Barnaby Joyce Australian

Chris Kenny and Troy Bramston blow up over Barnaby, NPR has its Sky News moment, Walkley Magazine quietly finishes its print run, plus other media tidbits from the day.

Good feud guide. The Australian’s associate editor and columnist Chris Kenny never shies away from criticising his media colleagues, and his Oz peers are no exception. Yesterday it was fellow columnist Troy Bramston who attracted Kenny’s ire over a column criticising Barnaby Joyce, calling for him to leave the parliament.

Kenny tweeted “Funny how the Left thinks standing up for cheap and reliable power is ‘wrecking’,” prompting Bramston to tweet right back with, “I’m ‘the Left’ am I Kenny? I’m a journalist and columnist working for the same paper you do. Have some respect.”

Walkley Magazine’s final print run. The Walkley Foundation has sent out its final print edition of The Walkley Magazine — sent to members of the journalists’ union, the MEAA, quarterly. The final edition was sent out late last month, and similar content — about the craft of journalism — will instead be posted online.

How NPR covers the far right. As Sky News is dealing with the fallout of a flattering interview with extremist Blair Cottrell, and a man who invoked Hitler in the Senate does the interview rounds today, a debate in the US is also considering how the media should deal with covering extremists. Publicly-funded NPR ran an interview on Sunday with Jason Kessler, who organised a “Unite the Right” rally on the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.

NPR’s public editor/ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen has examined the decision to air the interview, including whether it should’ve been run as part of a package rather than a direct, heavily-edited and pre-recorded interview — a format she said she thought NPR had been overusing. She said the full interview answered some of the criticisms on whether Kessler was challenged strongly enough on his views:

The interview was painful to hear; it had me yelling at the radio, as I know many others did. NPR’s audience is vast; it is still overwhelmingly white. Part of how one heard it may depend on how closely one has followed this story and whether one experiences that type of prejudice. There is no right answer here for everyone. I do think Kessler’s racism and general illogic came through, even in the absence of the more aggressive pushback some critics wanted, and NPR listeners are smart enough to hear that. NPR has decided it will air these interviews. I am on the fence about whether they are necessary. But if NPR is going to go that route, it needs to strengthen its practices for a more responsible execution.

US papers unite with anti-Trump editorials. More than 100 US newspapers will tomorrow publish editorials criticising President Donald Trump’s anti-press rhetoric in a coordinated pushback, CNN reports. Led by the Boston Globe, the editorials will focus on “the dangers of the administration’s assault on the press”, and there has been and “overwhelming response”.

There has been an increase in Trump’s anti-press message over the past month or so — CNN White House reporter Kaitlan Collins was banned from an open press call after asking Trump questions at an earlier photo call, and Trump has referred to the media as “enemies of the people”.

Glenn Dyer’s TV ratings. Nine’s night again in total people, the main channels and the demos thanks to The Block with a bit of help from True Story with Hamish and Andy (which lost ground from last week). Seven returned 800 Words to a weak reception; Dance Boss received about the same, again.

The big story from yesterday though was the lowest metro reading for Nine’s Today show for ages — 203,000 against 274,000 for Seven’s Sunrise. Today is sinking slowly and could fall under the 200,000 mark in the next few months for the first time in years. Change is coming to Nine in breakfast in 2019, you can bank on it. Read the rest on the Crikey website.

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Peter Fray
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