Scottish wrap. In what has to be a strange development for a Murdoch tabloid, the Scottish edition of News Corp’s The Sun has not taken a side in the Scottish independence referendum to begin later today. Instead, it’s called on readers to “make the right choice”. Its lead article highlights the risks of independence, particularly with regards to further integration with the European Union, but also states that caution should not be confused with cowardice.
However, most of the rest of the British press has been happy to move off the fence, with London’s papers praising the union while those in Scotland urged independence. The front pages today are all flags and momentous overtones.
To be honest, the Crikey bunker much prefers some of the earlier covers of the campaign.
The Mirror, in particular, has been a standout performer. Here it is 10 days before the vote:
And yesterday, while its front page focused on allegations supporters of the “yes” campaign had “jostled and heckled” Labor leader Ed Miliband yesterday, it had a spectacular insert on the proud history of the British union…
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But it wasn’t all newspapers. Britain’s magazines have also pulled their weight. This month’s Spectator …
Bacon a self-proclaimed figment of Devine’s imagination. Journalism academic Wendy Bacon has responded to criticisms made of her in The Australian two weeks ago, when Miranda Devine wrote in defence of Oz media editor Sharri Markson, whom Bacon abused on Twitter. That itself followed Markson’s article laying into “activist journalists”, which singled out Bacon and others (including our very own Bernard Keane) for having opinions.
Bacon at the time accused Markson of not understanding journalism’s history, and has expanded on this thesis in a long and detailed essay on her personal blog.
“In referring to history, I was thinking of the US investigative muckrakers of the early twentieth century and of how the roots of modern journalism are rooted in political struggles for democracy.”
Bacon also took umbridge with the claim that she was moulding UTS journalism students in her image, saying that she hasn’t taught for two years, and anyway, there was never a time when UTS grads failed to get jobs at News Corp:
“It is fanciful to suggest that any academic could exercise the powers Devine attributes to me. I am in that sense a figment of her imagination.”
And on the claim that Bacon shouldn’t have attacked Sharri Markson because Bacon is a self-professed feminist who shouldn’t pick on younger women, Bacon responded that feminism “is not a protection racket for women”.
“At an age far younger than Markson, I would have been irritated by the notion that I should be protected in a debate on account of my age. I’m irritated but not deterred by attacks on me as an older woman now.”
Stanley fallout. Meanwhile in feuds, The Australian has hit back at ABC board member Fiona Stanley in two separate stories today, following her op-ed in the Fairfax papers accusing the newspaper of having a vendetta against the ABC.
In today’s editorial, The Australian called on Stanley to check her facts, suggesting that the figure she gave as the ABC’s budget is $179.3 million lower than the Department of Communications’ figure of $1.05 billion.
In response to Stanley’s claims that The Australian is calling for privatisation of the ABC, the editorial stated:
“She could not be more wrong. We have never called for that.”
The editorial then went on to say that Stanley may have mistaken an opinion piece by James Paterson, of the Institute of Public Affairs as representing the publication as a whole.
Another piece by John Ross similarly focuses on suggestions by Stanley that The Australian assumed bias in the ABC’s reporting of the coverage of coal and coal-seam gas mining and suggested the ABC be privatised.
Ross again cites that the suggestions are based off of Paterson’s opinion piece and denies Stanley’s claims by highlighting that while The Australian also published an editorial that day criticising ABC coverage of coal and renewable energy issues, “neither the news story nor The Australian’s editorial contained reference to privatisation of the ABC”. — Crikey intern Toli Papadopoulos
ABC reels in the stars. The ABC has gathered what it’s calling an “unprecedented collaboration” of TV stars, comedians and musicians for its Friday Night Crack Up evening, to air at 7.30pm as part of the ABC’s Mental As mental health promotion. The variety night on October 10 will feature Sunrise‘s David Koch and Sam Armytage, Channel Ten news’ Jessica Rowe, Channel Nine’s Peter Overton, SBS’ World News anchor and The Feed diva Lee Lin Chin, The Project‘s Carrie Bickmore, MasterChef‘s Matt Preston, along with Missy Higgins, Tim Minchin and Shaun Micallef.
Hosting the night will be Eddie Perfect, famous for his role in recently departed Ten drama Offspring. In a statement, he described the menangerie of talent as his own “anarchic idea of a good time”. “It’s time to talk about mental health, an issue which eventually touches every single one of us. Might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re at it.”
The ABC’s director of television Richard Finlayson said the event will top off a week of TV, radio, news and online programming about mental health. “I’m proud that an industry famous for its fierce competition is working together to help raise money for mental health research. ”
Front page of the day. The Crikey bunker really couldn’t decide this morning — do we go for Morrison in a funny hat, or Morrison as George W. Bush? Anyway, fans of striking front pages were spoilt for choice today as both the Daily Telegraph and Courier-Mail put in a sterling effort illustrating a Simon Benson yarn on how the government stopped the boats. Who do you think did it best?