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

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

So how is News Corp faring in the NSW Northern Rivers region?


The total resident population of the NSW Northern Rivers region is est. 302,649 people.

News Corp dominates print media in the region and, given that this multinational is losing cross-platform readership in Australia, here are the Northern Rivers region numbers News Corp admits to in July 2019.

TOTAL NEWS CORP MONTHLY AUDIENCE REACH

The Northern Star (Lismore) – newspaper printed Monday to Sauturday – No print reach published, 178.6k digital & 140.4k mobile monthly reach self-reported. Average print readership per issue likely to be around 28,000.

The Daily Examiner (Grafton) – newspaper printed Monday to Saturday – No print reach published, 42.6k digital & 32.5k mobile monthly reach self-reported. Average print readership per issue likely to be less than 10,000.

The Lismore Echo – free weekly community newspaper home delivered – 45,000 monthly reach self-reported.

Ballina Shire Advocate – free weekly community newspaper home delivered – 27,000 monthly reach self-reported.

Richmond River Express-Examiner (Casino region) – weekly community newspaper – 20,000 monthly reach self-reported.

Coastal Views (Lower Clarence Valley) – free weekly community newspaper home deivered – 16,000 monthly reach self-reported.

By contrast non-News Corp news outlets, the free weekly community newspapers the Byron Shire Echo and Clarence Valley Independent self-report a reach of 53,000 & 13,500 per print issue respectively, with the Byron Shire Echo having a self-reported 128.6k monthly digital reach as part of the Echo NetDaily regional news website.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Australian Newspaper Cross-Platform Audience Numbers for the 12 months to December 2019 are not good news for News Corp


This Roy Morgan survey of Cross-Platform Audiences covers the number of Australians who have read or accessed individual newspaper content via print, web or app from December 2018 to December 2019.

Print is calculated as net readership in an average 7 days and digital as net website visitation and app usage in an average 7 days. 

Of the 14 prominent mastheads in this cross-platform survey all had experienced readership decline in the 12 months to December 2019, with the exception of the Financial Review (up 14.1%), The Sydney Morning Herald (up 4.1%) and The Age (up 1.2%).


The worst decline in audience numbers occured in the News Corp mastheads.

Percentage Change In Cross-Platform Audience

Adelaide Advertiser  -4.4%

Canberra Times  -14.1% 
Courier-Mail  -1.4% 
Daily Telegraph  -15.5% 
Financial Review  14.1% 
Herald Sun  -7.7% 
Mercury  -3.5% 
Newcastle Herald  -5.3% 
Sunday Times  -4.0% 
Sydney Morning Herald  4.1% 
The Age  1.2% 
The Australian  -4.3%
The Saturday Paper  -7.6% 
West Australian  -6.6%

In the period December 2018 to December 2019 the print versions of all 14 mastheads experienced a degree of readership decline.

News Corp has reported a decline in global revenue and profits in the last quarter ending 31 December 2019, with revenue falling by 5.6% to $2.8 billion. 

According to Mumbrella, advertising revenue was down 5% across the business, with News Corp putting the blame largely on a “weakness in the print advertising market, primarily in Australia”.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Facebook Inc. agrees to pay News Corp millions annually for news service content



Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter, No 105, December 2019, p.6:

105.2.1 Facebook’s news service

The launch of Facebook’s news service is a “powerful precedent that will echo around editorial departments”, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson has declared (Australian, 28 October 2019). Thomson said it had been a difficult decade for journalism, but Facebook’s service was an important step. He said, “Great journalism will only be sustainable at scale if there is a fundamental change to the digital ecosystem. This announcement is an important step on the road.”

News Corp’s deal with Facebook — which covers the New York Post and Dow Jones publications such as the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s — will generate licence fees reaching into the double-digit millions of dollars a year, people familiar with the agreement said. “Of itself, it begins to change the terms of trade for quality journalism, both in establishing the principle of payment, and in allowing news organisations a clearer opportunity to generate advertising revenue on their terms,” Thomson said. He has led a global battle against Facebook and Google over issues including opaque algorithms, digital advertising dominance and a failure to pay for journalists’ work.....

Facebook’s news service launched with a test audience of 200,000 US users, but the platform plans to roll it out beyond the US early next year. A date for launch in Australia has not been announced.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Australian Politics 2019: bushfire blame shifting is a tedious business which is intended to distract the electorate from considering the impacts of climate change


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Australia's climate has warmed just over 1 °C since 1910 leading to an increase in the frequency of extreme heat events….There has been a decline of around 11 per cent in April–October rainfall in the southeast of Australia since the late 1990s….There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather, and in the length of the fire season, across large parts of Australia….The year-to-year changes in Australia’s climate are mostly associated with natural climate variability such as El Niño and La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean and phases of the Indian Ocean Dipole in the Indian Ocean. This natural variability now occurs on top of the warming trend, which can modify the impact of these natural drivers on the Australian climate.”  [Australian Bureau of Meteorology, State of the Climate 2018]
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On the morning of 13 November 2017 New South Wales awoke to a state still under siege from climate change and drought induced bushfires.

The NSW Rural Fire Service reported 79 fires at 4.13am, with 4 at Emergency Warning level (out of control), 12 at Watch And Act level and 50 at Advice level.

The largest Emergency fire was in the Clarence Valley local government area (148,120 hectares), largest Watch And Act fire in Kempsey local government area (223,047 hectares) and largest Advice fire in Armidale local government area (113,900 hectares).

Thankfully, changing weather conditions over the day saw the Emergency Warnings reduced to Watch And Act and the number of serious fires reduced to 69 sites

What the general public also awoke to that morning was a continuing attempt to blame shift on the part of federal and state Liberal and Nationals politicians.

They quickly focused on NSW hazard reduction rules – conveniently forgetting that it was Liberal-Nationals Coalition state governments which last amended the relevant legislation.

They blamed the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Greens political party, - shockingly in one instance it was even implied that victims of these fires were themselves to blame because they likely voted for the Greens.

In this they have been aided and abetted by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp metropolitan and regional newspaper empire as well as members of that climate change denying lobby group the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA).

What these rightwing politicians refuse to publicly admit is that in Australia climate change is intensifying heat, reducing rainfall, increasing water evaporation rates, raising the severity levels of drought, lengthening fire seasons and causing bushfires to morph into mega fires.

Nor would these politicians admit that since 2013 the national response to climate change has become insufficient for the scale of problems now facing the country.

Here is how media is presenting this issue. Leading the pack is a News Corp journalist who happens to also be an enthusiastic climate change denier…...

The Daily Telegraph, 13 November 2019, p.13:

For eighty years, inquiries have found reducing hazards is the best, most immediate way to prevent bush fires, but green policies have led us to learned helplessness
Even a hippie in Nimbin knows that greenies are to blame for the power and ­intensity of NSW’s latest bout of tragic bushfires.
“The Greens have to cop it on the head — they have been obsessed with no fires and no burning,” Michael Balderstone told the Australian as bushfires engulfed the north coast.
Wiser words have never been spoken in that Northern Rivers town. Yet Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Melbourne MP Adam Bandt still insist that the culprit is climate change.
It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They oppose any sensible land ­management that is proven to ­reduce the severity of routine ­regular summer bushfires.
And when the inevitable happens they blame climate change.
Their aim is to scare people into buying their climate “emergency” hyperbole so that government is under pressure to enact suicidal policies which drive electricity prices through the roof.
But it is not climate change which turns fires into unstoppable lethal infernos. It is green ideology which blocks removal of fuel loads in national parks and prevents landholders from clearing fire hazards around their homes.

The Guardian, 13 November 2019:

Bureaucrats from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment were sent an email soon after the AdaptNSW 2019 Forum began, causing consternation among some attendees who saw it as tantamount to gagging them.

The email said: “For those attending AdaptNSW today, public affairs has issued advice not to discuss the link between climate change and bushfires.

Refer questions in session and plenaries to bushfire reps.”

What are the links between climate change and bushfires? – explainer
Read more
Former NSW fire commissioner Greg Mullins was one of the attendees.

But the participants also included scientists and experts who are developing policy and advising the Berejiklian government on adaption measures the state could take in relation to land use, planning and dealing with the risk of bushfires.

SBS News, 12 November 2019:

What does the science say?

The overwhelming scientific consensus is that Australia's fire season is growing longer and more intense due to the effects of climate change.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) stated in a report last year that Australia's climate has warmed just over 1°C since 1910.


The report said climate change has seen an increase in extreme heat events and increased the severity of natural disasters, such as drought.

"There has been a long-term increase in extreme fire weather and in the length of the fire season across large parts of Australia since the 1950s ... Climate change, including increasing temperatures, is contributing to these changes," it said.

Some in the federal government have attributed the increased risk on newly-imposed restrictions on hazard reduction burning - low-intensity burns to remove vegetation so bush or grass fires are less intense.

It is different to backburning, which specifically refers to the starting of small, controlled fires in the path of a bushfire to reduce the amount of fuel available……

Are hazard reduction restrictions to blame?

Some in the federal government have attributed the increased risk on newly-imposed restrictions on hazard reduction burning - low-intensity burns to remove vegetation so bush or grass fires are less intense.

It is different to backburning, which specifically refers to the starting of small, controlled fires in the path of a bushfire to reduce the amount of fuel available.

But David Bowman, director of the Fire Centre Research Hub at the University of Tasmania, said restrictions on hazard reductions are not entirely to blame.

"At the very core, we have a climate signal. There's extreme drought, extreme fire weather conditions - fire weather that you would expect in summer, not in spring,” he told the ABC on Monday.

"Yes, there is a role for managing fuels with hazard reduction burning - but would hazard reduction burning programs on their own stem this fire crisis? No, absolutely not."

What can we expect now?

The BOM said 2017 and 2018 were Australia's third and fourth-hottest years on record.

In April, a group 23 former fire chiefs warned climate change is worsening extreme weather and putting people in danger.

In September, the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre (BNHCRC) released its annual seasonal bushfire outlook, describing the east coast of Australia as having "above normal fire potential".

"What all the evidence is showing us (is) that the temperature is sitting about one degree above long-term averages. That is leading to a much earlier start fire season around the world. That is internationally noted,” BNHCRC CEO Richard Thornton said.

"We are also seeing the cumulative amount of fire danger during a fire season going up - the time between these really extreme fire years will get shorter and shorter and shorter.

"We will see these conditions come around more frequently."
The Guardian, 12 November 2019:
So what are the claims?
The chief accuser is Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce who says “greens policy” gets in the way “of many of the practicalities of fighting a fire and managing it”.
Among Joyce’s claims, made in several interviews this week, are that Greens policies have made hazard reduction activities more difficult.
This claim, just to be clear, is about the policies of a party that has never been in government.
Joyce also blamed the Greens for “paperwork” that made it harder to carry out hazard reduction activities….
It’s not burning because they burnt off, it’s burning because they didn’t burn off,” Joyce told SkyNews.
According to Bradstock, Joyce’s claims are familiar but “without foundation.”
It’s simply conspiracy stuff. It’s an obvious attempt to deflect the conversation away from climate change.”
A former NSW fire and rescue commissioner, Greg Mullins, has written this week that the hotter and drier conditions, and the higher fire danger ratings, were preventing agencies from carrying out prescribed burning.
He said: “Blaming ‘greenies’ for stopping these important measures is a familiar, populist, but basically untrue claim.”
The Australian, 12 November 2019:

A fierce feud has ignited between NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro and the National Parks and Wildlife Service following revelations the number of rangers, who perform hazard reduction burns, has been cut by a third since the Coalition came to power in 2011.

The Public Service Association has accused Mr Barilaro of gross hypocrisy after the Deputy Premier blamed the department for contributing to the state’s catastrophic fire conditions by failing to carry out extensive hazard reduction in the lead-up to bushfire season, labelling his comments “worse than an insult”.

Apart from last financial year, the NPWS has not met its annual hazard reduction target of 135,000ha since 2016.

PSA industrial manager Nathan Bradshaw blamed the failure to meet targets on severe cuts to staffing levels, saying that since 2011, the department’s 289 rangers, including 28 senior rangers, had been trimmed to 193.

Following a restructure in 2017, the NPWS’s number of area managers was cut from 50 to 37, he said.

Mr Bradshaw said the Office of Environment and Heritage’s budget had been further depleted by $80m this year, and the NPWS was absorbing part of the cut.

He said the cutbacks had directly affected the department’s ability to operate efficiently.

In 2012-13, the NPWS was involved in 208,000ha of hazard reduction; in 2016-17, that was just 88,136ha, and just 95,589ha in 2017-18. However, the government said the amount of hazard reduction had increased in 2018-19, with “NPWS undertaking 137,500ha of prescribed burns, which is above its target of 135,000ha”.

Crikey, 12 November 2019:

A new report has found Australia’s response to climate change is among the worst in the G20noting a lack of policy, reliance on fossil fuels and rising emissions, The Guardian reports.
As politicians argue over whether the “unprecedented” bushfires ravaging NSW are linked to climate change — or whether it’s appropriate to bring it up at all — the latest Brown to Green Report ranked Australia third-worst in terms of progress toward meeting its Paris goals. The report states Australia is not even on track to meet its “insufficient” 2030 targets, and highlights a poor response on deforestation, transport, energy supply and carbon pricing. The international report was compiled by 14 NGOs, thinktanks and research institutes.
A STATE OF EMERGENCY
About 600 schools will be closed across NSW today, with a week-long state of emergency declared, as the east coast braces for an unprecedented and “catastrophic” fire risk, the ABC reports.
More than 60 bushfires continue to burn across the state, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting “hot, dry and gusty winds” that “will generate very dangerous fire conditions”. The NSW Rural Fire Service is warning that firefighters will not be able to help everybody if a fire takes hold, releasing a statement declaring “if you call for help, you may not get it”. NSW RFS deputy commissioner Rob Rogers says the situation is worse than he could have imagined, telling reporters: “If someone came to me and said ‘let’s do one of the scenario role-plays’, I would be saying, ‘let’s try to keep this a bit more realistic’”.
BACKGROUND

NSW Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), Hazard Reduction Standards:

Fire Trail Standards.pdf (PDF, 5.6 MB)



Terms used by NSWRFS:


Emergency Warning: An Emergency Warning is the highest level of Bush Fire Alert. You may be in danger and need to take action immediately. Any delay now puts your life at risk.

Watch and Act: There is a heightened level of threat. Conditions are changing and you need to start taking action now to protect you and your family.

Advice: A fire has started. There is no immediate danger. Stay up to date in case the situation changes.