GWAS Bulletin Board: Queensland loves a cuppa

Tea + me + books = three happy little peas. A brilliant concept brought to fruition by the State Library of Queensland, Queensland Government and Australia's Biggest Morning Tea/Cancer Council Queensland, to bring the community together and share in tea-drinking heritage. The State Library is collecting tea cups for a terrace display later in the year, as well as stories, photographs, letters and mementos. Visit the Facebook page to find out more.

Girl With a Satchel

Media Talk: Hadley Freeman berates tabloids

Media Talk: Hadley Freeman berates tabloids

"...certain elements of the media still get the reporting of these deaths very badly wrong. Which is remarkable, considering how eagerly some tabloid newspapers and websites wish for certain celebrities – [Amy] Winehouse very much included – to die, judging by their tendency to harass them and laugh at them to a degree that would make a psychotic playground bully blush."
- Hadley Freeman, fashion editor, 'Amy Winehouse's death was badly reported', The Guardian

Glossy Covers: The Sydney Magazine's Design Issue

Glossy Covers: The Sydney Magazine
Status anxiety? The (sydney) magazine's August issue.
Loved by fashion editors, stylists and celebrities, Dinosaur Designs duo Stephan Ormandy and Louise Olsen have almost folklorish fame amongst Sydney's design and retail community. Built up off a Paddington Markets store in the mid-80s, together with Liane Rossler, the one-time struggling art school graduates took on a suggestion made by a fellow stall-holder, Geoffrey Rose, about using resin and the rest is, as they say, history. 

Media Talk: Karen McCartney promoted at News Limited

Media Talk: Karen McCartney promoted

Women are making a major mark in the News Limited ranks right now, with Karen McCartney appointed to the newly created position of group editorial director, lifestyle content, News Limited.  

In this role, McCartney, who was formerly group editorial director for News Magazines, will develop and coordinate editorial strategy for all lifestyle content across the company's newspaper, magazine and digital products.

"I have asked Karen to work across our company to ensure every editorial pillar that touches women readers has the right journalism driving it," said News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan.

Media Talk: Celebrating jounalist Sarah Ferguson

Media Talk: Celebrating Sarah Ferguson

The Women's Weekly this month gives is admiration tick to ABC Four Corners journalist Sarah Ferguson, who brought the reality of the live cattle trade to our attention via her sure-to-be-award-winning expose. The story brought the country to a virtual standstill and set into motion a series of events that at once caused furious debate about the trade, and also the media's ability to set the political agenda, all the while Ferguson seemed to fade into the background, as one might say good journalists do.

The story wasn't an easy get for Ferguson, a mother of three and wife of the ABC Lateline host Tony Jones, who tells The Weekly's Michael Sheather that she is naturally squeamish but the story itself pushed her through the emotional difficulty. "Four Corners is a fantastic place to be a journalist because it's such a respected platform," she says. "You know that, if you get it right, then you can cut through. People pay attention."

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: Michelle Bridges for The Weekly

Glossy Covers: Michelle Bridges, weight-loss evangelist, for The Weekly

In the same way beauty bossypants Zoe Foster has encouraged me to take care of my skin, just the sight of Michelle Bridges, 40, makes me suck in my stomach. Some women, I think, are put on this earth to whip us into condition, to help us channel our "inner mongrel" (what Foster calls her "inner ratbag"), as Bridges' own trainer would have it, and get on with the show.

It was with some trepidation, given my current lax state of winter activity and the fact that I willingly gave my treadmill away a while ago (begone, evil torture table!), that I glanced at her airbrushed visage and pried open the August edition of The Australian Women's Weekly... and landed on the Food & Home section opener with its generous slice of sticky date pudding.

Girl Talk: Mixed news on the body image front

Girl Talk: Mixed news on the body image front

Today The Guardian Media reports that beauty giant L'Oréal – which posted a 25% profit gain for 2010 giving it a net income of $3.05 billion – has been "forced to pull ad campaigns featuring Pretty Woman star Julia Roberts and supermodel Christy Turlington, after the advertising watchdog upheld complaints by Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson that the images were overly airbrushed". 

This action by the UK's Advertising Standards Bureau, of monolithic and far-reaching proportions given the beauty company's sheer size and influence, has come about after years of campaigning by Swinson against the  use of "overly perfected and unrealistic images" of women in advertising. 

This particular case was won on the grounds that the advertisements misled the public on the grounds that their products cannot magically create the flawless skin depicted in the digitally manipulated images.

"Pictures of flawless skin and super-slim bodies are all around, but they don't reflect reality," Swinson told The Guardian. "Excessive airbrushing and digital manipulation techniques have become the norm, but both Christy Turlington and Julia Roberts are naturally beautiful women who don't need retouching to look great. This ban sends a powerful message to advertisers – let's get back to reality."

Satchelnomics: More retail store woes

While it seems has been around from the dawn of time,  it's only now, with America on the cusp of losing its economic power, we're seeing the widespread effects of the lure of retail on the internet. But in this Darwinian-like game of survival of the fittest, it's not just the little guy who's losing out, unless he or she is one of the minions of the retail giants currently under threat. 

Yesterday it was reported that Premier Investments, which owns Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Dotti, Peter Alexander and Smiggle, and is headed by Mark McInnes, former CEO of David Jones, could close as many as 50 stores across the country despite efforts at discounting and the school holidays. "Prices are down 60 to 70 per cent and they're still not buying," McInnes said.

Girl in Media: Multimedia journalist Lauren Rae Orsini

Girl In MediaMultimedia journalist Lauren Rae Orsini

Lauren Rae Orsini. Photo by Robert Mang.
"One of my professors encouraged us not to vote in presidential elections if we wanted to be good journalists!"

By Georgie Carroll

Lauren Rae Orsini is a 24-year-old, self-confessed geek and lover of all things fandom who adores attending conventions and catching up with other fans. She runs a blog devoted to everything anime, which chronicles her adventures as an ‘Otaku’ (a serious fan, in layman’s terms). 

She’s also a journalist who won the chance to have a post featured on After her post, ‘How To Be A Journalist in 2011’, was published, she found herself momentarily internet famous, and with a job offer from The Daily Dot in her inbox. As a fellow fangirl and aspiring journalist, I jumped at the chance to ask Lauren some questions about her own love of fandom, her new role at The Daily Dot, and a bit more about journalism in 2011...

Media Talk: The Weekend Australian Magazine's relaunch

Media Talk: The Weekend Australian Magazine's big glossy revamp

The Weekend Australian Magazine's Christine Middap
The nation's newspaper-inserted magazines are a drawcard for many media consumers who don't pick up the newspaper on a daily basis but might wander into a newsagent over the weekend or on the occasion that these value-adds are published on a weekday. They are also shared and consumed at cafes and workplaces and libraries. 

Essentially what they provide is great journalism, much of it long-form, at no extra cost, with limited advertising impinging on pages that take in top-notch photojournalism, too. Of course, in financial survival terms, they are also at the behest of their host newspapers' performance. It's a symbiotic relationship that gives publishers the impetus to keep things fresh and NIM editors considerable clout.

Media Talk: How not to propagate bad news

Media Talk: How not to propagate bad news

"We've had 20 years of mass murders throughout which I've repeatedly told CNN and our other media, if you don't want to propagate more mass murders, don't start the story with sirens blaring; don't have photographs of the killer; don't make this 24/7 coverage; do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story; not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero; do localise the story to the affected community, and make it as boring as possible in every other market, because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week."   

- Forensic psychiatrist Dr Park Dietz speaking to the BBC via Charley Brooker's Newswipe, 2009.

Media Talk: Meet the Feast team

Media Talk: Meet the Feast team

SBS Feast magazine editor Alix Clark
Last week MasterChef's Matt Preston celebrated his 50th birthday with the bubbly reportedly supplied by Network Ten; this week Feast magazine publisher Georgina Brujic and editor Alix Clark (pictured) will celebrate their magazine's launch at the National Art School with bubbly presumably brought by Pacific Magazines and SBS.

Known as "SBS Feast", the magazine will go on sale on Monday August 1 backed by a marketing campaign worth $1 million, including the distribution of a sampler edition of the magazine to 150 boutique grocers, delicatessens and specialty stores across Australia.

Perspective: Human suffering and tragedy

Perspective: Human suffering and tragedy

While our nation celebrates the feat of Cadel Evans after winning the Tour de France, one can't start the week without reflecting on the gross tragedy experienced by the peaceful city of Oslo, Norway, and the death of soul singer Amy Winehouse, aged 27. 

These events, in their extremities, point to the very real capacity for human life to fracture and fray, and the human mind to become fatally corrupted, to the extent that pain is inflicted on others or the self.

The latest reports suggest the twisted Anders Behring, aged 32, is responsible for the deaths of up to 96 people, many of them very young. Confronting images of Winehouse beneath a blanket on a stretcher (is that necessary?) accompany reports suggesting the singer, plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, psychiatric issues and anorexia, was found in her home, the victim of a suspected drug overdose.

How truly awful for the families of the lost ones who remain behind. I cannot imagine their grief.

Book Shelf: The Beauty of Humanity Movement

Book Shelf: The Beauty of Humanity Movement

London-born Canadian social anthropologist Camilla Gibb's The Beauty of Humanity Movement brilliantly captures, quite ironically, the very ugliness of humanity, keenly articulating the experiences of those innocent victims caught up in the crossfire of ideology, politics and power, while pointing to the human capacity for survival and hope despite the odds.

The omniscient author, Gibb takes us on a journey that alternately captures the inner lives and personal histories of three central characters as they intersect: 'Old Man Hung', who makes the best pho in Hanoi and sells his brew off the back of a cart; Maggie, an American art curator of Vietnamese descent in her thirties; and Tu, a 22-year-old travel guide who partakes in Hung's pho for breakfast.

Significantly, we are told, "The history of Vietnam lies in this bowl, for it is in Hanoi, the Vietnamese heart, that pho was born, a combination of the rice noodles that predominated after a thousand years of Chinese occupation, the taste for beef the Vietnamese acquired after the French...".

Maggie travels to Vietnam on a quest to know more of her father, an artist who worked on the same dissident literary journal edited by Tu's grandfather, Dao, while Hung is the key to linking their identities over a humble bowl of pho, the steam, sustenance and continuity imbuing Gibb's novel with a sensory motif one can smell and feel and taste.

Faith Talk: The beauty of Christ

Faith Talk: The beauty of Christ

"We somehow move beyond precarious social or cultural 'visions' as we live in the presence of Jesus... Jesus comes through in spite of everything. The most profound critic of society and the 'masks', Christian and otherwise, is Jesus himself. In this respect he stands in the line of the sharp-tongued Hebrew prophets and brings it to completion... Religion has many critics, but Jesus very few. He is a self-authenticating reality beyond the myriad social cocoons. He belongs to humanity. He calls himself 'Son of Man'... That is the scalding truth of the matter. Suddenly from under the smothering panoply of human visions there emerges an outbreak of realism – a little breath of something that promises to interrupt and stand in judgement upon all our enculturated 'visions' and their possible 'alterations' of one into another. It is the Jesus of 'all nations', of 'all ethnic groups', of all kinds of people...of the last who are first and the first who are last in human orders. That is the light that gives light to everyone who is in the world."

- Dallas Willard, Personal Religion, Public Reality? Towards a Knowledge of Faith, HarperCollins, 2009

Media Talk: John Hartigan responds to the PM

Media Talk: John Hartigan responds to PM

News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan has described comments by the Prime Minister about News Limited as “unjustified and regrettable”.

The Prime Minister was reported to have said in response to the News of the World allegations: “I think Australians have been disturbed by them. I think they've been disturbed to see the reports in the UK and the kind of things that have been happening with telephone hacking and the like, and I think that does mean that Australians here look at News Limited and they've probably got some hard questions that they want answered.

Faith Talk: Once I was a list maker

Faith Talk: Once I was a list maker

I love Kikki-K, but had to break up with the list.
As former colleagues of mine would attest, I was once a super-organised office sleuth of the most infuriating kind. Quite obviously, in hindsight, this stemmed from a childhood need to exercise control in my little world and my Type-A first-born profile. Perfectionism was my operating mantra.

This hyper-organisational activity continued when I went freelance and it permeated every single aspect of my life making me completely unbearable to live with. Hell hath no fury like a list-maker when she cannot finish her tasks. This rigid devotion to work completion extended to other controlling-of-life behaviours, such as grooming, finances, exercise and diet, which by extension turned into anorexia (if you're going to do something, do it extremely well was my operating mantra... though I should not jest. Anorexia is no laughing matter).

Media Talk: Murdochs at the Culture, Media & Sport Committee

Media Talk: Murdochs at the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee

Rupert Murdoch used a tried and tested woman's prerogative to change one's mind at the hearing before the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee when questioned about his political allegiances ("I've never guaranteed anyone the support of our newspapers. We changed, we had been supporting the Thatcher government and the Conservative government that followed and we thought it had gotten tired and we changed and supported the Labour party"), while disclosing the not so great results ("the direct result of loss of 200,000 circulation"), and then explained his laxity in light of the NoW scandal in this way: "The News of the World is less than one per cent of our company. I employ 53,000 people around the world who are proud, and great and ethical and distinguished people. Professionals in their lives. And perhaps I'm spread watching and appointing people whom I trust to run those divisions." But Wendi Deng Murdoch saved the day with her Charlie's Angels chutzpah. She seems a lady whose no means no and yes means yes. Make her the boss!   

For an almost-full transcript, see: The Guardian and see 'Wendy Deng Murdoch Fights Back' at Fox News for entertainment value. Reflecting on Murdoch's admission that this represented the most humbling day of his 80-plus-year lifespan, a moment to reflect on those moments of weakness and humiliation that keep us all from getting too big for our boots, but how it is the mark of a grown-up when one can admit one's faults, and accept responsibility while making attempts at restitution, in the face of defeat. "Through failure, God teaches us lessons that keep us from wandering into similar situations in the future." (The Word for Today)

Girl With a Satchel

Media Talk: Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance Letter

Media Talk: Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance Letter to Prime Minister Julia Gillard (in full)

In light of the News of the World saga, there have been calls for an inquiry into journalistic ethics and media ownership in Australia. But the Media Alliance, which represents Australian journalists, believes the terms of reference proposed by Greens senator Bob Brown are too narrow and has called for a much wider-ranging inquiry, which would examine the health of the Australian news media, and its future. This is the letter penned by the organisation's federal secretary, Christopher Warren, to Prime Minister Julia Gillard...

Dear Prime Minister,

In the wake of the shocking revelations of criminal behaviour by journalists on Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World newspaper in the UK there has been a lot of enthusiasm for an inquiry into journalistic ethics and the concentration of media ownership in Australia.

I believe we should have an inquiry in Australia, but for a number of different reasons.

Glossy Covers: Sunday Life's sisterly revelry

Glossy Covers: Sunday Life's sisterly revelry

"The sororal bond is one of the most intricate and delicate human relationships there is," wrote Caitlin Chang in her most recent Sunday Life feature. "We spend years trawling through friends and acquaintances, blind dates and one-night stands for suitable life partners. But we rarely stop to think about the long, intimate and committed union we're already in: the one with our siblings." 

Like sisters Alexandra and Genevieve Smart, and most sisters for that matter, my relationship with my own sister has been through a few phases: in childhood, "I don't want to play anymore" was my familiar refrain to a younger sister desperate for the attentions of her older sibling. In our teens, we lived apart, but began to nurture a deeper relationship when she started to have grown-up problems and needed advice. When I married, she described the union as like "a severing" for her in her eloquent speech. 

Teen Girl With a Satchel

Georgie gives up negativity for DOLLY, but, like many Gen-Zs, she's not looking forward to a forced Harry Potter detox. Tess of the D’Urbyvilles should prove a necessary distraction.

Tickets to the midnight screening of Harry Potter in my handbag, on Tuesday I could barely sit still, though thankfully I got to spend the day helping out on Potter-themed articles and slide-shows for the DOLLY website. Finally it was nighttime and I was ready to line up and see the movie. They definitely saved the best film for last.

I’ve never been a massive fan of the movies – they cut out bits and change bits and it just annoys me (“THAT’S NOT HOW IT’S MEANT TO BE!”) – so I was so worried that they would screw up the vital scenes (as in, vital to the entire series, not just the one movie), but they were done beautifully.

It made me laugh and cheer and cry. Oh boy, did it make me cry. It started with tears in all the regular places (deaths, Snape’s memories, resurrection stone) and ended with me leaving the theatre in absolute hysterical tears, stuttering between sobs, "It’s over." I was a complete mess.

Win! A Grand Designs DVD pack

Win! A Grand Designs DVD pack

Oh, how timely. No sooner have we discussed the deluge of renovator/architecture/building/interior design shows gracing Australian TVs than the opportunity to win a Grand Designs Ultimate DVD pack pops onto my radar.

TV Tonight's David Knox called the UK's Grand Designs "the most popular of them all", adding that it is "not so much a renovation show as a show about home building. At its heart are stories about real people with dreams to build their very own castle. Most of the homes and self-builders featured in the show are one out of the box. They are bold, lavish, innovative, historical, impossible, ridiculous."

Glossy Covers: Real Living and renovator reality

Glossy Covers: Real Living's "Me Spaces"
Husband and I spent the weekend fastidiously sorting, culling, cleaning and dumping in preparation for our impending move out of the house we've called home for the past three years... the in-laws, rather selfishly, are reclaiming their digs. 

As such, the dearth of renovator and design shows currently on TV – the return of The Block on Nine along with Jamie Durie's Top DesignGrand Designs on ABC1 and The Renovators on Ten coming soon – has got us couch-surfing with great purpose. We are building an actual shipping container home, which means compact living with not a lot of stuff and a lot of creative planning, though there will be no beds on pulley systems for us, and a walk-in-wardrobe is clearly out of the question. A 'warm and cosy zone' just for me? We'll see!
Girl With a Satchel

Digital Talk: MasterChef magazine iPad app

Digital Talk: MasterChef magazine iPad app

Ahead of the launch of the SBS/Pacific Magazines title Feast, News Magazines has launched a MasterChef Magazine iPad app, though no mention yet of a protective cover for food splattering happenings in kitchens nationwide.

"This iPad app will build on the unprecedented success of MasterChef Magazine, which is the most successful magazine title to launch in Australia over the past decade," said News Magazines group publisher, food titles, Fiona Nilsson in a statement. "It celebrates the joy of cooking and demystifies the recipes featured in the television series, equipping fans with all the tools and knowledge they need to become a MasterChef at home."

Satchelnomics: Shopping in a new retail world

News Corporation and David Jones seem to be the two big beleaguered corporates making headlines in Australia right now, the former for its News of the World shuttering, Rebekah Brooks' resignation and arrest and pending British parliamentary inquiry; the latter for its sluggish retail sales, job cuts, profit guidance downgrade and CEO Paul Zahra's carbon blame claim. 

The climate is cynical and no amount of window dressing will lure shoppers to the David Jones floor. The old girl, which opened up shop in 1838, is feeling lethargic. Battle weary after last year's Mark McInnes fiasco, the department store is losing out in the retail war, bludgeoned by the internet, discount chains and global economic climate.

Media Talk: Murdoch on newspapers

Media Talk: Murdoch on newspapers 

"In the end, we are where we began: with the bond of trust between readers and their paper. Much has changed since I walked into The News in Adelaide in 1954. Presses have never been faster or more flexible. We have computers that allow you to lay out multiple pages in multiple countries. We have faster distribution. But none of it will mean anything for newspapers unless we meet our first responsibility: earning the trust and loyalty of our readers.

I do not claim to have all the answers. Given the realities of modern technology, the broadcast version of this chapter can be sliced and digitally diced. It can be accessed in a day or a month or a decade. And I can rightly be held to account in perpetuity for the points on which I am proven wrong – as well as mocked for my inability to see just how much more different the world has become.

But I don't think I will be proven wrong on one point. The newspaper, or a very close electronic cousin, will always be around. It may not be thrown on your front doorstep the way it is today. But the thud it makes as it lands will continue to echo around society and the world."

- Rupert Murdoch, 'The Future of Newspapers: Moving beyond dead trees', A Golden Age of Freedom, 2008 Boyer Lecture.

Girl With a Satchel

Aesthete: Captains of industry

Aesthete: Captains of industry
Coco Rocha for UK ELLE's August issue.
Arianna Huffington. Image: AP/The Age
Vivienne Westwood for Sunday Life, July 10, 2011
 I'm reminded of the words of old blue-eyes Frank Sinatra, "I did it my way", right now, in light of recent media events. "My way" doesn't always lead to the most prosperous outcomes, as Rupert Murdoch, Julian Assange, Derryn Hinch et al know too well – rogue journalism is a rocky path, but it's the motives that matter most.

 "This story sums up a lot of central elements of the new media world," Arianna Huffington told Celia Walden of the News of the World fallout for the Telegraph after admonishing her for wearing high heels (how's a girl to rule the world if her feet ache?) and before notice of the FBI's investigation into NoW 9/11 victim hacking allegations. "A greater demand for accountability and transparency, the vital role that trust plays, and the incredible impact social media can have in accelerating change." 

Media Talk: Facebook's post-feminist Sherly Sandberg

Media Talk: Facebook's post-feminist Sheryl Sandberg profiled by The New Yorker

"Can Sheryl Sandberg upend Silicon Valley’s male-dominated culture?" asks Ken Auletta for The New Yorker of the woman who intuitively turned down a position at the Washington Post company and left Google in favour of joining Mark Zuckerberg in his then-fledgling social media venture, Facebook, in 2008. 

As chief operating officer, Sandberg handles all the work that Zuckerberg doesn't want to do: advertising strategy, hiring and firing, management, and dealing with political issues. Within three years of her appointment, the company was turning a profit and grew to 2,500 employees.

Book Shelf: Shoestring Chic

Book Shelf: Shoestring Chic
Australian fashion illustrator Kerrie Hess currently resides in Paris, where she takes great pleasure in the first crack of a crème brûlée's burned-sugar top, biting into a super-sweet macaroon at Ladurée and sipping the perfect creamy cappuccino midmorning, according to her new book Shoestring Chic: 101 Ways to live the luxe life for less ($25.95; Skirt! Books).

Covering all manner of consumptive subjects in the frame of frugality with a high-end sensibility, from the bargain bliss of Uniqlo to store card caveats, Hess suggests that "certain trends exist purely to make us feel foolish once the look has passed – especially when we realise that we actually paid money to essentially look ridiculous".

Media Talk: The future of news is bright

Media Talk: The future of news is bright

"I think my most important advice to young journalists is to be truthful, both to their audience and to their subjects. You have to remain neutral and stick to the facts, even if you’re interviewing really fascinating people. In our age of SEO, it’s tempting to exaggerate facts and titles to get more website hits. But if people find out you’re not an honest journalist, nobody will read your stories again. Dishonesty is a disservice to everyone around you and actually makes your stories worse in the long run. People can call my reporting trivial or weird if they want, but I will never give them a reason to call it fake." 
- Lauren Orsini, 24, journalist for, interviewed by Media Bistro.

Media Talk: Murdoch's media empire under siege

Media Talk: Murdoch's media empire under siege

On this day, July 14, in 1789, the French Revolution commenced with the storming of the Bastille prison, an event that came to represent the fighting against oppression – "liberty, equality, fraternity" was to become the catchcry of the future French republic.

Last night, Rupert Murdoch played Louis the 16th in one of his biggest professional defeats, bowing out of his bid for full control of the British television station BSkyB following the collapse of News of the World amid scandal allegations resulting in a political alliance in the House of Commons agreeing to a motion that would urge News Corporation to drop the bid.

It's expected the inquiry into the operations of News of the World will usher in sweeping changes to the media landscape with cross-media ownership laws and regulations set to stifle the ambitions of proprietors such as Murdoch.

In a preemptive, protective move, following his email to staff published in The Australian over the weekend, News Limited Chief Executive Officer John Hartigan has reportedly announced that there will be an internal audit of expenditure within the company's Australian operations in order to legitimise payments to contributors.

By capturing the prison at Bastille, the French revolutionaries signalled that the king's power was no longer absolute. With the Fourth Estate at risk of disrepute, and politicians vying "off with their heads!", perhaps it's time for a talk about the division of state and media powers, particularly where big money is concerned.

See also:
Murdoch pulls out of BSkyB bid (News Corporation Shares Rebound)
Time for a new media paradigm?
Summing up The Economist's future of news

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: Sarah Jessica Parker juggling for Vogue

Glossy Covers: Sarah Jessica Parker juggling for Vogue

Sarah Jessica Parker's life reads like an exhausting exercise in over-achievement, but she's so darn humble that it would take a really mean girl to loathe her for it, which makes her the perfect candidate to play Kate in the film adaptation of Allison Pearson's international bestseller, I Don't Know How She Does It, a book that anticipated the Zeitgeist back in 2002, when Parker was still playing Carrie Bradshaw, with its hilarious but achingly (despairingly, even) real commentary on modern motherhood.

“Bradshaw’s life is nothing—nothing—like mine,” she tells US Vogue. “I loved playing her, and it changed my life in lots of wonderful ways, but I’m not a crazy shoe lady, I don’t think about fashion all day long, although I have a great respect for the industry. Every choice we’ve made has been different, but with Kate I really understood the attempt at a life.”

Parker fantasises about going to the theatre or ballet every night and reading the paper on the beach in the morning with her husband Matthew Broderick, but entertains these Bradshaw-esque ideas only occasionally between managing her multiple real-life commitments: galas at the Met, Unicef functions, raising money for New York public schools with Caroline Kennedy, playing with her children in the park, starring in films, multiple business meetings...

"It’s potentially my fatal flaw that I do not give up on something," she says. "I will not rest. I work and work and work until I can no longer and someone has to remove me from the premises."

Read Eve MacSweeney's profile piece here.

Girl With a Satchel

Girl Talk: Are blogs for women counterproductive?

Girl Talk: Blogs for women – counterproductive or protective?

"I used to live near the beach in Sydney, and there was this amazing women’s pool that I used to frequent in the summer. It was a place where you could go and sit and relax in the company of other women and not have to worry about getting perved on by creepy guys and just be you. I really liked going there because most women dropped their judgmental egos at the door, so there was less pressure to have a bangin’ bikini body. You were at complete liberty to let those jiggly bits do their thang and not have to worry about an audience. So I do believe we need these spaces. I do believe they are havens."

- Camilla Peffer of Girls Are Made From Pepsi, beautifully illustrating the best intentions of women's blogging in response to Susannah Breslin's piece,'Why blogs for women are bad for women' @ Forbes, which has given me further reason to ponder the perpetuation of images – more particularly women's magazine covers – that detract from the message (i.e. we are better than this). Image-free blog, anyone?

If only all the world were a haven for women... and men. Y'know, as God intended before the Fall, which the carpenter man came to restore. Which brings me to Dr Gail Dines (notably, a left-wing Jewish feminist Marxist sociologist, not a Christian) talking at ABC Big Ideas. I feel shamefully lukewarm in light of Dines' fierce polemic on porn culture. I wanted to cry when the young women spoke up in the audience about their conflict (Dines talks about the necessity for a "dual consciousness" – I have that; 'who God says I am v who the world says I am', though she's talking about actively critiquing the culture we live in while participating in it).

But there are affirmative actions we can take, such as high-fiving any organisation/publication that presents women's multidimensional identities – what Dines describes as their "past, present, future, names, goals, aspirations, wants, desires" (spirituality, intellect, capabilities) – in a way that counteracts the stereotypes of patriarchal, porn-culture conformity and rails against the hot/sexy/slim (or hot/sexy/fat) soft-porn standard that taints popular culture.

Girl With a Satchel

GWAS Bulletin Board: Australian Youth Orchestra

GWAS Bulletin Board: Australian Youth Orchestra 

Youth orchestras are clearly getting cool: witness the Australian Youth Orchestra, which is this month teaming up with the Sydney Symphony as part of its 'Meet the Music' series to dazzle audiences with the works of Debussy, Vine and Nielsen at the Sydney Opera House.

Distinguished solo violinist Dene Olding will be performing Carl Vine's Violin Concerto with the Youth Orchestra, which is to be conducted by Thomas Dausgaard.

“The Sydney Symphony is committed to nurturing talented young musicians,” said Sydney Symphony Managing Director Rory Jeffes. “We are delighted to be presenting the young guns of The Australian Youth Orchestra and I'm sure we will be welcoming a number of these talented young players to the ranks of the Sydney Symphony in the years ahead."

The concerts are to be held on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st July at 6.30pm and Friday 22 July at 11am at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. Tickets are from $35 + booking fees. Visit for more information.

Glossy Covers: O The Oprah Magazine August Issue

Glossy Covers: O The Oprah Magazine August
Sunny Mummy Stacey Sullaphen calls them "Sergeant SHOULD" and the "Head of Defence", I call them "Wrath" (Satan/Hate) and "Grace" (Jesus/Love!), and Oprah columnist Martha Beck calls them, entertainingly, "Fang" and "Buddy". These are the little Jiminy Cricket sized guys whose voices resound in your head competing for your attention and sanity. In the August edition of O The Oprah Magazine, Beck writes on "Finding Your Inner Voice". Here's a glimpse at her editorial par excellence...

Digital Talk: Monica Attard to launch The Global Mail

Digital Talk: Monica Attard to launch The Global Mail

Monica Attard to edit The Global Mail
It's a case of think local, act global with Australia's newest internet start-up. Award-winning veteran ABC journalist Monica Attard will be launching a blue-chip investigative news site called The Global Mail ( early next year bankrolled by Graeme Wood, founder of, as the online news media environment gets ultra competitive.

Attard has told that the independent start-up will be based on a not-for-profit public interest model, and will feature neither subscriptions or advertising, making it an entirely philanthropic media venture not unlike ProPublica.

Media Talk: Summing up The Economist's future of news

Media Talk: Summing up The Economist's future of news special report

After glancing at the front page headlines and picking up a copy of The Economist's news media edition from the newsagent, I headed to my local coffee house with it tucked under my arm. I grabbed a table and the bloke who sits at a small table each morning consuming his news with his breakfast handed me The Courier-Mail

Glen, who served me my coffee, asked me if I'd seen the new Network Ten show Can of Worms. No, I haven't. He gave me a rundown of the previous night's topics: do Australians swear too much; is the burqa out of place in Australia; is it offensive to call someone a bogan; and is it okay to spy on your kids online?

After perusing Facebook, Twitter and my emails, and mining some of the links on my own blog sidebar (many through to sites edited by non-journalists), I had a conversation about a DVD called "The Marketing of Madness" created by an offshoot of the Church of Scientology with a woman I know who then told me to watch a YouTube video called "Why I am no longer a Christian". Then a former Nine Network TV producer asked me if I'd be interesting in working with him on a new community project. 

This is how I'm consuming news and networking in my everyday life: in the coffee house. These everyday people are the new gatekeepers, albeit offering me a filtered view of news already filtered by the powers-that-be in media. And I imagine it's much the same for those who commute to workplaces or other community spaces each day.

The Economist is on the money: the news industry is returning to something closer to the coffee house. "The internet is making news more participatory, social, diverse and partisan, reviving the discursive ethos of the era before mass media. That will have profound effects on society and politics... Most strikingly, ordinary people are increasingly involved in compiling, filtering, discussing and distributing news."

Media Talk: Editing The Daily Telegraph

Media Talk: Editing The Daily Telegraph

"I was always suppressing my natural tabloid instincts at The Oz. The best newspapers regardless of whether they are broadsheets or tabloids are about having the best ideas. My aim at the start of every day is to own the daily news agenda in Sydney, and given the city's importance, the nation as well. The Daily Telegraph dominates a number of news areas and I want to make political coverage lively, relevant and entertaining for our readers. It is very important to have a good mix of stories... The Daily Telegraph led the national news agenda on the so-called Malaysian refugee swap after revealing that 800 asylum seekers due to be sent to Kuala Lumpur were likely to face corporal punishment. Our reports by Gemma Jones in Canberra and Geoff Chambers in Malaysia changes the way many Australians thought about our treatment of refugees when confronting the reality of the rattan. We also led the coverage of the Federal identifying that so-called 'rich' families' benefits were being reduced after the freezing of indexation for family tax benefits and other government assistance payments. This came as they faced a flood levy and a looming carbon tax. The cost of living pressure is the number one issue for our readers."

- Paul Whittaker, editor, The Daily Telegraph, News Limited, speaking to Mediaweek, July 11, 2011, on the stories he's been proudest to publish this year. Whittaker says his daily agenda is giving people "a compelling reason to pick up the paper in terms of its content and display". Since taking on the editorship of the Sydney tabloid, after editing News Limited's national broadsheet The Australian, he has also become well acquainted with the social diaries of Lara Bingle, Brian McFadden and Kyle Sandilands.

Glossy Covers: The Guardian's G2 Twitter love

Glossy Covers: The Guardian's G2 Twitter love
The Guardian's G2 magazine's latest cover with art direction by Jo Cochrane c/o Cover Junkie.
 Grace Dent is the author of How to Leave Twitter: My Time as Queen of the Universe and Why This Must Stop. Following on from her G2 cover story, today's Australian media section carries a column by Jemima Kiss, digital media correspondent for The Guardian, in which she writes, "Twitter is more valuable to me than email, more direct than news feeds, more convenient than the phone, and less time-consuming than Facebook."

Girl With a Satchel

Media Talk: Time for a new media paradigm?

Media Talk: Time for a new media paradigm?

The closure of News Corporation's News of the World British tabloid following public outcry over revelations that the paper hacked into the phone messages of murdered teenage girl Milly Downer gives us reason to consider media morality, Murdoch's mortality and human nature.

Journalist and author of The Zurich Axioms Max Gunther once said, "When you're [in] a tug-of-war with a tiger, give him the rope before he gets to your arm. You can always buy a new rope!" Murdoch is a tiger, and it's to the shame of the British parliament and British media regulatory bodies that his claws have given him so much rope. It appears modern man fears media more than God.

Murdoch's extensive News Corporation asset portfolio currently includes The Australian, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph, The New York Post, The Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins books, Fox, Foxtel, NRL, News Digital Media, the recently acquired Elizabeth Murdoch founded Shine Group and the Kidspot portal, and likely will soon also include full ownership of the British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB, which saw its share price plummet on Friday in light of the NoW news.

It's very unlikely that the fall of NoW will derail the whole $60 billion operation, though many would celebrate the end of the Murdoch Empire, whose boarders breach the US, UK and Australia, such as, the website dedicated to chronicling the organisation's decay from within. In ‘Murdoch scandal a symptom of broader sickness’ for the Fairfax press, former News Limited editor and author of Man Bites Murdoch, Bruce Guthrie writes:

Aesthete: Homeward bound

Aesthete: Homeward bound
A welcoming opener: The Australian Women's Weekly, July 2010
When I grow up, I want a yellow postbox. Spotted on Mount Tamborine.
This divine cover is enough to keep a bookstore in orders. See the review below!

Girl With a Satchel

Pop Quiz: Aussie Pop-Culture Hits (win a book pack!)

Pop Quiz: Aussie Pop-Culture Hits
...with Miranda Cashin 

Smash Hits gone. TV Hits but a one-shot. Countdown a mere memory. And this week the classic music video show Video Hits, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last month, joined the graveyard of past pop-culture media. In memory of the iconic show, test your musical media knowledge.
To win a GWAS Pop-Culture Book Pack, email your answers and mailing address to ASAP!
Deadline: Monday 11 July, 5pm EST.

Answers to be posted below on Tuesday.

Book Shelf: Losing It in France by Sally Asher

Book Shelf: Losing It in France by Sally Asher

A sumptuous little hard-back ideal for paging through in the winter months, Losing It in France: Les Secrets of the French Diet (New Holland, $29.95) was born of Sally Asher's frustration with habitual dieting, emotional eating and the consequent surplus kilos she couldn't shift. 

It is a gentle, personal affair imbued with Asher's wholesome, soothing, well-informed advice as well as anecdotes from her life – more particularly her time in the City of Lights – that will leave you feeling sated at every page turn.

Far from admonishments to curtail one's natural predilection for a variety of tastes, flavours, smells and textures in favour of kilo-crunching tactics, Asher encourages culinary adventure, creativity and the savoring every morsel in the mouth (notably, not necessarily every last morsel on one's plate). This is not a quest for physical perfection but for an agreeable equilibrium of body, mind, soul and lifestyle.

Girl Talk: The art of good sleep

Girl Talk: The art of good sleep

Firstly, apologies to all mothers: you may be as outraged at this post as Murdoch's tabloid targets, as this is really indulgent: I have fallen into a deep, deep love with sleep. But this revelation must be put into context: I am formerly a workaholic, exercise-obsessive, perfectionist, annoying-everyone-along-the-way chirpy early bird. And now, I'm a bit older, live on a farm, don't have an alarm.

The comatose change to my constitution started before winter but has kept on its course, often seeing me in bed by 9pm and waking around 7am: that is a full 10 hours. Eek! To my relief, a new study has shown that 10 hours is akin to kryptonite (at least for professional athletes... all 11 of them).

Guest Post (in a Guest Post): An Illustrated World

Guest Post (in a Guest Post): An Illustrated World
brought to you by I Heart Daily
Maira Kalman is the illustration powerhouse behind many a New Yorker cover (like the well-known “New Yorkistan,” pictured), illustrator of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style, and author-illustrator of thirteen children’s books including Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman. Luckily, she also makes picture books for grown-ups.

And the Pursuit of Happiness was originally an illustrated blog in The New York Times, chronicling Kalman’s yearlong trip across the USA. With drawings of George Washington’s dentures, Abe Lincoln’s dog Fido, and the Code of Hammurrabi, it’s a meditation on democracy like none before it – and now it's a hardcover book.

Glossy Covers: This cover is fantastic!

Glossy Covers: This cover is fantastic!

Compliments of Esquire.

Girl With a Satchel

Girl Talk: Branding girls – is this a good thing?

Girl Talk: Branding girls – is this a good thing?

'Styled by Mother', Sharon Williams and her beautiful brood c/o SMH
This week I flipped through a scrapbook my friends had made as a farewell gift on my departure to the dark side... public school (the ultimate act of teen rebellion for a convent school girl!). It contained all sorts of insights into the teenage me that I had long since forgotten, like my experimentation with the wonderful hair product Sun-In, and the mischief I created around the quadrangle at lunch time (Zoe Foster was not the only teenage ratbag!). The buffer of time, and the ability file such things away in the safety of one's cupboard, is a wonderful thing.

Facebook and Tumblr and Blogger are the scrapbook and diary of the inner and outer teen girl world. And girls are being called on to invest some thought into their "personal brand" to ensure their image is not tainted in this vast and treacherous online land. Mother of two teenage girls and brand manager Sharon Williams, interviewed by The Sydney Morning Herald, says girls now need to start cultivating their personal brand identity from the age of eight.

Book Shelf: Jessie Hearts NYC (Guest Post)

Book Shelf: Jessie Hearts NYC (Guest Post)

Most girls would be lying if they said they didn't dream of falling in love in New York City. There's something so glamorous about the East Coast city, and the thought of finding a cute guy to stroll through Central Park or go to a show on Broadway with would be a bit of a fairytale come true.

British BFFs Emma and Jessie are lucky enough to go to New York for the summer to stay with Jessie's playwright mum. Jessie has just broken up with a not-so-dreamy guy and has her eye set on her mum's lead cast member, Ben. Both girls are obsessed with the famous city, and can't wait to explore every detail of it (and hope to meet a few other cute guys along the way).

Finn is a New York local, desperately in love with his best friend's girlfriend. His controlling parents and grandma are trying to force him to follow his father's shoes into insurance, but all he wants to be is an architect.

Girl In Media: Jessica Jane Sammut

Jessica Jane Sammut, editor of Profile magazine. Art by Sophie Baker.
Jessica Jane Sammut's life story reads like an exemplary curriculum vitae: girl grows up in England, studies Law, travels the world, falls in love, finds her writer's voice and settles in the rural outskirts of Noosa with her Australian husband and son, Zac Xavier, to take up the editorship of a glossy lifestyle magazine and make a home in "Roseberry Cottage" amidst an acre of tropical gardens. 

"I could spend a whole afternoon flicking through my Country Style magazines to get decor ideas, absorbing the creativity!" she says. "I love nothing more than hanging out with my gorgeous hubby and my two-year-old son (my little ball of fire) - cooking, gardening, eating chips on the beach as the sun sets, or tucking into tapas and a cocktail at Bistro C, Noosa."

It's enough to make your average girl green with envy. But Sammut, 33, is industrious to a fault, admitting that she could happily work 24/7 and has to give herself permission to relax. "I love what I do so much that to me it is not work!" she says. "I manage my time efficiently – setting myself time limits and goals, and allocating time off."

Girl Talk: The shame of Delhi

Girl Talk: The shame of Delhi

"Delhi has earned the inglorious title of the rape capital of India. A quarter of India's rapes are reported here, the National Crime Records Bureau says, despite the city comprising only 1.38 per cent of the country's massive population. A rape is reported in Delhi every 18 hours; many are never reported, it is believed...
Underlying the Besharmi march runs the broader issue of women's place in Indian society. A recent Thomson Reuters survey ranked India the fourth worst country in the world to be a woman, behind only Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Pakistan. Sex trafficking is rife and 40 per cent of the country's 3 million prostitutes are children, India's bureau of investigation estimates.
Those organising the march are not naive enough to think India will change overnight, or even over a generation. ''But,'' Ms Singh says, ''we can begin by saying 'we won't be treated this way any more'."
- 'Sisterhood Marching for Shameless Rights' by Ben Doherty, The Age.

Girl With a Satchel

Girl Talk: The rise and rise of the mumpreneur

Girl Talk: The rise and rise of the mumpreneur
'Little Miss Sunshine' by Alexandra Carlton, Madison, July 2011
Another member of the thriving mumpreneur club, Stacey Sullaphen has made it her mission to put the shine into motherhood. Profiled by Alexandra Carlton in the latest issue of Madison magazine, Sullaphen, aka "Sunny Mummy", brings her brand of judgement-free mothering to the world via her website, workshops and retreats. You can join the Sunny Mummy Sisterhood for $99 or buy a bookmark for $2.95.

God knows mums need shiny, happy beacons of hope, and quite expectantly there will be many voices to suit different female sensibilities (as well as age/lifestyle/relationship/work/economic status), but I do wonder, can this level of online hyperactivity be sustained? Are mummy bloggers burning themselves out?

Girl Talk: Angela's sisterly love for Dannii

Girl Talk: Angela's sisterly love for Dannii
Sunday magazine columnist Angela Mollard encourages Dannii Minogue to invest in her marriage now her career's on track in 'Lessons In Love'.
"The truest thing about love is that it's not just a noun, it's a verb; it's not just something that is, it's something you do. Nurture it, invest in it, treasure it, because that fabulous career you've strived so hard for? It's doing just fine."

See also: Dannii Minogue for The Weekly

Girl With a Satchel

Glossy Covers: The Big Issue Turns 15

Glossy Covers: The Big Issue Turns 15
A BIG congratulations to The Big Issue on making it 15 years in print

Since its launch on the steps of Flinders Street Station, Melbourne, in June 1986, The Big Issue’s brightly clad army of vendors, who sell the title for $5 and pocket $2.50 a piece, have sold more than six million magazines, earning more than $13.2 million in income. Since 1996, about 3,500 people across Australia have been recruited and trained as vendors, including the homeless and marginalised, incorporating them into The Big Issue community and giving them visibility and income to participate in the community-at-large. There are currently more than 450 vendors nationally.

Girl With a Satchel

Digital Talk: Happy Hooplas! Harmer, Waterhouse, Roessler launch

There's a new Australian women's media property in town: A community for "wise, warm, witty and wonderful women" aged 35+, The Hoopla is billed as an intelligent and entertaining online forum and news magazine. 

The brainchild of media personality Wendy Harmer, publisher Jane Waterhouse of Sister Communications and former Notebook: magazine editor Caroline Roessler, the site already has a number of high-profile personalities on board, including news journalist Jessica Rowe, who writes about being fired from Network 10 (coincidentally, on the same day Ten has announced a number of job cuts), entertainer-come-child activist Noni Hazlehurst, journalist Angela Catterns, Biance Dye, cook Maggie Beer, InStyle magazine editor Kerrie McCallum, comedian Judith Lucy and politician Cheryl Kernot.

"We wanted to create a forum for news, opinion, advice, stories and create a community that connects these women and shares their passion and interests," says Waterhouse.

Glossy Covers: Dannii Minogue for The Weekly

Glossy Covers: Dannii for The Weekly

When asked if she is a Kylie Girl or a Dannii Girl, Zoe Foster was quick to pick Kylie. I am a Dannii Girl. Maybe it's an underdog thing, maybe it's a brunette thing, but Dannii has had a place in my heart since she appeared on Johnny Young's Young Talent Time. The Weekly's Chrissy Iley goes one (or two, or three) steps better than that loose nostalgic association in her cover story, 'For Dannii, The Show Goes On', telling us that when she first met Dannii, pre-The X Factor/Australia's Got Talent, she was struggling with her record deal and "fighting the perception that she was the B-side to Kylie's A-side".