How the Nine Fairfax merger affects regional media

Did you know that the removal of Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister in August cost the taxpayer $4.5 million? Canberra Times journalist Latika Bourke revealed this in a news report, adding that the cost included $1.9 million, paid out to 35 former Prime Ministerial staffers. Crikey, I’m in the wrong business.  Labor’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers told Bourke the sum was another cost to voters of the ‘meaningless’ leadership change. “Scott Morrison can’t explain why…

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Planned obsolescence strikes again

On Tuesday I joined the queue of people at the local computer shop, all clutching laptops, smart phones or PC peripherals suffering from planned obsolescence syndrome. Some of these items may still have been under warranty (joy). But in the case of my four-year-old Toshiba laptop, the optical drive, the fragile looking tray that slides out to take CDs or DVDs, had carked it. It failed just as I finished burning a 58 minute video…

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Ten days in Aotearoa

As the doors swished open at Brisbane International Airport and I walked out into 35 degrees and a dusty, smoky atmosphere, I very briefly wished I hadn’t left Aotearoa behind. How I love the mellifluous way that Maori word trips off the tongue – Ao-tea-ro-a. The Maori language uses vowels more than we do in English and it also uses them in combinations. The language has fewer consonants, preferring the use of Wh to replace…

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Get the kids off Nauru, maybe

We’ve been learning a protest song for our choir’s Christmas concert. Actually it is a plea for peace, the musical equivalent of a street march – “What do we want? Peace! When do we want it? Now.” John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Happy Xmas/War is Over starts by asking the universal question so many of us end up asking ourselves: “And so it is Christmas, and what have we done? Another year over, a new…

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