Correction 

Crikey writes: Re. Women’s Work: Why are there so few female editors in Australia (yesterday). Crikey’s correspondent wrote that the Herald Sun’s editor is Phil Gardner. That was incorrect — Gardner left the HWT in 2013. The Hun’s editor is Damon Johnston. Crikey also called the Daily Tele’s Paul Whittaker that paper’s editor-in-chief — his correct title is “editor”.

Crikey only considered the major papers from News and Fairfax in each state, and so left off the editorship of titles like the Gold Coast Bulletin. For the record, though, that paper does have a female editor — Cath Webber, who heads a paper with roughly double the circulation of the NT News. We also didn’t consider editors of weekend editions unless that edition was marketed as a separate paper (as we explained in yesterday’s piece). If we had considered weekend editors, though, we’d have had to add Sunday Herald Sun’s Jill Baker and Sunday Age editor Duska Sulicich to our tally of female editors.

On affordable housing

Colin Cook writes: Re. “Spare us from politicians mouthing housing affordability platitudes” (yesterday). A virtue of taxing land values that is very barely recognised is that it turns useful infrastructure from an expenditure into an investment. Build a new hospital, school, road, train line — property values go up and land tax revenues increase! Simple, but only if it is a flat rate applicable to all land.

Peter Matters writes: Residential development since WWII — both high density apartments in inner suburbia and low density housing in outer suburbia — has been provided by a combination of ill advised and greedy developers. In consequence, the results have been  appallingly inappropriate both in design and cost. Be assured, that it is possible to provide dwellings for gracious living rather than just convenient shelter at 20-30% cheaper than current practice – provided they are produced by teams of experienced professionals imbued with social conscience rather than by current practice.

On female newspaper editors

Malcolm Weatherup writes: Re “Women’s Work: Why are there so many female editors in Australia?” (yesterday). First a fact. Cath Webber is the editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin, a well deserved promotion she got on merit (whatever that may mean within News Corpse). A mandatory inclusion if you’re counting the likes of the NT News. So that makes three. However, despite the odd construction of Ms Robin’s final sentence, its premise is also unclear.  The Australian Journalists Association, now absorbed into the MEAA, was a world leader in winning equal pay for its members regardless of gender. It would be naive to ignore that male dominated management have found ways around this over the years, both through the grading system and selective promotion. And sure, I have had personal experience of some of the jiggery-pokery that goes on the News’ “individual contracts” outside union membership. But surely it is a bit of a leap to suggest that appointing females as editors is in itself  some sort of ‘progress’. Ms Robin appears to be suggesting there is some sort of chauvinist conspiracy at work — which there may be — but such assertions require some sort of arguable strong indicators if not proof, rather than a bald assertion of fact. Especially in Crikey. Otherwise, this could be viewed as a bit of a cheap  swipe at “unworthy” blokes getting the gigs. Such a revelation would perhaps act as the climate change for this particular glacier.

Peter Fray

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