The Hunter Biden story is a crucial moment: does Twitter care more than News Corp about fact-checking?

Original article by Margaret Simons
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 23-Oct-20

A recent story in the ‘New York Post’ about the son of US presidential candidate Joe Biden has become the battleground over the principle that media organisations should not publish allegations unless they believe them to be true, and after they have undertaken appropriate checks. The story has pitched traditional media company News Corporation against social media giants Facebook and Twitter. The social media giants have sought to stop the story from circulating due to doubts about its veracity. News Corp in turn has accused them of censorship, while it has generally failed to acknowledgement that the original story may have been false.


Life on the outside

Original article by Maureen Dowd
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1, 6 & 7 : 16-Oct-20

James Murdoch quit the board of News Corporation in June, having at one point of time hoped to lead the media company. Murdoch cited differences in certain content published by some of its news outlets, along with some other strategic decisions, as his reason for leaving at the time. He has established a company called Lupa Systems, while his investments include a comic company whose publisher once worked for Marvel. Murdoch says he decided to leave News Corp because he believed he could be "more effective outside" the company, while friend Matthew Vaughn believes that Murdoch will now start his own empire.


Federal police drop case against ABC journalist

Original article by Lilly Vitorovich
The Australian – Page: 7 : 16-Oct-20

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions will not take legal action against ABC journalist Daniel Oakes over a series of reports known as ‘The Afghan Files’. The CDPP has deemed that the public interest does not require a prosecution in the case of Oakes; the Australian Federal Police has subsequently advised that its investigation into allegations that Oakes obtained classified information has been closed. ABC MD David Anderson says the matter should never have gone as far as it did.


ABC indulged ‘activist agenda’, says V’landys

Original article by Kieran Gair
The Australian – Page: 7 : 15-Oct-20

Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys has given evidence in his defamation lawsuit against the ABC and one of its journalists. The case centres on a story that appeared on the ‘7.30’ current affairs program in October 2019; it featured an interview with V’landys that was spliced with graphic footage of retired racehorses being killed at a Queensland abattoir. V’landys claimed that the story "pandered to an activist agenda" and alleges that the ABC failed to make it clear that he has no jurisdiction over racehorses in Queensland. V’landys is seeking aggravated damages.


Nine, Foxtel rugby match nears finish

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian – Page: 18 : 15-Oct-20

Sources have indicated that a decision on Rugby Australia’s next broadcasting rights deal could be made within days. Rugby Australia has held meetings with executives from Foxtel and Nine Entertainment, and the discussions are said to be "well advanced". Foxtel currently holds the broadcasting rights, while Nine could potentially broadcast one Super Rugby match each week as well as the Wallabies’ matches. Any deal with Nine could also include more extensive rugby coverage via its Stan streaming video service.


Broadcast deal is off and racing

Original article by James Madden
The Australian – Page: 19 : 12-Oct-20

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted key sports codes such as the AFL and NRL to renegotiate their current broadcasting rights deals. However, horse racing coverage has attracted a growing audience during the pandemic, which is likely to result in a significant increase in the cost of the sport’s next broadcasting rights deals. Meanwhile, the fourth running of ‘The Everest’ is expected to attract record TV ratings on 17 October.


What is the real unemployment rate?

by Marcus L’Estrange, The Sensible Centrist No 44, 9th October 2020

“I believe around two million Australians are unemployed, or around 15 per cent, with 1.3 million underemployed. All up, around 25 per cent plus.

The dramatic understatement of Australia’s unemployment and underemployment figures by the ABS causes major distortions in handling covid19, economic planning and general policy making.”

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics ‘Labour Force’ unemployment figures of 6.7 per cent must be taken with a massive grain of salt. They are merely a political definition of unemployment, not an actuarial one.

Terry McCrann has attacked the ABS’ official unemployment figures, effectively calling them “fake” and claiming the real figure is more like 30 per cent in the private sector: “The ABS has to ditch its ludicrous methods of measuring joblessness if it wants to be taken seriously again” (Sunday Herald Sun, May 10, 2020).

He claimed that the ABS unemployment estimates were already ridiculous 30 years ago, and are beyond ridicule now. The only jobs data that now have any meaning come from Roy Morgan Research.

Back in 2017, Adam Creighton wrote in The Australian: “The definition of unemployment certainly doesn’t satisfy the ‘pub test’. It actually includes only a minority of people without work who want it. Imagine if a group of rogue statisticians, hellbent on issuing numbers that reflect reality, seized control of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Their first decision would be to release an unemployment rate above 15 per cent — almost triple the official figure”.

There are many reasons for this but the following examples should suffice:

  1. The ABS regard you as unemployed only if you are “actively looking for work” in the week prior to the survey period. But just what work is there to look for right now and indeed for many years, particularly since the global financial crisis? Not only are businesses not hiring now, many are being forced to not operate at all. Persons who only looked in newspapers or at job advertisements on the internet are seen as passively, rather than actively, looking for work and so are not considered unemployed. How job seekers are supposed to apply for a job that they are unqualified for or simply doesn’t exist, in order to be regarded as an “active” job seeker, is beyond me. Similarly, just checking noticeboards is not considered an active job search.

  2. JobSeeker/Youth Training Allowance (dole) recipients, due to covid19 restrictions, do not at the moment have any mutual obligation requirements, (e.g. “actively looking for work”) because the requirements have been suspended until June 1, 2020. So, no one on JobSeeker allowance (1.6 million mid May) and no one on the JobKeeper allowance will be counted as unemployed. As of mid May, 835,000 employers, with six million employees, are covered by JobKeeper. The ANZ Job Vacancy survey for April showed that there were 64,000 vacancies, down from 136,000 in March and 62 per cent lower than a year ago.

    Commentator Alan Kohler asked on April 25: “Six million people are budgeted to get it (JobKeeper), which is 46 per cent of the workforce. Would they have been unemployed without it? Does that mean unemployment would have been 56 per cent, not 15 per cent, without the Job Keeper Allowance?”

  3. If you work one hour in the week before the survey period you are regarded as being employed. The ABS gives the same status to people who work one hour as those who work 40 hours plus! A more objective measure would be the average number of hours worked per month per adult. Apart from being more objective, it incorporates the impact of unemployment, participation, underemployment and population ageing.

  4. If you are not ready to start work during the week after the survey you are not counted as being unemployed. For example, if you have short-term health problems, are moving house or you cannot immediately obtain childcare, you don’t count. You are not unemployed.

  5. People stood down who receive even a week or two of annual/long service leave will also be counted as employed. Additionally, people who have been laid off are not counted as unemployed if they believe they have a job to go back to within four weeks.

  6. A falling rate of participation in the labour market. If people simply give up looking for work, that reduces the actual number of officially unemployed Australians. Half a million workers dropped out of the workforce in April and were not counted as unemployed. Hence the nonsensical ABS figure of 6.2 per cent for April.

  7. Youth Allowance (youth dole) recipients who are studying part time as a requirement of receiving the dole are not counted as being unemployed.

  8. If you receive JobSeeker (dole) but are allowed to engage in volunteering, work part time or are homeless, you are not counted as being unemployed.

  9. If you have worked without pay in a family business during the survey week you are counted as being employed.

When you allow for these factors, the real figure is, well, certainly not 6.7 per cent. I believe it is at least around two million unemployed, or around 15 per cent, with 1.3 million underemployed. All up, around 25 per cent plus.

The dramatic understatement of Australia’s unemployment and underemployment figures by the ABS causes major distortions in handling covid19, economic planning and general policy making.”

Judge takes swipe at media on privacy

Original article by Michael Pelly
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 9 : 28-Sep-20

High Court judge Patrick Keane criticised the ‘old media’ in a recent speech titled ‘Too Much Information: civilisation and the problems of privacy’. Justice Keane claimed that media owners had a degree of self-interest in their push to have existing defamation laws changed, and that when it comes to choosing between the right to privacy and the right to know, they are likely to favour the right "with the dollar signs attached". The states recently agreed to introduce reforms to defamation laws which they argue in part will better protect public interest journalism, but so far New South Wales is the only state to have passed the uniform legislation.


Kayo climbs off canvas to hit new high

Original article by Max Mason
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 10 : 23-Sep-20

Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany says the pay-TV group now boasts nearly two million sports subscribers across its broadcast and streaming platforms. The Kayo Sports streaming service now has more than 600,000 subscribers, compared with 542,000 in early August. Kayo’s subscriber base fell to around 331,000 in May after the coronavirus pandemic forced major sports such as the Australian Football League and National Rugby League to temporarily put their 2020 seasons on hold.


Retail can thrive in online shopping shift

Original article by Glenda Korporaal
The Australian – Page: 13 & 19 : 23-Sep-20

More consumers have embraced online shopping due to the coronavirus pandemic, a trend that Australian Retailers Association CEO Paul Zahra expects to continue. He says the proportion of retail sales that are made online could rise to 20 per cent over the next 18-24 months, compared with about 10 per cent prior to COVID-19. Zahra warns that more physical stores are likely to close in coming years, but the shift to online will force retailers to adapt their business models. The pandemic has also prompted more consumers to support retailers within their local community.