Words matter – but don’t shoot the press officer – article by Sally Baxter

Sally Baxter

The path from shrinking newsrooms to the bulging corridors of corporate communications and government media units is a well-trodden one. Many journalists, your own Girl Reporter included, have sought a crust by writing press releases. Some of them may even have been poorly worded.

The process of preparing a press release is time-consuming and thankless but it is never careless. Long before it sees the light of day a press release is pored over by increasingly senior levels of management. Their concern is understandable – a poorly worded press release can commit a government to policy outcomes far beyond what was ever intended.

This week in Australia we saw that a poorly worded press release can put protesters on the streets of Melbourne within an hour and disrupt an operational matter which would have put jackboots on the ground with the intention of “speaking with any individual we cross paths…

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Poll Shows 86% Of Australians Support Abbott Cull

Now, there’s a thought ….LOL

Tony Abbott's promise to change his leadership style has unnerved comics"

A new poll published today has brought bad news for Prime Minister Tony Abbott, showing that he has fallen to a new low of 14% in the preferred Prime Minister ratings. With only 12 months until the federal election things look dire for the embattled Mr Abbott.

A keen fisherman and an unnamed Coalition source said: “Let me put it this way … more Australians would rather see Tony culled than Great White sharks!” he said, stifling a laugh with his hand. “I’m not lying … it’s a numbers game, mate.”

The unnamed source offered to hook The (un)Australian up to fibre-to-node internet as long as his name was kept out of the story. It should be noted that no Coalition MPs have suggested setting drumlines anywhere near the PMs office or in his electorate.

“No,” the unnamed coalition source, “nobody is suggested anything like that … Is that even possible? Might…

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#BishopGate, #choppergate: deleted webpage & complete metadata restored; expenses listed

UndercoverInfo

The Australian prime minister, Tony Abbott, says that Bronwyn Bishop admitted an “error of judgment” in making a $5,000 travel claim for a helicopter charter to attend a Liberal party fundraiser, but insisted that she would not be stepping down as Speaker while the Department of Finance investigation takes place. With regard to this so-called #choppergate affair, we thought it only right to restore a deleted April 2012 webpage by the Liberal Party relating to the Slipper Affair, which the Liberal Party believes is of a similar nature (though involved less expenses). Below we provide a) a link to the deleted page in full, b) an image shot of part of the first part of that page, c) a document of the entire metadata of that page (captured and released under the Peoples Data Retention Act) and d) copy of Ms. Bishop’s expenses summary for the period 2012-14. The Australian…

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Scapegoating minorities may reap a bitter harvest

Mariam Veiszadeh

The non-toned down version of our opinion piece

As Lawyers, Mothers, and Australian Muslims, we are deeply committed to the rule of law, civil liberties and social cohesion. We rather hesitantly attended a Federal Government “consultation” on Tuesday regarding the Australian Citizenship and the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia Bill) 2015. This is despite our “engagement fatigue” in a context where many members of the Australian Muslim community are urging a total withdrawal from further engagement with the Abbott Government.

We were disappointed but not entirely surprised that key Muslim organisations and youth organisations seemed to be excluded from these face-to-face “consultations”. In fact, we only happened to have been invited on recommendation from a colleague in Melbourne. When we queried this – we were told that face-to-face consultations were “not a primary method of consultation” and that apparently, the mind numbing Citizenship paper was emailed to various organisations…

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Rising Seas – Interactive: If All The Ice Melted

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Explore the world’s new coastlines if sea level rises 216 feet.

“There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say it would take more than 5,000 years to melt it all. If we continue adding carbon to the atmosphere, we’ll very likely create an ice-free planet, with an average temperature of perhaps 80 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the current 58” (Source: ngm.nationalgeographic.com).

GR:  Just in case you haven’t seen this.

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10 signs the stars are aligning for a climate deal in Paris.

jpratt27

1) Pharrel Williams is going to make the world sing.
2) The Pope is fed up with us slapping nature down.
3) Barack Obama is flexing his muscles with other countries.
4) The Euro diplomats are coming.
5) The people are marching.
6) Solar and wind are flying.
7) The DiCaprio effect.
8) Despite its critics, the UN process did agree a deal in Lima.
9) It’s top of Ban’s list.
10) France is hosting, not Denmark.

theguardian.com

• The Paris climate summit, the 21st Conference of the Parties, will be held from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

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Tony Abbott, horses mid stream and musical chairs

But for the immense damage being perpetrated by Tony Abbott on our country, I’m happy for him to stay on — it will more likely banish the LNP off the Australian political centre stage for decades!

No Place For Sheep

Changing horses mid stream

I’m most interested to see what the LNP do with Prime Minister Tony Abbott come the next federal election. He’s been conspicuously absent in recent state election campaigns, presumably because nobody thinks he can do them any kind of good with his presence. So what on earth will his party do with its leader when we troop off to vote for our country’s next government?

Abbott subjected himself to some self-harm yesterday as he argued his case for the dangers involved in changing leaders during a government’s first term. Citing the epic game of musical chairs played by the ALP government during the Julia Gillard – Kevin Rudd leadership saga, Abbott expressed the opinion that it’s certain death to switch horses mid-stream. His party has the sense to know this, he believes, and so his leadership is secure. The country can go to the dogs and the less well-off can struggle…

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On citizenship and election to high office

oecomuse

In the USA, being born in the USA is a constitutional requirement for standing for the Presidency. Anyone born outside the USA is not eligible to stand. There was once some talk of changing this so that Arnold Schwartzenegger aka the former governator of California, would become eligible to run for president. A sex scandal broke, he disappeared from public life, and so did the debate.

This is a constitutional matter. A legal fact. The political and cultural requirements are different, numerous and complex. For instance, there is no requirement in the constitution that a presidential candidate also be a Christian. But the current political reality is that candidates are compelled to state their adherence to the Christian religion, and end their speeches with ‘God Bless America’. This is so despite the fact that the framers of the American Constitution were determined secularists. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion…

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