From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …
We’d like to honour … Alan Jones? A few years ago the Melbourne Press Club made the decision to extend its Hall of Fame honours to journos from outside Victoria, and a new set of inductions is set to take place in Sydney in November later this year. A tipster has told Crikey that among those set to join Michelle Grattan, Alan Kohler, Rupert Murdoch and many others is none other than Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones. While Jones’ longevity in the industry is undeniable, his contribution to national debate in the public interest is questionable. While getting sued for defamation is no barrier to accolades as a journalist (and nor should it be), Jones has been censured by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for his comments before the Cronulla riots and his comments on climate change. He was also left without advertisers for a period in 2012 after his comments at a Sydney University Liberal Club event that then-prime minister Julia Gillard’s father had “died of shame”.
Melbourne Press Club CEO Mark Baker told Crikey:
“The Melbourne Press Club has chosen the first national inductees for the Australian Media Hall of Fame. About 50 of those late and living legends will be inducted at a dinner in Sydney in November. None of those living inductees has yet been advised of their selection and, obviously, we are not making any public comment about individuals who have or haven’t been selected as candidates until then.“A key criterion for induction into the Media Hall of Fame is that the individual had a profound impact on their branch of the media. It is not a beauty contest or a form guide for sainthood. Many of the 81 foundation inductees of the Hall of Fame had highly controversial careers but all of them were pioneers or leaders in their fields – people who had a big impact on the evolution of Australian journalism.”
We look forward to seeing the full list.
Tomorrow’s culture wars today. A small item in The Australian today signalled plans to mark the 250th anniversary of the arrival of Captain James Cook in Australia in April 1770, and his departure from Plymouth in August 1978. According to Troy Bramston, Arts Minister Mitch Fifield and NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin have plans for exhibitions and memorials to be part of the anniversary. Considering the often spiteful way Australia Day is debated, we just wonder what is in store for public debate when these anniversaries come round.
Advance Australia Fair(er). On Wednesday we asked our readers if they had suggestions for a new verse of Advance Australia Fair — to update it with our values, as government MP Andrew Laming suggested. Yesterday’s contributions can be found here, but wait there’s more.
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Colin told us he wanted to change just one letter: “For someone at my age, just leaving out the ‘l’ in ‘plains’ would be a marked improvement. Thus: ‘We’ve boundless pains to share’.”
Roy manages to work in the word “trolled”, which we think is admirable:
“Australians all let us give voice
For we are not so free.
We’ve gotten old and are being trolled,
Over welfare and medi-scarcity:
Our working life is tenuous,
Good jobs are scarce and rare,
Our history’s page at every stage
Has had nothing to do with fair!
In Australian terms our voices ring,
Advance Australia bloody where?”
Reader Keith Binns has been on this for years — this is alternate version, actually recorded in 2014:
“Australians all let us rejoice that we’re not refugees
Escaping violence, rape and war across our girting seas
We said you’d have a welcome here in 1954
But changed our mind in ’92, compassionate no more.
It’s getting really hard to sing Advance Australia Fair
Beneath our radiant Southern Cross we’ll lock you up for sure
If you exercise your legal right to knock upon our door.
If in a boat you’ve crossed the sea we’ve got no plains to share
Just Manus Island or Nauru and bitter black despair.
It’s getting really hard to sing Advance Australia Fair”