The quiet Australian

media dinkus

The Oz ignores a firefight

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has received a mixed reception during visits to bushfire-hit communities in Victoria and NSW this week.

For all sorts of reasons some locals were not pleased to see him and, it must be said, the media pack that follows him on such flying visits.

But it was the media pack that dutifully reported on the snub a few locals gave the PM at the NSW town of Cobargo during a visit on Thursday.

The actions of locals who heckled him and some who refused to shake his hand were given appropriate coverage across most media outlets.

Online news sites were obviously able to give the story immediate coverage along with video of the awkward encounters.

scomofires3 cmailpg9Brisbane’s daily tabloid The Courier-Mail carried a prominent story (pictured) in its Friday edition and Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported, albeit briefly, on the hostile reception.

But come Friday morning the national tabloid broadsheet The Australian didn’t mention any of it.

scomotheozfiresIt carried a page 2 photo of the PM shaking hands with a Cobargo volunteer firefighter (pictured) and a fleeting reference in a front-page story about “who has been criticised in recent days over his perceived inaction over the crisis”.

By Saturday’s edition The Australian must have thought it could not ignore the story any longer and ran an item acknowledging that the PM had been “filmed on Thursday being heckled by residents of Cobargo”, but giving no details of the reasons those same locals had been so vocal.

The story led with, because it really couldn’t ignore, the response by the NSW Premier to criticisms of the PM by one of her own ministers and MP for the area who had defended the reception Mr Morrison was given by locals.

Is The Australian actually reporting on the PM or protecting him?

A right royal response

Recently our media analysis team penned an item on The Courier-Mail’s less than subtle efforts at padding the pages carrying funeral notices.

cmail funerals 121219The item showed how the insertion of in-house ads for the very same “tributes” page were being used to flesh out the page so it didn’t look empty (pictured). Yet all that tactic seemed to achieve was to draw attention to the very same emptiness.

It’s a problem for lots of hard-copy newspapers as demand for classified ads shrinks in the face of internet advertising and specialised websites flogging cars, real estate, and everything else that was once offered fro sale in the classified columns.

Perhaps The Courier-Mail might take a lead from its sister paper in North Queensland, the Townsville Bulletin.

tvllebull020120dblepageIn a recent edition the Townsville daily obviously faced the problem of a giant hole in its classifieds’ pages but but solved it in a much different way.

Instead of running in-house ads it inserted a picture story about Prince Harry and his young son Archie (pictured).

Well, that’s one way to fill a space although we’re not sure how readers, let alone the royal family, might respond to such a story buried in the classifieds on page 33.