Royals trumped. The PR impact of the most photogenic branch of the British royal family was diminished somewhat yesterday, when their touchdown in Sydney barely made the front pages. The Sydney Morning Herald buried its first mention of the royals behind its eight-page Barry O’Farrell wrap-around, while the Daily Tele tried to have it both ways — leading with a big picture of O’Farrell with a footer on the royals, then devoting pages 2-3 to the visit and 4-5 to the resignation.
Nationally, the royal family earned 1360 media mentions to Barry O’Farrell’s 1394, according to iSentia. When you break it down by media type, O’Farrell was all over the broadcast news while earning only 105 mentions in print. The royals got 484 print mentions — maybe due to their arrival later in the day.
But at least William and Kate got Adelaide’s attention. They made the front page of The Advertiser — O’Farrell was relegated to pages 8-9. It was the only metro paper to make that editorial choice. — Myriam Robin
Taking out the trash. Between O’Farrell resigning and the royal visit, yesterday was a great day to bury some news. So we’ve decided to draw your attention to some of the negative stories you might have missed in all the commotion.
There was a speech by Labor’s Louise Pratt, in which she told Australia we’d been saddled with a “deeply homophobic” and “disloyal” senator for the next six years in Joe Bullock. In business news, McAleese issued a profit downgrade. The company, a third of which is owned by rich lister and chief Mark Rowsthorn and which in turn owns Cootes Transport, has issued two profit warnings in two months due to “safety breaches by its Cootes tankers and falling demand”, to quote Fairfax. One of the company’s tankers was involved in a fatal accident in Sydney last year. The company listed on the stock exchange last November, and has lost two-thirds of its value since then. Its shares tumbled 15% yesterday.
You also might have missed the tragic ferry accident off the coast of South Korea. Six are dead and hundreds missing after the ferry, carrying mostly high school students and their teachers, sank overnight. And over at News Corp, a story that should get more attention can be missed on a day like this. The family of the Australian killed in a drone strike in Yemen last year has told by the government they will have to pay $40,000 to bring his remains back home. The Australian is continuing their investigation, though the headline seems unfairly prejudicial given the content of the article itself (“Al Qa’ida ‘soldier’ liked a drink“).
There’ll be plenty more buried news over the Easter weekend — two days off followed by a three-day work week means plenty of people will be on holiday for the next few days. If you spot anything interesting towards the back of the paper or buried in a brief, let us know. — Myriam Robin
Well-aged exclusive disappoints. It’s always nice to have a vintage on hand, as Barry O’Farrell will tell you, and to mark news of his resignation — and the spectacular collapse of the Abbott government’s Labor=ICAC campaign — The Australian got something special out of the cellar. “Albo tried to save PM from Conroy” the front page screamed.
Poured by Dennis Shanahan, this fruity little tale of the minor doings of a dead government had a lovely bouquet but no bite. But it created a very minor distraction from O’Farrell’s corking — and it excellently complemented the main dish, of crow. How long had Shanahan and Co. left that delicious little drop slowly ageing in the racks, ready for just such a special occasion as this? — Guy Rundle
ABC goes where no Murdoch’s gone before. As the ABC braces for potential cuts to its budget, it’s strengthening its international ties. The network has announced an expanded partnership with Shanghai Media Group, China’s second-largest broadcaster, under which many of the network’s programs will be available online. It’ll also enable the ABC to set up a base in Shanghai, with official approval to sell its programs to Chinese media organisations.
It’s not easy for Western media companies to air in China. News Corp’s been trying for 20 years through Star China TV, but seems to have given up earlier this year. CNN and the BBC World Service are already in the country, but available largely through hotels and the like. The ABC’s partnership doesn’t seem to guarantee broadcast. But all of China’s population with fast-enough internet will theoretically be able to watch our national broadcaster without hitting a firewall. It’s a first for a Western media organisation.
International Channel Shanghai broadcast a number of ABC programs to coincide with Tony Abbott’s visit to China last week, ABC managing director Mark Scott said in a statement. These included an episode of Q&A broadcast live from Shanghai, which Scott says was “the first open interactive public style program broadcast line from China to Australia”. — Myriam Robin
Front page of the Day. Barry O’Farrell deserves a good photoshopped sendoff. We like The Courier-Mail’s effort, which managed to combine the littlest royal with the former premier …