Gareth Powell arrives at Blorge

By Tiffany Blatchford in Media News on
Tech journalism pioneer Gareth Powell may be knocking on the door of his 75th birthday, but that hasn't stopped him picking up a new gig writing for emerging Australian-based tech blog

 Powell will manage the photography and image section at Blorge, and also contribute to the site's general tech section.

During his colourful and controversial career, Powell has worked as a book and magazine publisher in both the UK and Australia. He simultaneously performed the roles of travel editor, computer editor and supplements editor at the Sydney Morning Herald in the early 90s. And made an appearance on Media Watch, where he was roasted by then-host Stuart Littlemore for plagiarism in 1995.

Powell, as he is the first to admit, has done the rounds.

"Let us just get some things straight. I'm not young. I'm 74 and I've been working on this earth since 1955. I started out at the Wallasey & Will Chronicle near Liverpool in the UK, and then went to London to publish books. I was pretty successful because I was outrageous. Around 1964, about the time when Lady Chatterley's lover was released, I published 'Fanny Hill' and spent eight hours in gaol for publishing obscenity."

Asked why he wanted to take on the role at Blorge, Powell said he's been keeping a close eye on the news blog and its publisher John Pospisil, since the site's launch.

"I've been watching Blorge ever since it started. To be honest, I didn't think the site would make it. But John Pospisil is a very impressive character and I watched Blorge gather speed. I took the job because I'm very competitive and I'm interested in hammering away and trying to punch my way to the top. John's is an amazing idea. He doesn't even know many of the writers that work for him, as a lot of them are based in America, but the result is website that is vibrant, where everybody's sort of mucking in and contributing their own styles," said Powell.

According to Pospisil, the editorial strategy at Blorge over the past few months has been to attract a few more mature writers with experience to help improve the quality of the site.

"When Blorge started out, we relied upon a lot of junior writers. We were basically a hybrid between a news site and a blog. As time passed, it became apparent that we needed to broaden our writing expertise to include both junior and more experienced journos," explained Pospisil.

"We hired Gareth because he has vast experience in the IT industry and he has interesting opinions, interesting perspectives and maturity. One of the things we find with online journalism is that audiences like writers who have some kind of flair and can write in an interesting or unique way. As a new voice at Blorge, Gareth will provide those qualities."

Powell said that one positive aspect about his role at Blorge is that it will keep him young and "charging around doing silly things."

"It's a bit like working at the SMH when it was still a good paper - it's not now because the world has changed. These days everyone uses SMS, emails and all that other stuff to communicate, and the role of newspapers has changed. I'm just trying to keep ahead of it all and not turn into a grumpy old man, so I use SMS and Skype and those kinds of things to keep up," he said.

"One thing I've noticed about tech journalism these days is if you write about gaming, you're going to be number one. I've never played World of Warcraft. I'm not going to start now. But if you take out the games, then I'm doing OK".

Powell, a Welsh Australian, moved to Australia in the late 1960s where he published the best-selling novel "Now You'll Think I'm Awful" by Sue Rhodes and a few magazines like Chance and Pol.

A copy of Chance was seized by Australian customs officials in 1968 for containing offensive material, including the comic strip Barbarella which was eventually made into the Jane Fonda film.

The judge presiding over the case in the Equity Court ruled against Powell, ordering that issue of the magazine to be destroyed, stating: "I am not sure what Barbarella was about but I suspect lesbianism."

Powell sold off his magazine publications in the early 1970s and moved his business to Hong Kong.

These days, in addition to Blorge, Powell also writes several blogs for the China Economic Review, based in Shanghai and covers housing, travel and a variety of other topics. Powell also continues to spend much of his time in Asia.

His daughter, Sian Powell, has followed in her fathers footsteps, and is currently a journo for the London Times. Previously, she was the Indonesian correspondent for The Australian.

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32 staff out from the West Australian

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

The West Australian Newspapers (WAN) group is farewelling 32 staff who have all accepted redundancies.

WAN editor Anthony de Ceglie said the move was part of long-term plans to integrate The West Australian and the Sunday Times staff into a seven-day newsroom.

Some of those moving on from The West are hardened veterans such as state political editor Gary Adshead and health editor Cathy O'Leary, both 2018 WA Media Awards honourees.

"It's always sad to see people go, there's a trauma involved in saying goodbye to legends of the game. Gary is definitely one of them, but we move on. The show goes on and there'll obviously be a paper put out tomorrow still. So to be honest, the real tragic part of Gary leaving is I feel like I've only had a few months to work with him," de Ceglie said of Adshead.

Magazine editor Sue Yeap, politics reporters Daniel Mercer and Phoebe Wearne, general news reporter Claire Tyrell, and sports reporter Bridget Lacy, among others,

Game Informer's Australian edition ends

By Craig Daveson in Media News on
Game Informer Australia is set to be replaced by the US edition as a result of cuts made by EB Games and its parent company Gamestop.
Australian editor David Milner announced the news in a lengthy social media post today, which marks his final as editor of the publication.
In that post, Milner attributed the closure to Gamestop’s inability to find a buyer in recent months, and a drop in the company’s share price.
As Game Informer’s Australian editor, Milner was responsible for 68 issues of the magazine, which is one of few Australian made specialist gaming publications still on the shelves.
“I don't know what’s next. I need time to think. This is a job that never slept; even when I was on holiday I was checking emails, managing crises, handling social media, always thinking about the next deadline,” said Milner.
“I once brought my laptop to the MCG and subbed magazine pages during the Boxing Day

10 launches new podcast

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Network 10 and Acast have launched a new political podcast show under the 10 Speaks brand, called The Professor and the Hack.

Hosted by 10 network political editor Peter van Onselen and national affairs editor Hugh Riminton, the show aims to tackle various political issues that may be relevant to Australians as the general election draws near.

“When it comes to politics, Peter and Hugh are world-class and their banter, insights and take on the world is unique, accessible and relatable. I may be biased of course, but I’d highly recommend the first episode to those who enjoy good ol’ political banter,” said 10 CEO Paul Anderson.

Fitzgerald appointed to Tonic board

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Tonic Health Media‘s board is now bolstered with Anthony Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald comes in as Tonic continues to push ahead with its expansion. The Tonic appointment is his first since leaving Multi-Channel Network last October after 15 years as CEO. He also served 18 years heading Seven’s sales division.

“Anthony has continually challenged the status quo for many years which is exactly what Tonic is doing,” said Tonic CEO, Dr Matthew Cullen.

“His vision, expertise and passion will help us meet our goal of improving health literacy and outcomes for all Australians.”

Get to know Fitzgerald on LinkedIn.

Your Money online site shuttered

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NewsCorp Australia and Nine have agreed to close down the website component of finance platform Your Money.

Your Money CEO Kylie Merritt said the decision was made to integrate its content with NewsCorp Australia’s platforms, starting with Your Money’s presence continues on social media channels, 9Now, and Foxtel Go.

Your Money was launched six months ago as part of a collaboration between News Corp and Nine, involving a stand-alone digital presence, television channel and social media accounts.

Four personnel connected with running the website have agreed to move on. Your Money digital operations head David Ash resigned several weeks ago.

Books+Publishing shuffles senior staff

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

ANZ book industry portal Books+Publishing has made some editorial changes.

The company announced that current editor-in-chief Andrew Wrathall is moving up to production manager; the job now puts him in charge of the company CRM systems, print production, and running the official website. He has been with the company for a decade, spending most of it as publishing and digital media coordinator.  

Kelsey Oldham is moving up from assistant editor to editor. She is relatively new to the company having joined last August. Sarah Farquharson is promoted from news editor to managing editor. The two of them join digital editor Brad Jefferies in the company’s editorial circle.

NewsCorp Australia mobilises political journo crew

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

NewsCorp Australia has marshalled its political reporting team for in-depth coverage of the upcoming federal elections.

The consortium stated that each politics reporter handling the newspaper mastheads from metro to community level,, Storyful, and SKY News, are committed to the endeavour.

These include The Daily Telegraph’s Anna Caldwell and Sheradyn Holderhead, Melbourne Herald Sun’s James Campbell, The Courier-Mail’s Renee Viellaris and The Adelaide Advertiser’s Jade Gailberger and Matt Smith.

Health correspondent Sue Dunlevy, political reporter Claire Bickers, senior writer Paul Toohey, cost of living editor John Rolfe and personal finance experts Sophie Elsworth and Anthony Keane are also tagging in with discussions on the elections’ effect on their fields. SKY News hosts Peta Credlin, David Speers, and Paul Murray will even write op-eds for metro and regional papers.

A multichannel campaign called Truth Builds Trust is also being ang

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