Obeid book to probe Eddie’s influence. The bad news just keeps coming for Eddie Obeid. As well as possible criminal charges and fresh Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiries this year, the disgraced former Labor powerbroker’s career will be examined in unprecedented detail in a new book by two of the country’s top journalists. Kate McClymont and former Sydney Morning Herald colleague Linton Besser, now at the ABC, are hard at work on a book examining Obeid’s murky influence.

Expected to be titled He Who Must be Obied, the book is set to be published this year by Random House. McClymont, who has been Obeid’s nemesis for years, is on book leave until March. As well as tracking Obeid’s upbringing and career, the authors are sniffing around for fresh revelations. Last year, ICAC found Obeid had acted corruptly in relation into coal exploration licences and is currently probing his secret ownership of lucrative cafe leases at Circular Quay. — Matthew Knott

Create anti-violence campaign. Or don’t. The Sydney Morning Herald has launched a contest for its readers to come up with a 30-second ad campaign against alcohol-fuelled violence. The campaign should appeal to young people, and the winner will get $2500. The paper points to success of the Roads and Traffic Authority’s “pinkie campaign” against speeding as a precedent …

herald challenge

The paper puts out the call on page two and reiterates it on page 12. We at Crikey were putting on our thinking caps, but then we turned the page and found this column by Richard Denniss. Denniss says NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell should curb late-night partying to prevent alcohol-fuelled violence, but instead he is taking the easier — and completely ineffective — path of an awareness campaign:

“Of course the difference between the regulatory approach and an information campaign is that, based on the Newcastle experience, the former will work.”

So put together an information campaign and win $2500 — but campaigns don’t work.

Video of the day. Dennis Rodman is back in North Korea for a spot of basketball with other NBA all-stars. But he’d rather not talk about some of the more unpleasant aspects of the regime of his buddy Kim Jong-Un. When CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo asked about the capture of American citizen Kenneth Bae, things get ugly …

Front page of the day. It’s cold in Chicago. Very cold.

Peter Fray

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