Some normality returns to our media coverage charts this week, with Prime Minister Julia Gillard ruling the roost once again. In recent weeks Opposition Leader Tony Abbott drew level then charged ahead of the PM, nearly doubling her for volume last week. Just as it seemed that big-ticket government policies like DisabilityCare were now playing as well for Abbott as for Gillard, the Opposition Leader exercised the discipline that has characterised the latter part of his political ascent — and shut up.

He stayed shtum as the failure of Ford manufacturing in Geelong exploded across our screens; he let the PM do the running on the London terror attack; the claims ASIO headquarters were hacked; the AFP’s arrest of a Sydney man for threatening a Commonwealth officer. The list goes on, and when anything resembled bad news, Abbott pretty much stayed mum.

Plenty of big media movers this week: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Senator Nick Xenophon were in the thick of the live odds sports betting ban (Conroy also defended NBN delays), Barnaby Joyce announced he won’t jump from the Senate to the lower house until the election draws nearer, and the Press Council cleared The Daily Telegraph‘s “rat” photo of MP Peter Slipper, so media ran the image yet again.

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Independents Tony Windsor, Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie have plenty to say about the “grubby deal” on political donations, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine weighed in on Ford job losses and the child abuse inquiry while Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings presided over a state budget that resulted in the Apple Isle in record deficit. Oh, and Kevin Rudd moved back up top following a media grab over gay marriage …

Crikey Political Index: May 23-29

As the election draws nearer, talkback conversation returns to the voter’s hip pocket …

Talkback top five

Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett’s national schools funding plan made the social sphere this week. But Gillard was back on top …

Social media top five

Australia’s top-ranking Catholic admitted to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry that some members of the Church tried to cover up child s-xual abuse by other members of the clergy …

Comparisons on media mentions

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Crikey is an independent Australian-owned and run outfit. It doesn’t enjoy the vast resources of the country’s main media organisations. We take seriously our responsibility to bear witness.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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