Margaret Simons

Journalist, author and director of the Centre for Advanced Journalism


Fairfax Melbourne Managing Director Don Churchill’s Departing Herogram to Staff

July 27, 2011 3

Dear Colleagues, My indication to the company to retire from the business, announced today, comes after a wonderful and exciting 46 years plus in the media industry in both New Zealand and Australia. There will be plenty of time for me to talk to you before I retire, but I want to take this opportunity […]

Managing Director of Fairfax, Melbourne Resigns

July 26, 2011

The following announcement regarding the resignation of Don Churchill was emailed to Age staff this afternoon. Read tomorrow’s Crikey email for some analysis. Chu Subject: All Fairfax Media staff announcement Colleagues As some of you have heard, Don Churchill announced his intention to retire at the senior management conference held yesterday.  While I am pleased […]

A Civic Emergency. What’s Good and Bad for Journalism in the NotW Scandal This Week.

July 22, 2011 3

I thought I’d riff a little on the question of whether this has been a good or bad week for journalism. The riff is inspired by a talk I had last night with an old mate and journalist. He is one of those who has never worked for PR, and who has climbed only so […]

ABCNews24 wishes itself Happy Birthday

July 21, 2011 1

The ABC just put out a media release wishing its 24 hour television service happy birthday. Given my comments over the last couple days (see previous posts) I’d like to see a commitment to respond faster to breaking news. Having said that, last night the telecast of the UK parliament was good, and it was […]

…and what Gillard said.

July 20, 2011 4

Most of the news bulletins are carrying only the strongest bit of Gillard’s comments on News Limited. In the latter bits, she is a little less Bolshiei, though hardly clear on what she is and isn’t saying. Here is the complete transcript of the relevant bits. News Limited CEO John Hartigan’s response was in the […]

News Limited CEO John Hartigan’s Response to Julia Gillard

July 20, 2011 2

From: “Corporate Affairs” Date: 20 July 2011 5:21:18 PM AEST To: “Corporate Affairs” Subject: John Hartigan’s Response to the Prime Minister John Hartigan’s Response to the Prime Minister July 20, 2011 News Limited chairman and chief executive John Hartigan today described comments by the Prime Minister about News Limited as “unjustified and regrettable”. The Prime […]

FFS, ABCNews24!

July 20, 2011 6

The piece I wrote for the Crikey email this morning was already very long, so I cut out a spray for ABCNews24. The point of a twenty four hour news channel is just that. And those of us who did not have access to Sky News or the BBC last night have to be grateful […]

Rupert Murdoch to Staff

July 20, 2011 2

The following message from Rupert Murdoch just landed in News Limited employees’ inboxes. ear Colleagues: Today, James and I appeared before a committee of the UK Parliament with regard to the issues connected to the News of the World. We did so to apologize, reiterate the Company’s cooperation with the police, and explain what we […]

Rupert Murdoch to Staff

July 20, 2011

The following message from Rupert Murdoch just landed in News Limited employees’ inboxes. ear Colleagues: Today, James and I appeared before a committee of the UK Parliament with regard to the issues connected to the News of the World. We did so to apologize, reiterate the Company’s cooperation with the police, and explain what we […]

Murdoch Bingo

July 19, 2011 4

The media junkies among us will be sitting up late tonight to watch the live coverage of the Murdoch family’s appearance before the British parliamentary committee. Dan Cass will be one of them, and he has forwarded me something to help the rest of us while away the time. He asks to be described as […]

News Limited’s Audit – Agreement with the Press Council

July 18, 2011 2

I have just been sent the following by the Chair of the Australian Press Council, Julian Disney. It is the detail of his agreement with News Limited CEO John Hartigan about the audit of editorial expenses to be conducted in Australia. It allows for independent oversight, but on first glance seems to me to be […]

After Martini – the Director’s Cut

July 18, 2011

Margaret Simons on the State of Journalism from Des Ryan on Vimeo.

After a martini – me on media

July 15, 2011 1

I am in my hometown, Adelaide, at the moment. Last night I was given a strong martini by my old friend, Des Ryan, who edits that city’s InDaily website. Then he told me that there were no free drinks, and I had to be interviewed for InDaily in return for the excellent martini. Here is […]

Greens to Call for Senate Committee Inquiry on Media Regulation

July 14, 2011 5

Greens leader Bob Brown is about to call a media conference at which he will announce a push for a comprehensive Senate Committee inquiry into media regulation in the wake of the News of the World scandal in the United Kingdom. In a briefing paper distributed earlier today, the Greens say that while there have […]

Statement by John Hartigan

July 13, 2011 4

13 July, 2011 Dear Colleague, As disturbing events continue to unfold in London I believe it is important to keep you up to date with our position in Australia. Some media outlets, certain commentators and some politicians have attempted to connect the behaviour in the UK with News Limited’s conduct in Australia. This is offensive […]

New Herald and Weekly Times Policy – and How it Sits with the Mothership

July 12, 2011

Earlier today I mentioned that I had posed some questions about the new Herald and Weekly Times policy, and how it sat with the News Limited Code that has been the subject of all the dust ups over the last few days. I have received the following from Genevieve Brammal, the HWT’s Corporate Communications Director.

News Limited, Caroline Overington and an Alternative Universe

July 12, 2011 22

In an alternative universe, the little dust up I have been having with News Limited over the last few days would have taken a different course. Imagine if it had been this way. After I wrote this article in the Crikey email, News Limited’s spokespeople might have said something like this: “We dispute your claim […]

And more again from News Limited’s Greg Baxter

July 12, 2011 2

Fresh developments in the stoush with News Limited. See the Crikey email for the news, but in the interests of completeness, here is the latest correspondence. Also, The Australian’s media diarist Caroline Overington has taken a shot. Not much there worthy or response, but I’ll write a bit more about that here later today. From […]

My Response to News Ltd’s Greg Baxter

July 12, 2011

Earlier today, I got a couple of emails from News Limited spin doctor Greg Baxter in response to this story in Crikey today. To read Baxter in full, see this earlier post. What follows below are my responses, interspersed with his comments Margaret, you have misrepresented me badly in your item today for Crikey. I […]

More News Limited People on Ethical Code

July 11, 2011 1

If you are coming in late on this, you might want to read the previous few posts. I wrote in the Crikey email on Friday that few News Limited journos have read, or even know about, the company’s code of professional conduct, which CEO John Hartigan described, in the wake of the News of the […]