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Media briefs

Sep 9, 2013

Media briefs: Kerry’s farewell … sharks on Nine … parties’ cash splash …

The ABC's Kerry O'Brien has signed off on his 10th and last election campaign in the hosting chair.

Election night: the ratings. More people watched the election coverage on Seven, Nine, Ten the ABC and SBS than watched the weekend sport. A total of 3.5 million watched the coverage. The ABC was tops, with 1.452 million people watching across the country on ABC1 and News 24 (which had its highest national audience of 468,000). Some 932,000 watched Nine nationally; 634,000 watched the ABC; 426,000 watched Ten (fewer than on News 24), and 59,000 watched SBS’s coverage, which started at 9.30pm when all the shouting was over. Sky News’ coverage topped out at 96,000 for one of the hours. It was easily beaten by the NRL and AFL on Fox Sports. — Glenn Dyer

End of an era: Kerry says goodbye. This was the last election with veteran ABC journo Kerry O’Brien in the anchor chair. O’Brien started as a cadet journalist in 1966, and this was his 10th election at the ABC. Aunty polling boffin Antony Green wished him well:

Antony Green Kerry O'Brien

And O’Brien said good night for the last time.

Kerry O'Brien

Just when you thought it was safe to watch Nine. The networks bring out their flashiest graphics for election coverage. While O’Brien on the ABC promised (and delivered) “no holograms”, Channel Nine loved its holograms. It had a virtual shark pool, and MPs who lost their seats were dropped into the pool to be devoured by computer-generated sharks …

Channel 9 sharks

Parties splash their cash. The Liberal Party’s Saturday night victory did not come cheap. According to media and marketing monitoring company Ebiquity, the Liberals outspent the ALP by 67%, spending $6.75 million on election advertising, compared with Labor’s $4.04 million. And if you thought Clive Palmer’s advertising seemed to be everywhere during the campaign, you’d be right: the Palmer United Party was the third biggest spender, splashing out $3.02 million.

political party spending

The lost art of speechwriting. When I meet with Martin McKenzie-Murray, a former speechwriter for a federal department during the Rudd government’s first time in office, his frustration with the structure and culture of Canberra speechwriting is palpable: “I was never the speechwriter there, I would say, because the culture of the place was the speechwriter. A million people would look at it, a million rival policy factions would look at it, they’d all want to inelegantly shoehorn their projects into it, and so everything read like a shopping list of expenditure and policies. It wasn’t a f-cking speech, it wasn’t an act of persuasion, it wasn’t an act of instruction, it was garbage.”

McKenzie-Murray’s award-winning site, Feeding the Chooks, invokes Joh Bjelke Petersen’s notorious view of news conferences and speaking to the press. But it alludes also to parts of  the 1946 Orwell essay “Politics and the English Language”, of which McKenzie-Murray says he thought constantly during his time with the government.

Is there anything he wrote while working for the Department that he was proud of? “If I did, they would’ve been abandoned or discarded. Anything that I might have been proud of would’ve fallen by the wayside, or been chewed up by the machine.” Bethanie Blanchard (read the rest of this article at Liticism)

Stop the boats. The Coalition has long campaigned on a “stop the boats” platform, and that promise is set to be challenged now that Tony Abbott is in charge. The Herald Sun reported the first boat of asylum seekers under a Liberal government has been intercepted …

Will the Murdoch tabloid turn on its favoured leader and demand that he live up to his promises?

Front page of the day. The honourable member for Warringah is not looking very prime ministerial barefoot on the front page of The Daily Telegraph today, the first working day under a Liberal government.

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10 thoughts on “Media briefs: Kerry’s farewell … sharks on Nine … parties’ cash splash …

  1. Ruprecht

    Picture of the new PM covered in brand names and business logos … seems about right.

    “Open for business”

  2. Andrea

    I find pictures of Tony Abbott in his budgie smugglers and dressed as in this photo most distasteful. Nor would I have welcomed pictures of Julia Gillard dressed in, say, a bikini, although she had the good taste and discretion not to do so in public. Is it too much to hope that the media will publish less of these now he is Prime Minister?

  3. zut alors

    The link to Kerry O’Brien’s sign off doesn’t appear to be working.

  4. Terry of Tuggeranong

    The paucity of viewers of Sky News’s election coverage is another example of why one of Murdoch’s (the Sun King) first calls on Abbott (The Monkey King) will be for the Australia Network to be unlocked to tender and for the ABC’s Budget to be constrained

  5. SusieQ

    I mainly watched the ABC but did flick around to check out the other channels. Ch 9 seemed to have this huge panel of smug Liberals, Sky News just had Richo talking about all his mates and the ones he’s played golf with. You couldn’t possibly take any coverage seriously that had breakfast teams involved (7 & 9). Was left to good old Auntie to do the right thing, with Annabel Crabb an excellent addition, particularly in the interviews.

  6. CJ Westman

    He is a volunteer surf-life saver (budgie smugglers are the uniform), volunteer fire-fighter, volunteers to live in aboriginal communities a week almost every year, runs marathons guiding blind people. Even his security detail can’t keep up with him on his bike. You’re right Andrea, we should find this distasteful. This 55 year old man is making the rest of us Australians look rubbish.

  7. Peterpan

    The LIBERAL party spent some $6.75 million dollars for what % of the vote ? Still a minority party with approx only 30% of the vote across Australia. Seems the Labour party had a good response for its expenditure.

  8. mattsui

    I would like to hear (have heard) Paul Keating’s reaction to the Tele’s front page.
    Elected with a sizeable majority, likely to govern for at least five years. You turn up to your first photo oportunity dressed like this?
    Liberal Parliamentarians have spent three years degrading the office of Prime Minister. You’d think, now that he’s ascended to that office, Abbott would want to start rebuilding the public’s respect for it.
    Aparently not.
    Seriously – one Prime Ministerial budgie-run and we’ll all be wishing for Julia to come back!

  9. klewso

    Now Abbott wants the next parliament to respect the one he’s cremated – by accepting his mandate – that 55% of us voted against, and voted for parties to respect our wishes?
    Is there a limit to his hypocrisy?

  10. Griffiths Karen

    No one could keep up with Forrest Gump when he ran across America-didn’t make him less of a simpleton! But, I wonder about this scenario: what would happen if, in a few months time, a demonstration was organised to converge on Canberra to oppose the repealing of the carbon tax, and someone made a sign that stated, “Rupert Murdoch’s bastard,” and, “Ditch the wanker” and, if the LOTO made his way to stand under that sign [with half his front bench in tow] to proudly address the media? Would the LOTO do it? How would the media respond? What would be the level of outrage from the gov? Just wondering!