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Media briefs

May 19, 2014

Media briefs: their ABC ... to the barricades ... polls, polls, polls ...

Hack guest offends everyone, how the media covered the protests, and other media tidbits of the day.

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Right-wing Hack guest offends. Last Friday’s debate on Triple J’s Hack has raised more than a few hackles on the Left, with a right-wing ideologue attacking young people, the homeless and Newstart recipients. Carla Efstratiou, introduced as a small business owner and MBA student, was invited on Hack last Friday to discuss last week’s budget. She was joined by A Rational Fear’s Dan Ilic, there to offer the presumably “Left” side of the argument (he spent the segment satirising Efstratiou’s views by repeating them with outrageous examples — e.g. “the best thing about having a surplus is that every house will have a money pit we can go swimming in”). A selection of things Efstratiou said on the show:

  • “[Young people today] are so keen to go out to concerts, to festivals, they think they’re entitled to yearly European holidays. I know so many people on Newstart who are saving money and going overseas and blowing it.”
  • “There’s no reason to be homeless in this country. Most people who are homeless have mental illnesses. You can go to heaps of shelters if you’re actually homeless. There are heaps of things …”
  • “We need to make cuts somewhere … If we keep putting it on rich people, we’re gonna bleed them dry. They’re the people who spend money in this country — they keep it afloat.”
  • On why we shouldn’t spend money on the environment: “I don’t think it’s a priority.”
  • Efstratiou twice began a sentence with “the problem with young people today …”.

Needless to say, Triple J’s progressive audience did not endorse Efstratiou’s views. A firestorm erupted on social media, with plenty of guests expressing disappointment with Hack‘s choice of guest (it’s worth noting host Tom Tilley didn’t let many of Efstratiou’s assertions stand). It appears Efstratiou’s personal details were posted, leading Hack to tell its commenters to calm down. “We love it when you’ve got strong opinions, but name calling, bullying and compromising someone’s safety by publishing personal details is just not on.” While googling Efstratiou, Crikey came upon this article she wrote in 2012 for Fairfax’s The Vine.

“Being a conservative young woman in our society is hard. It’s lonely, tedious and largely unaccepted by the latte-sipping, inner-city elite — the very people who champion diversity and acceptance in our society …”

That’s likely to be how Efstratiou writes off the criticism. Meanwhile, some of the social media commenters accused her of having no idea how poor people live or the choices they have to make, sometimes in quite personal tones. And so the wheel keeps turning. It’s all marvellous entertaiment, but do you feel more enlightened? — Myriam Robin

To the barricades. Meanwhile, on the class warfare front, The Daily Telegraph had fun with this weekend’s anti-budget protests …

Daily Telegraph

But after being roundly criticised (along with News Corp) for not giving the March in March coverage due prominence, Fairfax gave Sunday’s protests plenty of coverage. The Age sent a photographer and journalist out on Sunday afternoon, leading to page 4 coverage of the Melbourne rally. The Sydney Morning Herald‘s online coverage both canvassed the views of those attending, as well as the speeches given. The ABC also covered the issue, both on television and online. It’s a damn sight more favourable than the coverage the March in March got.

Of course, no two protests (or events) are entirely the same. Yesterday’s rallies were about a political issue (the budget) journalists were already covering, so perhaps it was easier to find news value in the public demonstrations. Backed up by a series of polls that show the prime minister in dire straits, thousands taking to the streets fits this morning’s narrative. Still, Fairfax’s Jacqueline Maley addressed a lot of the criticisms of the coverage in March, saying that while there were good reason the marches weren’t covered, in hindsight, they should have received greater prominence in the Fairfax papers. Maybe attitudes have been reconsidered. — Myriam Robin

Google’s circling Twitch. Google’s YouTube has reached a deal to buy video game streaming company Twitch for more than US$1 billion ($1.06 billion), according to a report in Variety. Variety reports the deal, an all-cash offer, will be announced imminently. If completed, the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

Crikey‘s sister publication SmartCompany contacted YouTube which declined to comment. “We don’t comment on rumours or speculation,” the spokesperson said. Twitch did not respond prior to publication.

Twitch’s website describes it as “the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers with more than 45 million visitors per month”. The site aims to connect gamers around the world by allowing them to broadcast, watch, and chat from everywhere they play. It hit a million monthly broadcasters in February this year after it was launched in June 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, co-founders of Justin.tv, one of the first websites to host live-streaming user-generated video.

Twitch has raised about $35 million in funding since its launch, with investors including Bessemer Venture Partners, Alsop Louie Partners, WestSummit Capital, Take-Two Interactive Software, Thrive Capital and Draper Associate. Most recently, Twitch announced a $20 million investment in September last year. — Cara Waters (more at SmartCompany)

Front page of the day. Apart from the aforementioned Daily Tele, polls dominated the nation’s front pages this morning, with both Nielsen and Newspoll showing huge falls for the Prime Minister …

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