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Tips and rumours

May 21, 2014

Tips and rumours

Meetings but no news: ABC staff nervous ... Who's the 'Sharrimarkson' editing Joye? ... Come to the doctor! It's free! ... A cracking good yarn ...

From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Meetings but no news: ABC staff nervous. On Monday, the executives of ABC International held a meeting to discuss what to do with the network’s international coverage in the wake of the budget, a tipster told Crikey. But it’s not yet clear to the journalists at Aunty what the outcome of this meeting was. As the ABC scrambles to plug the holes left by $10 million in budget cuts in addition to the more than $20 million it will lose as a result of the closure of the Australia Network, Crikey understands few concrete outcomes have been passed down to journalists, with the impression being that management is reluctant to rule things in or out until it knows what cuts the network will face in coming months.

When announcing a 1% budget cut to the ABC and SBS, the government described it as a “down payment on further efficiencies”, which has been interpreted as meaning more cuts are on the way. Many journalists and programs were funded in part by the Australia Network contract and partly by the broader ABC budget. Many of the Australia Network’s most high-profile programs also air on News 24. There is a deadline for deciding whom and what to save, though. The network shuts down in 82 days.

Who’s the ‘Sharrimarkson’ editing Joye? After reading Australian media editor Sharri Markson’s article on economist Christopher Joye’s Wikipedia page on Monday (Markson says Joye has edited it himself more than 30 times), we decided to have a look for ourselves. On Sunday, a line had been added by a user called none other than “Sharrimarkson”. The line noted Markson’s coverage, and made reference to her article in the Oz about the Wikipedia page …

Does Markson also edit Wikipedia to include references to herself? The addition was made before the relevant issue of the Oz was even printed, so surely it couldn’t have been made by a casual reader. We initially assumed it was Markson who made the edit under her own name, but she denies it. She told us she had been furious when she discovered it and immediately assumed Joye had written it after getting off the phone with her. But Joye also denies adding the line and says he told several people Markson was writing about him. It’s a curious state of affairs.

Come to the doctor! It’s free! Got a text from your doctor lately along these lines …?

As we suggested yesterday, medical centres are a little worried patients might think the federal government’s co-payment — a federal budget initiative opposition parties vow to block — has already started. For the record, a bulk-billing visit to the GP is still free. But three Crikey readers reported they’d received confirmations from their doctors. As one told us:

“They are quite disingenuous, because my first thought was that they wouldn’t apply the co-payment but didn’t indicate any timeline or that the co-payment wasn’t due until next year. Interesting marketing by rich doctors me thinks.”

A cracking good yarn. A Crikey stringer, keen to whip up some muffins, was startled to see this sign at Coles Elsternwick in Melbourne (other readers have seen similar signs in Woolworths) …

Spelling and grammatical errors aside — and Crikey’s pedants will have a field day with that sign — what’s going on with eggs? Well, half a million of Australia’s chickens were culled due to a bird flu breakout in Young, New South Wales, last October. Although many of the birds have now been “restocked”, Woolworths told Crikey there were still occasional shortages, especially during peak periods such as Easter. This is no yolking matter. How will we make our egg-cellent cakes?

*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

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2 thoughts on “Tips and rumours

  1. zut alors

    What’s so wrong with the sign, Crikey… apart from ‘eggs’ having a capital letter and ‘favourite’ reverting to Murdoch spelling?

  2. AR

    I’m with Zut – possibly the amerikan spellchecker didn’t like the ‘U’ in endeavouring but that’s just Septics for ya.