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Panpa Bulletin : June 2006
June 2006 PANPA BULLETIN | 9 NEWS A hard-hitting survey- based response that under- lines the unique strengths of magazines inserted into newspapers has been released by Australia's two major publishers, shooting down magazine industry claims that inserts have a weaker relationship with their readers than tradi- tional products. If anything the survey, jointly commissioned by Fairfax and News Limited, has provided a wealth of findings that can only enhance the appeal of the newspaper products. The survey - the first to compare newspaper magazines with their tradi- tional newsstand competi- tors - found the inserted publications, which have increased from 12 to 16 in the past year, outstrip their rivals for value, credibility, relevance and inspiration. They also attract greater reader loyalty, with almost three out of four readers keeping them for at least a week after buying the newspaper. About 700 readers took part in the study which involved qualitative and quantitative research. It was conducted by the Hemisphere Group and Ipsos in NSW, Victoria and Queensland and its commissioning by the two major publishers was the first time they had jointly funded a project of this kind. With inserted magazines gaining an important role in generating new revenue as well as reader loyalty, Fairfax and News Ltd were determined their response to the attack by MPA was sufficiently well-based to demolish the claims the in- serts had no value because they had no cover price. The research will form the basis of a joint news- paper magazine trade marketing strategy by the two groups called 'engage- ment+'. Newspaper magazines first made their appear- ance in Australia more than 20 years ago. Good Weekend, in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004 and The Weekend Australian Magazine was launched in September 1988. Sunday Magazine, which appears in News Limit- ed's Sunday papers, is the country's largest-circula- tion magazine with a na- tional circulation of more than 1.3 million. In the last year, News Limited has added Wish (The Australian), Qweekend (The Courier-Mail), The Adelaide Magazine (The Advertiser) and paradise (The Gold Coast Bulletin) to its stable. Phil Barker, the man- aging director of News Limited's magazine arm, News Magazines, said the study confirmed newspa- per inserts had become a dynamic and vibrant part of the country's daily newspapers and that there was room for growth in the segment. Fairfax general maga- zines director Karim Tem- samani said the research gave publishers, agencies and advertisers authorita- tive, fact-based insights into the relationship be- tween newspaper maga- zines and their readers. It showed newspaper magazines had a com- petitive edge as a prime advertising platform. In a response to the release of the survey MPA executive director Helen Kingsmill told The Australian's media writer John Lehmann many of the survey's claims "aren't plausible". She questioned why, if newspapers were more important to readers, they did not carry a cover price. KEY FINDINGS > almost a third of readers want to be challenged by the newspaper magazines they read; they are seeking intellectual stimulation and articles of interest > newspaper magazines are read more regularly than paid magazines > Seventy-three per cent of readers cover at least half the newspaper in detail - they trust the content > Sixty-three per cent of newspaper magazine readers read most current issues, compared to 54 per cent of other magazine readers > newspaper magazine readers spend more time per page than newsstand magazine readers > newspaper magazine readers are loyal with 48 per cent reading four out of four of the last issues compared to only 32 per cent of other magazine readers > readers welcome a broad range of advertising in newspaper magazines because of the breath of their editorial content > for nearly one in fve readers, newspaper magazines fulfll an important role in keeping them up to date with lifestyle trends Magazine Madonnas boosting circulation MEDIA exemption from new Federal sedi- tion laws has been called for in a joint sub- mission prepared by News Limited, Fairfax and Australian Associated Press. The submission, now before the Austral- ian Law Reform Commission, states the sedition provisions included in the gov- ernment's Anti Terrorism Act (No 2) 2005 endangers the operation of a free press in a democratic society. The controversial Act, aimed at prevent- ing incitement to carry out terrorist acts, was rushed through Parliament late last year. The news organisations have told the commission that while they accept Australia is in 'a great danger' because of the threat posed by terrorism, they consider that many of the sedition sections are unnecessary and badly drafted and should be repealed. Additionally, the submission states that failing that the Act should be amended "so its excesses, as they relate to publishers, are removed by Parliament". The submission contends; "There is a real risk with the sedition provisions that a comment made, letter or advertisement published, wire service story or interview reproduced, factual letter carried, video- tape footage published, editorial opinion expressed, or feature film, or documentary screen could, by reason of its subject matter, prominence, content, tone wording or man- ner of promotion and ultimate authorship be thought capable of being held by a jury to amount to urging of a proscribed kind". The news organisations say they are also concerned that published opinion which might be seen to support, lend sympathy, or merely give publicity to claims made by a terrorist leader risks giving rise to an infer- ence that it was intended to assist them. The 'in good faith' defence to charges of sedition was inadequate as it would be ex- traordinarily difficult if not impossible to prove, they claim. The three news organisations are urging the ALRC to recommend that the Act be amended to make clear that the offence pro- visions are neither intended nor designed to prevent journalists from reporting, not to impede the free flow and expression of opin- ion in the media. A media exception, such as those in the Trade Practices Act and in the Privacy Act, should apply. Big three call for changes to sedition laws Jack Beverley Jack Beverley