This week’s biggest mover is opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne for drumming up headlines around Anzac Day — that zenith of nationalism appropriated so ably for partisan purpose by former PM John Howard (himself in the news this week). Pyne is concerned that some Anzac Day curricula present a “black armband view of Australia’s history” (while sadly failing to touch on the bipartisan issue of mental illness and the disproportionate number of Diggers taking their own lives).

The state premiers also gained a coverage boost by arguing their various positions on the Gonski school reform package while attending Council of Australian Governments, none more so than NSW leader Barry O’Farrell, who signed on to pay one-third of the $5 billion over six years earmarked for that state’s education coffers.

O’Farrell edged out Treasurer Wayne Swan for media coverage, the latter announcing the high dollar and lower terms of trade have resulted in a $7.5 billion hit to revenue in the coming budget. Climate Change Minister Greg Combet joined the deficit chorus, defending carbon pricing policy modelling in light of news that carbon prices could slump in 2015-16, probably creating a $4 billion revenue hole.

Unusually, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was pipped for print media coverage by Tony Abbott (whose coverage increases as the public view him as probable next PM) hedging on a Liberal budget surplus, unveiling an illegal boats billboard in Perth and demoting a staffer after a “throat cut” threat. Salubrious stuff.

Crikey Political Index: April 18-24

K-Rudd still middling for media coverage — but his increasing irrelevance to the political conversation is overseeing a gradual headline decline.

Talkback top five

Tony Abbott’s WA billboard about “illegal” boat arrivals was vandalised soon after it was erected. Abbott is well out in front in social media coverage this week, and number one for print coverage too — a seismic shift may be underway.

Social media top five

Tributes flowed thick and fast across all media for the late Divinyls singer.

Comparisons on media mentions