Tuesday 2nd of September 2014

malcolm media landscape...

malcolm and the media laws...

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull says there is a strong argument to change cross-media ownership rules due to the rise of the internet.

The Government is considering changes to the laws, which currently prevent common ownership of radio, television stations and newspapers in the same market.

The rules are designed to encourage media ownership diversity.

Mr Turnbull told Sky News the internet has brought more competition to the sector.

"My view is that the arrival of the internet and the additional diversity and avenues for competition that it brings really says we should have less regulation and more freedom," he said.

"We're committed to a lot less regulation across the board including in the telecom and media sectors that I'm responsible for."

Mr Turnbull says he is sympathetic to changes because of an evolving media landscape.

"Why do we have a rule that prevents one of the national networks acquiring 100 per cent coverage, why is there a rule that says today that you can't own print, television and radio in the same market? Shouldn't that just be a matter for the ACCC?"



malcolm loves murdoch —mr normal media baron...

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hosed down suggestions he has described Rupert Murdoch as a ‘‘demented plutocrat,’’ arguing the News Corp head is the ‘‘most normal’’ media mogul he knows.

‘‘I’ve known a lot of media moguls, right? A lot of them. And let me tell you something, in terms of normality, Rupert is the most normal of the lot,’’ Mr Turnbull told Sky News on Sunday.

‘‘When you compare him to Conrad Black, to Kerry Packer to Bob Maxwell, Jimmy Goldsmith ...Rupert is a very, very straightforward, normal person.’’

Mr Turnbull made the comments when asked to explain his use of the phrase "demented plutocrat" when he launched The Saturday Paper last month in Sydney

During the speech Mr Turnbull quipped of publisher Morry Schwartz: ''You are not some demented plutocrat pouring more and more money into a loss-making venture that is just going to peddle your opinions.''

While Mr Turnbull has insisted he was referring to US newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, some have seen this as a dig at Mr Murdoch.

The Communications Minister said he was shocked that his comments were misinterpreted.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/rupert-murdoch-is-no-demented-plurocrat-says-malcolm-turnbull-20140309-34f33.html#ixzz2vR3GobUe

helping uncle rupe, rupert and mr murdoch...


Malcolm Turnbull is the ideal salesman for media deregulation because he’s an optimist and an internet utopian. He absolutely believes technological change and a combination of market forces and inspired philanthropy are in the business of sorting out Australia’s diversity problem.

If that’s actually your core belief then the logical thing for a communications minister to do is precisely what he’s foreshadowing – rip up the outmoded regulation, let the industry rationalise while guiding some traffic behind the scenes – like a form of intelligent design, but for the media.

The problem is that Turnbull’s assessment of the current media landscape is both right, and quite wrong.

Let’s deal with the right first. Things are changing. There are new and vibrant voices, there’s disruption and entrepreneurship and the hegemony of the old players is not what it once was. Technology gives us all the power to not only indulge in the latest fashion of fact selection, but actually curate our own news. We can take what we like and screen out the rest. The most avid news consumer can construct their bespoke media cocoon and furnish it to their taste. (Happy days – except for all the downsides, which would require a whole separate analysis – so let’s not go there today.)

Now let’s deal with the wrong.

The world Turnbull paints is the world of the information privileged, not the average consumer. The average Australian media consumer still resides in one of the most concentrated media markets in the developed world. The old, entrenched media players still dominate and shape the local media narrative, from the first news bulletin at first light to late night TV current affairs.

The current concentration reflects several decades of public policy failure by both Liberal and Labor governments, who prioritised making peace with rent-seeking media moguls above serving the broader public interest.

These genuflections have had a cumulative effect: they’ve made governments weaker and the megaphone wielders stronger. Why governments keep consenting to that zero-sum-game transaction is really beyond me.

Let’s be clear here. The changes flagged by Turnbull over the weekend won’t actually benefit the upstarts and the disrupters. They benefit the incumbents, and potentially at least, the biggest, most politically influential incumbent of them all, News Corp.



the end of the event...

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has denounced the ''vicious ingratitude'' of the artists who forced the withdrawal of Transfield as a sponsor of the Biennale arts festival over the company's involvement in offshore processing of asylum seekers.

Mr Turnbull said losing the company, the festival's founding sponsor, could spell the end of the event.

"Really, this is disastrous," Mr Turnbull said. "If we lose the Biennale as a consequence of this that would be an absolute tragedy."

The artists had threatened to boycott the Biennale of Sydney because it accepted money from founding partner Transfield Holdings, a company with a 12 per cent shareholding in Transfield Services, which won a $1.2 billion contract to run the Abbott government's immigration detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

But while the artists have claimed victory in forcing Transfield Holdings to sever its 40-year tie with the arts festival, they may have achieved the opposite of their objective, the Communications Minister said.

Instead of encouraging the Abbott government to reconsider its harsh asylum seeker policies, the artists had succeeded in sidelining one of Australia's great philanthropic families, who had generously supported the arts for more than 50 years, Mr Turnbull said.

"I hope the Biennale can survive but I think the artists that have done this have potentially driven a stake, not through the asylum seeker policy, I can assure you of that, but through the heart of the Biennale itself," Mr Turnbull told ABC radio on Monday.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/malcolm-turnbull-denounces-vicious-ingratitude-of-biennale-artists-after-transfield-withdraws-as-sponsor-20140311-34ik6.html#ixzz2vd0X0bq4

Mr Turnbull... Artists are a bit like that... They often bite the hands of those who feed them, on principle... Some artists rather starve than be associated with philanthropy coming from activities that they do not agree with. If artists never "protested", life would have far more hypocrisy than what there is already. Artists in recent years, about a century and a bit, have been encouraged to express themselves and every artist has his or her own level of prejudices. But, one way or the other this is what makes artists of now rather than the painters of kings of yesteryears... 

paying the piper...

Turnbull says the growth of the internet means:

“… we should have less regulation and more freedom.”

Given Australia already has the most highly concentrated media ownership in the western world and most people still get their news from TV or newspapers, this statement is an insulting furphy.

The only thing that is absolutely certain is that it will be carefully designed to give Murdoch more power, more control and more wealth to stash in his tax-free island banks.

When Murdoch used his imported ace headline writer to help the LNP steal last year’s election victory, the old octogenarian wasn’t whistling Dixie — he was out to claim his reward.

He has obviously made it clear to the Abbott Government it is now time to pay the piper.


of being an artist of the revolution...

George Brandis has threatened the withdrawal of commonwealth funding for the Sydney Biennale festival for “blackballing” Transfield Holdings after it severed ties with the company because of an artist protest over its contract work on an offshore detention centre.

The arts minister has written to the Australia Council, which distributes arts funding on behalf of the federal government, and asked them to develop a policy to penalise arts organisations that refuse funding from corporate sponsors on “unreasonable grounds”.

If he is not satisfied with a new policy developed by the council Brandis said he would direct the council himself to force them to adopt a policy to his liking.

“At a time when government funding for the arts is, like all demands upon the budget, under pressure, it is difficult to justify funding for an arts festival which has announced to its principal private partner that it would prefer not to receive its financial support,” he wrote to the chairman of the Australia Council, Rupert Myer.

“You will readily understand that taxpayers will say to themselves: ‘If the Sydney Biennale doesn’t need Transfield’s money, why should they be asking for ours?



Sir, dear Mr Brandis, dear George, dear Attorney generalis of the despised selective Abbott Regime:

The money you are talking about is not YOURS... Capiche? The Arts Council — disregarding of any philanthropic kerffuffle — is entitled to allocate money to the arts in whichever ways it is intended. That the artists make a point about a specific sponsor, while the government is also heavily up to its neck with the Nauru bad deed is irrelevant. The government is not YOURS to own. A policy of your liking? The decision you make may give you a sense of power for five minutes but, eventually, your own shit will catch up with you...

Leave the arts alone... 



an artistic mexican stand off...


Critics of the protesters say that if they reject Transfield money, they should also refuse all grants from the Australia Council as it's a federally-funded agency of the very government that established the detentions centres.

One of those protesters, Melbourne artist Gabriella de Vietri, dismisses this. 

"There is a big difference between private and public funding," she told the ABC.

"With public funding, our taxpayers' money pays taxes and those taxes get redistributed into multiple industries, one of which is arts and culture. Those industries don't have any bearing on each other."

But there might well be a political bearing. The arm's-length arrangement between the government and the Australia Council means the minister cannot directly intervene in funding decisions. But Senator Brandis has come down firmly on the side of corporate donors rather than the protesting artists in this stoush: 

Even more damagingly, the decision (of the Biennale board) sends precisely the wrong message to other actual or potential corporate sponsors of the arts: that they may be insulted, and possibly suffer reputational damage, if an arts company or festival decides to make a political statement about an aspect of their commercial relationships with government, where it disapproves of a particular government policy which those commercial relationships serve.

The artistic director of Biennale, Juliana Engberg, has been quiet about the issue so far, though behind the scenes is talking to the protesting artists and negotiating whether or not to let them back. Taming the temperaments, let alone the myriad artworks of more than 90 artists from around the world, must be akin to herding cats.

That artwork will be unveiled next week, now with the heightened poignancy added by the asylum seeker debate.

The issue has polarised the art world and there are questions about whether this will be a one-off challenge to a sponsor, or a turning point in the ethics of patronage and the beginning of a cascade of questioning of where the money is coming from.

*This article was updated in response to comments made by Senator George Brandis on this issue

Anne Maria Nicholson is a senior journalist with the ABC. View her full profile here




The purpose of art is complex... Some people think it's to put pretty pictures on walls... or glorify Stalin or the Duke of Wellington in oil...  Being an artist is a job using representative skills and value judgement of interpretation. Many skills are often needed to be good. Some of the value judgements may be right or wrong, deliberate or accidental. But a lot of art is designed to challenge long established perceived ideas, including the self-worth of itself.

New worthwhile ideas are hard to come by. Fighting old established prejudices is slightly easier — this is why I "do cartoons" as well as being an "artist". Art often carries a message, that can be uncomfortable for all of us and for the artists themselves.

We have to come to terms with the petulance of artistic expression while rejecting the arrogant petulance of a George Brandis. I am prepared to believe that Brandis never understood "art". Who does anyway? Everyone has a view on it. But there is a status quo about the illusion of integrity and purpose.

Like sports athletes at the Canberra sporting training facilities need money for a victory at the end of a 100 metres, art is the same and needs government help, but where it differs from sports, art does not win anything but a value judgement, sometimes with a prize attached to it. In many art competitions it's the same old heads who get a gong, because the establishment people who judge the contest are often unprepared for the new and rising languages of art.

And to say the least, there is a lot of artistic crap out there.

But in the same breath, one could ask the other question: has Senator Brandis ever understood science beyond making bad smells in a school lab? I believe not. I could be wrong... But in many more ways than not, ART AND SCIENCES are intertwined with philosophy. The Abbott Regime having disbanded the government "philosophy unit" and the "climate council", one can see a governmental finger twitching on a trigger to kill off the last intellectual target: the arts... 

be prepared...


malcolm-the-invisible is invisibly pissed off re abbott's lies?


There is a major issue of integrity at stake here. The Liberals should reflect very deeply on it … Many Liberals are rightly dismayed that … we are now without integrity. We have given our opponents the irrefutable, undeniable evidence that we cannot be trusted.

Malcolm Turnbull...


Breaking promises: as easy as ABC. Malcolm Turnbull should be livid


Tony Abbott promised no cuts to education, health, or the ABC. The Coalition broke its promises, and Liberals should be dismayed by their own lack of integrity

Tony Abbott has beaten Malcolm Turnbull again. He beat him on the republic. He beat him on the leadership of the Liberal party, and now he has beaten him on the ABC.

If there is one champion of the ABC in the Liberal party, it’s Turnbull. A few weeks ago at an ABC event in Parliament House, he was the keynote speaker. He told the crowd that night that the ABC was “more important than ever.”

This week, Abbott cut the ABC by more than $232m - with more to come.

Turnbull has a right to be angry. After all, Abbott promised he wouldn’t do this. The night before the election, the prime minister was interviewed by Anton Enus on SBS news and he was asked “are the ABC and SBS in the firing line?” His answer was clear as crystal, and I suspect it will haunt him for the rest of his tenure. He said:

No cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS.

Now we know that was a lie. Abbott didn’t just make this promise before the election. He repeated it after the election.


read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/15/breaking-promises-as-easy-as-abc-malcolm-turnbull-should-be-scathing


Malcolm, the best thing you can do to prove you care is to resign from the Liberal (CONservative) Party and go on the cross bench... Your colleagues, Abbott, Hockey, Cormann et al are pissing on you, as well as they are pissing on the Australian people... Do SOMETHING, PLEASE!!!. Give us a proper sign that you care more than just giving a limp tap on the wrist of theses lying pseudo-religious morons. If you do nothing, you are basically a whimp...


you’re saying it just because she’s a woman...



Cowley, who’s known to many as simply KC, has been reflecting on the industries in which he spent most of his working life: airlines and media. He’s frustrated and critical of the management and strategies he sees there.

In his characteristic blunt style – a style that earned him Murdoch’s respect, trust and friendship – Cowley delivers some stinging assessments. Even his old boss and friend Murdoch is not immune.

“The problem is now Rupert doesn’t have many people around him that give him advice and tell him the things he doesn’t want to hear. That was one of my strong relationships with him. From day one I was not frightened to tell him what he should do and shouldn’t do.”

Cowley says he had the backing of Murdoch’s mother, the late Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, when it came to telling Rupert what he needed to hear.

“I used to get on fantastically with her,” Cowley recalls . “She was a great supporter of mine with him. She used to help me argue with him. Once in Melbourne, she got Rupert and I to come to her in a hotel room and, to my pleasant surprise, she took Rupert on about giving me support in Australia, and was across all the details of the media companies, the Herald and Weekly Times . . . and Rupert went along with it and changed lots of things and virtually handed over to me and said, ‘You’re the boss’. He said to me, you can make any changes you like. And I made lots of changes, people and all.”

One of those changes was in the balance between management, the advertising department and the editorial section of News Corp’s Australian newspapers. Cowley saw the editor as a person who could work with him to make a profit and involved them in briefing advertising agencies, customers and clients. He got editors involved in budgets and made it clear that any initiative they wanted to pursue had to be costed and demonstrated it would make money. It was a new frontier for editors, who previously worried only about the masthead’s content.

The wrong successor

Where Cowley is most critical of Murdoch now is his decision in March to name eldest son Lachlan as non-executive co-chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox. It’s not the breathtaking nepotism of the appointment that has upset Cowley, as Murdoch has employed his major shareholding to propagate his dynasty. Rather it’s that Cowley believes Murdoch has picked the wrong child – he has six children from three marriages – to succeed him.

“I like Lachlan,” Cowley says. “He’s a nice man but he’s not a great businessman. He’s not a big and good decision-maker in my opinion.”

It is why he believes Lachlan shouldn’t be the anointed one to lead News Corporation and 21st Century Fox. Instead, he says, it should be Murdoch’s daughter, Elisabeth.

“She’s the smartest of all them. I’ve tried to tell him,” Cowley says. “He got angry with me. He said, ‘Oh you’re saying it just because she’s a woman’.

read more or buy the AFR paper: http://www.afr.com/p/national/arts_saleroom/



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