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Media Navel-Gazing: January 31, 2011

Mark Kollar  Follow

The Week Unpeeled (with dispatches from Sydney, today's MNG dateline)

Davos last week convened with even less fanfare than last year (CEOs seemed more optimistic, however), with much of the news focus on domestic issues after President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to more-than-usual anticipation in front of a new Congress and a slight rise in popularity. (Coverage of Obama's speech hit the front pages in Australia, with The Australian pronouncing, "Obama tells US to "'win the future'," in a speech that has been characterized here (and no doubt everywhere) as the launch of his re-election campaign. Elsewhere in Australia and around the globe:

  • Unrest in Egypt (backed by the Muslim Brotherhood) dominated coverage as it threatened the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarek;
  • The unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, fanned in large part by social-network rallying cries, led many to speculate whether other nations in the Middle East were next to erupt;
  • Egypt reportedly disrupted mobile phone services and Internet access was interrupted; and
  • Markets were rattled with the Dow falling 166 points on Friday to end at 11,823.

Other Media-Related Aussie Observations

The broadsheets are literally broadsheets with dailies printed in large format:

  • iPads are everywhere and seem to be more popular than at home (or least more visible on the streets);
  • Oprah-mania still riding high after her TV special here, even though the talk-show format is not popular on Australian television;
  • Being 16 hours ahead means WSJ and Financial Times not readily available in print, with tabloid Financial Review most popular business newspaper;
  • Reuters is a big wire service here, even in the land of Rupert Murdoch (who owns Dow Jones);
  • Sports coverage and gossip is dominated by betting, where you can wager on any aspect of the Australian Open, like how many points will be played in the first set (even the Sidney Opera House funded by a lottery);
  • In business, mining, mining and more mining;
  • Women dominate politics from the prime minister down to local levels; and
  • Like everywhere, weather seems to be No. 1 news story, but weather here has been extremely extreme (floods and blistering temperatures). CJP
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