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Peter FitzSimons’ interview with Jacinta Price sparks a week-long culture war | Amanda Meade

AAn interview with Coalition Senator Jacinta Nambizimpa Price in Sunday’s Nine Newspapers provided the Australian newspaper with a week’s worth of “exclusive” culture war stories, raising “columnist Peter Fitzsimons” in its sights.

Peter Fitzsimons made legal threats against the local senator with a series of late-night text messages to Jacinta Nambizimpa Price. https://t.co/kmIZ8HINQO

— Australian (@Australian) August 9, 2022

FitzSimons’ description of being “woke” appeared prominently in the news story, in which the separation between news and comment was abandoned in the broadsheet.

Price and FitzSimons were on opposite sides of the debate over the vote for Parliament, and the latter did not interview the local senator so much as discuss it. Price stood her ground, defending Pauline Hanson as someone who “cares deeply about Indigenous Australians” and derided the Voice as “just another bureaucrat”.

Fitzsimons: “Honestly, in the silent watch of the night, staring at the cracks in the ceiling, as we all do, do you ever doubt? In the seriously important and powerful position you hold, don’t you ever think that you are abusing the platform you have and hurting local causes? You absolutely are For sure That you are saying and doing the right thing?”

After the Q&A was published, Price took to Facebook to complain that Fitzsimons was offensive in a phone interview and accused her of “giving voice to racists.”

The Australian reports FitzSimons has mentioned the possibility of legal action after he was accused on Facebook of bullying and shouting during a phone interview. Price deleted the Facebook post but called for the audio to be released publicly.

I listened to the audio of the entire interview between Peter Fitzsimons and Senator Price. There was no yelling and screaming from the participants. It was an interesting interview in which the Senator’s positions and views were examined. The Australian really needs to move on

— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) August 10, 2022

On Wednesday, Sydney Morning Herald editor Bevan Shields defended his star columnist and urged Oz to continue. Of course it didn’t. Australian media editor James Madden wrote five stories in four days and by Friday there were 11 pieces in total, including cartoons and letters.

On Friday, Nationals captain, David Littleproud, took to Twitter to call on Fitzsimmons to publish the interview, making it a Good Friday piece to continue the story.

Fitzsimons did not respond to a request for comment.

A nation’s tears

Olivia Newton-John’s importance to Australians is reflected in the blanket coverage she received this week, including three hours of tributes on all breakfast shows, a 20-minute story on Nine’s prime time 6 o’clock news bulletin and a remake of the TV schedule. A miniseries about the star on Screen Grease on Nine and Seven. Many journalists and public figures shared their memories of ONJ and entertainment veteran Richard Wilkins broke down while talking about him and had to be comforted by Karl Stefanovic.

Karl Stefanovic puts his arm around Richard Wilkins as he pays tribute to Olivia Newton-John on live television.
Karl Stefanovic puts his arm around Richard Wilkins as he pays tribute to Olivia Newton-John on live television. Photograph: Channel 9, The Today Show

But replaying hits from the late 70s and early 80s has left some younger audiences a little lost.

The SMH/Age quiz on Wednesday claimed to be lyrics from Olivia Newton-John’s 1981 hit Physical, but was actually a 2020 song by English singer Dua Lipa.

Batros strikes again

ABC chairman Ita Buttrose hosted the broadcaster’s glamorous 90th birthday celebrations at Studio 22 on Friday night, attended by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and dozens of ABC personalities past and present, including Kerry O’Brien, Maxine McCue, Virginia Trioli. , Tony Jones, Sarah Ferguson, Patricia Karvelas, Mark Villaci, Juanita Phillips, Pip Courtney, Jonathan Holmes and Jeremy Fernandes. Albo gave an impassioned speech about the ABC he loves but Ita took aim at unnamed “commercial enterprises” that were “attacking” the ABC.

“Some of our critics, however, consider that the ABC does not represent the mainstream. But how much more mainstream can you be than reaching an audience of 20 million Australians every week,” he said.

“We stand firmly against such criticism and will continue to maintain high standards of editorial quality by delivering unique stories that reflect Australians and our way of life, and news free from political and commercial pressure.”

Meanwhile, shadow communications minister Sarah Henderson, a former ABC journalist, booked an appearance on Sky After Dark to attend a dinner where she told ABC critic-in-chief Chris Kenny that the speeches were “one-sided”. The union did not acknowledge how much it had done for ABC, and she was not invited to speak. Henderson first appeared in Kenny’s documentary “Your ABC Exposed” as one of Aunt’s main critics.

A small win for the archives

On Monday, the Australian Library and Information Association and the Australian Society of Archivists wrote an open letter to the ABC board expressing “significant concern” about the ABC’s proposal to scrap 58 positions in its archives department.

“Australians trust the ABC to provide well-researched, evidence-based journalism and high-quality programming,” the groups said. “It is reasonable to expect that the ABC archival collection will be managed according to professional standards for creating, maintaining and preserving records, standards common to other public institutions responsible for collections of national importance.”

Librarians will be pleased to hear that the ABC has scaled back the plans after lengthy negotiations with staff and unions.

The Weekly Beast has confirmed that four jobs will no longer be axed, and plans to make daily current affairs at 7.30 with Sarah Ferguson and Behind the News with Amelia Mosley doing her own research have been scrapped.

Both shows continue to have access to the research team rather than relying on new “content navigators” when they cannot access the material themselves.

According to an email from Rebecca Matthews, Acting’s chief digital information officer, after “consultation and feedback,” four proposed redundant staff would be saved: two researchers; One is a sound librarian and one is a reference librarian. However plans to make 54 roles redundant remain.

“News librarians are being renamed ‘content navigators,’ staff numbers are drastically reduced, and journalists are told to do their own research, archiving and cataloging,” one staffer told the Weekly Beast.

“Journalists don’t have the time or skills to do this. This is not done, resulting in the archive being deleted or destroyed along with important historical material due to lack of adequate cataloging by trained and dedicated metadata professionals.

One way bet

Age sports reporter Sam McClure, who had his 2020 Quill award reinstated after the Melbourne Press Club board overturned an earlier decision, has resigned from the paper because he could no longer read ads in his other gig as host of Wide World of Sports in Melbourne. Radio 3AW.

Although both 3AW and Age are owned by Nine Entertainment, the two media outlets have different editorial policies.

Age editor Gay Alcorn said the policy, which saw McClure resign, is not new.

“Age news reporters are not allowed to advertise or promote business because we have to be independent and look like that,” he told the Weekly Beast. “Avoiding any perceived conflict of interest is central to editorial standards. Sam is a talented sports journalist and we wish him all the best in his new hosting role.

In June, Media Watch accused McClure of compromising himself by running ads for gambling firm Sportsbet, for which deputy editor Michael Bachelard later apologized.

“A journalist promoting the business of the company he wrote about is a clear conflict of interest and unacceptable,” Bachelard told Age subscribers.

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