The Media Satchel - November 8

This morning, while not at the Media Inquiry, I was witness to two groups of men in a cafe bantering about theology and politics. "Where are the women to banter with me?" I lamented in my best Eeyore voice. And then I went online and stumbled across some impressive things. Depression somewhat abated.  

Anyway, this is the Google Book blurb for Women's Press Organizations 1881-1999, which looks to be a GWAS must-read: "This book is a description and analysis of forty women's press organizations that have been key to the development of women writers of the press since the first established organization in 1881... The main purpose of these organizations was to provide women with a place where they could discuss professional issues and career strategies at a time when they were largely excluded from or marginalized by male-dominated media institutions." A timely find, indeed! 

The Independent Media Inquiry held its first public hearings in Melbourne today. This follows the Greens' call for investigations into media bias off the back of the News of the World saga... which was about unconscionable behaviour. Officiated by Federal Court Judge Ray Finkelstein, the Inquiry aims to examine the contemporary state of the print media, including print and online, and the operations of the Press Council as a regulatory body. Issues of bias, ownership and diversity have been raised. Professor Robert Mann (La Trobe University), Dr Martin Hirst (Deakin University) and Crikey's Eric Beecher and Steven Mayne have already come before the Inquiry. Where are the women? 

The Sydney Morning Herald has called the inquiry unnecessary. The Law Council of Australia agrees, the Press Council is idealistic, The Australian is decidedly sanguine and the (News Limited owned) Herald Sun's Neil Mitchell had a few stern words for Bob Brown.  

Herald Sun deputy editor Jill Baker won the Sir Keith Murdoch Award for Journalism at the News Awards last week for her feature about losing her husband 12 weeks before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Simon Eroro from the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier won Scoop of the Year. He was circumcised with bamboo sticks to get his story.Yikes! Now that's something to really cry about. 

The New Yorker is getting its first creative director as the masthead now stretches across a magazine, website, iPad edition, other tablet editions, e-books, hard books, cards, calenders, The New Yorker Festival and so on, reports WWD. Wyatt Mitchell will be responsible for the look of all but the covers and cartoons. Speaking of which, on Saturday night Australian cartoonists will celebrate The Stanleys.

The Enchanted Times - a fairytale satire of news media.
Zines are all the rage with disenchanted media consumers who like their media personalised, niche and on paper. This is contributing to "a flowering in print", according to one New York librarian. "Lately, it seems, the zine is enjoying something of a comeback among the Web-savvy, partly in reaction to the ubiquity of the Internet," writes Jenna Wortham for The New York Times. "Their creators say zines offer a respite from the endless onslaught of tweets, blog posts, I.M.’s, e-mail and other products of digital media." GWAS is enamoured with The Enchanted Times

The 7PM Project's extended hour and move to 6.30pm has proved a boon so far for Network Ten. The less formal news panel style show has attracted more people in Ten's key demographic, ages 16 to 39, reports mUmBRELLA.

Where are Aussies getting their news? Ninemsn, SMH, and the UK's BBC, according to Nielsen's latest survey of online media use. The new global media environment certainly makes it difficult to administer national regulation and laws.

Woman's Day has taken out the Cover of the Year award in this year's Maggies awards. The late Duchess of Hollywood Elizabeth Taylor appeared on the magazine's April 4 cover following the actress's death. Celebrated for the simple execution, striking image and sparse cover lines, the cover was given the tick of approval by the competition's voters and a judging panel chaired by Ita Buttrose. The competition is organised by iSUBCRIBE and Camp Quality is a beneficiary. You can see the 'Ita Cover Masterclass' at The Australian.

Vogue Australia has been named 2011 Magazine of the Year at the Australian Magazine Awards. Vogue trumped The Australian Women's Weekly, Australian House & Garden and Famous for the top award. "Vogue’s covers are stunning and are true to brand form," said the judges. "Vogue sets the benchmark for fashion and beauty within its category and does that for the entire magazine channel. In a triumphant turn of events for News Magazines, the fashion glossy's stablemate Wish magazine (The Australian) won the award for Newspaper Inserted Magazine.

On that note, it's no big secret that Vogue favours the outwardly beautiful. But, asks Fashionista, is it fair for U.S. Vogue editor Anna Wintour to pick and choose powerful women to feature (think Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama) according to their good looks? It's not called Fair, it's called Vogue, you might say, and we truly wish it wasn't this way – through the glossy looking glass, even your average girl looks like an ugly giant but there's nothing a makeover can't do!* On this note, do you think magazines should be required to reach a diversity quota? Should there be more strict criteria for the publishing industry (as per the voluntary Body Image Code of Conduct) given its sheer influence? Or should we just stop buying the ones that make us feel awful and spend up on the fantastic ones?

Publishers Australia will host its Excellence Awards on Friday night following this week's inaugural Magazine Week activities. 

Vogue Australia's Kirstie Clements has joined her
international counterparts in Tokyo, Japan, for Fashion's Night Out. "Every Vogue editor in the world, including Anna Wintour from Vogue US, has come together to show support for Japan in the wake of the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunamis," writes Clements for

Vogue Australia has also been named 2011 Magazine of the Year at the Australian Magazine Awards hosted by Yaffa Publishing (publisher of AdNews). Vogue trumped The Australian Women's Weekly, Australian House & Garden and Famous for the top award. "Vogue’s covers are stunning and are true to brand form," said the judges. "Vogue sets the benchmark for fashion and beauty within its category and does that for the entire magazine channel. In a triumphant turn of events for News Magazines, the fashion glossy's stablemate, the high-end Wish magazine (carried in The Australian), won the award for Newspaper Inserted Magazine.

Matt Handbury, nephew of Rupert Murdoch and former owner of Murdoch Magazines, was inducted into the Magazines Hall of Fame and is this week rumoured to be negotiating the buy-out of ACP Magazines, which would represent his return to the fray after seven years (Sally Jackson had the scoop). "At the moment it's a bit hard to find someone who has any confidence in investing in magazines at this level besides me," he said, adding, "Magazines will assert themselves in the tablet space. And people will pay for them. We will compete for these circulation sales as we have for decades in newsagents and supermarkets."

Pacific Magazines' CEO Nick Chan has added his two cents to Handbury's thoughts pointing out to media buyers the frustrations over digital: "Obviously we are still getting [advertising] revenues but increasingly the demands are a compromised [editorial] position which I guess flow from things like online," he said. "We can’t afford to do that because we are a paid medium... It’s quite an unfair comparison. That all sounds defensive – the facts are we are still selling a lot of magazines and Matt is right in terms of the paid circulation component of our business - it is totally uncompromising. If you put crap out there, people are not going to buy it.” (Source: AdNews)

Into print and/or graphic design? See Eye magazine come together in a colour-riffic blog post, 'From Flat Plan to Flat Pack'.

And here's a chat with Good magazine's creative director Casey Caplowe.

AFP (Agence France-Presse) recently donated 25 laptops, via the AFP Foundation, to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), which supports journalists facing hardship in developing companies or working in exile. "Computers represent independent information which can be passed on and shared," said Jean-Fran├žois Julliard, Secretary General of RSF. "We thank AFP for its support."

Meanwhile, the Murdoch family – subject of a new Vanity Fair story – has donated $10m to the Murdoch Children's Research Institute. "My mother had, and continues to enjoy, a very long association with this campus," said Murdoch at a function held at the new complex at the Royal Children's Hospital also attended by Elisabeth, Lachlan and Sarah Murdoch. The Murdoch family has gifted the Institute $50 million, but there's a $15.75 million shortfall, which Murdoch is urging the Victorian state government to make up. 

What editors really need right now, says recently resigned News & Record editor John Robinson, "is guts to do the nontraditional things”: to consider new approaches to newsgathering and dissemination, to be open to new ways of knowing the community they’re meant to serve. A big part of that, for editors, notes Robinson talking Nieman Journalism Lab, is simply — publicly — showing up. "Frankly, there are too few of them being active," Robinson told Nieman — "or, actively being relevant."  

Journalists who fit Robinson's bill feature on this year's Walkley Awards finalists list, which is out with winners to be announced on November 27. Best of luck to all this year's contenders. 

"The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one." 
- John Maxwell

Girl With a Satchel


Anonymous said...

I believe the Independent Media Inquiry is a must. Ensuring that privacy, nay, a level of human decency are upheld is hardly unnecessary, is it?

I'm so glad you've mentioned zines! I LOVE LOVE LOVE zines! I actually made my own for a while, but printing is mightily expensive, and I must admit I do prefer blogging because it's so much more quicker for me to send my bouts of insanity/wisdom off into the universe. For other zine lovers, I highly recommend Hello Amber, Take Care zine distro and Bird in the Hand for an awesome selection of good old fashioned DIY print publications!