The day when media organisations knowingly lie to you. There’s a certain art to April Fools’ pranking. It has to be believable but not ultimately harmful. Outrageous but trivial. So here’s what the news media came up with. The Guardian told us lamingtons were invented in New Zealand. Youth website Junkee announced it was going behind a paywall (payment options include the “Double Dunham” and the “Echo Chamber”). TV Tonight revealed that Andrew Bolt was joining The Project to replace Charlie Pickering (now, that’d be fun…), while Kyle and Jackie O changed the station on their listeners (after an ad break, listeners were treated to stablemates Jonesy and Amanda from WSFM, who were going on about diarrhoea). On Nova, Fitzy and Wippa pulled an elaborate prank on their bosses, with Fitzy pretending to quit (and swear) live on air.
Serious outlets like The Australian generally avoid such silliness, but James Jeffrey’s Strewth column managed to sneak in a story about how the Financial Review is going online-only (a good effort, but chucking it in as the very last item somewhat spoils the joke, doesn’t it?). New Matilda is launching a new youth-focused website (with “teen heartthrob” Ben Eltham penning the dating column). ABC News Breakfast fans also had to cope with some programming changes — a post on the show’s Facebook page revealed Michael Rowland and Virginia Trioli had been “poached” and were expected to leave the ABC later this month.
In sports news, rugby union and league star Sonny”‘Bill” Williams will now try his hand at AFL, according to The Roar, and Black Cavier is being cloned (the foal’s due in September). Oh, and in a Crikey exclusive, we reveal Sophie Mirabella is the new SBS chairman, joined by Piers Akerman. — Myriam Robin
Whales beat humans in press. Saving the whales got prominent coverage in this morning’s paper’s, but what about yesterday’s important Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the effects of climate change? The report, the first of its kind in seven years, found climate change was already fueling wars and natural disasters, and outlined a range of effects on food security, equality and human security. It was released yesterday morning, giving news outlets plenty of time to cover it. But did they?
Those reading The Australian, an organ well-known for its climate change scepticism, wouldn’t have found the report covered at all in the news. The report does, however, earn a mention on the commentary page — there’s a cartoon and a Cut & Paste of all the silly lefties carrying on about the threat. “When the IPCC says climate change won’t cost much, The Guardian stops trusting the models”, it begins. The Herald Sun found room for a study on the what dance moves men and women find attractive on page 12, but also only covered the report in its opinion section, with Bjorn Lomborg doing the honours (telling readers there were “two sides to the story”, although the paper, incidentally, doesn’t seem to give the IPCC much of a hearing). We couldn’t find the report mentioned at all in The Daily Telegraph.
Fairfax’s papers gave it far more coverage. In our copy of The Age, the IPCC report was teased with a picture on the front page, with the actual articles on pages 8-9. The SMH went big on environmental news — both the whales and the IPCC got a front-page teaser. All of page 10 was devoted to the IPCC report’s conclusions. The Australian Financial Review also put the story on page 10, with a small graphic of the effects above it.
Digital natives relying on Google News for their intake won’t find the report on the homepage — it does, however, lead the “Science” tab, which appears below general news, business and entertainment. An instance of some humans making a wiser choice than Google’s algorithm’s, perhaps. — Myriam Robin
Video of the Day. Joni Ernst grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm … you can see where this is going …