Radio nowhere. The first casualties from the ABC’s decision to axe its English-language division of Radio Australia have begun to trickle in. Radio Australia morning show host Phil Kafcaloudes has announced on Facebook that his show has been dumped after nine years on air, and AsiaPacific host Sen Lam has also lost his current affairs show. Kafcaloudes’ Facebook post reads:

“So sorry to announce that my show and my wonderful team have been cut as a result of the cuts to Australia Network. After many years and much learning and caring by the ABC, we will be leaving. My Radio Australia Morning Show finishes up its 9 year run, during which time we have had some wonderful experiences and built friendships in our audience. So to you Mendricks Angat in PNG, Suorsdey Richter, from Phnom Penh, Jon F. Morgan in Siem Reap, Robin in Honiara, John in California, and the many others, it has been great speaking with you every morning. My thoughts also go to my good friend Sen Lam, who has also lost his premier current affairs show, AsiaPacific. To other people affected, like our music producer Kim Taylor, and the fabulous technical off-siders like Jill Scanlon, I will miss our round-tables and insights. This is especially regrettable given that the Fiji and Solomon Islands elections are coming up. We were looking forward to giving our audiences the kind of information they don’t always get from their own media. There are many broken hearts today in Radio Australia and Australia Network TV. But it’s been an honour, good friends. Phil xx”

Radio Australia and Australia Network Canberra correspondent Karen Barlow has also been shown the door, and in a recent tweet she draws attention to colleagues Stephanie March (India correspondent), Del Irani (Talk About It presenter), Helen Brown (Indonesia correspondent), Auskar Surbakti (Asia-Pacific correspondent) and Girish Sawlani (international correspondent) …

Karen Barlow

Radio Australia will continue to be streamed 24/7 online, despite the loss of many of its journalists. The Australia Network will be replaced by a six-hour regional broadcast into the Pacific, for which content will be sourced from other ABC programs and the ABC’s syndication partners.

The hatreds we forgot. Yesterday we published a list of 50 things The Australian loves to hate — one for every glorious year the august organ has been with us. But, with rising horror as the day wore on, we realised there were many, many things we had missed! Worse was the fact that everyone took the list to be ordered — in all honesty, we just slapped it together. Here are some of the names that should have been on there. Neil Chenoweth, who for decades has been tormenting the Oz and News Corp, was clearly a glaring omission. From a February editorial: “Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood needs to act now to salvage the reputation of The Australian Financial Review in the business community before it is completely shredded by the deranged output of senior reporter Neil Chenoweth.” And what of a certain environmental crusader, Tim Flannery? Or law professor Larissa Behrendt, who was accused in the pages of the Australian (and in other News Corp papers) of playing up her Aboriginal background? Point being, there’s plenty of names to go around, and we’re very sorry we missed some big ones!

Reporting on death. Indigenous group Deadly Vibe issued a statement last night about the death of founder Gavin Jones:

“The family of Gavin Jones requests that all media do not speculate on the circumstances regarding his passing.

“At this difficult time, they ask that theirs and Gavin’s privacy be respected.”

Most media reports of his death included details about the organisation’s recent funding cut, with the federal government withdrawing funding worth as much as $400,000. The Guardian mentioned the fact that the government had withdrawn funding, but the headline made no link between the two: “Deadly Awards founder Gavin Jones has died aged 47”. The article is a fairly straight obituary.

But Fairfax was much more explicit, heavily implying that Jones took his own life because of the funding cuts. The headline on The Age and Sydney Morning Herald is now “Deadly Awards founder Gavin Jones dies after funding cut“, but a Google search reveals the link was even more explicit in the original headline …

The lead of the article also very clearly implies the death was related to the funding cut:

“The Aboriginal founder of the Deadly Awards, the annual celebration of indigenous achievement, was shattered last month when he learnt that he would lose federal funding worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Gavin Jones, 47, was found dead on his farm at Goulburn on Saturday. While his family did not want to discuss the nature of his death, they and his friends were aware of his devastation at the loss of funding affecting his ventures, which had spawned radio and television productions, the national Deadly Vibe magazine, the annual Deadly Awards, sport, dance and hip-hop events, and much more.”

The Smage article also lists the numbers for Lifeline and Mensline at the bottom, which The Guardian (and The Conversation, the ABC, ArtsHub and Yahoo News) do not.

Abramson: I was fired. Recently sacked New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson has given an interesting interview to Cosmopolitian on how she thinks women in power should deal with being under attack. First things first, she doesn’t mind you saying she’s fired:

“Is it hard to say I was fired? No. I’ve said it about 20 times, and it’s not. I was in fact insistent that that be publicly clear because I was not ashamed of that. And I don’t think young women — it’s hard, I know — they should not feel stigmatized if they are fired. Especially in this economy people are fired right and left for arbitrary reasons, and there are sometimes forces beyond your control.”

Video of the day. Another ear worm from “Weird Al”, with guest appearances from Jack Black, Aisha Tyler, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Margaret Cho …


Peter Fray

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