sooner.

Footy callers to good home. If Seven and Ten don’t do a deal on the AFL from next year, there’s going to be a glut of commentators on the market. Ten will have more than half a dozen permanent and part-time callers and experts surplus to requirements. It needs a couple for the AFL shows on ONE, but the others will be facing an uncertain outcome if a deal isn’t done. Seven already has a pack of callers and experts.

Does Seven need to do a deal? Not really. Ten was paying for two games a week, but Seven believes it can strengthen its position in AFL markets (Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) by screening the two extra games at no extra cost to itself over the life of the new broadcast agreement.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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