Feb 6, 2012

Global Mail born … Monckton TV … the FitzShameless …

Welcome to the neighbourhood, Global Mail. After a few teething problems -- it didn't quite launch at midnight as expected, and the site crashed briefly this morning under the traffic load. Plus other media news.

Monica Attard's Global Mail is born. Welcome to the neighbourhood, Global Mail. After a few teething problems -- it didn't quite launch at midnight as expected, and the site crashed briefly this morning under the traffic load -- the brave new experiment in non-profit, philanthropic journalism has arrived. The slick, magazine-style website, gifted to ex-ABC journo Monica Attard by Greens-supporting multimillionaire Graeme Wood, was rich with content this morning, leading with investigations into the healthcare register and energy costs (by ex-Sixty Minutes star Ellen Fanning) and dispatches from ex-ABC correspondents Michael Maher (New York) and Jess Hill(Cairo). As Crikey first revealed in July, Attard has squeezed $15 million out of Wood to set up the enterprise, modelled on ProPublica in the US, with an impressive roster of staff at Sydney HQ and around the world. Attard is now the envy of editors everywhere, with no traffic targets (as she insisted in a chat with The Australian), advertising interference and a budget Wood has apparently guaranteed for five years. She'll look at ways to raise revenue so the outlet can pay some of its way, but subscriptions and ads are off the table. We watch with interest. -- Jason Whittaker Monckton and Bolt: coming to a TV near you. The mere idea sends shivers through progressive thinkers everywhere: Christopher Monckton TV. It certainly scares the likes of liberal activist group GetUp!, which uncovered this footage from July last year of Monckton prophetically offering a playbook for Gina Rinehart when it comes to investing in the media. He told a boardroom at Mannkal -- a Perth-based group that promises to "strengthen the free market system" -- that the answer to defeat climate change action and other lefty causes is to "capture the high ground of what are still the major media":
"And until we crack that one both in the UK and Australia, we're going to suffer from a disadvantage, against the more libertarian right-wing minded people in the United States who have got Fox News and have therefore got things like a Tea Party, have at least put some lead into the pencil of the Republican Party. "And it seems to me that diverting some time and effort into encouraging those we know who are super rich to invest in perhaps even establishing a new satellite TV channel is not an expensive thing, and then get a few Joe Novas and Andrew Bolts to go on and do the commentating ever day -- and keep the news free and fair and balanced as they do on Fox -- that would breakthrough and give to Australia as it has in America a proper dose of free-market thinking."

The video -- now making the rounds of social media after GetUp! posted it to YouTube last week -- shows Monckton taking a vote on his proposal, with no dissenters. He then says he's happy to work with Andrew Bolt to "put together a business plan for such a thing". No word from Monckton on where that plan may be at. -- Jason Whittaker And the FitzShameless goes to ... Recently we announced the launch of The FitzShameless Awards, in honour of columnist Peter FitzSimons and the many other journos who shamelessly attempt to spruik their latest tome in articles and radio broadcasts around the country. Our first award goes to a deserving winner, one who often jokes about how his editor refuses to let him mention his book in his column. Mark Dapin got a doozy into his latest column on Saturday in Fairfax's Good Weekend:
"Anyway, I'd like to wish all my readers a Happy Columnists' New Year, and hope you all enjoy reading my new novel Spirit House, which I'm sure you received for Christmas. If you didn't find a copy of Spirit House under your tree, it's because your partner doesn't really love you. To get your own back, wait until they're asleep, then shove a Lego Clone Wars Mandalorian helmet up their nose"
We wonder how lenient new Good Weekend editor Ben Naparstek will be with gratuitous attempts at self-promotion (and columns mentioning Chris Ryan). Stay tuned. And if you've got a nomination for a FitzShameless, please let us know. The book industry is tough, we need to shine a light on their plight. What does 70% of the print news market look like?
"What does that 70 per cent of the print media market look like? This map provides the perfect vantage point from which to view News’ dominance of the Australian news media. The map includes News’ publications from the Herald Sun to the Hills Gazette." -- UpStart
Ten chairman says Rinehart has not interfered
"Ten Network Holdings chairman Brian Long has refuted claims that shareholder Gina Rinehart has interfered in the broadcaster's editorial content and programming." -- Media Spy
TV revenues down across the board
"Advertising revenues for the free TV networks are down virtually cross the board, the latest set of data from industry body Free TV indicates." -- mUmBRELLA
Print news media go live with video programming
"The newest addition to the newsroom of Politico makes a statement about the news Web site’s priorities. It’s a stage set with lights, microphones, an anchor desk and five high-definition cameras so that reporters and editors can produce hours of live programming for Internet viewers." -- New York Times
Met police investigators 'jeopardise press freedom'
"The Metropolitan police has a team of up to 20 detectives based at News Corporation's internal investigation unit in Wapping, a move which leading media and human rights lawyers say puts press freedom in jeopardy." -- The Guardian
Good times for long-form journalism?
"It seems that despite the ever-quickening speeds of information travel, long-form journalism is adapting and thriving in the new media environment." -- 10,000 Words

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10 thoughts on “Global Mail born … Monckton TV … the FitzShameless …

  1. klewso

    Wapping News? “….a move which leading media and human rights lawyers say puts press freedom in jeopardy.”?
    So what did “News Corpse” do when left to their own devices and “self-regulation” – left to let their consciences be their guide – left to “market forces” (which are supposed to “balance” private enterprise?) – to “the freedoms of others”? To that same “press freedom” – if not crap all over it?
    If these “Murdoch clowns can’t be trusted any further than they can spit” – supposedly left in charge with what they have (“distributing news” – and can’t smell a story like that, right under their collective noses), they have to be supervised until they can show they can be – shouldn’t they?

  2. klewso

    And why would anyone think Ms Rhinehart (with her conservative opinions and money) has “interfered” at TEN (or any other time of day?) – after that vicious, take-no-prisoners bidding war to remake “Blott on the Political Landscape”?

  3. klewso

    And that UpStart “map” – what percentage of us (including voters) live under those same “clouds”?

  4. rubiginosa

    Does anyone seriously think Rinehart will achieve similar success if she tries to dominate Fairfax?

    A deeply unserious Ian Hanke thinks so:

  5. zut alors

    Jason Whittaker on Bolt and Monckton: ‘… on where that plan may be at.’

    The above assemblage of words guarantees Crikey readers will wince. What were you thinking! Or should that read: what were you thinking at?

  6. jeff holland

    Thanks for the tip on Global Mail, its very good.

    I pay for Crikey just to support an independent point of view, and GM would be the same as Propublica, they’ll get donations if they ask.

    I wonder how The Australians pay-per-view is going?

  7. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Wonder if Global Mail will get any mention tonight on their “news ” channels including abc ?? or Get-up’s video ??

  8. Jeremy Williams

    I thought bolt’s show, as awful as it it did ok, not the viewers of insiders but from memory I thought it had over 100 000 per episode. Anyone know about this ???

  9. arthur.hanlon

    In all the comments about Gina Rinehart’s motivation for her purchase of Channel 10 shares, nobody seems to have recalled her own father’s long-lived but ultimately pathetic foray into journalism.

    Three years ago saw the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Sunday Independent in Perth in 1969. As Welsh Pool, I pointed out in Crikey on this anniversary that Lang Hancock and his then partner E. A. Wright started the paper with the idea of frightening federal politicians. It preached secession and nuclear power, among other things. It attracted disaeffected journos from around Australia and there was even a daily edition (The Sun) in 1973, which lasted 29 issues.

    The Independent struggled on for years from a glorified shed in Welshpool until it was bought by Murdoch and finally absorbed into the Perth Sunday Times.

    Perhaps Gina has not forgotten her father’s interest in media, and his ultimate humiliation with the demise of this rag.

    – Welsh Pool.

  10. klewso

    “Upstart”? Who “funds” it?
    It’s not a case of trying to counter the argument that “Limited News controls too much of our (views)media” ergo “Here’s a map of the limitations of what they own, really. Isn’t it small?”?

    Are they seriously contending that the likes of the “Curry-or Maul” doesn’t get to all those white bits of Queensland/or “The Tally” doesn’t reach Mildura, Broken Hill or Tibooburra/”The Tizer” is confined to Adelaide, etc “influencing voter perception”? That “reach” really isn’t all that large – when represented like this?

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