What about us? Meanwhile on the campaign trail, Malcolm Turnbull avoided answering further questions from the press pack this morning about comments made by one of his ministers by saying the current event was for local reporters:
“We are going to do have another doorstop in Townsville and this is really for the local Cairns media. Any more questions from Cairns?”
The suggestion that national media couldn’t question him didn’t go down well with the press pack. Media organisations have to fund their own way to follow the leaders on the campaign trial. With events decided on at the last minute, it’s hard for them to control or budget for the costs. While it is possible to cover the election from a TV set, this relies to an extent on piggybacking off the work of those who pay up to actually follow the leaders around. For those who want to film it or ask questions, it’s an expensive proposition. And Malcolm Turnbull has in his first week on the trail criss-crossed the country to pop in at major cities, costing media organisations a lot of money, while Shorten has kept a more leisurely pace, spending several days in north Queensland.
Still, balancing the needs of local and national press can be difficult, with the national press often crowding out those who want to ask about local issues. AAP Darwin reporter Neda Vanovac says the local press weren’t even told of media events yesterday …
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Peta Everywhere. Peta Credlin says Fairfax keeps reporting on what she says on Sky News because she chose to work for News Corp (the Daily Tele and Sky News) over Fairfax (and yes, they did make an offer, but she won’t say more).
On Twitter, Fairfax scribe Latika Bourke points out that it’s not like the journalists who choose to write about Credlin would have known that.
On all things Credlin, BuzzFeed had an interesting tidbit yesterday about Tony Abbott’s head of comms Adrian Barrett now being employed as Credlin’s researcher on Sky News. Meanwhile, the ABC (imprecisely) reported that she’d said Malcolm Turnbull had made “a mistake” by candidates in marginal seats by not campaigning with them. The piece carried this correction by the end of the day…
“When it was originally published this story asserted that Peta Credlin said candidates in Boothby and Dunkley did not campaign alongside the Prime Minister during his visits to their seats. The ABC accepts this was incorrect and Ms Credlin was specifically referring to their failure to appear alongside Malcolm Turnbull at the formal press conferences with reporters.”
We wonder if Credlin complained. Curiously enough the Oz had a go at Credlin this morning for getting her details wrong on that, saying Turnbull had campaigned with both candidates she mentioned. Seems the ABC wasn’t the only one to read her comments that way. — Myriam Robin
Three weeks later. Today’s Daily Telegraph has some characteristically eye-catching Photoshop jobs, but the paper seems to have the wrong graphic on its election coverage …
Cutting the cable. Sky Television, New Zealand’s pay-TV monopoly, has been forced to lift the cost of its basic general and sports package to offset higher sports rights and a sharp fall in subscriber numbers. Tens of thousands of subscribers quit its basic pay-TV services by June 30 for internet-based streaming services. The “cord cutting” has come at a time when Sky has been forced to pay more for NRL (rugby league), rugby union and cricket rights. The update earlier this month had the shares fall 13% in a day, which took the loss for the past year to more than 36%.
The company forecast it would have 830,000 subscribers at the end of its financial year on June 30. Subscriber numbers dropped 1.5% last financial year to 851,561. It expects to lose 45,000 core residential pay-TV subscribers this year (to June 30) and gain about 25,000 subscribers for its online services such as Neon and FanPass, which have a lower monthly cost and generate less revenue per subscriber. In reaction, Sky yesterday lifted the cost of its Sky Basic pay-television service by 69 NZ cents a month and Sky Sports by NZ$1.61 a month. This is an attempt to recover higher content costs of NZ$30 million a year.
But Sky’s problems are not peculiar to it. Fairfax and APN are talking about merging their NZ newspaper interests into one group once APN has spun off its operations (including its Kiwi radio interests) by the end of June. TVNZ says the outlook for advertising growth is weak and MediaWorks, which operates a free-to-air TV commercial channel, is struggling. — Glenn Dyer