Squiz Today / 16 August 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 16 August
“There was a very, very slight rancid butter smell to it, but other than that, the cake looked and smelled edible!”
No, that’s not a description of your mother-in-law’s baked goods. That’s the Antarctic Heritage Trust’s Lizzie Meek describing a 106yo fruitcake found in a hut used by British explorer Captain Robert Scott in 1911 during his ill-fated Terra Nova expedition. Conditions have kept the cake in good nick. Mind you, no one was lining up to give it a try.
MEDIA REFORMS A STEP CLOSER
The Turnbull Government’s proposed media reforms took a step forward yesterday after securing ’conditional support’ from One Nation senators. That all sounds a bit boring, right? But if you like reading, listening to or watching Aussie news, programs and entertainment, this is for you (but we promise to make it simple, like we do...). Australia’s media laws ensure the industry isn’t dominated by just a couple of big commercial sources or proprietors. But the current laws were made before the internet (think Google and Facebook, who suck up billions of dollars in advertising revenue) and streaming services (think Netflix, who are taking audiences away from free-to-air broadcasters) changed everything. The government says their proposed changes will help our commercial media companies compete and survive.
OK. TELL ME MORE
The big-ticket items the government wants to change are:
- A cut in broadcasting licence fees.
- Getting rid of the ‘reach rule’, which stops a single TV broadcaster from getting to more than 75% of the population.
- Scrapping the ‘two out of three’ rule, which stops an individual or company from owning a TV station, newspaper and radio station in the same licence area.
If the legislation passes, Australian media will be ripe for consolidation. We can expect moves (and this is speculation) like Channel Ten being bought by News Corp.
SO IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN OR WHAT?
Since proposing the changes earlier this year, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield has got the media industry onboard – no small thing. He’s also been wheeling and dealing to strike a deal with the Senate crossbenchers after Labor indicated it had concerns. After Nick Xenophon and team said earlier this week that they were ready to cut a deal, there has been a race between the Greens (pro-ABC/SBS) and One Nation (not so much) to get in first. One Nation won that race yesterday and have made their support conditional on the government pursuing “a number of measures designed to assist the ABC in increasing its regional focus, as well as its financial transparency and political impartiality” (love the word 'assist' - it has so many meanings...) The headlines today have zeroed on their request that the salaries of ABC and SBS talent be published. Expect this to move along quickly during what’s left of this week.
SQUIZ THE REST
NORTH KOREAN PLANS TO STRIKE GUAM ‘ON HOLD’
State media in North Korea had a cheery update yesterday: leader Kim Jung Un has looked over the plans for a missile to be fired at the US territory of Guam but has decided to hold off for now. Experts say the critically important part of the report was that Kim would watch the US before making any decision to let ‘em rip. This underscores China and South Korea’s urging for the US to tone down the snarkiness. The update follows accusations North Korea has made big advances in their missile testing program because they have been able to source the technology from Ukraine, something they strenuously deny.
SPREADING THE PAIN – NZ DRAGGED INTO CITIZENSHIP SAGA
You know how some days you go into work and you just can’t get on with anyone? That was the federal parliament yesterday. Not content with the Barnaby Joyce citizenship saga being contained to Australia, our Foreign Minister Julie Bishop took the agro over the dutch (that’s ‘ditch’ in Kiwi-speak) to accuse the NZ Labour Party of colluding with Bill Shorten’s team to damage Joyce. The good news is our Deputy Prime Minister is no longer a New Zeelunder – he renounced his citizenship yesterday. The winner of the day has to be Amber Heard, the actress targeted by Joyce in the biosecurity row over her pooches, Pistol and Boo. She says she’s sent Joyce a case of kiwifruit. Nicely played.
AUSSIE BOSS IN A SPOT OVER VIRGINIAN VIOLENCE
The Australian corporate bigwig who heads US President Donald Trump’s high profile American Manufacturing Council has found himself in a difficult spot following the violence in Virginia on the weekend. Andrew Liveris, the Aussie whose day job is CEO of Dow Chemicals, is facing pressure to resign from the Council after three high profile members quit in protest over Trump’s dilly-dallying to condemn the actions of the white supremacists. The President took the first resignation pretty well, tweeting that Ken Frazier from Merck Pharma; “…will have more time to LOWER RIPOFF DRUG PRICES!” (Note the shouty caps…)
MUDSLIDE CLAIMS HUNDREDS IN SIERRA LEONE
Almost 400 people are dead, and an estimated 600 more are missing after floods and mudslides engulfed homes in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Part of a mountain gave way after heavy rain claiming residents who were tucked up asleep in their homes. More than 3,000 homes were submerged in what is said to be an overcrowded part of a city that is home to a million people.
DOMINO’S SHARE PRICE DOWN AFTER ANNOUNCING PROFITS ARE UP
Domino’s Pizza took an almost 19% share price hit yesterday after announcing a 25% profit increase for the last financial year. Wait, what? The problem was it had told the market its profit would be bigger, so the company was punished after the announcement was made. Apparently, France and Japan were sluggish (maybe after too much pizza...) and there's some market scepticism about its long-term future given the phenomenon that is UberEats/Deliveroo/Foodora home delivery services offering high-end restaurant options.
SIX AUSSIE UNIS IN WORLD TOP 100
The Academic Ranking of World Universities shows Canberra’s Australian National University took a tumble from 77th to 97th position. Despite that indignity, Australia has six universities in the top 100 also including the University of Melbourne (39th), the University of Queensland (55th), Monash University (78th), the University of Sydney (83rd) and the University of Western Australia (91st). The best-ranked universities in the world? Harvard, followed by Cambridge and Stanford. Our favourite sounding uni = Beijing Normal University. That would be quite an entrance test.
TEAM SWIFT = WINNERS
To bring this one to a close, the Colorado DJ David Mueller will have to pay singing megastar Taylor Swift a symbolic $1 after a US court found in Swift's favour on sexual assault claims. Also winners were her mum Andrea Swift and ‘radio handler’ Frank Bell who were being sued by Mueller after he was removed from his job following the incident. The jury also found in their favour. Swift said she took Mueller on to help other women stand up to sexual assault - but she acknowledged she could do it because she has the financial resources. “Therefore, I will be making donations in the near future to multiple organisations that help sexual assault victims defend themselves,” she said. We especially enjoyed Swift's takedown of Mueller’s attorney during the trial with some choice responses to his questioning. Enjoy.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, Chief of Army, to address the National Press Club - Canberra
ABS Data Release - Wage Price Index, June
Company Earnings Announcements - Woodside, Origin Energy, CSL
40th Anniversary of Elvis Presley's death
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