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Last updated on July 26th, 2017 at 12:55 pm
“I’ve got total authority. I’ve got total power,” Margo Kingston tells Radio National’s Media Report. “This is my Webdiary; this is Margo Kingston’s Webdiary.” She is Margo; hear her roar! The unemployed Canberra resident explains why she’s now the totally powerful operator of a Typepad site:
Fairfax’s actions involved a breach of a three-year contract to write, edit and produce, publish Webdiary, so the decision was terribly hard because I’m now penniless, and operating on a dream, and I haven’t got any skills in marketing or revenue or business management or anything like that. So it was a decision that I really, really wish I didn’t have to take. I’ve been through my grieving process about leaving Fairfax, and I’m looking forward now, but I believe that Fairfax incorrectly understood the nature of the new interactive mediums …
They were paying me 48-grand a year gross. I’m working 90, 100 hours, and I’m a really senior journalist, I’m putting high-grade judgment in.
Shy, isn’t she? Part of that “high-grade judgment” was to devise a comments regime whereby comments weren’t merely moderated, but were edited. Margo had to hire people to help out, leading to this brilliant situation:
I was paying out two thirds of my contract payments to cope with the comments load.
Sheer genius. And what did Margo get for her money? Comments editor Kerri Browne—one of several employed by Margo—explains:
Most of the comments editors’ time is spent correcting the formatting of posts. It takes two mouse clicks to delete an abusive post, yet at least eight keystrokes to add the tags to bold the name of the person the poster is addressing.
That’s $32,000 well spent. Why, wonders Margo, didn’t Fairfax want to help?
It’s been a bloody awful year keeping Webdiary functioning in the absence of any assistance from Fairfax in streamlining an ever-growing comments load. Countless hours of volunteer work by Webdiarists and sub-contracting comments management to Jack Robertson kept us afloat.
Actually, it sent you broke. More from Kerri:
Between Margo, myself, Hamish, Roger, Craig, Polly, Russell, Caroline and guest others we read and edit every post that ricochets its way from you through the internet to the Webdiary comments list. And between you and me, there’s no other media mob in Australia I’d rather work at this crucial place in time.
Considering most of her time is spent merely adding bold tags, why wouldn’t she enjoy working for Margo? Back to the Media Report interview:
Richard Aedy: What I am wanting to know is how are you going to make a living wage out of this?
Margo Kingston: Oh well, I’ve deliberately avoided your question because I have no idea.
No kidding. She knows how to spend a living wage, though—buying bold tags! Towards the end of the interview, Margo launches into fantasy:
I’d like Tom Burton to leave Fairfax and be the CEO of Webdiary. And if he did agree to that, he was the person who made The Sydney Morning Herald online the greatest site in Australia when no one cared, including the suits. He’s the one who did it with band-aids, and great people. We could get a real visionary here who could actually take on the big boys if readers are willing to get together and fundraise, or some rich person comes along, or whatever, some foundation, and says, ‘We’ll give you some capital’, I could get two or three great journalists in the mainstream, who are just dying to do the work properly again.
Richard Aedy: Who would you want?
Margo Kingston: Well I’d want Tom, naturally, and I would want my sister, Gay Alcorn, former Washington correspondent for The Herald and The Age who’s now editing ‘Insight’ for The Age. I believe she’d come. I could offer her half her pay, she’d come, but I can’t even do that.
It will please Alcorn’s bosses to learn she so despises her current work she’d accept another job at half her current pay. Dream on, Margo:
If someone wants to give me a go, and put some money down, I could get a fantastic team, we can take them on, and we can get press gallery passes. The other thing I’m really going to do is develop groups on the ground around Australia to do their own community newspapers, do their own reporting, pull the local in with the main Webdiary, which is the national. I mean I want people all over Australia to connect on this and to learn from each other.
And to add the crucial bold tags!
- Tim,she sounded very shaky voiced and emotional.The roar that moused.Posted by crash on 09/01 at 08:38 AM • permalink
- My jaw is scraping the living room floor at the moment. Two thirds of her wage just to get comments edited? That doesn’t leave much for making tin-foil hats.If it wasn’t for the link I would swear that you are making this up Tim.
Is it forbidden to ask what Andrea gets from de-trollifying your comments?
- Margo is big on Democracy, but when she went big on SIEV X and the readers deserted her she didn’t care!
Like PETA, who are big on animal rights, but fail to see that the animals would not exist in such numbers if they were not very tasty!
This alternative website: People Eating Tasty Animals, are much more appreciative of the real virtues of rump steak and other meaty morcels.
- Insted of Tom Burton, why not get Tim Burton – if he’s looking for something to outdo Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and Mars Attacks, Margo’s world might provide him with inspiration beyond his imaginings.Posted by Susan Norton on 09/01 at 08:52 AM • permalink
- Perhaps unmoderated and unedited comments and/or better scripting would have been a much better idea?
Her statement that Fairfax “incorrectly understood the nature of the new interactive mediums” really did deserve that bold, solely on the grounds of irony.
Hell, they were probably overpaying her at $48k.
- I’m sure some rich person would love to put money into an activity that cannot economically sustain itself and will probably just bag the rich.
That is the thing that really bugs me about these lefty types who have never earned a penny except through a regular wage paid by a large employer with deep pockets. They think money just magically turns up. They just don’t know how wealth is created.
They don’t realise that the likes of Kerry Packer or Richard Branson or Murdoch (and even your average small business owner) don’t earn anthing unless they are able to sell goods and services that people want to buy – at a price buyers are freely willing to pay.Posted by Flying Giraffe on 09/01 at 09:00 AM • permalink
- While I’m at it – what’s with the ‘senior journalist’ thing? Who gives a FF?!
In the real word (a world she is yet to inhabit), nobody cares whether you are a senior nosepicker or have 500 letters after your name or have spent 190 hours a week sctatching yourself. You only deserve what someone is prepared to pay, and that only occurs if you have goods or services for sale that they want at a price they are willing to pay.
If Mr/Ms Kingston (is it a man or a woman?) does not understand this basic concept, she needs to sit down with a simple HSC Economics text book, read Chapter 1, entitled ‘Supply and Demand’, and not waste time with his/her/its stupid webdiary or pontificating on any other matter until he/she/it has that chapter fully understood.
Meanwhile, if this Kingston person/creature needs to eat, pay rent etc like the rest of us, maybe get a proper job doing something useful that people are really willing to pay for.
And this goes for Alan Ramsey too!Posted by Flying Giraffe on 09/01 at 09:16 AM • permalink
- I know I keep saying this over and over again, but she’s gone completely fucking nuts. Every time I think she’s hit the peak and plateaued, she goes even futher.Posted by Aging Gamer on 09/01 at 09:29 AM • permalink
- Well put, Flying Giraffe.
And Iowahawk, absolutely scathing.
Margo states, “I haven’t got any skills in marketing or revenue or business management or anything like that.”
Which is why, of course, she’s been employed as a critic of a society built upon commerce and trade.
Oh when, oh when, dear God, are we going to be free of having the world explained to us by clueless liberal arts majors who don’t understand economics and can’t read a balance sheet?
- What about this part of the interview:
Richard Aedy: I know it’s early days, but what’s been the response of your Webdiary community?
Margo Kingston: The real fear I had was that my right-wingers wouldn’t come across, because the last thing we need is yet another leftie enclave or again another right-wing enclave.
Glad to hear all 2 or so of her regular “right wingers” (who are always shouted down in comments by the crowd) are continuing their masochistic ways. If she thinks it has not been a left wing enclave for years, it just goes to show again how “Margo” and “reality” don’t seem to meet each other in the street all that often.
And I can’t be the only one to think that the “community” has taken on a sort of cultish aspect in the last 12 months…
- Flying Giraffe seems to have had the ‘jaw-hit-the-floor’ before me, so I won’t repeat that most excellent commentary.
But I was struck by reading her wail “somebody just give me a large sack of cash, so I can hire people to do everything for me, and I can do…well, whatever it is I do.” All I could think of was an old definition of value. “The value of a thing is what that thing will bring”. So, by definition, Margo’s efforts are, well…without value.Posted by Major John on 09/01 at 09:51 AM • permalink
- It’s very revealing that she calls herself “senior.” (No, I’m not making a joke about senior moments, though that’s not necessarily off, either.) I mean “senior” as opposed to “expert” or “acclaimed” or any such outward form of validation rooted in quality. Senior is a civil service way of looking at it– I’ve been here 20 years so I get to boss younger people around, regardless of merit, regardless of anything my being here 20 years has accomplished. That, in fact, seems to be exactly how she views it all.
- Well, if I never saw an example of a clueless leftie floundering in the ocean of real world economics, I have now.
Will Margo next become a homeless person, walking around the city, sleeping in boxes, rummaging in refuse bins, and blogging from WI-FI hot spots?Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/01 at 10:01 AM • permalink
- Re #22, Tim: Better not tell Andrea about your slave staff, or she’ll ban you! Or maybe hog the italics all to herself.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/01 at 10:03 AM • permalink
Please stop adding comments. My slave staff (Tran, Mbongo, and the crippled kid)…
I look forward to Puce-like posts from Tran, Mbongo, and Stephen Hawking (hey, crippleness – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – it’s all the same). Admit it Tim, you’re an equal opportunity employer, even if it’s just so you can use the disabled parking now.
- “Give me money” is the thing that struck me in the eye. Poor me, says Margo, give me money and I’ll make it up to you somehow.
It’s obvious she doesn’t know the first thing about computers or the Internet or blogging, or I’m guessing, much about journalism either. I’m left with the impression of a clueless old lady who was being ripped off by people who charged her money for adding bold tags.
- They add bold tags manually? Haven’t they heard of text editors?Posted by reverse_swing on 09/01 at 10:07 AM • permalink
- Will Margo next become a homeless person, walking around the city, sleeping in boxes, rummaging in refuse bins, and blogging from WI-FI hot spots?
Yes, but she’ll have twenty subordinates to do the important stuff for her.
Team Alpha will be in charge of finding cardboard boxes, Team Beta will rummage in refuse bins, Team Gamma will shout incomprehensible garbled abuse at passers-by, and so on.Posted by Evil Pundit on 09/01 at 10:08 AM • permalink
- I believe she’d come. I could offer her half her pay, she’d come, but I can’t even do that…
If someone wants to give me a go, and put some money down, I could get a fantastic team, we can take them on, and we can get press gallery passes.
I’m thinking Margo has a future writing porn advertisements.
And what is it with Liberals being immune to efficiency all this overpaying for bold tags-
Don’t they know there is a war going on and people are starving?
$32,000?! That– would buy a lot of guns or butter.Posted by madawaskan on 09/01 at 10:09 AM • permalink
- Why doesn’t Margo do a bleg? Who was that blogger who had a fund raising drive, pulled in a huge wad of cash, and promptly went on sabbatical? With all the time she takes off, this scam ought to be right up her alley.
Of course, this assumes that her huge readership has two nickels to rub together.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/01 at 10:10 AM • permalink
- Monkeyfan — Oh yeah? Well, I can underline!
The RealJeffS — Oh, I’d love to see Margo pull an Andrew Sullivan blogathon… reminds me of the joke of the lazy husband who sends his wife out to trick, and she comes back with forty dollars and twenty-five cents.
“Who gave you twenty-five cents?” he yells.
“All of them.”
See? See?Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/01 at 10:18 AM • permalink
- Maybe she thinks that only the bold deserve the fare?Posted by andycanuck on 09/01 at 10:21 AM • permalink
- LOL, richard! I thought of the same joke as well.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/01 at 10:30 AM • permalink
- There must be something seriously wrong with my understanding of that whole scene. Really: I’ve spent the past 24 hours thinking that this is a joke, because that woman is manifestly illiterate. For Christ’s sake: she, herself, is way beyond requiring an editor for her own words. She needs an elementary tutor.
What am I missing? I really don’t understand how anyone could take her remotely seriously for any reason whatever.Posted by Billy Beck on 09/01 at 10:46 AM • permalink
I know I keep saying this over and over again, but she’s gone completely fucking nuts. Every time I think she’s hit the peak and plateaued, she goes even futher.
My thoughts precisely.Posted by James Waterton on 09/01 at 10:52 AM • permalink
The real fear I had was that my right-wingers wouldn’t come across, because the last thing we need is yet another leftie enclave
Ummm… how do you deal with that?Posted by James Waterton on 09/01 at 10:54 AM • permalink
- Andrea manages.Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/01 at 10:58 AM • permalink
- Alcorn–maybe she’s related by marriage to Squatter Alcorn from Outback House abc.
You ALL missed the BEST line from her worship”WE’LL BE LOOKING AT THE STORIES THAT NO-ONE ELSE IS BOTHERING WITH”.Followed by a magpie call in the background (where was she calling from).
She also claimed that Fairfax were”experimenting with embedding and attempting to milk money from this audience”.Then she said of the blog”I’ll close it or ask if they want to take it over”.Sooner’n you can say Jack Robertson Margs.
- She could always do some moonlighting as an air traffic controller at Canberra airport.They sound as though they could use some extra staff.Tell her to bring along her super alarm clock though,one sleeping in -while an aircraft laden with politicians circles hopefully above-is enough.She could use the light shining out of her er eyes to show the way.
- #33 Mcenroe, #35 fashist competitors, Et al:
Ummm…As far as Empfathis is conserned I do belive its been PROVEN that the sheer power of bolding along with the subble overtones of italics skillz beat the piss out of the classist vanilla of underlining.
Two whitch I might ADD, Coud u even like CAPLOCK Ur way out of a AOL chatroom?
Didn’t thinkso…’Cause I can U wage earning byotches!
Assitent Titular Intern Coordinater
133t Empfathis Corps
- I’m a really senior journalist
I wonder if she gets senior journalist discounts? Anyway, my thanks to Andrea for the excellent work she’s done on Tim’s site.Posted by Bruce Rheinstein on 09/01 at 11:40 AM • permalink
- Much as the Margoyle’s lunatic drivel has amused and annoyed me over the years, I am very glad to see that economic reality has set in and the creature is off to be the resident bag lady at Byron Bay, or maybe to move in with Bryan Law’s missus and sponge off her as well.
A fitting end, methinks.Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 09/01 at 11:43 AM • permalink
- Maybe she should put in a call to Sheldon Drobny and his wife. I hear they’re looking for another moonbat investment opportunity (con game) to steal money from the orphaned and elderly. They could call it “Air Austrailia”!Posted by crusher_of_libs on 09/01 at 11:51 AM • permalink
“I’ve got total authority. I’ve got total power”
Welcome, everyone, to Margoyle’s super-secret underground lair…
the roar that moused
Good one, crash. They should engrave that on her chair at the internet cafe…Posted by Spiny Norman on 09/01 at 12:31 PM • permalink
Margo states, “I haven’t got any skills in marketing or revenue or business management or anything like that.”
What? So you need a degree in economics to do anything meaningful now? Dont be ridiculous.
Helps to know something about adding, subtracting, debits vs credits, cost benefits, etc. if you plan to critique a mercantile society. Otherwise, you run the risk of looking like an ignorant art-school dropout blathering on about things they have no clue about. Right, Nic?
- Nic, what cosmos said was:
”…liberal arts majors who don’t understand economics and can’t read a balance sheet?”
I don’t have an economics degree. But I do have a basic understanding of economics. I can read a balance sheet. I understand the value of money. The same is true for many people today, regardless of their backgrounds.
Margo, clearly, has no such understanding. Which places her in the ranks of the left, who largely major in worthless degrees, are clueless about real economics, but don’t hesitate to voice what they consider as facts their opinions. The more ignorant the leftie, the higher the volume of their facts opinions.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/01 at 12:41 PM • permalink
We could get a real visionary here who could actually take on the big boys if readers are willing to get together and fundraise, or some rich person comes along, or whatever, some foundation, and says, ‘We’ll give you some capital’
“Not an evil rich person, though. A nice rich person. And not a capitalist, but just somebody ‘with capital.’ There’s a difference, you know. I’ll even take money from a Jew.”
There’s a word for people who slam the system that coddles them despite their uselessness, who insult the hardworking people whose efforts provide the things that make their lives comfortable, who constantly whine about what others around them should be doing (or not doing) while they just chatter, who think life is unfair and things would be different if they were in charge yet refuse to take responsibility for themselves, and then stick their hands out to the very people they slag and say, “I need some money.”
They’re called teenagers.
Margo, clearly, has no such understanding. Which places her in the ranks of the left, who largely major in worthless degrees, are clueless about real economics, but don’t hesitate to voice what they consider as facts their opinions. The more ignorant the leftie, the higher the volume of their facts opinions.
Ain’t that the truth. My dumb leftie co-worker was crabbing about gas prices going up after the hurricane. After trying to explain to him basic supply-and-demand, the damage to the rigs and refineries, etc, he sneered, “That was in the last two days. That has nothing to do with the gas in the pumps now.” I asked if he saw the pics on TV of a drilling rig that drifted into a bridge, and if the oil company might anticipate that would cost them some money (yeah, I know it’s more complicated than that, but I didn’t want to fry his brain). He reeled for a bit, then I landed the left hook – “If you and all of the millions of other people who complain about ‘greedy oil companies’ and ‘greedy pharmacuetical companies’ would pool your money and buy a 51% stake in one of them, you could run it in any ‘socially-responsible’ way you see fit.” He sulked.
- Most of the comments editors’ time is spent correcting the formatting of posts.
So… Does anybody else with an evil streak want
to go over there
and post horribly form
atted schtuff? buSH Lyed!!Posted by zeppenwolf on 09/01 at 02:02 PM • permalink
- Thanks Rob, TRJs. No problem, Nic. I hated the two economics classes I had to sit through in school, but business (and life) has a way teaching it the hard way.
It’s one thing to be a barstool blowhard, boring only the folks within earshot. At least there’s alchohol present for those suffering all around. But to pontificate from the pages of a newspaper on the shortcomings of something one doesn’t understand on such a fundamental level, well, that’s what I was getting at . . .
- Rob C,
I was floored by those numbers. According to an Internet currency converter, $48,000 AUD = $ 36,593.09 USD.
The Margoyle has been doing this for what, 20 years? No wonder I didn’t become a journalist – the pay sucks!!!
Tim, if you get a tip jar, I promise to start hitting it regularly.
Andrea, I hope you’re getting at least $32,000 from Tim. You’re worth every penny.
- The pay is actually pretty good if you know what youre doing and get good positions. Youd certainly be comfortable if you were skilled, so Im sure Tim is doing fine. He drives a goddamn HSV or something.
My goal is to be awesome and earn 6 figures in todays money by the time Im 40, bu thats what they all say.
I haven’t got any skills in marketing or revenue or business management or anything like that
and she can’t write or spell. In other words, she could shorten the sentence to “I haven’t got any skills”.
I feel sorry for her: she couldn’t even get a job in the fast food services as the customers would lose their appetite just seeing her or listening to her.
- Gees, what’s all this rubbish about comment formatting. Never heard of any other big bloggers doing this. Most of whom hold down a full time job and run a successful blog, without a squadron of staff.
And the way she carries on about running her own blog, you’d think she’d re-invented the wheel. Entirely understandable I suppose after a sheltered life at Fairfax.
Welcome to the real world Margo. I’ll give you 3 months.
- Ever notice how journalists claim to be protectors of truth, justice etc by supposedly exposing the lies and crap of the people they interview?
So why does that Aedy moron just nod and pander so uncritically with this particular stroke-pal?Posted by Flying Giraffe on 09/01 at 05:35 PM • permalink
- For those that did not have the auditory pleasure: http://margokingston.typepad.com/harry_version_2/2005/09/margo_kingston_.html#more
My god she has no clue.
- While i agree its good having margo suddenly exposed to real world economics, don’t expect it to cause a change in her attitudes. I’ve found most lefties (and to be fair, the more extreme right) to wallow in bitterness when it becomes apparent no-one will fund their business fantasies. They become even more against the current system.
Still maybe margo could start a new economic movement using Bob Ellis’ demented tract “101 Arguments Against Economic Rationalism”. as its bible. You remember the one. It had Bob looking serious and groomed on the cover. A rare enough occurrence in itself.
- First the WebDairy, then the film, is there an Opera in this?
Will the fat lady sing?
I had to let it happen, I had to change
Couldn’t stay all my life down at heel
Looking out of the window, staying out of the sun
So I chose freedom
Running around, trying everything new
But nothing impressed me at all
I never expected it to
Don’t cry for me Australia
The truth is I never left you
All through my wild days
My mad existence
I kept my promise
Don’t keep your distance
And as for fortune, and as for fame
I never invited them in
Though it seems to the world they were all I desired
They are illusions
They’re not the solutions they promised to be
The answer was here all the time
I love you and hope you love me
Don’t cry for me Australia
- And lets explore this editing workload a bit more.
Margo says it takes at least 8 key strokes to bold the names of posters.
Let’s see. Most people could type three to four keystrokes a second when they know what they’re doing. Let’s say three a second to be conservative (rather than progressive). If margo received 1000 comments per day (maybe a slight exaggeration) then it would take 8000 keystrokes to edit (assuming everyone needed bolding). Then in pure keyboard time it would take about 2667 seconds to do the editing. That’s about 45 minutes of editing time. Even allowing for time to peruse comments for editing etc her editors would be lucky to have 1 and a half hours of work a day, assuming she got 1000 comments a day which I think would be unlikely.
I think some editors saw her coming
- I am thinking that after finding solace meditating on Bob’s Belly @byron.bay our heroine St Margo turns her back on public life
Act 3 Final scene:
Have I said too much?
There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do is look at me
To know that every word is true
(Sob) Dont cry for me Orstralia (etc)
- “I know I keep saying this over and over again, but she’s gone completely fucking nuts. Every time I think she’s hit the peak and plateaued, she goes even futher.”
never mind, margo can move up to byron bay with all those other loopy leftie nutjobs…….maybe she could join up with mungo.
wow, what a fruitcake dream team that would be!!!
- And the way she carries on about running her own blog, you’d think she’d re-invented the wheel.
You betcha, that’s at the heart of the problem for the 98% of journalists today.
They are so caught up in the ego of seeing their words in print that they actually believe that what they write is important, or makes some contribution to public discourse.
In the case of Margo Kingston her narcissism has reached such extremes that she believes her personal following and genius will be enough to create a viable business.
I remember back in 2000 when Mayne started Crikey, there was a story in the Alliance (journalists’ union) magazine how he spent something like $10,000+ on a huge launch of his web site, even having a costume character created and then whinging about how he didn’t know how he was going to make a living out of it. Like Duh.
As a journalist with marketing skills who stayed awake during high school economics classes and is running a profitable small business, all I can say to Margo is you’d better check with Centrelink (social security) because I understand it can up to six weeks before you’re eligble for benefits.
— Nora (who can bold her own tags).Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 09/01 at 07:28 PM • permalink
- I might point out to the loyal viewers of Tim’s blog that this post on Margo generated 84 comments (so far) and a great deal of enjoyment. I never enjoy the Internet as much as when Tim posts a story and a link about Margo.
Where would we be if Margo went away? In a much duller world I would think.
Ok, maybe I should fund her new web site myself conditioned only on her promise to publish the real story (<– I did that myself!) that the evil neocons and Fairfax wouldn’t let her publish before. Oh that would be such fun.Posted by wronwright on 09/01 at 08:16 PM • permalink
- Oh wronwright I do so like the arrow thingy!
We’ve just read the transcript and Margo sounds like an enthusiastic child who’s just told her parents that she’s going to be a star.
— Nick (I was the one who taught Nora to do her own tags)Posted by The Thin Man Returns on 09/01 at 08:33 PM • permalink
- Hilarious! The bureaucratic fetish which permeates that whole site is just too much. A revenue team, a CEO, management structure, multiple editors, etc. It’s a triumph! The constant mutual backpatting in the comments about being such an extraordinarly unique exercise in Truth and Democracy is demented fun too.
The only disappointment is that they’ll never understand how clueless they really are. It’s almost sad.Posted by Crispytoast on 09/01 at 08:43 PM • permalink
- Bloody hell! All she had to do was take a computer course and learn how to do all that ‘clickin’ herself.Posted by Deo Vindice on 09/01 at 08:44 PM • permalink
- Tim: Shy, isn’t she? Part of that “high-grade judgment” was to devise a comments regime whereby comments weren’t merely moderated, but were edited.
She ain’t the only one – if you’ve ever tried leaving a comment on The Age section titled “Your Say”, they can edit the comments. I once left a comment referring to palestinian thug General Arafat, because after all, that was and still is his official rank and title unless you consider a sham-election to count.
The Age edited it to say president Arafat.
- I think Margo’s best chance for a viable income would be to pass the hat around amongst Tim Blair’s readers.
What would we do without her?Posted by Evil Pundit on 09/01 at 09:22 PM • permalink
The bureaucratic fetish which permeates that whole site is just too much. A revenue team, a CEO, management structure, multiple editors, etc.
It’s like New Guinea cargo cultists! They recite the words even though they have no idea what they mean, hoping to create the real effect. Look for her commenters to start weaving wicker Gooney Birds any day now…Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/01 at 09:36 PM • permalink
- Her disclosure of her salary of $48,000 to run webdairy is quite interesting.
At one stage, I am sure she was head of the Canberra press gallery, or some such (or was it chief political correspondent for fairfax?). She would have been on a heck of a lot more moolah in that gig.
I suspect that the hidden story in all this is that fairfax has been concerned about her ‘performance’ for some time, and her $48,000 salary may have been a compromise to let margo keep doing what she wanted to do, rather than the job of a real journalist.
However, webdairy has gotten so psycho over the last twelve months that it got too much for even fairfax.
In fact, margo and her fellow travellers have had such a negative impact on circulation and the reputation of the papers that I suspect that soon there will be a major cleanout quite soon. The first step appears to be appointing Mr Walker. If I was a fairfax left wing journo, I would be very afraid.
- #94 I think you’re on to something entropy.
Nick and I have been kicking around a theory that Margo wasn’t so much paid a salary for Web Diary as given a budget to run a separate stand-alone publication.
However from all her bleating it would appear she underestimated the budget required in the face of her lack of Internet and business skills.
Thus, the $48K doesn’t necessarily reflect her true income – surely she’s been doing other work – that book of hers must be raking it in 😉
— NoraPosted by The Thin Man Returns on 09/01 at 11:13 PM • permalink
- Now I think more about it, maybe her previous position was ‘chief political editor’ which would have been close to $100k, plus six weeks holiday etc. I recollect that she took a package from this job some time ago in the last round of cutbacks (circulation has been dropping for some time), theoretically to concentrate on webdairy. Perhaps Nora is right, and the $48,000 is to operate webdairy, not a salary as such – more a consultancy service.
- When first out of uni in about 1982 I was employed as a Grade 3 Journalist. My pay was about $19,500 pa, which I thought was attrocious.
Add in over 20 years of inflation and that much experience and if I was still a journalist I’d be expecting to earn a lot more than $48,000.
I went into business for myself and, like others here, I marvel at commentators like Margo who are so opinionated about economic management and yet have absolutely no idea about it.
As a small businessman (the business is small, not me) I have long believed that there are two types of people in the private sector – those who can work for themselves, and those like Margo who would starve within two weeks once the big company she hates stops paying her.
I also think that Fairfax may have put her on a contract as a way of sidelining her – made it easier to get rid of her once the insanity really started to bite.
I give her and Webdiary less than a month.
- Rob C — Actually, I think it means he can’t itemize his deductions worth a damn…Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/02 at 02:15 AM • permalink
- I give her and Webdiary less than a month.
Hey, let’s start a pool! Proceeds to the Salvos perhaps?
I’ll put $10 on giving Margo six weeks because that’s how long she’d have to wait I believe before Centrelink payment kicks in.
Harold says 1 month.
Any other takers?
— NoraPosted by The Thin Man Returns on 09/02 at 03:59 AM • permalink
- Sorry for late contribution, I’m a bit behind in my reading.
#52 – Dave.S – truly beautiful point, well put.
# 80 – Thin Man – “You betcha, that’s at the heart of the problem for the 98% of journalists today. They are so caught up in the ego of seeing their words in print that they actually believe that what they write is important, or makes some contribution to public discourse.”
Actually, Margo pretty much NEVER writes anything – most of the “columnists” are “volunteers” who want to express an opinion, at great length; very much like a massively long letter to the editor, but with less credibility than the average letter in a newspaper. In other words, to suggest that there is any research, breaking “news”, or journalistic professionalism, or that any of the “words in print” are written by Margo is to perpetuate an enormous furphy. At most, once in a while, Margo will write some little blurb to introduce her efforts at cutting & pasting some long rambling material from another source.
If you quit a job, I think it’s more like 12 weeks before you get NewStart payments, but maybe not. Besides, given that Margo is working 100 hours a week, even if not being paid, she is not eligible. You have to be actively seeking and prepared to accept a real job in order to get NewStart. Disability pension may be worth a shot.
Yes, the $48 K was her payment to be an outsourced contractor, with her responsibilities being to maintain and write all material for WD, and to read and edit all posts, etc – all functions which she promptly outsourced. Her outsourcing contract with Fairfax dates back one year, when she accepted a redundancy package to leave Fairfax, and immediately became a contractor to deliver WD.
I still want to know how any person can work full time for several decades, take an enormous redundancy package, then quit a job that was entirely of own their design and choosing, finish up that job on a Friday, and by Monday morning they are “penniless” and handing around the “begging” bowl. To position herself in that light, and to try to garner sympathy and donations because of her instantly “penniless” state is an obscene insult to any struggling or unemployed family or pensioner in this country.
PS – Sorry, bolding, italics, underlining and correction of spelling errors will only be provided on a pre-paid basis.
- The paranoid moonbattery continues…
This week, a WD acolyte suggested that the “webdiary virus” (ie: badly configured mailing-list) fiasco was my fault! Apparently, I’m at the top of his
“E Burrows or whatever name you are hiding behind, ‘reply’ or ‘reply all’, it doesn’t change the result. You have admitted to giving false information and been caught out telling porkies so you go to the top of my suspects list.”
Normally, I’d be annoyed if some wanker made a false accusation against me. But to be honest, the paranoia is kind of compelling to watch – in a car-crash kind of way.
And for the record, yes ‘E Burrows’ is my real name, and I have the credit cards to prove it. 😉
- a true head case is our margotPosted by Astonished on 09/02 at 06:26 AM • permalink
Either you have knowledge on Fairfax’s matters Margolian, in which case, a sincere thank you for the info, or you are a top-of-the-line bullshitter.
If the latter case, even more thanks, because we need more good bullshitters around. Ever since that bugger Derrida started writing, Bullshit has gotten a bad name….
Seriously, CKH, if SMH employed her as a contractor on that basis, then she must have viewed the WD gig as an easy financial top-up, a part time job. (If so, and her protestations of poverty are real, she has squandered her redundancy package payout)Fairfax, to my limited knowledge, does not have a particularly bad reputation for their outsourcing contracts. They run ‘em thru a contract lawyer according to my source. Standard business practise, or should be.
If they let her get away with outsourcing the major content of the site to sub-contractors, something odd is going on.
I wonder if this was a cheap way to paint her in to a corner. The alternative is that it could possibly have been done deliberately.
If so, someone is a Machiavellian thinker indeed, and a highly successful one. To continue that thread of thought, this might well be the start of a Night of the Long Knives for the luvvies at Fairfax.
In which case, I’ll certainly applaud from the arena seats as Fairfax let the lions in to purge the luvvies.
- MarkL – I’m ashamed to say that I can’t take the crown for being a top-shelf-bullshitter, at least not this time, and as much as I would like to accept such an honour.
My summary information is all provided by Margo, on WD, past and present site, and all in her own words, so it’s not an “insider” story.
The “columnists” are, from what I can tell, usually people just like you or me (okay, maybe only a little bit like you or me), that is, they are mostly people who contribute to threads on WD, or they start off that way, or they start off as being friends of Margo’s.
It’s the equivalent of you and me, or Mr/Ms Astonished, or ekb87, or Mr EvilPundit, sending in a gigantic un-researched opinion-piece-rant about some pet topic, or something that we think is “fun” or “quirky” or “deep” and “thoughtful”, and Tim puts that up as his post for the day, or several of them, if others also sent in an “article”, and this goes on day after day, month after month.
A small number of pieces seem to be written by journalists sub-contracted to Margo, that is, I gather she pays them (also for bolding people’s names), but the rest of the material is contributed by people within Margo’s inner sanctum. Which, by the way, is very rarely material or topics that are contemporary – although that would not be a negative thing, per se – but it generally treads such old ground that the fabric is dangerously threadbare. They do not write or break news stories of any nature on any topic, not ever. Someone sits at a keyboard and spits out whatever is on their mind – it’s just a collective garden variety blog. (Eg, the recent “debate” between the evolutionists and the creationists – wow – that was so new, so radical, so innovative….groan.)
It’s no different to everyone who has contributed to this thread writing rants of their choice for Tim to publish, and for Tim to happily cut & paste the “articles” into his blog each day, whilst gushing about how exhausting it is for him to maintain his site. Oh, and while moaning to his boss about his work load and how he needs a lot more help – oh, and then quitting his job because it’s all just too much and his boss won’t support his monumental genius. Etc, etc. You get the picture.
- Thanks for the reply, CKH. The funny thing about margolia is, of course, how on earth she managed to screw it up. I’ve got a full time and a part time job, big family, wife works too. I’d LOVE someone to give me $48K PA to write and manage a blog on top of that. How can you be so damned gormless as to screw it up?
- MarkL – I was about to refer you to the checklist provided on the busy bee thread, in order to answer your question – but YOU wrote the list! 😀
Merely gormless? As a lefty, I wish it could be brushed away with such an easy explanation, but I think it’s far more embarrassing than that, especially when you look at the context of WD, along with its total content. Disturbing stuff.
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