Obama, lamb, jewfish and business elite. Canberra royalty descended on the Great Hall of Parliament House last night for a state dinner welcoming the arrival of US president Barack Obama. So who showed up?
Former prime minister (and Obama critic) John Howard was there, as was fellow ex-leader (and Obama confidant) Kevin Rudd. Greens supremo Bob Brown also took the chance to welcome the president, possibly more warmly than the last one who came out, likewise union bosses Paul Howes and Ged Kearney. — Tom Cowie (read the full story here)
Please explain? Hanson wants to be a shock jock. Is there anything controversial ex-pollie Pauline Hanson won’t try her hand at? The flame-haired former One Nation Party leader has announced she’s up for having a go at radio presenting.
Freshly fired from Celebrity Apprentice — and having already had a go at Dancing with the Stars, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and This is Your Life (and let’s not forget she’s even done time inside, for a conviction, later overturned, of electoral fraud) — Hanson now has her sights set on talkback radio. — Lucy Clark (read the full story here)
Why the UK’s media inquiry is better than ours. Shame on you Australia: the UK’s media inquiry is so much more interesting than ours. But if Britain’s tabloid press is far more rabid, we can be proud it’s an Australian, our very own Rupert Murdoch, who has set the benchmark.
In 1968, the Dirty Digger bought The News of the World and in 1969 The Sun (which was then almost bankrupt) and engineered a massive increase in circulation by putting topless models on page three and dishing up a diet of shock and scandal to cater for the British working class. Both papers were a massive success, but both threw journalistic standards out the window, pressuring other papers to do the same. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)
Digital leaders: Kim Williams returns at #2. When The Power Index spoke with Kim Williams last week, he gave us absolutely no hint that Rupert Murdoch was about to crown him CEO of News Ltd and screw up our Digital Media Power List. He assured us he loved Foxtel and his job there, saying, “It’s been, and continues to be, a real pleasure.”
But we’ve learnt to forgive in this business, and we’re sure Kim’s got the skills to make the new paywall work at Murdoch’s Australian newspapers — if anybody can. As Williams himself has said, and everyone keeps faithfully repeating, he’s a dab hand at making people pay for things they previously got for free.
And he used that skill to turn Foxtel’s pay TV operation into the most valuable media property in the country, as Kerry Stokes and James Packer know well. Williams spent 10 years running Foxtel and another six in charge of Fox Studios and his supreme achievement was to keep it relevant and make it turn a profit after more than a decade of losses. So how did he do it? — Angela Priestley and Paul Barry (read the full profile here)