Sky’s the limit – now share the love


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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Whose kitchen rules? Annabel’s, of course!


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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Memo to Michelle Guthrie: as local newspapers die, might the ABC help out?


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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The death of newspapers – have we reached the tipping point?

conversation - brian

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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Apple News could change the news business – will readers win?

Image source: Johan Larsson, Flickr

Image source: Johan Larsson, Flickr

In the early days of Web 2.0, the arrival of blogs and similar sites heralded an explosion in the number of news feeds we could follow. But such abundance also came at a price: it became increasingly difficult to keep up with all this content without having to browse at length from site to site every day.

In response, a friendly acronym briefly flourished: Rich Site Summary, better known as Really Simple Syndication or RSS. Coupled with a feed reader tool, RSS enables users to quickly scan the headlines and click through only to those stories that pique their interest.
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Why the Murdoch press wants to exterminate public broadcasters

news corp

Image Source: Edgar Zuniga Jr., Flickr

Like most people with even a passing interest in the part played by News Corporation in British politics, I remember exactly what I was doing when scandal broke in 2011 and the sense of a seemingly indestructible media behemoth crumbling into chaos and ruin before our eyes. Now, Rebekah Brooks is to return as chief executive of News UK, publisher of the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times. In 2014 she was cleared of all charges relating to the phone-hacking scandal.
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Newspapers in decline, digital slowdown – what’s new in the news?


Newspaper image courtesy Jon S, Flickr

The most recent ABC circulation figures for Australia’s newspapers show a continuing decline in print sales across the board. That isn’t surprising, given global and national trends over the last few years. Australia was slow to join the global march downwards for newspaper sales in comparable markets such as the USA and the UK, showing some resilience until 2012 or so. But now, annual falls of up to 10 per cent are routine.
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ATNIX: Australian Twitter News Index, February 2015

Australian Twitter News Index, Feb. 2015
Axel Bruns / QUT Social Media Research Group

February 2015 has been a tumultuous month in Australian news, not least because of the continuing leadership debate (and defeated spill motion) in the federal Liberal Party following the LNP’s unexpected defeat in the Queensland state election on 31 January. As expected, these and other events also affect the patterns observed in our Australian Twitter News Index (ATNIX) and in the overall Australian online news readership patterns tracked by Experian Hitwise.
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Slippery slope for online journalism quality

Looking down on the newsroom, by Steve Bowbrick

Looking down on the newsroom (Steve Bowbrick, Flickr)

With opinion blogs and click-bait headlines influencing online news audience behaviour, journalists are under pressure to maintain editorial standards while finding ways to increase digital traffic. This pressure has placed a strain on the traditional news industry, with Australian journalists becoming increasingly critical of the quality and credibility of their craft.
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ABC innovates into winning position


ABC managing director Mark Scott

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change” (Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, The Leopard)

It’s a time of challenge, change and renewal within the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). That was the message ABC managing director Mark Scott presented today to a lecture hall of QUT journalism students.
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