I’m not dead yet

The world’s media has a poor track record when it comes to reporting the deaths of celebrities, going early often enough to invoke the classic Python-esque protest, “I’m not dead yet”. Singer and actress Olivia Newton-John was the latest victim of tabloid hyperbole, when reports described her as ‘clinging on to life’. The star of Grease took to Facebook to cheerily confirm her existence, even though it is known she is ‘battling cancer’ for the…

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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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Journalists facing deadly risks

Not for the first time, I’m ruminating about the deadly risks facing journalists working in conflict zones or countries like North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Egypt or even India. It’s 1am and I’m reading the Guardian Weekly, starting with its world roundup, where my eye is drawn to a headline: “Indian journalist beaten to death.” In just 100 words we are told that Shantanu Bhowmick’s death at the hands of a stick-wielding mob brings the…

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