Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Pollie dripping venom at taxpayers' expense


Federal Labor MP for Melbourne Ports since 1998 Michael Danby may have let his website www.nolibirandeal.com lapse on 14 September 2017, however his venom is still dripping at taxpayers’ expense and is now pointedly directed at an ABC journalist.

Australian Jewish News, via Twitter, 1 October 2017, half-page advertisement

Australian Jewish News, 5 October 2017, half-page advertisement


Australian Jewish News, 14 September 2007 via Media Watch

However, the recent increased criticism might be because Mr. Danby may no longer be hopeful of retaining Labor Party preselection ahead of the next federal election.

The Opposition Leader is not the only one deeply unimpressed by Danby’s attack ads.

Perhaps the party’s over for this parliamentarian?

UPDATE

On 16 October 2017 ABC News reported that Danby took a week's sick leave in 2016 but rather than take to his bed he took off for Israel instead.

Wonder if that trip was also at taxpayer expense?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

"You're an absolute disgrace" Coalition and One Nation senators


Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie on the floor of the Australian Senate, 14 September 2017.

Senate Hansard,  12 September 2017:
Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (13:56): The government wants One Nation support for this package so badly that it has agreed to invite a razor gang into the books of the ABC. And it wants Nick Xenophon's support for the package so badly that it has agreed not to embarrass him into being forced to vote in support of One Nation's proposal. But make no mistake, voting for this bill means voting for One Nation's deal. I know that, One Nation knows that and you can bet your last dollar that Nick Xenophon and his team know that, too. As for what the details are, we still don't know. The government won't tell us and they won't tell us. All we know is that it commits the government to review the ABC and ask if it is reducing the profitability of its commercial rivals. Guess what? The job of the ABC isn't to make money for its commercial rivals. Its job is to guarantee all Australians have access to news, programming and information that affects their lives, no matter where they live or how wealthy they are. The deal the government has made isn't designed to improve the ABC; it is designed to defund it. It's a deal to set up a rigged kangaroo court that is determined to find the ABC guilty and lay the groundwork for slashing the budget of the most trusted news source in the country—or, as I like to refer to it, the eighth great wonder of the world. That is the deal that is before us. That is the vote we are taking—to defend the ABC or to defund it. No amount of tax breaks or inquiries into tech giants can change that. As the old saying goes, if you don't know all the details of the deal, don't vote for it. If you knew all the details of the deal, you probably wouldn't vote for it anyway. A vote in favour of this package is a vote in favour of all the strings that come attached to it. The government could have opted to put the full details of the deal in the legislation, but it decided not to because it is embarrassed by what it has agreed to. And if something is so embarrassing that not even this government would be willing to put its name to it, then it says something about all those who are voting to support it. No matter what else is said, no matter who says it, there's only one thing you need to remember: if you are proud of something, you don't hide it. The deal that has been made between One Nation and the Turnbull government doesn't go ahead unless this vote passes. What we're doing by voting for this media reform package is actually voting for a dirty deal, because the government decided to link the two. We are voting for something on paper and another thing altogether in practice. We're choosing whether to defend the ABC or to defund it. I will not endorse this deal. I am willing to vote to help the commercial players by doing away with outdated media ownership regulations but I refuse to vote for a package that hurts journalism in rural and regional Australia. The bill before us is only half the deal. The other half will not be put to the vote. This is the vote—for the visible half and for the invisible other. It is the only opportunity we will have to oppose the dirty deal the government has made to let loose the razor gangs on the budget of the ABC for the crime of doing exactly what the public needs a public broadcaster to do. I won't be supporting this bill and I am disappointed that I can't. I'm disappointed that I can't support this bill, because I support what it's trying to achieve in principle. The media landscape is changing fast and— The PRESIDENT: Thank you, Senator Lambie. You are in continuation. It being 2pm, we move to question without notice.
Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:27): The media landscape is changing fast. The industry is changing and the industry's regulation needs changing too. It's ridiculous to say that the only way to defend a struggling industry is to defend the regulation that's preventing it from defending itself against new and enormous threats. But concerns around the potential loss of media diversity as a result of the changes posed are real and valid. It is important that any deal to change regulation also protects media diversity in the process. Nobody wants any one media baron to have excessive power over the political landscape, and the best way to address concerns about private media ownership is to invest in publicly owned media. The government, with courage, would put whatever it's proposing to a vote. That's not what it has agreed to. Instead, reports suggest that the government has made some sneaky handshake deal in a back room somewhere to undermine the operations of the ABC, and it has gone behind the back of the Senate to do it. I won't be supporting this bill, and I'm disappointed that I can't. I'm disappointed that I can't support this bill because I support in principle what it's trying to achieve, but I will not be a part of taking a pitchfork to the ABC.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Study finds Trump, right-wing extremism and fake news won the media battle during the 2016 US presidential election campaign


In which Facebook Inc is identified as a major commercial player in the media landscape and a significant purveyor of fake news, as well as giving page space to highly partisan and clickbait news sites.

Excerpts from Harvard University, Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society, Rob Faris et al, Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, 16 August 2017:

Both winners and losers of the 2016 presidential election describe it as a political earthquake. Donald Trump was the most explicitly populist candidate in modern history. He ran an overtly anti-elite and anti-media campaign and embraced positions on trade, immigration, and international alliances, among many other topics, that were outside elite consensus. Trump expressed these positions in starkly aggressive terms. His detractors perceived Trump’s views and the manner in which he communicated them as alarming, and his supporters perceived them as refreshing and candid. He was outraised and outspent by his opponents in both the primary and the general election, and yet he prevailed—contrary to the conventional wisdom of the past several elections that winning, or at least staying close, in the money race is a precondition to winning both the nomination and the election.

In this report we explore the dynamics of the election by analyzing over two million stories related to the election, published online by approximately 70,000 media sources between May 1, 2015, and Election Day in 2016. We measure how often sources were linked to by other online sources and how often they were shared on Facebook or Twitter. Through these sharing patterns and analysis of the content of the stories, we identify both what was highly salient according to these different measures and the relationships among different media, stories, and Twitter users.

Our clearest and most significant observation is that the American political system has seen not a symmetrical polarization of the two sides of the political map, but rather the emergence of a discrete and relatively insular right-wing media ecosystem whose shape and communications practices differ sharply from the rest of the media ecosystem, ranging from the center-right to the left. Right-wing media were centered on Breitbart and Fox News, and they presented partisan-disciplined messaging, which was not the case for the traditional professional media that were the center of attention across the rest of the media sphere. The right-wing media ecosystem partly insulated its readers from nonconforming news reported elsewhere and moderated the effects of bad news for Donald Trump’s candidacy. While we observe highly partisan and clickbait news sites on both sides of the partisan divide, especially on Facebook, on the right these sites received amplification and legitimation through an attention backbone that tied the most extreme conspiracy sites like Truthfeed, Infowars, through the likes of Gateway Pundit and Conservative Treehouse, to bridging sites like Daily Caller and Breitbart that legitimated and normalized the paranoid style that came to typify the right-wing ecosystem in the 2016 election. This attention backbone relied heavily on social media.

For the past 20 years there has been substantial literature decrying the polarization of American politics. The core claim has been that the right and the left are drawing farther apart, becoming more insular, and adopting more extreme versions of their own arguments. It is well established that political elites have become polarized over the past several decades, while other research has shown that the electorate has also grown apart. Other versions of the argument have focused on the internet specifically, arguing that echo chambers or filter bubbles have caused people of like political views to read only one another and to reinforce each other’s views, leading to the adoption of more extreme views. These various arguments have focused on general features of either the communications system or political psychology—homophily, confirmation bias, in-group/out-group dynamics, and so forth. Many commentators and scholars predicted and measured roughly symmetric polarization on the two sides of the political divide.

Our observations of the 2016 election are inconsistent with a symmetric polarization hypothesis. Instead, we see a distinctly asymmetric pattern with an inflection point in the center-right—the least populated and least influential portion of the media spectrum. In effect, we have seen a radicalization of the right wing of American politics: a hollowing out of the center-right and its displacement by a new, more extreme form of right-wing politics. During this election cycle, media sources that attracted attention on the center-right, center, center-left, and left followed a more or less normal distribution of attention from the center-right to the left, when attention is measured by either links or tweets, and a somewhat more left-tilted distribution when measured by Facebook shares. By contrast, the distribution of attention on the right was skewed to the far right. The number of media outlets that appeared in the center-right was relatively small; their influence was generally low, whether measured by inlinks or social media shares; and they tended to link out to the traditional media—such as the New York Times and the Washington Post—to the same extent as did outlets in the center, center-left, and left, and significantly more than did outlets on the right. The number of farther-right media outlets is very large, and the preponderance of attention to these sources, which include Fox News and Breitbart, came from media outlets and readers within the right. This asymmetry between the left and the right appears in the link ecosystem, and is even more pronounced when measured by social media sharing…..

Our data suggest that the “fake news” framing of what happened in the 2016 campaign, which received much post-election attention, is a distraction. Moreover, it appears to reinforce and buy into a major theme of the Trump campaign: that news cannot be trusted. The wave of attention to fake news is grounded in a real phenomenon, but at least in the 2016 election it seems to have played a relatively small role in the overall scheme of things. We do indeed find stories in our data set that come from sites, like Ending the Fed, intended as political clickbait to make a profit from Facebook, often with no real interest in the political outcome…..

Our observations suggest that fixing the American public sphere may be much harder than we would like. One feature of the more widely circulated explanations of our “post-truth” moment—fake news sites seeking Facebook advertising, Russia engaging in a propaganda war, or information overload leading confused voters to fail to distinguish facts from false or misleading reporting—is that these are clearly inconsistent with democratic values, and the need for interventions to respond to them is more or less indisputable. If profit-driven fake news is the problem, solutions like urging Facebook or Google to use technical mechanisms to identify fake news sites and silence them by denying them advertising revenue or downgrading the visibility of their sites seem, on their face, not to conflict with any democratic values. Similarly, if a foreign power is seeking to influence our democratic process by propagandistic means, then having the intelligence community determine how this is being done and stop it is normatively unproblematic. If readers are simply confused, then developing tools that will feed them fact-checking metrics while they select and read stories might help. These approaches may contribute to solving the disorientation in the public sphere, but our observations suggest that they will be working on the margins of the core challenge……  

In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign.

We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.

Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide.

The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter……

Immigration emerged as the leading substantive issue of the campaign. Initially, the Trump campaign used a hard-line anti-immigration stance to distinguish Trump from the field of GOP contenders. Later, immigration was a wedge issue between the left and the right. Pro-Trump media sources supported this with sensationalistic, race-centric coverage of immigration focused on crime, terrorism, fear of Muslims, and disease.

While coverage of his candidacy was largely critical, Trump dominated media coverage…..

Conservative media disrupted.
Breitbart emerges as the nexus of conservative media. The Wall Street Journal is treated by social media users as centrist and less influential. The rising prominence of Breitbart along with relatively new outlets such as the Daily Caller marks a significant reshaping of the conservative media landscape over the past several years…..  

Donald Trump succeeded in shaping the election agenda. Coverage of Trump overwhelmingly outperformed coverage of Clinton. Clinton’s coverage was focused on scandals, while Trump’s coverage focused on his core issues.
Figure 1: Number of sentences by topic and candidate from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

On the partisan left and right, the popularity of media sources varies significantly across the different platforms. On the left, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and Vox are prominent on all platforms. On the right, Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Caller, and the New York Post are popular across platforms.

Table 1: Most popular media on the right from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

Table 2: Most popular media on the left from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

Disinformation and propaganda are rooted in partisanship and are more prevalent on social media.

The most obvious forms of disinformation are most prevalent on social media and in the most partisan fringes of the media landscape. Greater popularity on social media than attention from media peers is a strong indicator of reporting that is partisan and, in some cases, dubious.

Among the set of top 100 media sources by inlinks or social media shares, seven sources, all from the partisan right or partisan left, receive substantially more attention on social media than links from other media outlets.


These sites do not necessarily all engage in misleading or false reporting, but they are clearly highly partisan. In this group, Gateway Pundit is in a class of its own, known for “publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.”

Disproportionate popularity on Facebook is a strong indicator of highly partisan and unreliable media.

A distinct set of websites receive a disproportionate amount of attention from Facebook compared with Twitter and media inlinks. From the list of the most prominent media, 13 sites fall into this category. Many of these sites are cited by independent sources and media reporting as progenitors of inaccurate if not blatantly false reporting. Both in form and substance, the majority of these sites are aptly described as political clickbait. Again, this does not imply equivalency across these sites. Ending the Fed is often cited as the prototypical example of a media source that published false stories. The Onion is an outlier in this group, in that it is explicitly satirical and ironic, rather than, as is the case with the others, engaging in highly partisan and dubious reporting without explicit irony.


Asymmetric vulnerabilities: The right and left were subject to media manipulation in different ways.

The more insulated right-wing media ecosystem was susceptible to sustained network propaganda and disinformation, particularly misleading negative claims about Hillary Clinton. Traditional media accountability mechanisms—for example, fact-checking sites, media watchdog groups, and cross-media criticism—appear to have wielded little influence on the insular conservative media sphere. Claims aimed for “internal” consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem were more extreme, less internally coherent, and appealed more to the “paranoid style” of American politics than claims intended to affect mainstream media reporting.

The institutional commitment to impartiality of media sources at the core of attention on the left meant that hyperpartisan, unreliable sources on the left did not receive the same amplification that equivalent sites on the right did.

These same standard journalistic practices were successfully manipulated by media and activists on the right to inject anti-Clinton narratives into the mainstream media narrative. A key example is the use of the leaked Democratic National Committee’s emails and her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, released through Wikileaks, and the sustained series of stories written around email-based accusations of influence peddling. Another example is the book and movie release of Clinton Cash together with the sustained campaign that followed, making the Clinton Foundation the major post-convention story. By developing plausible narratives and documentation susceptible to negative coverage, parallel to the more paranoid narrative lines intended for internal consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem, and by “working the refs,” demanding mainstream coverage of anti-Clinton stories, right-wing media played a key role in setting the agenda of mainstream, center-left media. We document these dynamics in the Clinton Foundation case study section of this report.

The New York Times, 6 September 2017:

Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.

Most of the 3,000 ads did not refer to particular candidates but instead focused on divisive social issues such as race, gay rights, gun control and immigration, according to a post on Facebook by Alex Stamos, the company’s chief security officer. The ads, which ran between June 2015 and May 2017, were linked to some 470 fake accounts and pages the company said it had shut down.

Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is known for using “troll” accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites.

The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election. Multiple investigations of the Russian meddling, and the possibility that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with Russia, have cast a shadow over the first eight months of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Facebook staff members on Wednesday briefed the Senate and House intelligence committees, which are investigating the Russian intervention in the American election. Mr. Stamos indicated that Facebook is also cooperating with investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, writing that “we have shared our findings with U.S. authorities investigating these issues, and we will continue to work with them as necessary.”….

In its review of election-related advertising, Facebook said it had also found an additional 2,200 ads, costing $50,000, that had less certain indications of a Russian connection. Some of those ads, for instance, were purchased by Facebook accounts with internet protocol addresses that appeared to be in the United States but with the language set to Russian.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

CBS Corporation announces deal to buy Network Ten


CBS Corporation, media release, 27 August 2017:

 Deal to Buy Network Ten Will Accelerate CBS’ Global Growth Strategy in Key English-speaking Market
Acquisition Also Paves the Way to Launch
CBS All Access in Australia

SYDNEY, AMSTERDAM AND NEW YORK – August 27, 2017 – CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) has agreed to acquire Network Ten, one of three major commercial broadcast networks in Australia, it was announced today by Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. This transaction adds Network Ten to CBS Corporation’s global content and distribution portfolios. In addition to core linear channel TEN, the deal includes digital terrestrial television channel (DTT) ELEVEN, which CBS already owns a 33 per cent stake, the DTT channel ONE and Network Ten’s rapidly growing digital platform, TENPLAY.

At the same time, by leveraging Network Ten’s linear and digital assets, CBS will also launch CBS All Access, the Company’s digital subscription video on-demand service, in the Australian market. This marks another international territory announced for CBS All Access this month. The Company recently unveiled plans to make the service available in Canada next year.
“Network Ten is a prime broadcasting asset with over half a century of experience and brand equity in Australia,” said Leslie Moonves, Chairman and CEO, CBS Corporation. “We have been able to acquire it at a valuation that gives us confidence we will grow this asset by applying our programming expertise in a market with which we are already familiar.”

“Network Ten and CBS have enjoyed a close working relationship for nearly two decades, and now CBS will continue to provide Network Ten with access to the very best in U.S. content. We also look forward to working with the outstanding team at Network Ten to enhance and expand on its great legacy of Australian news, drama, reality and sports programming,” said Armando Nuñez, President and CEO, CBS Studios International. “This acquisition not only presents CBS with considerable broadcasting opportunities in Australia, but also allows for further multi-platform distribution and growth.”

The transaction will be completed in accordance with the Australian voluntary administration process and is subject to certain regulatory approvals.

About CBS Corporation:

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS) is a mass media company that creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. CBS owns the most watched television network in the U.S. and one of the world’s largest libraries of entertainment content, making its brand — “the Eye” — one of the most recognized in business. The Company’s operations span virtually every field of media and entertainment, including cable, publishing, radio, local TV, film, and interactive and socially responsible media. CBS’ businesses include CBSTelevision Network, The CW (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment), CBS Television Studios, CBS Studios International, CBS Television Distribution, CBS Consumer Products, CBS Home Entertainment, CBSInteractive, CBS Films, Showtime Networks, CBS Sports Network, Pop (a joint venture between CBS Corporation and Lionsgate), Smithsonian Networks, Simon & Schuster, CBS Television Stations, CBS Radio and CBS EcoMedia. For more information, go to www.cbscorporation.com.

* * * 

Friday, 28 July 2017

The American Resistance has many faces and this journalist is one of them (12)


In June 2017 the U.S. White House banned cameras from its regular press briefings. The last live on-camera White House briefing was on 29 June and live audio-only ceased at some point after that.

At first news agencies were reduced to the absurd – painting short word pictures or using sketch artists to depict action.




In July ABC (USA) began showing "The Briefing Room" with its in-house political team analysing the now 'invisible' press briefings.

Then the dam wall was breached......

The Washington Post, 19 July 2017:

It was only a matter of time.

At every White House news briefing since June 29 — and many before, too — President Trump's spokesmen have ordered a room full of smartphone-toting journalists not to film the session or even broadcast live audio. On Wednesday, one reporter defied the White House by streaming live sound of the briefing online.

Ksenija Pavlovic, a former political science teaching fellow at Yale who founded a news site called Pavlovic Today, used the Periscope app to stream audio of Wednesday's briefing. She tweeted a link to the feed:
PBS News Hour followed suit as did ABC News (USA) with delayed audio posted on YouTube.

It is noted that two days later the White House announced an on-camera press briefing with Principal Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Well done Ksenija!


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Mr. Turnbull, about those millions.....


Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, Minister for Communications Mitch Fifield and Minister for Sport Greg Hunt owe an explanation to every Australian who has taken an income support cut or an earned income cut during the last three years because of Coalition Government policies and decisions.

Show us the contract signed by Foxtel Sports Australia or News Corp!

ABC Radio Melbourne, “Mornings” program, 17 July 2017:

The federal communications department has refused to release details about $30 million in sports broadcasting funding given to Foxtel, because it says documents about the deal "do not exist".

Senior Producer for ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings, Dan Ziffer spoke to Jon Faine about the money, which was allocated to Foxtel in the 2016 federal budget to support "underrepresented sports."

"There appears to be no paper trail for the $30 million contract," Mr Ziffer said.

"Whatever was done about this deal, it certainly wasn't written down."

Director of the Australian Shareholders Association Stephen Mayne said he believed the government gave Foxtel the money to avoid making an enemy with the Murdoch media.

"Because the free to air networks were all getting a licence fee cut in the budget and the government wants to keep sweet with all of the media," he said.

"They didn't want to have an enemy in the Murdoch's so they just gave them $30 million and then had to come up with a reason."



Communications minister Mitch Fifield has come under renewed pressure to explain why Foxtel – and not a free-to-air network or public broadcaster – was given millions of dollars to boost coverage of women's and niche sports. 

The broadcaster was assigned $30 million in taxpayer's money over four years in the 2017 federal budget in order to boost "under represented sports" on subscription television….

Labor is opposed to the Turnbull government's media reforms and the package has yet to pass the Senate. Foxtel's funding was able to sail through the upper house because it was bundled into the government's appropriation bills. 

BACKGROUND

Financial Review, 4 June 2017:
A spate of recent deals show the influence broadcaster Fox Sports has on the Australian sporting scene and how it may wield that power in the future….
Government subsidies to Fox increase
Fox will also play a part in any FFA expansion plans for the A-League, with a small kicker in the rights contract for additional matches as a result of more teams at any stage of the six-year contract. It will have a say in where the new teams come from.
Then there is the budget 2017 deal with the federal government. The government will provide subscription television worth $30 million over four years to "maintain and increase coverage of women's sports, niche sports and high-participation sports which have struggled to get air-time".
Yes, that means Fox Sports – which already has an iron grip on sport with rights to all NRL, AFL, Super Rugby and A-League matches and Supercars races – will receive government funding to show even more sport.
While the notion of giving money to ensure exposure for so-called lesser sports is a positive one, it is going to a commercial organisation rather than a government funded entity such as the ABC or SBS.
ABC News, 28 December 2016:
Following a day when there was more coverage of a stomach ache suffered by one male commentator of one male sport than there was for the entire gamut of women's sports being played at the moment, a very serious question remains unanswered.
Why, on the eve of 2017, is the media still failing to report women's sport adequately while Mark Nicholas' abdominal distress is national news?
Having covered sport for more than 20 years with NewsCorp Julie Tullberg now teaches digital journalism at Monash University.
"Yeah it's pretty funny, I covered AFL many years ago for the Australian and I've been unwell but when I left the coverage no-one could be bothered writing about what I went through — if I was pregnant, or whatever — but with men, for someone live on air for a big event like a Test match, that's newsworthy because they have such a large audience," Tullberg told ABC NewsRadio.
Turn on the radio, television, or go online during the 'summer of sport' and there are updates galore on cricket, basketball and football (the round-ball variety).
But you would be excused for thinking only men play these games despite the fact there are concurrent women's domestic competitions being played at the moment.
In a country where there are four times as many journalists accredited to cover the AFL than federal politics you would be right to suggest sport is a key component of the national culture.
The past 18 months or so in Australia have been record breaking for women's sport ... new competitions, new pay deals and a new level of respect from sports bodies themselves.
Unfortunately, though, that doesn't seem to extend to day-to-day mainstream media coverage.
The Australian, 19 February 2016:
Subscription television group ­Foxtel has reported a 5.5 per cent jump in first-half revenue to $1.66 billion, driven by strong subscriber growth.
However, higher programming costs saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation slip by 7.7 per cent to $434 million.
Foxtel, which is owned by Telstra and News Corp, the publisher of The Australian, saw total subscriber growth of 8.1 per cent for the six months ended December 31 and broadcast subscriber growth of 7.4 per cent….
Fox Sports Australia, which is carried by Foxtel and owned by News Corp,....

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Trumponomics and media in the United States of Dystopia


"President Trump spoke with @TheEconomist about Trumponomics and every answer is bananas
[Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Michigan Justin Wolfers on Twitter, 11 May 2017]

Who thought that Anthony John Abbott when he was Australian prime minister was the most ill-intentioned, ignorant  and embarrassing leader of a nation to have ever existed to date in the developed world during the 21st century?


Well he now pales in comparison with Donald John Trump (pictured above).

Excerpts from the transcript of The Economist interview with the U.S. President on 4 May 2017:

Another part of your overall plan, the tax reform plan. Is it OK if that tax plan increases the deficit? Ronald Reagan’s tax reform didn’t.
[President Trump] Well, it actually did. But, but it’s called priming the pump. You know, if you don’t do that, you’re never going to bring your taxes down. Now, if we get the health-care [bill through Congress], this is why, you know a lot of people said, “Why isn’t he going with taxes first, that’s his wheelhouse?” Well, hey look, I convinced many people over the last two weeks, believe me, many Congressmen, to go with it. And they’re great people, but one of the great things about getting health care is that we will be saving, I mean anywhere from $400bn to $900bn.
…………

That all goes into tax reduction. Tremendous savings.

But beyond that it’s OK if the tax plan increases the deficit?
It is OK, because it won’t increase it for long. You may have two years where you’ll… you understand the expression “prime the pump”?

Yes.
We have to prime the pump.

It’s very Keynesian.
We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world. Have you heard that expression before, for this particular type of an event?

Priming the pump?
Yeah, have you heard it?

Yes.
Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it. I mean, I just… I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.

It’s…
Yeah, what you have to do is you have to put something in before you can get something out.
………

So you would have a bigger deficit, a stimulus, to prime the pump that would lead to faster growth?
So I happen to think that 3% is low. But you can’t do it if your companies are leaving the country because taxes are too high. Now, I’m going to do something there too. If our companies leave the country, number one they’re leaving for numerous reasons but one of the big reasons is the taxes are so high. When they leave—go back to trade for a second, when they leave the country, go to a certain country wherever it may be, and they fire all their workers in the United States and on the assumption they build cars or air conditioners or whatever they’re building, and they open a plant someplace else and then they send the air conditioner or the car into our country with no tax, that’s not going to happen anymore. They’re going to have a very large tax to pay, in the vicinity of 35%.
Now when you do that, number one they're not leaving the country anyway. So we’re not leaving. I don’t know if you saw what’s happening. Ford has announced massive expansions in the United States. General Motors cancelled a big plant in Mexico and a big plant in Europe. They’re all cancelling plans because I told them, I said… I get along with them great. But I said, “Look, we don’t mind if you leave the country. You can build all you want out of country, I hope you enjoy your plant. But when you build your car, you’re going to have a 35% tax when you bring it back in. And if your numbers work, we wish you well. But that’s what you’re going to have. You’re going to have a 35% tax.”
So I mean, I have, it has, I haven’t been given massive credit for it yet, but I have been given some because I just see polls out in Michigan and different places, that really are affected by this, have been unbelievable, you know, much bigger than election day. But that’s not a tax increase, that’s no tax. In other words, all you have to do is don’t leave and you won’t have a… but we’re bringing our taxes down so low that you won’t even need the barrier because the taxes are so low, that people are going to stay.
The other thing, just in case we… I believe it could be anywhere from $4trn to $5trn outside, you know don’t forget we’ve been talking about $2.5trn for four years now. I’ve been using $2.5trn, the same number we’ve all been using for years. Well, you know, it grows. I think it… I wouldn’t be surprised if it was $5trn but, you know, we’re close. We’re letting that money come back in. And that has two barriers which you have to watch. It’s got a barrier of the tax, which we will take care of. We’re going to make it 10%. Now it’s 35%...

Sorry, 10%? The repatriation taxes?
The repatriation. Inversion. The corporate inversions, which is a disaster, with the companies leaving. But they want to bring back their money. Number one, the tax is too high but the other thing that’s too high is the bureaucracy.
……….

I have a friend who said even if you wanted to bring it back in you can’t because you have to go through so many papers, so many documents, so many…

You have to do… Steve, they told me you’ve got to sign books and books of stuff, you pay millions of dollars in legal fees and they almost don’t allow you to bring it back in.

Can I ask you a question about the politics of tax?
It should be like one page.

Excerpts from the transcript of a Time interview with President Trump, published 11 May 2017:
For instance I don’t watch CNN. I don’t watch MSNBC. Scarborough used to treat me great. But because I don’t do interviews and stuff and want to … He went the other way. Which is fine. He’s got some problems. But I don’t watch the show anymore. It drives him crazy. I don’t watch the show.
I do watch Fox in the morning, and their ratings have gone through the roof because everyone knows I’m watching Fox. But they’re pleasant. And if I do something wrong they report on it. I don’t mean they – if I do something wrong. But it’s really, honestly it’s the most accurate.
CNN in the morning, Chris Cuomo, he’s sitting there like a chained lunatic. He’s like a boiler ready to explode, the level of hatred. And the entire, you know the entire CNN platform is that way. This Don Lemon who’s perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting, Don Lemon at night it’s like – sometimes they’ll have a guest who by mistake will say something good. And they’ll start screaming, we’re going to commercial. They cut him off. Remember?
I’ve seen things where by mistake somebody they bring in a guest and it turns out to be a positive. And they go, I mean they get just killed. The level of hatred. And poor Jeffrey Lord. I love Jeffrey Lord. But sometimes he’s sitting there with eight unknown killers that nobody ever heard of. And CNN actually is not doing nearly as well as others. They’re all doing well because of me. But it’s not doing as well as others that are doing better actually. But Fox treats me very fairly. MSNBC is ridiculous. It’s just bad.
It’s an ability I never thought I’d have. I never thought I’d have the ability to say, they’re doing a big story on me on CNN and I won’t watch it. And it’s amazing, it doesn’t matter. But it really, the equilibrium is much better. As far as newspapers and things, I glance at them. They’re really dishonest. I mean they’re really dishonest……
You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him. The guy was dying. By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show. … But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

KARMA AMERICAN-STYLE: Trump reduced to early campaigning on YouTube for 2020 presidential election campaign after veto by national mainstream media


Campaign advertisement of 1 May 2017 by Donald J. Trump For President, Inc.
C/O Trump Tower, 725 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10022


Huffington Post, 7 May 2017:

Major networks including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC are refusing to air a Donald Trump 2020 campaign ad that attacks mainstream media.

The 30-second spot focuses on the president’s first 100 days in office, touting his confirmation of Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch as well as pushing forth of the Keystone Pipeline construction and slashing regulations. “You wouldn’t know it from watching the news,” a voiceover says.

It also notably features the words “fake news,” a phrase Trump often uses to undermine reporting with which he disagrees, over the faces of well-known journalists such as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and George Stephanopoulos of ABC. CNN was the first network to nix the ad, according to The Wrap.

Now, the Trump campaign is responding. On Friday, presidential campaign consultant and — quelle surprise — the commander in chief’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump called it an “unprecedented act of censorship in America that should concern every freedom-loving citizen” in a post written on DonaldJTrump.com.
“Apparently, the mainstream media are champions of the First Amendment only when it serves their own political views,” she said in a statement.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Trump supporter's call to "kill the globalists" at CNN


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Australian Press Council names Herald Sun for sloppy and misleading journalism


The Australian Press Council named News Corp’s Herald Sun for sloppy and misleading journalism and the editor inserted this in the newspaper on 28 April 2017:
Press Council Adjudication
Herald Sun
April 28, 2017 12:00am
The Press Council considered whether its Standards of Practice were breached by an article published online in the Herald Sun on 13 January 2017, headed “Thousands of public servants got a free week off at Christmas, and critics want to know why”. The headline was repeated in a caption accompanying a stock photograph of clinking wine glasses, with “free paid-up week off” substituting “free week”.
The article began: “EXCLUSIVE: TENS of thousands of public servants were gifted a bonus week’s paid holiday between Christmas and New Year’s Day”. The second paragraph stated that “News Corp Australia can reveal workers at the Australian Taxation Office [ATO], Department of Social Services, Safe Work Australia and Treasury were among the government divisions simply given three days’ leave on full pay from Wednesday December 28 to Friday December 30, following the Christmas and Boxing Day public holidays”.
The article then featured another photograph, of an office building, captioned: “Free week off at the Australian Taxation Office in Canberra City”. The concluding paragraph of the article included a comment from a spokesperson for the Community and Public Sector Union, that “the extra days of leave were a ‘trade-off for something else’ such as a lower overall pay rise”.
The Council asked the publication to comment on whether it took reasonable steps to ensure that its description of the leave to workers at the identified public service divisions was accurate and not misleading (General Principle 1) and was presented with reasonable fairness and balance (General Principles 3).
The publication said its information was obtained from government sources, including from the Department of Employment, and that it also specifically asked all of the government departments whether they were in effect giving “free” days off. It said it received several responses explaining there were trade-offs in the conditions that allowed this, but that others such as the ATO, Treasury and the Department of Employment made no express mention of trade-offs for the leave. In particular, the publication said the ATO’s statement to its reporter contained no suggestion that the days off were part of its enterprise bargaining agreement.
As the comment provided by the ATO offered no justification for the additional days, it was not included in the article.
The publication said there is a public interest in the discussion of public servants being granted such leave, which is unavailable to other workers, given private sector trends towards obliging many workers to use annual leave over the Christmas period.
The publication added that it received no request to remedy the article from any of the government divisions, but would have considered any request.
Conclusion
The Council considers that in the overall context of the article, the statement that “News Corp Australia can reveal workers at the Australian Taxation Office, Department of Social Services, Safe Work Australia and Treasury were among the governments divisions simply given three days’ leave”, is presented as a verified fact. The Council considers that the article did not contain any evidence substantiating or supporting this statement.
First, the Council accepts the publication obtained its information from government sources, including the Department of Employment. Second, the Council accepts the publication asked the ATO and Treasury whether they were in effect giving “free” days off, and that in their response, they made no explicit mention of trade-offs for the leave. Third, the Council also accepts the publication asked the Department of Social Services and Safe Work Australia whether they were in effect given “free” days off. On the information available to the Council, it is unable to conclude whether the publication received any response from these divisions or if any such response confirmed there were no trade-offs for the leave. In the circumstances, the Council considers that the publication needed to make further enquiries to verify this information.
The Council does not consider that the lack of an express denial or the absence of any response amounted to sufficient verification to present the statement as a verified fact. The Council considers that the publication did not take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy, fairness and balance, given the unqualified nature of the statement. In any event, the statements that the three days’ leave constituted a full “free week”, a “free paid- up week” or a “bonus week” were inaccurate and unfair. Accordingly, the Council concludes that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy, fairness and balance, in breach of General Principles 1 and 3. In the circumstances, and in the absence of any complaint from the identified divisions, the Council does not consider the publication breached General Principle 2 or 4, in respect of corrections or rights of reply.
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This adjudication applies the following General Principles of the Council.

Publications must take reasonable steps to:
1. Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.
2. Provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading.
3. Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.
4. Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.

This is the second time in seven weeks that the Herald Sun received a rap over the knuckles for the same type of behaviour:

The Press Council has considered a complaint from Industry Super Australia about an article in The Australian on 3 December 2015, headed “Industry Super must be taken to task”. The article said industry super funds’ “supply chains are tightly held by union-related entities — in relation to funds management, investment, financial advice and custodial services”, and that “[t]he market is never tested because doing business with union mates is so much easier, it would seem”.

The Council considered that although the article was headed “COMMENT” in print and “OPINION” online, the statement in the article that industry super funds’ “supply chains are tightly held by union-related entities — in relation to funds management, investment, financial advice and custodial services, was expressed as a statement of fact and not merely an expression of the author’s opinion. The Council considered it meant that union-related entities dominated each of the named supply areas. The Council was satisfied on the material available that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to ensure this statement was accurate and not misleading.

The Council considered the statement that “[t]he market is never tested because doing business with union mates is so much easier” was also presented as a statement of fact, notwithstanding the addition of the words “it would seem”. The Council considered that the publication did not take reasonable steps to ensure this statement was accurate and not misleading, having regard to its definite terms. Accordingly, the publication also breached General Principle 1 in this respect.

As the publication offered a balancing opinion piece in response, given the nature and context of the material, the Council considered that the publication took reasonable steps to provide adequate remedial action. Accordingly, it did not consider that General Principles 2 and 4 were breached. 

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