Saturday salon 28/6


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

I’ve added a few items here in the post which impinged on my consciousness during the week. The main links, if any are in the headings.

1. The ABC will be just fine

Do the highlights of the federal government-commissioned report outlined in the Fairfax Media tabloids, sorry, compacts, this morning really “gut” the ABC, as claimed in the headline? Or are they a mixture of current practice in TV around the world (including Australia) that haven’t been fully explained by selective leaking?

It’s more of the latter. The report, written by former Seven West Media chief financial officer Peter Lewis, could save the ABC a lot of money and deliver it far more production flexibility and control.

On the other hand Quentin Dempster says “It’s what Murdoch wants”.

2. Newspapers underestimate readership

Readership figures released today from Roy Morgan Research reveal the publisher-backed figures from Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (emma) actually undervalue 75% of newspaper brands by a combined shortfall in audience of over 4.8 million.

When compared with Roy Morgan’s ‘last four weeks’ figures, emma’s underestimate the print readership of 11 out of 12 major metro newspapers by up to 43%. When online and app audiences are included, 9 of the 12 masthead brand lose out with emma’s scoring.

Roy Morgan counts the Sydney Morning Herald’s combined print, online and app audience at 5,653,000 in an average month, compared with emma’s March published figure of 5,311,000.

At 4,227,000, Roy Morgan’s total audience for The Age is 875,000 greater than what emma tells Fairfax.

According to emma, the audience for News Corp’s The Australian is 3,213,000, while Roy Morgan’s count is 20% higher at 4,020,000.

But the biggest loser under emma is the Financial Review, which gets a monthly masthead audience of only 1,306,000—a massive 37% below Roy Morgan’s figure of 2,086,000.

3. ALP review: election loss ‘self-inflicted’

Rudd and advisers partly to blame, but the buck stops with the campaign director. This is not about assigning blame, according to Milton Dick, report co-author.

Well we’ve analysed the successful electoral results, particularly in western Sydney, in seats like Greenway, Parramatta, in places like Queensland where we weren’t expected to win any seats, in places like Lilley, Rankin and Moreton where we defied the trends, the one common theme out of those electoral results demonstrated in the evidence was that where those members are continually engaging with the community. If you want continuous campaigning, we going to adopt some of those models and some of those successful strategies, and roll them out.

I’m currently reading Troy Bramston’s book and he pretty much fingers Rudd and Bruce Hawker. Not helped by the fact that HQ was populated by Gillard loyalists.

4. Asylum seekers already in Australia face harder visa rules

The charming Scott Morrison has introduced new rules, including:

  • People arriving without travel documents will be refused protection visas unless they can provide a “reasonable explanation” for not having identification.
  • A lower threshold for assessing harm to returning asylum seekers who have sought complementary protection, where the chance of harm is more than 50%.
  • Asylum seekers who have arrived by boat will be refused visas unless the minister determines “it is in the public interest to allow them to do so”.