Hebdowatch, part 233: What sort of gutless bastard would say that the murdered Hebdo team partly brought it on themselves? Well, one of its founders, according to the Torygraph in the UK. Writing in French centre-left weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, 80-year-old Henri Roussel claims that young editor Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier “dragged the team to their deaths” by driving an obsessive anti-Islamic agenda, and making the paper too pro-Zionist. This bold piece of free speech attacking a simplistic idea of free speech brought an attack from the magazine’s lawyer Richard Malka, free speech champion, who said that, er, Nouvel Observateur shouldn’t have published it. Because, well, Charlie Hebdo … free speech champions … barely in their graves … I mean, is nothing sacred?

Meanwhile, at the Murdoch-owned UK Sky News, the cover of the new Google- and government-issued Charlie Hebdo, featuring Muhammad, was briefly shown — and then the camera cut away, and the presenter apologised. Ferdom! Tory-boy website Guido Fawkes made much of this, as well they should — the Hebdo cover is a sacred object of the religion of “Our Values”. How dare you dishonour the sacred cover, Sky-God! Do you not know that the sacred Hebdo cover has the magic power to unify us all? Guards, seize them! — Guy Rundle

Mobile ads threaten print. Already-struggling papers are predicted to lose even more funding this year as advertisers continue an exodus away from print media  in favour of mobile platforms. Columnist and Newsosaur Alan D. Mutter cites statistics from the Internet Advertising Bureau claiming that mobile ad expenditure increased massively in the first half of 2014 and is now second only to desktop search advertising:

“… mobile advertising expenditures exploded by 76% in the first half of 2014 to $5.3 billion, surpassing even the sum spent on banners. Meanwhile, a chilling survey of advertising executives shows that 41% of them plan to fund their expanding mobile advertising budgets in 2015 by reducing print expenditures.”

With projections putting the 2015 worldwide mobile advertising increase anywhere between 25% and 64%, the news that not much short of half of the 300 ad execs interviewed in the study will be slashing print expenditures to capitalise on this change must have newspaper editors sweating. — Paul Millar

SBS merges online and TV leadership teams. SBS has merged the leadership of its online and TV teams after the departure of director of television Tony Iffland. Taking his position will be current chief digital officer Marshall Heald, who’ll have TV and online content added to his portfolio.

SBS chief Michael Ebeid said bringing together the online and TV content teams “builds on the extensive work we’ve already done to join up our content approach across all our platforms”.

“The changes are about evolving our ability to maximise investment in multi-platform content that reflects the Charter and enhances the experience for Australian audiences, delivering content in the ways they are consuming media today. Marshall [Heald’s] extensive expertise in media, content and digital environments will be invaluable to SBS as we continue to deliver audiences high-impact content that reflects their changing media consumption habits whilst maintaining the integrity of the unique SBS Charter in providing all Australians with inspired content.”

Iffland leaves at the end of January. He’s been with SBS for three years, during which time the broadcaster has relaunched SBS2 and added NITV (National Indigenous Television). He said he was sad to leave SBS, “but now is the right time for me to consider new opportunities”. — Myriam Robin

Video of the day. What do Sachin Tendulkar, Jacob from Twilight and Jackie Chan all have in common? They all spent an afternoon in Parramatta signing autographs, apparently …

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey