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Honesty still best policy for international broadcasters

Honesty still best policy for international broadcasters

Two events over the past few weeks have reinforced – if any further proof were needed – that honesty is the best policy in the complex world of international broadcasting. The first was the release of an Association for International Broadcasting analyses of rumoured plans by the recently-elected conservative government of Australia to cut off funding to the nation’s 20-year-old overseas television service, Australia Network, in its May Budget. The threat is widely seen as payback … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media, Society

Man overboard!

Man overboard!

The much anticipated shake-up of Australia’s multicultural broadcaster SBS may have started, with the departure of one of former managing director Shaun Brown’s closest underlings. Less than a week after Brown officially left the corporation’s Artarmon headquarters, the head of SBS television and online content, Matt Campbell, announced he is quitting to join Shine, the TV production company founded by Elisabeth Murdoch and then purchased from her by father Rupert’s News Corp. After the acquisition was announced, … Read entire article »

Filed under: General, Media

Media generals leading from the rear

Media generals leading from the rear

If the price of freedom really is eternal vigilance, then many in the media are not paying their dues. Admittedly, the arrest of journalist Ben Grubb by Queensland police and the confiscation of his iPad sent momentary frissons of outrage through parts the Australian media establishment, but almost all of them just as quickly doused their fury in favour of business as usual. Yet in the New Information Age, the incident should have remained one of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media

White-anting starts early for new SBS boss

White-anting starts early for new SBS boss

SBS’s managing director-designate Michael Ebeid is still two months away from getting his feet under his new desk but already the white-anting has started. Nothing surprising in that; it’s an important job in Australia’s media and cultural landscape, so anyone taking it on is bound to come under scrutiny, especially someone as relatively unknown as Ebeid. [For more on Ebeid's appointment, see DogBitesMan or New Matilda] And inevitably there will be some who see his qualities and qualifications … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media

Can this man reignite passion for SBS?

Can this man reignite passion for SBS?

Will SBS’s next managing director, Michael Ebeid, provide the spark to reignite a passion for Australia’s multicultural broadcaster? Many people hope so but at present hope is all they have. So little is known about the man himself. Egyptian-born, Australian-raised Michael Ebeid is such a cleanskin he’s almost translucent. Of course, many people rise to senior public jobs out of left field, but there’s usually a trail of some sort. With Ebeid there’s not much. Even a … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media

When news hounds should back off

When news hounds should back off

One story has cropped up more than any other since the beginning of journalism – the behaviour of journalists. Even when reporters try to stay in the background and not become part of the story, eventually the spotlight is turned back on them and in its glare they are often accused of being rude, insensitive, aggressive, self-centred, arrogant, incompetent or demanding. Everyone’s work can be judged by the way is done rather than the outcome that is … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Journalism, Media

2010: That was the year that wasn’t

2010: That was the year that wasn’t

Had it not been for WikiLeaks, 2010 might have gone down as another forgettable year for the media in Australia and around the world. There were few outstanding examples of great journalism,[i] no breathtaking, game-changing technical innovations, not even any great “end-of-an-era” events at which we could pause and take stock. Admittedly, the human inclination to see the start or end of decades as somehow symbolically significant is irrational and therefore it shouldn’t surprise us when years … Read entire article »

Filed under: General, Journalism, Media

The many voices of one Australia – just not inside the building please!

The many voices of one Australia – just not inside the building please!

On its own, the shedding of more than 10 jobs in SBS’s relatively small Subtitling Unit could simply be a sad necessity, a realistic remedy for straitened economic times. SBS has limited funds, is not immune to economic downturns and must adapt to changing demands for subtitling foreign programs. SBS managing director Shaun Brown gave a Senate Estimates committee on Monday the reasons for what he called “surplus capacity” in Subtitling: “Firstly, technology has changed and consequently there … Read entire article »

Filed under: Featured, General, Media