Watch out, Gittins. No sooner had Crikey told its readers yesterday that the Fairfax-to-News train was only going one way when news broke that News Corp was losing its national economics editor to The Sydney Morning Herald. Economics wonk Jess Irvine, who started her career as an understudy to Ross Gittins at the SMH, was poached by News in 2012. At the time she tweeted: “I look forward to standing at bus stops with Ross Gittins without getting the urge to push” — a reference to the fact that Fairfax’s top economics editor showed no signs of retirement. Crikey asked Irvine today whether, given her return to Fairfax, Gittins had anything to worry about. “Ross should now consider all forms of public transport highly hazardous,” she informed us.

She’s not the only new name joining the SMH, editor-in-chief Darren Goodsir strongly hinted yesterday. “There is more to come,” he tweeted. — Myriam Robin

Meanwhile, at Fairfax … At the AFR, Jake Mitchell (son of Chris, the editor-in-chief of the Oz) has moved off the media round to the Street Talk finance page. Gretchen Friemann has moved from Street Talk to write about private equity, investment banking, etc.

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And, if talk that Adele Ferguson is jumping ship to the Oz pans out, she will be closer to her current target, the Commonwealth Bank. CBA is the lead banker to News Corp Australia and has been a financier of Rupert Murdoch’s ambitions for years, going back to the move into Sydney, and then to London. Remember that CBA chief executive Ian Narev was at Rupe’s top table at the 5oth birthday bunfest for the Oz earlier in the year. — Glenn Dyer

Guardian gains on Nielsen. It’s been another great month for The Guardian, which now has more online readers than both The Age and the Herald Sun, according to Nielsen figures released today. It’s now the seventh most visited news site in Australia. On Twitter, Guardian Australia editor Emily Wilson was magnanimous in victory. “We might slip back of course but think a real testimony to a small staff’s passion and hard work.” Daily Mail Australia also had a great month — it stayed steady at fifth most popular site but added several thousand more viewers.

The SMH’s website regained the top spot despite perennial rival gaining in the engagement metrics (13% more individual browsing sessions per person and 11% more time spent on site). — Myriam Robin

Streisand outrage criticism. When images of dozens of nude celebrities were leaked after they had their iCLoud accounts hacked, tabloids were rather happy to report on the “racy” images. The coverage on left-leaning broadsheets, however, took on a different vibe: acknowledging the event by telling readers not to look up the images (usually while linking to coverage of those very same images). Over at Kill Your Darlings, Connor O’Brien examines the rise of the trope.

“If the goal were really to draw attention away from offensive content, after all, the prudent move would be to publish nothing examining such content whatsoever. Not even a high-minded broadsheet, though, can simply turn away potential traffic. In the digital space, in which page views are of real short-term import and a “serious” publication’s reputation must be protected in the long-term, how to deal with morally discomfiting content becomes a serious business issue.

Streisand offence criticism has emerged as a perfect smokescreen. It allows such publications to publish articles that will draw in those looking for salacious and objectionable news on a “scandal”, while also ensuring the publication is never seen as endorsing or promoting the unscrupulous content readers are being ostensibly directed away from. This kind of criticism allows publishers to play a sleight of hand game, in which page views are boosted off the back of salacious content that appears to be principled and high-minded. If the reader or author never recognises the game is being played, all the better.”

News’ number problem. No wonder The Australian is losing so much money — News Corp seems to have difficulty counting large figures. This from The Daily Telegraph this morning. Perhaps the bean-counters at News think the Oz only lost $270,000 in 2012-13? That’s not so bad!

Front page of the day. We loved The Daily Telegraph‘s “Oscar winner” headline better for Pistorius coverage. But we could not go past Ebol-oney …

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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