Crikey, Buzzfeed, Paul Barry and us: What is good digital citizenship?

Comments accredited to Media Watch host Paul Barry in The Australian this morning raise red flags around good digital citizenship, argues Mumbrella editor Alex Hayes.

I should be really flattered today. This morning in a national newspaper our pokey little business to business website was compared to Crikey and Buzzfeed by one of Australia’s most respected journalists. The problem is, I think it leaves a few misconceptions hanging out there I’m keen to clear up, with some facts. Read more »

‘A crazy act of will': The Guardian Australia turns one

The Guardian this week celebrates the first anniversary of its Australian operation. Launch editor Katharine Viner and some of her team talk to Nic Christensen to discuss the publication’s place in Australia’s media landscape.

It was over breakfast at the Edinburgh Media Festival, in August of 2012, that Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger first raised the idea of moving his deputy editor out to Australia to launch a digital offshoot of the UK newspaper.

“I said to him: ‘No, it’s far too far away’,” Katharine Viner reveals, as we sit in her Sydney office in Surry Hills, some 16 months into her stint as launch editor and editor-in-chief of the Guardian Australia.

Read more »

The Mad Men Industry – attracting and retaining women

After figures yesterday revealed the number of female creatives in Australia remains low, Miranda Ward looks at what can be done to get more women into the industry, from new initiatives to quotas.

According to the Communications Council 2013 Salary, women only account for 27.3 per cent of creative departments and represent 13.5 per cent of senior positions. However, according to a Mumbrella Survey, women aged 40 and older only account for 7.59 per cent of those currently employed, and women aged 30 – 40 taking up the bulk representing 36.7 per cent of the women employed, it is clear that as women get older they leave the industry. With agencies losing women suitable for senior positions, it needs to be asked how can an agency better retain talented and capable women? Read more »

What the axing of Wake Up says about Ten’s plight

tim burrowes landscapeWake Up ended this morning and Ten is slashing its news staffing. Until it finds a new owner, the network has no option but to cut costs radically, argues Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

It comes as little surprise that Ten has axed Wake Up.

But nonetheless, the decision – and the lack of local content to replace it – suggests that Ten is running out of choices. Read more »

Five unspoken truths getting in the way of gender equality

In light of today’s Communications Council findings less than a third of creatives are female Nitsa Lotus examines why more women are not working in these roles.

I was having a corridor conversation the other day about the virtues of gender equality and on overhearing the conversation a senior male colleague asked, “Why are we still even talking about this?”

I agree.

Why the hell are we still having a conversation about gender equality in 2014? Read more »

The Mad Men industry: Where are all the women?

harricksWith new figures showing women make up just a quarter of the creatives in agencies Miranda Ward speaks to some present and past female leaders about whether it is a problem, and what can be done.

At the AWARD Awards in March chairman Mark Harricks acknowledged the shocking statistic that women represent less than 10 per cent of the advertising industry, sensing the need to implement genuine change to rectify the problem. While many attendees clapped his sentiment, a small pocket of men enjoying the open bar and having a good time decided it was a good time for a laugh with cheering when Harricks mentioned the statistic.

As Harricks himself said, it is a problem that seems to occur within and outside of the industry when too many men are together. Read more »

Is the ABC really spread too thinly?

Andrew DoddAfter last week’s budget cut funding from the ABC Andrew Dodd of Swinburne University of Technology asks whether the corporation has overreached in recent years in an article which first appeared on The Conversation.

If you want to capture a lasting image of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation at the height of its powers, it might be a good idea to take a screen-shot of the homepage of the ABC’s website. But do it soon. If you wait a couple more months, or a year, or two, the odds are the site won’t be as rich and layered as it is now, given the hit the corporation took in last week’s budget. Read more »

Has the John Stephens case actually uncovered TV industry collaboration?

While Australia’s TV networks publicly profess to hate each other there are signs of some behind the scenes co-operation, asks Alex Hayes.

The last two days have seen some courtroom drama any of the free-to-air TV networks would have been proud of, with Seven and Ten going head-to-head in a battle over 67-year-old programmer John Stephens.

But underneath the rivalry, accusations of skullduggery and double-crossing have we seen a signal that the Australian TV market is actually closer to consensus than they’d have us believe? Read more »

Glimmers of hope for paywalls or an optical illusion?

tim burrowes landscapeEvery newspaper and magazine in the country records a drop in print sales today. But are there a couple of tiny green shoots in digital – or is it just a trick of the light, asks Mumbrella’s Tim Burrowes

You know those astronomers who patiently watch the same distant star for months on end because every few months the brightness fluctuates fractionally, letting them extrapolate the existence of an orbiting planet?

When the quarterly audited paywall numbers come in, I think I know how those scientists feel.

Read more »

Answers for Adam: Should the budget prompt us to be more generous?

Answers For Adam

After the government passed down an belt-tightening budget Adam Ferrier asks if this act should make people more generous in sharing their wealth?

Here’s a question relevant to you the day after budget night.

The government has largely followed convention and is in the process of creating a smaller government, and freeing up corporate Australia to create more money that will then be distributed to the masses. That’s kind of the reasoning – I think. Read more »

As Fairfax cuts photographers, what price for a news picture?

In this cross-posting from The Conversation Andrea Carson of the University of Melbourne asks how far outsourcing can go with quality newspapers.

You know the adage: a picture is worth a thousand words. News photographs can capture a story’s emotion whether it is sport, politics or human tragedy. Think of the 1983 America’s Cup win. Prime Minister Bob Hawke wearing an ear-to-ear grin and that loud Australia jacket more like wrapping paper than clothing. Read more »

The Fairfax strike: what is the core of news?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 12.22.54 PMToday more than 600 Fairfax staff are on strike over job cuts that would have massive impacts on the photographic and sub-editing capabilities of the publisher’s major mastheads. Nic Christensen argues that the structural factors driving print redundancies are unavoidable but the dispute also raises the question of how far a publisher can cut and remain credible.

Let’s be clear, we’ve been here before.

Much of the anger and despair we are seeing from Fairfax staff comes from the fact that it was less than two years since Fairfax management announced its “Fairfax of the Future” project, which saw 1,900 jobs slashed from the publisher with around 400 of them coming from editorial. Read more »

Consumer print may be dying, but don’t write off the trade press

With naysayers continuing to predict the demise of print Nick Green argues the trade press should not be tarred with the same brush as consumer media.

Trade media is a powerful thing, and I bet that you also read your trade media while at work – it’s probably where you are right now reading this, and it’s where I read mine. But why are we having to spend so long explaining the function of the trade press to advertisers?
Read more »

Planning in America: Silos, wanky titles and the accent

David Gaines

After taking a new role in the US late last year Brit David Gaines reflects on how agencies in that market struggle with cross-channel planning because of scale, and the rise of the digital natives.

Starting work in the USA has some parallels to when I first arrived in Australia, though for slightly different reasons.

Back then I’d been brought over as a planner at the soon to be defunct Lintas. When they rolled that into what was Merchants, I met for the first time Alan Roberston as we were all required to be re-interviewed. The conversation was particularly short: Read more »

Answers for Adam: Was the passion shown by Packer and Gyngell a good thing?

Answers_For_Adam-11-2After  a dramatic 24-hours with a fight between media execs and protest stopping a live TV show Adam Ferrier asks if this refreshing show of passion is good for society. 

So two things have happened over the last 24 hours that make we think we’re on the right track again. A bit of biffo and a protest. Read more »

Why the first brand to brain wins

While innovation is important, Ashton Bishop argues it needs to be backed up with marketing to be successful.

One of our clients just learnt the hard way about the difference between business and brand. They had a strong business, with a strong technological foundation, yet they resisted advice to invest in the brand because they didn’t see the need. Then a Chinese company reverse engineered their product and now the Chinese have ostensibly the same product only 300 per cent cheaper. It hurt. Read more »

Act your age: why online video buying should not be like TV

With online video becoming an increasingly important channel Tyler Greer argues treating it like TV risks losing its differentiation. 

The recent arrival of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) tracking across digital video is steering digital video down a path that more strongly reflects TV buying models. How publishers and networks respond will be interesting. Sure, taking traditional gross rating point (GRP) thinking into the online realm demonstrates how digital is finally straddling the offline buying world. But it may come at a cost. Read more »

Alcohol advertising debates need to move beyond content

Ahead of the launch of a report on alcohol marketing on Facebook tonight Sven Brodmerkel and Nicholas Carah urge the ad industry to embrace a more open conversation about the effects targeting will have on this form of advertising. 

A few weeks ago The Australian National Preventive Health Agency (ANPHA) recommended in a draft report that the Alcohol Beverages Advertising Code (ABAC) should include all forms of marketing within its self-regulatory scope.

This position has been met with opposition not only by the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) some creative industries and the alcohol industry. Mike O’Rourke from Bloke argues that culture in general, and parents’ behaviour at home in particular is much more important in shaping children’s attitude towards alcohol than advertising. He also makes the point that tighter regulation will only lead to agencies finding even more creative ways to advertise alcohol. Read more »

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