From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

The best and worst of Twitter.  While TV hosts straddled the line between reporting responsibly and finding something new to say, Twitter users were not similarly restricted. While traditional media has done a typically woeful job of integrating with Twitter, the social media platform itself is inextricably linked with how we consume and discuss traditional media. BuzzFeed’s Mark Di Stefano exemplified this by filtering, fact-checking, and publishing concise updates from across media as the day progressed. But it wasn’t all great. Within the first hour, Laurel Papworth, self-proclaimed “goddess” of social media and shameless self-promoter of her corporate workshops, wondered aloud where Lindt’s social media manager was.

Twitter called Papworth out for being horrible and stupid, and two hours later, she posted the shittest backpedal since Superman turned back time by flying around the Earth really fast. 

Papworth teaches social media at the University of Sydney. No wonder students are uppity about paying for $100,000 degrees.

Then the #illridewithyou — I’ll Ride With You — hashtag was spawned. Trending nationally, then worldwide, over 100,000 tweets were sent in support within hours. People all over the world made it known that they wouldn’t stand idly by and allow fellow passengers to be singled out and attacked by ignorant assholes.

Not everyone was impressed by the spontaneous show of compassion and mateship. Sky News and The Australian‘s Chris Kenny took to Twitter to voice opposition to the notion that a sane, well-adjusted human might be able to feel sympathy for more than one group of people simultaneously.

Rupert Murdoch, owner of The Australian and Daily Telegraph, was quick to give thanks and issue congratulations at the outcome of the siege. 

No thanks to the police and emergency services who risked their lives in the rescue operation. No mention of the hostages. No hopes for their recovery, or condolences for the dead.

While some of us wondered if #illridewithyou would actually achieve much outside of the Twittersphere, this was seen at a Brisbane bus stop this morning — so it seems that the goodwill has extended past the screen.

Sydney bus chaos. While the emergency response to yesterday’s siege was to be commended, we hear from one tipster that Sydney bus services didn’t quite pull off their emergency response:

“The Martin Place siege ended in the early hours and then Sydney Transit decided to inflict its own form of siege on CBD commuters. Some bus bureaucrat must have decided to bring the emergency bus plan out of mothballs and give it a live test. The result? Chaos. Buses terminated unexpectedly and passengers were left stranded on wet and windy streets. Services were delayed, cancelled or rerouted. Drivers shook their heads in despair and offered apologies. No wonder transport minister Gladys Berejiklian looks permanently harassed.”

New face at New DailyLast week we reported that Rob Burgess had taken a redundancy at Business Spectator, and an insider told us that he was “too left-wing” for the masthead now that it was part of News Corp. Burgess told media reporter Myriam Robin that he was in discussions with a few parties with upcoming work, but hoped he would have more to say this week. Ms Tips was therefore interested to see his byline in The New Daily, the super fund-backed news website that launched last year. We asked The New Daily editorial director Bruce Guthrie if it were an ongoing gig and he told us, “we were delighted to publish Rob yesterday and today and hope to continue well into the future. Alan Kohler’s loss is The New Daily‘s gain.” Burgess was similarly positive, saying the parties were hopeful about working together in the future.

Christmas Party Watch. We are informed that there is still some Christmas cheer at Australia Plus, despite the cuts to the Australia Network earlier this year:

“When the Liberal government cancelled the Australia Network contract, the ABC was forced to get rid of many staff, and the channel was relaunched in an extremely cut down version as Australia Plus, supposedly running on the smell of an oily rag. I’m reliably informed that seven remaining Sydney staff of Australia Plus staff are being flown to Melbourne for the Australia Plus Christmas party.”

We asked the ABC if staff had been flown to Melbourne for the Christmas party, and were told by an ABC spokesperson:

“ABC International is currently holding an end of year strategy meeting in Melbourne involving its executive team — four of which are Sydney based — as well as key staff from across the division. These meetings are held infrequently and are planned to coincide with major strategy and review periods in the year.  Today’s Melbourne meeting has been called to review the division’s 2014 year and set strategies for the 2015 year.”

Using resources responsibly? Well, that’s no fun at all.

New book gig on the horizon? Yesterday we asked if Melbourne University Press boss Louise Adler was angling for Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s next publishing deal, but we hear from a tipster that perhaps there’s a different reason:

 “Louise Adler has been ingratiating herself with the PM’s office and is a certainty to get the gig as the next boss of the Australia Council.”

We’re not sure if our tipster is referring to the Australia Council, the body that funds projects across the arts, or the newly formed Book Council of Australia, which was announced by the PM at his Literary Awards last week. Adler has already been touted to get the gig on the new Book Council, which she reportedly lobbied for. We asked Adler about the rumours, but did not hear back before deadline.

Whales and walruses. Greg Hunt’s office put out this press release yesterday, saying that Australia would be taking part in a voyage to the Southern Ocean for whale research:

“The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) will join with Antarctica New Zealand and New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), who are leading the six week voyage. The team of international scientists will use underwater acoustic technology to listen for humpback and Antarctic blue whales around the Balleny Islands and in the Ross Sea.”

We wonder if they will find any walruses while they are there? For Greg Hunt’s sake we hope so.

Pollies’ correspondence. We love both letters from MPs and surveys, and lucky for aged pensioners in the seat of Eden-Monaro, Peter Hendy has provided both. A tipster sent us the following letter from Hendy telling his constituents how well-off they were and asking for some feedback. Our tipster asked why Hendy didn’t mention which party he was from. We get asked that often — pollies aren’t allowed to mention their party affiliations on correspondence paid for by taxpayers. While the survey was not particularly exciting, our tipster was quite annoyed that it asked for her name and address, which were already typed on the same letter.

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

Peter Fray

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