On SMH's outing of Rebel Wilson, Nine's connection with Sportsbet, and more.
JUNE 18, 2022

Australia’s media industry is stumbling from one crisis to the next, writes Bernard Keane. First it was the SMH’s outing of actor Rebel Wilson. Then we had Nine journalists signing up to promote gambling corporation Sportsbet. There seem to be examples of misjudgment everywhere you look.

Our economy is also lurching into catastrophe, with energy markets on the brink of collapse thanks to years of state capture. It might seem abstract, but the reality of inflation and soaring electricity prices is being felt throughout the country, from rising food prices to homelessness, write Imogen Champagne and Amber Schultz.

Finally there was a bit of tech news about. Cam Wilson reported on the Google bot that allegedly became sentient, and on recent calls for a ban on retailers utilising facial recognition software.

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Have a great weekend,

Georgia Wilkins
News editor

‘Our reputation is trashed’: Sydney Morning Herald staff email blasts management in Rebel Wilson fallout

CAM WILSON 2 minute read

In a mass email sent on Monday afternoon, an anonymous staffer links the Rebel Wilson 'outing' to other management criticisms.

The SMH debacle

Rebel Wilson, Bevan Shields and the art of the Twitter (non) apology

IMOGEN CHAMPAGNE 4 minute read

While attempting to handle the backlash against his paper's outing of Wilson, Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields' 'apology' copped a backlash all its own.

The Rebel Wilson story is a statement about the SMH’s news culture — and that’s a big problem

ERIC BEECHER and PETER FRAY 2 minute read

Clickbait threatens quality journalism at a once-hallowed masthead.

Sydney Morning Herald editor tells staff he wouldn’t have ‘outed’ Rebel Wilson if she didn’t respond to the paper’s request

CAM WILSON 2 minute read

In an internal message sent to the paper's staff, Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields said a piece on Rebel Wilson's relationship would only have gone to print if she answered their questions.

‘I feel like I’m falling’: is the AI bot LaMDA sentient? — an interview

BLAKE LEMOINE 20 minute read

Blake Lemoine is a Google engineer recently put on leave for claiming an AI bot, LaMDA, is sentient. In the following interview, he chats with LaMDA about time, language, emotions, religion, and more.

Australia confronts a homelessness crisis as living costs surge

AMBER SCHULTZ 3 minute read

There's been a huge drop in donations to homeless support services and it's now becoming a matter of life or death.

Australia’s mainstream media is stumbling from crisis to crisis

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Australia's media landscape is turning into a disaster area littered by examples of spectacular misjudgment.

Call for ban on facial recognition following claims retailers are using it illegally

CAM WILSON 2 minute read

A CHOICE report claiming that Bunnings and Kmart may be breaching the Privacy Act with their use of facial recognition has spurred renewed calls for a moratorium.

Economy in flux

A market not worthy of the name: state capture to blame for energy crisis

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

Having gained massive power through political influence, fossil fuel companies decided to abuse that power to the point where the electricity market broke down.

How to survive the vegie-led recession: first, lettuce see your prices and recipes

IMOGEN CHAMPAGNE 3 minute read

It's costing a pretty penny to buy vegetables these days, so we're asking you for evidence of the most outrageous vegie price tags, as well as your most inventive and cost-effective recipes.

RBA boss Philip Lowe is on the TV. Should we be worried?

JASON MURPHY 6 minute read

A prime-time TV appearance by the governor of the RBA may have been engineered to calm nerves, but what is he really trying to tell us?

Governments should seize the moment on a broken energy network

BERNARD KEANE 3 minute read

The moment for reform on energy markets is here — a business-as-usual approach by governments won't cut it.

The NDIA abandons best practice to save pennies in this blind man’s tribunal case

AMBER SCHULTZ 4 minute read

This legally blind man says the National Disability Insurance Agency doesn't cooperate with people with disabilities. Instead it fights them.

China’s crisis of confidence: has Xi taken a giant leap backwards?

CRAIG SINGLETON 7 minute read

China's economy is in freefall due to Xi Jinping's mismanagement, raising the question: can the great power still compete on the world stage?

CryptoCam: if you know someone who owns crypto, give them a hug

CAM WILSON 4 minute read

Remember, the crypto boosters won't read your victory lap about the market crashing, but the people who unfortunately believed them will.

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