Crinkling News folds. Children’s newspaper Crinkling News has folded, just months after it crowdfunded more than $200,000 to keep itself afloat. The newspaper was launched in mid-2016 by former Fairfax journalists Saffron Howden and Remi Bianchi, but their seed funding ran out, prompting a widely publicised campaign last year. Howden and Bianchi announced the closure in a statement yesterday, saying the money raised gave them an extra eight months of producing the newspaper, but it wasn’t enough.
Radio host sacked over harassment probe. Canberra radio host Frank Vincent has been sacked over a harassment complaint, The Canberra Times reports. Vincent was taken off air from 2CA after the board received a report from an independent investigator, appointed to look into harassment complaints. Details of the report haven’t been released, but the Crimes reports Vincent was sacked after the paper put questions to the station about alleged harassment of a junior journalist and other staff.
ABC technology redundancies. Staff in the ABC’s technology division are facing up to 10 redundancies as the public broadcaster moves from physical to digital information and music collections. An ABC spokeswoman said the move would mean resources would be more easily accessed by content-makers. She said consultation on the changes had begun, and, depending on the outcome, the change could mean 10 jobs be cut from the technology team. She said the CD collections would be centralised in Melbourne and “the changes would not impact the physical collections of ABC archive material”.
Stan Grant’s new show. The ABC has announced the details of presenter Stan Grant’s new show on the news channel. Grant’s Friday night program The Link was canned after a year, and his new panel program Matter of Fact will look at one of the big stories of the day, Monday to Thursday at 9pm.
US newspaper costs spike. Costs for many American newspapers jumped on Tuesday this week (meaning many will fall deeper into losses) after the US Commerce Department started levying tariffs on imports of Canadian newsprint and other paper products, hitting over 2000 papers — from The New York Times, to The Wall Street Journal, to the smallest daily and weekly still struggling to remain in business. The tariffs vary among the half-dozen affected Canadian manufacturers, but would increase costs for many newspapers by almost 10%, which will be a blow seeing newsprint costs are the second major cost for papers, after staff. The papers will know in March if the tariffs are permanent, will be reduced, or not imposed when the US International Trade Commission issues its final ruling.
The tariffs were imposed in a preliminary decision (with the final coming in March) after a hedge fund-owned US paper company complained to the government about so-called unfair competition from Canadian rivals in the area of “uncoated groundwood paper”, the grade of paper widely used by newspapers and other commercial publishers.
The complaintant, North Pacific Paper Co, was bought in late 2016 by One Rock Capital Partners, a New York-based hedge fund. It has claimed that Canadian government subsidies are giving Canadian newsprint producers an unfair advantage over US paper producers, and that the Canadians are dumping paper on the US market at prices below the cost of production. The company has already cut production and laid off workers because of falling sales.
The news comes as Digital First Media, which is the major newspaper owner in California with papers in and around San Francisco, Los Angles and Orange County informed staff last Friday that buyouts and “involuntary terminations” were on the way. — Glenn Dyer