There was big increase across all media for Prime Minister Tony Abbott as the G20 caravan rolled through Brisbane over the weekend, although perhaps some might have expected a higher number, with US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Xi Jinping and later in the week, new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hogging plenty of the limelight for a just slightly star-struck local media. This seemed particularly the case with Modi, examination of the Hindu nationalist side of Modi’s platform and past taking a very distant second place to discussion of his considerable economic reform credentials and popularity among many ex-pat Indians.

The expected big good news piece came for the government with the announcement of a wide-ranging, but far from total, free trade agreement with China that will see tariffs lowered for a number of agricultural and resource industries and greater access for services. There was widespread applause for Trade Minister Andrew Robb, and even more so after the announcement that an Indian bilateral agreement might be completed within a year.

The bad news side from the G20 weekend for Tony Abbott was the heavy focus on climate change, with both Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel making some fairly direct criticisms of his government’s stance and the pressure remaining high to announce some kind of credible target beyond 2020 before the Paris COP21 meeting next year.

In other news, the Palmer United Party looks closer to losing one of its senators as the public words between Senator Jacqui Lambie and PUP Leader Clive Palmer remained less than friendly, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced big cuts to the ABC and Liberal Democratic Party senator David Leyonhjelm went in hard on the government’s attempt to get his party’s name banned.

Crikey Political Index: November 13-19

Tony Abbott a mile ahead on talkback this week, getting plenty of support for his diplomatic efforts in Brisbane, with Jacqui Lambie remaining a minor favourite.

Talkback Top Five

That was nothing compared to social media, with the PM tripling his numbers as international focus briefly moved to Brisvegas, putting him tenfold ahead of any other Australian politician.

Social Media Top Five

The real winner from Kim Kardashian (not quite) breaking the internet was surely Paper Magazine, the New York pop culture magazine that scored an avalanche of PR, despite the nude shots of Kardashian not really creating that much of a splash on an internet that already comprehensively caters for that area of interest.

Comparison of media mentions

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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