The Oz paywall: no money until Feb. The Australian will bring down its paywall in November — but you won’t have to pay for it until next year. Newsroom spies reveal the November “soft launch” will require registration of details to access premium content. Come February the paper will ask for credit card details.

As we told you yesterday, the media section of the website has been redesigned along with higher education, IT and business. It’s understood these will be the tent pegs for the “freeminum” model as this content is deemed the most attractive to prospective subscribers. A producer has been hired to manage content across those sub-sites. Crikey has been told a digital subscription — with website access and the iPad application — will cost around $3 a week or $12 a month.

Fin Review hires another gun. New editorial supremo Brett Clegg has poached another reporter to bolster The Australian Financial Review, we hear, with former ministerial staffer, aviation spinner and Australian writer Joe Aston to join the fold. Aston is currently in the United Arab Emirates working as a speech writer for Etihad Airways while freelancing for The Oz. He also used to spin for Qantas and Liberals Joe Hockey and Bruce Baird. We’re not sure what Clegg has in mind for the baby-faced flack; our efforts to contact him have so far failed.

Lost in translation (in SA) continued. More on the need for foreign language studies in high schools and the new SA Certificate of Education (as we picked up on yesterday). With students to pick just four senior subjects, languages could fall by the wayside. And as one reader notes: “Not only does the new SACE in SA mean that high school students won’t study languages, but because of the changes in funding adults cannot return to school as of 2012 to learn languages (or any other subject) either. There will be a lot of unemployed language teachers as a result of adults being denied the opportunity to learn a language at Year 11 and Year 12.”

Know when to fold them, Ray. 2GB loudmouth Ray Hadley loves a piss-take song. And when he had a go at Andrew Wilkie and his anti-pokies campaign recently, naturally Clubs NSW loved it too — so much so it’s hosting the audio on its website. But apparently nobody quite realised the irony of the chosen tune — Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler. It’s worth reliving Kenny’s great lyrics:

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done

Sounds like an ad for pre-commitment to us …

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW