Tag Archives: Crikey

#tomwantsajob – Tom gets a job

Last month Journalism.co.uk shared the story of Australian journalism student Tom Cowie, who had created a social media campaign to boost and document his search for that elusive first job in the industry.

He told Journalism.co.uk:

In the past few years, journalism students have been told that now they need a published portfolio to get noticed, which is often built through unpaid work. I think we have gone past that now. The industry is becoming increasingly reliant on social media and students need to be able to boast a personal brand, whether that be through Twitter, Facebook or blogging. Journalists need to be able to market and promote their own work. While this philosophy may seem like it has foundations in PR, I don’t think today’s journalism students have a choice if they want to get employed. The onus is on us to build audiences and make sure the right people are reading.

Well, 38 days after starting his site, hashtag and search, he’s landed a job as a junior reporter with Australian news and commentary site Crikey. Congratulations Tom.

Australian newspaper prevents publication of police leak report

The Murdoch-owned newspaper, the Australian, last month secured a order to prevent the publication of a report about its police scoop in summer 2009.

As we’ve previously reported on this blog, on 4 August 2009 Australian police arrested four people in terror raids – a planned operation reported exclusively by the Australian newspaper, part of the News Ltd group. But the police claimed copies of the newspaper were available in Melbourne before the operation had taken place, citing that an “unacceptable risk”.

It was an enviable scoop and won journalist Cameron Stewart the ‘Gold Quill’ in the Melbourne Press Club awards. But the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI) and the and the The Victorian Office of Police Integrity (OPI) produced a report, examining the source of the leak.

The Australian newspaper subsequently acquired a Federal Court order prohibiting publication of the report. The OPI then sought to overturn the order. But on 23 April, the Australian won the right to keep the document private. Crikey.com.au journalist Margaret Simons has been reporting – and tweeting – the case.

Simons last reported:

Justice Michelle Gordon said that continued suppression of the Victorian Office of Police Integrity’s report on the matter is necessary because The Australian is arguing that the whole investigation was invalid, and the evidence gathered “tainted”.

But the case isn’t completely over yet. Simons continued:

Justice Gordon’s decision means that it will be at least another three weeks, and probably much longer, before we know the full story of what occurred between Stewart, his source and the OPI. News Ltd has made it clear it will appeal against any judgement that would allow the OPI report to be released.

Last week, I asked Margaret Simons, who is a freelancer for Crikey – an independent online news and comment site – about her own views of this complicated case. She says she doesn’t know why the Australian is so keen to suppress the document.

Does Simons think the report should be released? “Without knowing all the facts, it is hard to say. The Australian claims the OPI’s investigation was very flawed. Maybe so. The OPI has a chequered record.

“There is an irony, though, in The Australian’s leading role in the Right to Know Coalition, pressing governments for more openness, and its contesting of suppression orders in other matters … and its active suppression in this case.

“It would be nice to think that the rights and wrongs of this matter could be fought out in open. However, without knowing all the facts of what is contained in the report, it is genuinely hard to judge and I do not have a strong point of view at present.

Simons says that Crikey’s editorial position is not so much a matter of opinion, but an attempt to raise awareness. “[I]n a country where the print media is dominated by just two publishers, with News Ltd being overwhelmingly dominant, there is a particular role for an independent outlet such as ours in covering the media’s own story,” she said.

Neither News Ltd or Fairfax – Australia’s other main newspaper publisher – are giving this case “the weight it deserves,” she said. “We are doing our best. Keep in mind that our audience includes most of the country’s journalists!”

#ozleak: Australian journalist live tweets newspaper’s legal battle

Back in August 2009, Australian police arrested four people in terror raids – a planned operation reported exclusively by the Australian newspaper.  But the police claimed copies of the newspaper were available in Melbourne before the operation had taken place, citing that an “unacceptable risk”. We noted on this blog:

Australian police have attacked the way the Australian newspaper reported its planned terror raids, claiming that the newspaper’s exclusive was available before the operation had actually taken place early this morning.

It was a stunning scoop, which won journalist Cameron Stewart a prestigious press prize. But the legal implications continue. In brief, the Australian newspaper (part of Murdoch’s News Limited) has acquired an order prohibiting publication of a report into the source of the leak by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity (ACLEI). Crikey.com.au reports that the report is “apparently highly critical of Stewart and the newspaper” and identifies a possible source.

This organisation, as the excellent Crikey explains, “is responsible for countering corruption in the Australian Federal Police and the Victorian Office of Police Integrity”. The Victorian Office of Police Integrity now seeks to overturn the order.

Today [Thursday] Crikey.com.au’s Margaret Simons has been tweeting live from the Australian Federal Court using the hashtag #ozleak: “OPI is seeking a court order to issue an edited report giving details of Oz articles, opi investigation. oz opposes”.

Before reading the tweets, look at her comprehensive back story here: The murky legal battle behind The Oz’s terror raids scoop. An extract:

The aftermath of [Cameron’s] story, which won a Gold Quill in the recent Melbourne Press Club awards, is shaping to be one of the most sensitive and controversial episodes in recent journalistic history, as well as a case study in relationships between journalists and their sources and the rivalries between police forces.

Good background can also be found in the MediaWatch report: ‘The Australian v Victoria Police’.

The Content Makers: How much are freelance journalists getting paid?

A useful exercise is taking place on the other side of the world: Margaret Simons, a freelance journalist, media blogger and lecturer is investigating freelance rates in Australia. So far she has gathered over 100 responses to her first post, ‘Journalists should not work for free – so tell me what they are paying’. She promises to write up the results soon – we’ll link to them on this blog, when she does.

Full post at this link…

Here was the original plea:

[1 Australian dollar = 0.56 British pounds]

I think it would be useful to find out what different freelancers are getting paid by our mainstream publications. Here’s what I know:

Fairfax broadsheets start by offering .60c to.70c a word these days, but can be pushed higher if they want you badly enough. Section editors are adept at getting around the bean counters’ rules.

The Monthly still offers its $1 a word, which was princely when that magazine started, and still handsome.

I hear the RACV magazine pays well for both words and photos.

What do others know? Let’s share the market knowledge. Contributions to margaret@margaretsimons.com.au. Anonymity will be preserved.

Oh the irony… were the Australian’s subs trying to tell us something?

Australian newspapers aren’t finding it as tough as many of their US and UK counterparts, John Hartigan, the chairman and chief executive of News Ltd, claimed in a speech on Wednesday. Roy Greenslade picked up on the Murdoch-owned Australian newspaper’s report that the nation’s print publications are ‘holding up well’.

But we feel he missed the best bit. As Crikey.com.au flagged up in its daily newsletter, there was something a little odd about a print headline in the paper on July 2 (helpfully highlighted here by Mumbrella.com.au – hat-tip @BlackAdder). This, courtesy of Crikey:


Also see Crikey’s comments on the speech / report here (registration required):

And links and commentary from Mumbrella here.

Oh, and you can ‘Marc the deth of newpapers with this stilish Crikey tee shiort. Avilable now fom the Crickley shop.’

Crikey.com.au: ‘Who reads a newspaper website the way they used to read a paper?’

Guy Rundle, over at Crikey.com.au, tells Rupert that no, he’s not prepared to pay for News Corp. content.

“Paying for a physical newspaper is/was something you just did, even five years ago. Now, the idea that your morning’s news would come encased in a single source seems odd – and paying for straight news items on the web (as opposed to the excellent goulash of punch and pugilistic your reading now etc) seems absurd. Who reads a newspaper website, the way they used to read a paper?”

Full post at this link…

Crikey.com: Significant meeting at News Limited’s HQ in Holt Street today

Crikey.com reports that a meeting at News Limited’s Australian headquarters in Holt Street was due to take place today (Friday) ‘at which the company’s most senior local lieutenants will talk about the coming year.’ Crikey writer, Margaret Simons, speculates that there could be “axings, redundancies and restructuring to allow for yet more redundancies are on the agenda.”

Full story at this link…