Greens v SMH over ad. The New South Wales Greens have accused The Sydney Morning Herald of censorship after the newspaper declined to publish a $10,000 ad they’d created for an eight-page Independent Commission Against Corruption lift-out on Good Friday. The Greens claim “newspaper editorial issues” boiled down to an attempt by Herald editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir to censor their party after he knocked back the ad for containing images taken from an SMH article, and then again for being too negative.

But the Herald argues that the ad — which focused on promoting the Greens as an alternative to the two major parties, in light of former premier Barry O’Farrell’s resignation — was blurring the lines between editorial and advertising. Editors at the SMH say the ad inappropriately used editorial content to sell the Greens’ message, and editors weren’t prepared to publish it on the page the Greens were insisting. SMH editors maintain there is no bias against the NSW Greens and that the number of SMH stories featuring them is a testament to that. — Luke Cooper

Exclusive watch. There sure are a lot of Daily Telegraph “exclusives” showing up in other publications — often before the Tele manages to publish them. Here’s the Tele‘s page-2 “exclusive” on premier Mike Baird’s new NSW cabinet as it appeared in yesterday’s edition, written by the paper’s state political reporter:

And the Sydney Morning Herald‘s version on yesterday’s front page, also written by that paper’s state political reporter (but without the “exclusive” screamer):

Then there’s last week’s “exclusive” announcement about the Badgerys Creek airport. The Sydney Morning Herald appears to have broken the story late at night on Tuesday April 14, but the Tele –– which ran it on the front page the next day — insists it was a News Corp scoop:

Meanwhile The Australian maintains its traditional lead as the most trigger-happy on “exclusives”, with four on the front page today. We love it when rival publications claim exclusivity — if you come across any examples, let us know. — Sophie Benjamin

Saturday Paper expands its reach. Fans of long-form print journalism in Brisbane and Adelaide will be pleased to hear Morry Schwartz’s Saturday Paper is expanding its reach to newsagents in the two capitals from this Saturday (home delivery is not yet available in Brisbane or Adelaide).

But as their counterparts in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra can attest, there may still be some wrinkles to iron out with delivery. We asked our readers earlier this month if they’d had problems getting the paper delivered, and we’ve received over a dozen responses from subscribers who say the paper isn’t hitting the doorstep. We’re hoping the early hiccups have been resolved.

It’s not easy being a Labor leader. How to convey the feeling that a politician is a needy, whiny goose in one easy-to-understand graphic? Depict him as Kermit the Frog, of course — at least according to The Daily Telegraph. Kevin Rudd was a popular target, both from the photoshopping wizards of the graphics department and from cartoonist John Tiedemann (cartoon at left) …

Kevin Rudd Kermit

This morning Tiedemann returns to the Labor-leader-as-Kermit theme, with Bill Shorten in the green seat …

Bill Shorten as Kermit the Frog

We think all of this is a bit unfair to everyone’s favourite frog. Perhaps the News Corp image department can go to a showing of Muppets Most Wanted (we’ll shout them choc-tops) and find another way to mock the men of the Labor Party.

Video of the day. Happy birthday, William Shakespeare! Today marks 450 years since the great playwright was born at Stratford-upon-Avon. To celebrate the occasion, Australia’s foremost advocate for Shakespeare, John Bell, recites Sonnet 73. The piece focuses on old age and its effect on humans, which is rather appropriate when you consider it’s the Bard’s 450th …

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey