Andrew Bolt

Bolt column brought to the Press Council, Vanuatu pleas for ABC radio service, Conde Nast is in some nasty trouble, plus other media tidbits from the day. 

Press Council investigates Bolt column. News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt has been reported to the Australian Press Council over a racist column published yesterday, that argues that a “tidal wave” of migrants is “changing our culture”. The column ran under the headline, “The foreign invasion” in News Corp tabloids, and singled out the proportion of Chinese, Cambodian, Indian and Jewish people living in various suburbs.

Bolt was found to have breached the Racial Discrimination Act by a judge in 2011 over articles he wrote in 2009 that implied light-skinned people who identified as Aboriginal did so for personal gain. He had been sued in the Federal Court by nine people over the two articles.

Shortwave cuts could cost lives. Vanuatu’s Prime Minister has called on the Australian government to reinstate Radio Australia’s shortwave service in the Pacific. In a submission to the current government inquiry into the ABC’s decision to cut the service, Charlot Salwai said that removing shortwave radio to Vanuatu could cost lives:

In times of crisis when other forms of media like FM and digital services are unavailable (remote) communities rely on broadcasts safely transmitted from outside the disaster zone. This is exactly the role Radio Australia shortwave broadcasts played during Cyclone Pam. For us shortwave is not out-dated technology — it is appropriate and ‘fit-for-purpose’ and an important means to inform and safeguard Ni-Vanuatu people.

The ABC has said the technology is outdated, replaced by digital streaming and FM. Submissions to the government review into broadcasting services in the Asia Pacific close today.

Conde Nast for sale. Facing losses, magazine giant Conde Nast — publisher of VogueVanity Fair and The New Yorker — is reportedly planning to sell off three of its titles: Brides, Golf Digest and W. The company lost US$120 million last year, The New York Times reports, and measures including laying off 80 staff last year haven’t stemmed the bleeding.

Front page of the day.

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings. The total people and main channel figures were as different as chalk and cheese. Seven won total people, and Nine won the main channels — easily. Why? Seven decided to blow off viewers by dropping the rotten Single Wives “reality” program into 7.30pm on a Thursday evening, knowing it would bomb (425,000 national viewers). It was a weak fourth on the night in the slot.

How bad was the 425,000 national viewers? Well, The Front Bar followed in the AFL markets — Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth and associated regional areas — and out-rated it with 434,000 people. But let’s not detract from the growing success of The Front Bar. The show had its best ever Melbourne figure of 274,000 viewers — third in that market last night and almost double the 139,000 people who watched Nine’s ailing AFL Footy Show.  

Last night’s NRL game on Nine averaged 651,000 for Canterbury beating Brisbane and 225,000 on Foxtel. The 876,000 in total was more than the Australian Survivor audience on Ten of 834,000 (I know it’s not strictly comparable, but just an observation). Read the rest on the Crikey website.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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