Responses to the unprecedented “merger” between Nine and Fairfax have ranged from sadness in the media community, to an endorsement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, to a blistering attack on Nine and the Coalition from former-PM and original architect of the cross-media rules Paul Keating.
A Fairfax report has today detailed the new structure, making reference to Nine chairman and former Liberal Treasurer Peter Costello’s personal role in the acquisition, and an Age editorial has sought to bridge concerns over the new editorial structure and probable job losses with promises of new business opportunities. Fairfax staff have nonetheless reacted with both sadness and anger over the news, and, while some reporters have been quick to defend Nine’s news record, Keating has hit out at both Nine’s alleged lack of “moral compass” and the Coalition’s role in ending rules against cross-media ownership that facilitated the deal.
Former High Court judge Ian Callinan will conduct a three-year review of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), following government criticisms against the tribunal blocking efforts to expel non-citizens with criminal records.
The Australian ($) reports that Attorney-General Christian Porter, whose office administers the AAT, will today announce Callinan’s appointment under a requirement to review the 2015 amalgamation of three separate tribunals relating to social security, migration and refugee appeals. Porter has reportedly been in consultation with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who has campaigned against the AAT since coming in as immigration minister in 2015 and has amassed increasingly broad discretionary powers over the tribunal’s decisions.
Former cricketer Imran Khan has declared victory in Pakistan’s general elections, with projections demonstrating a commanding lead in a vote that has included militant violence, allegations of fraud, and complaints that women were not allowed to vote in some areas.
The ABC reports that, while Pakistan’s election commission has not yet released final counts, Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) is projected to govern either with a majority or through a coalition government. However Shahbaz Sharif, the leader of rival party the Pakistan Muslim League, and brother/successor to jailed ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif, has rejected the vote and made accusations of “blatant rigging” at polling stations.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Fairfax will exist – it will just be a 100% owned subsidiary of Nine.
The Fairfax chief executive coyly admits to Sydney Morning Herald staff that the “merger” with Nine is absolutely a takeover. Alas, Hywood also announced his own “redundancy for a change”, meaning that once the forms are signed he will likely bail with a scant $6.3 million — minimum.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“One of the Liberal Party’s most senior figures, former treasurer Peter Costello, will chair Australia’s largest media company as a result of the Nine Network’s takeover of Fairfax. The ‘merger’ will dramatically reduce media diversity at a national level and likely bring further big reductions in editorial staff, in what is a major win for the Liberal Party.”
“I remember the year 2006 as one of deep estrangement from my species. This may be due in some part to my individual purchase of the very first Xbox gaming console. But, I’d like to blame Society as well. I am confident that a toughening of the neoliberal consensus had produced alienation in plenty of others. If it had not, then we are without means to explain two mass aberrations. In the West of 2006, it had become acceptable to a) wear a velour tracksuit almost anywhere b) admire unremarkable persons for no good reason.”
“Current concern around the government’s My Health Record roll-out could have been avoided had the Department of Health addressed the issues raised in its own consultation period. Almost all of the system’s privacy, security and health issues were anticipated as far back as 2015. However, those who made submissions were left in the dark because the analysis report was effectively buried.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Centre Alliance candidate Rebekha Sharkie and Liberal candidate Georgina Downer will speak at seperate campaign events ahead of tomorrow’s Mayo byelection.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will mark the government’s provisional acceptance of the second Air Warfare Destroyer.
Business SA will launch a discussion paper on methamphetamine use in the workplace at a forum to be opened by Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.
Fleet Space Technologies will open a mission control centre at Pinkerton Plains, north of Adelaide.
Labor candidate Patrick Gorman and WA Premier Mark McGowan will greet voters at pre-polling places ahead of tomorrow’s Perth byelection.
Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt and former director of England’s NHS Sustainable Development Unit Dr David Pencheon will discuss sustainability, including the City of Fremantle’s plan to go 100% renewable by 2025, at an event with Doctors for the Environment Australia.
Day one of Ministry of Data’s three-day agriculture hackathon, “AgHack”.
Day four of Queensland budget estimates is set to hear from Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey and Minister for Housing and Public Works; Digital Technology; and Sport Mick de Brenni.
Journalist Sharyn Ghidella will host the 2018 Allison Baden-Clay Foundation ‘Strive To Be Kind Lunch’ for the prevention of domestic and family violence.
The University of Queensland Art Museum will launch “Defying Empire: the 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial”.
A remembrance event will be held marking the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice at the Australian National Korean War Memorial.
The Greek Orthodox Community of NSW will facilitate an open forum in an effort to assist those affected by the fires in Attica, Greece.
Alliance for Gambling Reform director Tim Costello will hold a media conference on the latest poker machine losses data for Victoria in 2017/18.
Philosopher Peter Singer will deliver a public talk on “The Ethics of What We Eat”.
Pitch Black military exercises will be held involving multiple countries.
Nine-Fairfax merger: Victory for synergy leaves journalism fighting for survival ($) — Peter Fray (The Australian): “The Nine-Fairfax merger is a watershed moment for Australian journalism. No matter that it — or something like it — has been long predicted. No matter that it most probably won’t be the last media merger. No matter that reaching for scale is the obvious (though not the only) antidote to digital disruption and the collapse of advertising revenues. The country’s news landscape — and the provision of quality journalism — will be irrevocably changed if the marriage goes ahead as planned. The question is, will it be for better or worse for journalism?”
In a divided Pakistan, Imran Khan is on the front foot – for now — Jeffrey Gettleman, Salman Masood and Meher Ahmad (Sydney Morning Herald): “Lahore: Imran Khan made a name for himself on the world’s cricket pitches and in London’s nightclubs. But in the two decades since he began striving for higher office in Pakistan, he has undergone a complicated transformation. He has embraced pious Islam, railing against the United States and distancing himself from his partying days – though his political organisation still uses a cricket bat as its symbol.”