Rebel bans Fairfax from promotional tour. Actress Rebel Wilson has banned Fairfax from her promotional tour for Pitch Perfect 3, telling a reporter the ban was related to Fairfax’s involvement in her recent defamation case against magazine publisher Bauer in May. Fairfax has reported that an “insider” at the publisher said that because Fairfax had testified at the trial (which it didn’t), that “obviously there is some history with the cast of the film and at present it is being requested that Fairfax do not attend”. Emails from Fairfax’s CEO Greg Hywood were used in the court case after a court order requested them — in the emails, Wilson had asked Hywood to remove an article of her from the website that used her age and an unflattering photo. A Fairfax spokesman said: “We are disappointed that Ms Wilson refuses to treat Fairfax journalists professionally. Fairfax responded to a subpoena as part of legal proceedings she commenced. We were compelled by the court to do so.”

More allegations against Don Burke. The stories about celebrity gardener Don Burke continue to roll out following the Fairfax and ABC investigation published on Monday. The Age‘s outgoing chief AFL reporter Caroline Wilson has told Fairfax that Burke once asked to lick her back when she was pregnant. Fairfax as well has reported today that the organisers of a campaign to stop violence against women tried to get Burke to withdraw as a face of the campaign after a backlash from women who claimed he was an abuser. Nine’s Alison Piotrowski told A Current Affair last night of her own encounter when she was working on a radio show that Burke filled in on, and the Daily Telegraph‘s gossip writer Annette Sharp has written a column about the Don Burke she knew as a publicist for Nine.

Washington Post foils activist’s sting. The Washington Post has taken the rare step of breaking an off-the-record agreement with a source after the paper discovered she was an undercover activist trying to catch the newspaper out with false allegations about Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Moore has been subject of a number of reports of alleged sexual misconduct, and the Post says the woman was trying to catch them out as having anti-Moore bias by publishing her false accusations:

“We always honor ‘off-the-record’ agreements when they’re entered into in good faith,” said Martin Baron, The Post’s executive editor. “But this so-called off-the-record conversation was the essence of a scheme to deceive and embarrass us. The intent by Project Veritas clearly was to publicize the conversation if we fell for the trap. Because of our customary journalistic rigor, we weren’t fooled, and we can’t honor an ‘off-the-record’ agreement that was solicited in maliciously bad faith.

Death of Canadian community newspapers. Could the Canadian newspaper sector be a sign of things to come for newspapers around the world? On Monday, the country’s two biggest print empires swapped 37 community newspapers and four free commuter papers, and then closed most of those newly acquired publications in regions where they compete with existing papers.

The deal between struggling Postmedia Network Canada Corp and the slightly less financially challenged Torstar Corp will leave dozens of Canadian towns with a single newspaper. It is the second big rationalisation that Postmedia has done in two years. It is all about cutting costs and nothing else. Torstar said the swap and closures will lift operating earnings by CAD$5 million to CAD$7 million a year when fully implemented. Postmedia said it was too early to estimate its cost savings.

Most of the impact will be felt in the Canadian province of Ontario (its largest). 291 full-time and part-time jobs will be lost in the shuffle, which will be investigated by the country’s competition regulators.

This deal is the latest in a string of similar arrangements going back three or four years, but in some respects it is the most dramatic with the decision to kill off the weaker title in areas where there is competition. The two companies appear to have done the swap to eliminate competition in some markets to enable their surviving papers a chance to continue in business. — Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Easy night — The Good Doctor (1.62 million nationally) and Instant Hotel (1.01 million nationally) did the job for Seven with an assist from the news. The Don Burke disclosures continued on A Current Affair (1 million nationally) and 7.30 (874,000). And that was the night. The digital channels combined share was 31.9%, another sign of the approaching summer lull when even third and fourth ranked repeats on these channels hold more appeal than the main channel offerings.

In regional markets The Good Doctor won with 575,000 viewers, with Seven News second with 516,000, then Seven News/Today Tonight with 448,000, followed by Home and Away with 427,000 and then Instant Hotel in fifth with 404,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website

Peter Fray

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