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    Roundup: Australia slumps in world press freedom rankings, Wall Street Journal moves Asia HQ, Alone Australia

    Business of Media

    Australia slumps in world press freedom rankings (again)

    Heavy media concentration and continuing media cutbacks have driven Australia to its lowest score ever in the World Press Freedom Index, run by international press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RWB), reports Crikey’s Bernard Keane

    Once a top-20 country in the index, Australia managed 39th in 2023, according to the latest version of the index, with its overall score of 73.42 being its lowest ever. That places us below countries such as the Dominican Republic, Namibia and Jamaica.

    The RWB methodology is subject to sudden lurches — Australia was 39th in 2021 (with a score of 73.77), recovered to 27th in 2022 but is now back down again.

    [Read More]

    Pulitzer 2024 winners include Jayne Anne Phillips, ProPublica, AP and New York Times

    This year’s Pulitzer winners include the New York Times and ProPublica as well as authors including Jayne Anne Phillips and Jonathan Eig, reports The Guardian’s Benjamin Lee.

    The Pulitzers honored the best in journalism from 2023 in 15 categories, as well as eight arts categories focused on books, music and theater. The public service winner receives a gold medal. All other winners receive $15,000.

    [Read More]

    Stefanovic’s Indigenous teen clanger, brought to you by Sportsbet

    Sky News host Peter Stefanovic’s ludicrous attempt at journalism last week – ambushing 19-year-old Katherine local Keegan Payne as he won a $1 million fishing competition – failed in every predictable way possible, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

    Alright, hands up: where did this national media tour for an Indigenous teen come from?

    What do you know, the trail leads somewhere back to Sportsbet and the company’s marketing guru CEO Barni Evans.

    [Read More]

    Forget politics: brands should focus on ‘doing good’, study finds

    Australians want brands to “do good” for society but avoid politics, a new study has found, reports The Australian’s Kate Racovolis

    The Good Study 2024 report comes from Publicis Groupe-owned advertising agency Leo Burnett, which partnered with University of Technology Sydney Business School and media agency Zenith.

    It found that the majority (96 per cent) of Australians still expect brands to make a positive contribution to society, up from 88 per cent in 2022.

    [Read More]

    Trump Media hires new auditor after previous firm gets banned

    Trump Media & Technology Group said it had appointed a new financial auditor days after its previous accounting firm was banned by regulators, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Ben Glickman.

    The Truth Social parent said Monday it had appointed Semple, Marchal & Cooper as its independent registered public accounting firm, effective May 4.

    [Read More]

    Optus appoints telco industry veteran as new CEO

    Optus has appointed Stephen Rue, who is currently running the National Broadband Network, as its new chief executive, reports Nine News’ Richard Wood.

    He takes over from Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, who resigned last November over fierce criticism of the way she managed an Australia wide network outage last year.

    Optus chairman Paul O’Sullivan said the telco would benefit from Rue’s experience in founding “the digital backbone of Australia”.

    [Read More]

    News Brands

    Wall Street Journal moves Asia HQ from Hong Kong to Singapore

    The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) will move its Asia headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore, it said on May 2 in a letter sent to staff and seen by AFP, reports The Straits Times.

    The US newspaper said its decision comes after other foreign firms have reconsidered their operations in Chinese financial hub Hong Kong.

    WSJ editor-in-chief Emma Tucker said in a letter to employees that the shift would involve an unspecified number of layoffs.

    [Read More]

    Lingering odour of a Sneesby spray

    On a Monday morning in late 2022, Nine boss Mike Sneesby was running his eye over The Sydney Morning Herald when he saw red, reports The Australian’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth

    Media writer Zoe Samios, whose work appeared across both Nine’s metro mastheads, the SMH and The Age, had written a straight news story about a content streaming war being waged between Stan and Foxtel.

    The story was not favourable to Stan, insofar as it reported that Foxtel had edged out Stan to clinch the rights to the content.

    [Read More]


    Catch-up boom for Alone Australia

    Season Two of reality contest Alone Australia has become SBS’ biggest show of 2024, drawing strong audiences for the braodcaster, particularly with Catch-Up viewing included, reports TV Tonight.

    Episode One averaged 287,000 national viewers overnight but across 28 days has boomed to 627,000 -that includes 327,000 BVOD viewers.

    Episode Two was even higher at 314,000 viewers overnight and is now at 872,000 in 28 day viewing.

    [Read More]

    Sports Media

    Ben Cousins won’t be part of the football hall of fame’s class of ’24

    Former West Coast champion and skipper Ben Cousins will not be inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2024 and is not considered likely to be added to the honour roll any time soon, reports Nine Publishing’s Jake Niall.

    While the question has been asked about whether it is time for Cousins to be accepted as a member of the hall of fame, the committee has not seriously debated Cousins as a prospective member, in part due to his conviction for stalking his ex-partner, which saw him spend seven months in jail in 2020.

    [Read More]

    The post Roundup: Australia slumps in world press freedom rankings, Wall Street Journal moves Asia HQ, Alone Australia appeared first on Mediaweek.

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