Road to riches. By 10am yesterday, Road to Ruin publisher Scribe says it had no stock left in its warehouse. The first reprint of Oz journo Niki Savva’s latest book is due on Thursday, with a second print run the following Wednesday, the publisher announced yesterday. Crikey asked how big the initial print run was, but was told Scribe never released this information. “I can say we have never experienced this level of demand from bookshops for a title in our 40 year history,” Scribe publicist Cora Roberts said.
On the book’s central claim — that an unusually strong and intense relationship between Tony Abbott and his then-chief of staff Peta Credlin led to his downfall — the former PM released a statement yesterday saying the Abbott government’s success was evident in it having stopped the boats and repealed the mining and carbon taxes, among other achievements. A dysfunctional government, he said, couldn’t have “got so much done in two years”. Credlin has made similar points in the Oz this morning. — Myriam Robin
Trans community ignored on Q&A? The ABC has come under fire from some transgender people for its failure to include a single question from a transgender person during last week’s Q&A, which featured panelist Lyle Shelton from the Australian Christian Lobby. Jeremy Wiggins, who was in the audience, says transgender voices were ignored:
“The major topics discussed related to trans and gender diverse people. Yet not one single trans person was given the opportunity to speak. Not one. As a transgender person sitting in the audience, it was an incredibly frustrating and painful experience to be forced to listen to the titanic level of transphobia and pathologisation of trans and gender diverse people without having an opportunity to positively represent myself or my community …
“There I was in the Q&A audience, unheard and unseen by the world as the cameras did not scan my face. I was three rows behind Cella White, the mother from Frankston who removed her children from Frankston High School because she felt the Safe Schools Program was inappropriate and had no relevance to her children. I grew up in Frankston, and I can tell you it is relevant to all children. I went to a Frankston public high school, where I experienced endless amounts of bullying from other kids and even from their parents. I was a target for their abuse because I didn’t conform to society’s narrow definitions of what makes a boy or a girl. My experiences of growing up in Frankston were horrible, and that is not because I am transgender, it is because of the way other kids and the wider school community treated me. If the school environment had have been more inclusive, kind, accepting, compassionate, diverse and safe, then my experience would have been better.”
An ABC news spokesperson responded that the snub was not deliberate:
“We took steps as we always do to include a wide range of people in the audience and to encourage everyone to submit questions. There were transgender people in the audience but only a small number of questions from that group. One transgender person’s question was shortlisted but not used due to time constraints. The questions we selected covered a range of perspectives, including the mother of a gender diverse child.”
“There was a lot said.” Last week, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (the union for journos) said it was suspending phone conferences with unionists at APN newspapers, after the company’s HR general manager phoned in to the conference and didn’t identify himself as such. The union claims that when it asked him why he’d done this, he said that “as it was an open call, there cannot have been any breach of ‘privacy’”. The union sought assurances he wouldn’t do it again, and didn’t receive any, it says.
Crikey has heard from APN staffers who are terrified their bosses have heard their bluntly stated concerns in this sort of environment, which they believed they were discussing among themselves and with the union in confidence. “There was a lot said,” one remarked. Enterprise bargaining negotiations have dragged on at some of APN’s publications for years, and the pay of those affected has been frozen during that time. And concerns about overwork are legion.
APN declined to comment. The company announced a fortnight ago it was divesting from its papers. — Myriam Robin
Video of the day. From “the constitution has been suspended” to a thin issue that splashed with a publicity shot of the president, how the tone of Turkey’s largest circulation paper changed overnight after the government took it over …
(Another) Video of the day. As we go marching, marching …