ATNIX: Australian Twitter News Index, August 2016

As the 2016 federal election campaign recedes into memory, online engagement with the news in Australia has returned to what passes for normality these days. This is also reflected in the news sharing activities we are able to observe in the Australian Twitter News Index for August: the long-term patterns of how Twitter users’ attention is distributed across the leading news sites in the country continue to hold.

As this month’s data show, ABC News remains by far the most widely shared Australian news site, followed by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Conversation, whose numbers are as always substantially inflated by its large and growing international userbase. Further down the order, news.com.au has moved ahead of The Age again, reflecting perhaps the shift of focus away from sharing political news during the election campaign – an area that might be seen as the natural domain of The Age.
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Sky’s the limit – now share the love

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Sky News Sydney City Studio, by Newtown grafitti Flickr CC BY 2.0

Former editor of The Australian Chris Mitchell praised the performance of Sky News’ election coverage in a column last week, suggesting that it surpassed that of the ABC’s in some key respects, notably in its flexibility around scheduling, and in the range of commentators and contributors. Having followed both Sky News and ABC News 24 these last few weeks (and indeed for quite a few years now), I think this is a fair judgement, albeit one that has to be contextualised by the very different regulatory frameworks within which both channels operate.
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Early experiments show a smart city plan should start with people first

May 30, 2014. QUT Reconciliation Week Flag projection. phototonyphillips.com

Brisbane May 30, 2014. phototonyphillips.com

The federal government’s recently released Smart Cities Plan is built on three pillars: smart investment, smart policy and smart technology. Yet, it also suggests that:

Cities are first and foremost for people.

and:

If our cities are to continue to meet their residents’ needs, it is essential for people to engage and participate in planning and policy decisions that have an impact on their lives.

Despite this quintessential policymaking statement, the plan largely uses language that conveys a limited role for people in cities: they live, work and consume. The absence of a more thorough response is surprising considering the rich body of work calling for better human engagement in the smart city agenda.
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Whose kitchen rules? Annabel’s, of course!

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Annabel Crabb dines with colourful crossbench Senator Jacqui Lambie. Image: ABC Media Room.

Last week saw the return of one of the ABC’s most popular and innovative political media formats – Annabel Crabb’s Kitchen Cabinet, featuring on the first edition Jacqui Lambie.

You probably know the drill: Annabel rocks up to a politician’s home, or said pollie comes to her place in Sydney, and the two converse over food and drink about, well, anything really – not usually the big issues on the campaign news agenda, or the merits of the latest stoush between Malcolm and Bill, but personal stuff.
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Dude food vs superfood: we’re cultural omnivores

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Australia appears to be simultaneously embracing very contradictory food trends. We lick our fingers after an all-American feast of gourmet burgers, freakshakes, doughnuts and ribs, but repent for our sins with a kale smoothie and a cauliflower-base pizza.

Early in 2016, In-N-Out’s Sydney popup store prompted six-hour lines and sarcastic editorials. A month later, another burger chain from the United States, Carl’s Jr, opened on the New South Wales Central Coast. Gourmet doughnut chain Doughnut Time opened to long lines in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley last year and has since opened more stores in Queensland, as well as in New South Wales and Victoria. And Canberra café Pâtissez is largely credited with the emergence of the freakshake in Australia.
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Memo to Michelle Guthrie: as local newspapers die, might the ABC help out?

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ABC South Brisbane. Image source: Ash Kyd, flickr. CC By 2.0

The ABC’s new managing director, Michelle Guthrie, has been in the job for just over a week. She has already made it her mission to increase diversity at the broadcaster and Helen Vatsikopoulos offers some suggestions how this could be done. Our experts consider how to improve news and current affairs coverage, local content and digital services and Brian McNair (below) suggests how Guthrie could assist with the crisis in local and regional journalism.
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Black Velvet: redefining and celebrating Indigenous Australian women in art

A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland, CC BY

A picture of strength: lifelong activist Bonita Mabo OA in front of her portrait as a young woman, which features in her granddaughter Boneta-Marie Mabo’s first solo exhibition. Josef Ruckli, courtesy of the State Library of Queensland, CC BY

* Warning: This article contains graphic language that may upset some readers, while Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers should be aware that it may contain images, voices or names of deceased people.

With her first solo exhibition, artist Boneta-Marie Mabo has been inspired by the State Library of Queensland’s collections to create new works that speak back to colonial representations of Indigenous womanhood.
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Why we should design smart cities for getting lost

The ‘Lose Yourself in Melbourne’ ad was onto something: instead of being directed to the fastest or shortest route, some people might want to take a diverting detour. 'It's Easy to Lose Yourself in Melbourne', Tourism Victoria

The ‘Lose Yourself in Melbourne’ ad was onto something: instead of being directed to the fastest or shortest route, some people might want to take a diverting detour. ‘It’s Easy to Lose Yourself in Melbourne’, Tourism Victoria

The internet has reached our cities. A smart city is optimised for efficiency, productivity and comfort.

The smart city uses intelligent transport systems. It is administered by integrated urban command centres, which analyse the omnipresent raw material of the digital era: big data. As citizens go about their everyday lives, they leave data traces everywhere, even in the sewers.
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The death of newspapers – have we reached the tipping point?

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In a 2013 Monthly essay Eric Beecher warned of a looming “civic catastrophe” for Australia if the decline of newspapers continued as it had been in the preceding years. The Australian’s report on a Fairfax plan to dump print and go digital-only, as yet unimplemented but convincingly detailed in the leaked 2013 document prepared by management consultancy firm Bain & Co, suggest that such a move is, if not a certainty, highly probable in the foreseeable future.
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The hashtag conundrum: how should journalists negotiate public and private on social media?

Have a heart - Sanctuary rally #LetThemStay Melbourne. Photo by Takver, Flickr

Have a heart – Sanctuary rally #LetThemStay Melbourne. Photo by Takver, Flickr

Journalistic objectivity has come under the spotlight as debate rages over a recent High Court decision that ruled that offshore processing of asylum seekers is legal.

This is no doubt an emotionally charged debate, and the way Australia deals with asylum seekers has been under scrutiny for some time. For journalists working on the story, it can create a conundrum – particularly if they have a strong personal view on the issue.
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