Black music book pulped. Publisher NewSouth Books has pulped a history of black women in music by Clinton Walker after women who appeared in the book complained of inaccuracies and not having been contacted about being in the book. Many of the women Walker wrote about were not consulted, including blues singer Marlene Cummins, who spoke to Fairfax of her displeasure: “It’s typical of our history. We had our land stolen from us, our wages, our children, our art and now our stories.”
Walker has apologised for the errors, and in a statement on his website said: “I have been devastated to learn that my failure to consult with many of the women in my book Deadly Woman.”
NewSouth said in a statement it would withdraw the book from sale, not publish it again and run a list of corrections on its website.
Guardian Australia partners up. It’s been a busy week for Guardian Australia‘s joint projects. On Monday, the local outfit of The Guardian and the University of Melbourne announced a philanthropic fund that will “provide funding towards journalism projects that advance public discourse and citizen participation around areas such as the environment, Indigenous affairs, human rights, inequality and governance and accountability”. The fund has already raised $700,000 in grants for projects over three years, and is looking to raise more funding for other areas of civic journalism, according to the announcement. Programs will include internships, mentoring, guest lectures and student workshops.
And today, Screen Australia announced the four projects to be funded under a joint initiative with The Guardian. The documentaries will be streamed next year on the Australian, US, UK and international editions of the news website, and have received more than $165,000 in funding from The Guardian and Screen Australia.
Networks to cut ads. Madness, suicide or sensible? TV advertising spending is under pressure everywhere and usually, the reaction from TV networks is to try to cram more ads into broadcasts to try and make up for any shortfall. But that’s no longer an option, with Netflix and other streamers not showing ads at all in their programs. That places the networks at a huge disadvantage.
NBC and Fox say they are going to slash the amount of time each hour devoted to advertising (which will mean a rise in the cost of ads to advertisers). This will force the networks to expand the time of programs by up to 10 to 12 minutes (so more content and possibly higher program costs).
The Wall Street Journal reports that Fox wants to cut the maximum time for ads in an hour to two minutes by 2020. In 2017, the average ad time per hour on broadcast was a little over 13 minutes, and on cable it was 16 minutes.
A day earlier, NBC Universal revealed it’s planning to cut the commercials airing during prime-time television shows by 20%, and the amount of advertising time by 10%. But the company is also introducing a new feature for marketers — a new 60-second commercial pod in the first or last break of a show dedicated to up to two advertisers. The “Prime Pod” will condense the typical 2:30 commercial pod into a one-minute break, putting extra emphasis on the advertisers that participate.
No doubt NBC it will charge more for these ‘pods’ and smaller ad breaks, as will Fox for its dramatic cut. Advertisers face dramatic increases in costs, but more limited exposure. — Glenn Dyer
‘Why my Journal career ended’. One of the oddest media stories out of the US last year was that of Jay Solomon, the Wall Street Journal foreign affairs correspondent who was sacked for getting too close to an arms dealer, who was also one of his sources. Now he’s written about his experience, reflecting on “how hacked emails and a yacht in Monaco ended my career”:
Hackers — likely state-sponsored — went after me, I believe, to hurt one of my sources and throw me off the Iran story, which dominated my career for nearly a decade. My mistakes gave those hackers and their employers the ammunition they needed to end my career at the Journal. In an age when every communication you have with a source, every conversation, and every text can be hacked, scrutinized, and used to discredit you and your work, it is more important than ever not just to be ethical, but to make sure that you take steps to ensure that you will appear to be even when your messages are stolen and misused by hostile powers. It’s not just the end product of your journalism that has to be coated in Teflon, but every stage of your reporting. Process, as much as content, has to be beyond repute. If you err, as I did, it can cost you both your reputation and your career.
Headline of the day. From The New York Times:
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. The Good Doctor (1.27 million, down from 1.44 million a week ago) was again the difference between Seven and Nine. Married grabbed 1.75 million national viewers and My Kitchen Rules 1.52 million. Seven also won the demos, with thanks to The Good Doctor again.
For Ten there was a worrying sign from last night’s I’m A Celebrity. The elimination, usually the most watched, had less viewers (774,000) than the lead up (802,000). Just enough perhaps to show the audience doesn’t really care?
In regional markets Seven News was on top with 573,000, followed by My Kitchen Rules with 513,000, then Seven News/Today Tonight with 490,000, then Married with 483,000 and Home and Away was fifth with 430,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website