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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Friday, 4 May 2012
Whoa dude, who stole my page hits metric?
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Seems we had an outage on the old automatic metric for our US based blog server on 30 April 2012. As most bloggers, and lawyers, know one can never really believe extreme results such as zero or conversely sky high. Not one accidental page hit in 24 hours after 5 years of existence? We don't think so.

 It may be a coincidence we sent the link to the latest posting about Andrew Bolt comparision with Anders Breivik to all federal members of parliament on the evening of 30 April 2012, or not. We have no way of knowing. Here is the graphic to verify the weird result.


Posted by editor at 10:30 AM NZT
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
SAM blog stats for early 2012 - OMG an upward trend!
Mood:  surprised
Topic: independent media




This community news blog has been fairly quiet for 2 years as its editor worked full time as a solicitor in the private sector (and pro bono), while noting the blog was established in January 2007 (5 years - woo hoo!). Judging from the hit rate it appears less is more, because on the occasions we have posted in the last 2 years responding to something so outrageous in the big media that it demanded a reply, it seems our hit rate continued to trend upward, especially now in months Feb and March 2012. How ironic.

Posted by editor at 3:06 PM NZT
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Naughty Tim Blair in legal stoush with Crikey says SMH
Mood:  chatty
Topic: independent media


Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 3:22 PM
Subject: legals on Tim Blair back page SMH, his own record

I could have but never bothered to sue Blair for this defamation: I returned fire referring to his initials TB as a metaphor for the illness of philosophy that he represents. But no doubt his audience is bigger than mine. He may be jealous we got a place to talk to the UTS journalism school and big bad News Ltd blogger did not. He mis spelt my name (deliberately re google?) but it's easily recognisable.
Here is the link and article, still there after some years:


The announcement:

After a very successful talk’s last year, newmatilda.com is holding its second In Conversation discussion panel.

The topics:

Who Can You Trust?
Who is a credible source online?

The speakers:

Jackie Dent: ABC Opinion Online & UN Afghanistan spokesperson
Antony Lowenstein: Author of My Israel Question, journalist, blogger
Tom O’Loughlin: Sydney Alternative Media- Editor of micro news site & solicitor
Edmund Tadros: SMH.com & investigative journalist

The questions people may wish to ask if they attend this “successful talk’s”:

• On complex issues, how seriously should we take someone who can’t even judge age or gender?

• Is inventing quotes a bad thing?

• Why might someone be so much milder in print than he is online?

• Should we trust someone who betrays his own family?

Yet Antony isn’t the craziest bug on New Matilda’s panel. He’s joined by Tom O’Loughlin, editor of sub-fringe conspiracy site Sydney Alternative Media. Talk about your credible online sources; this boy makes ol’ Ant look like, I don’t know, a journalist.

(Via Dylan Kissane)

Posted by Tim B. on 03/26/2008 at 12:32 PM
By the way Blair also made a 'friendly' telephone call to me about a story on my www.sydneyalternativemedia.com/blog blog on his role in a story in The Bulletin about David Hicks, which from memory I did adjust for balance based on his grievance. Would have to search it out again. I even spoke to then editor of The Bulletin about it, just before it folded.
Looks like it was this story Blair got touchy about down the second half:
Monday, 7 January 2008
Tim Blair damaging the News Ltd/Sydney Daily Telegraph brand?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: big media
Yours truly, Tom McLoughlin

Posted by editor at 5:15 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 31 March 2010 5:19 PM NZT
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
News Ltd take down request to SAM micro news after apology to top barrister
Mood:  cool
Topic: independent media



We recently received an email letter from Blake Dawson Waldron above with a CC to their senior partner on media matters, with an invitation to take down a story - because an apology was now in place and the matter legally resolved between the parties which does not include SAM here.

We have decided not to take down the 2 year old story but simply add the relevant apology by News Ltd to Ms Tania Evers, Barrister. Not least because Ms Evers has advised us our stories are fine with her, and we already published the official News Ltd apology here:

Sunday, 14 February 2010
High class barrister Tania Evers wins defamation case against News Ltd?
Mood:  not sure
Topic: legal

On re-reading the story in 2008 invited to take down we do think there is a broader interest in where the infamous blowtorch by The Terror has failed to achieve it's grim purpose of reputational destruction. Indeed Ms Evers appears to us be made of forged steel:

Thursday, 17 April 2008
Sydney Daily Telegraph lead story frozen out by tv big media peers as dodgy?
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: big media

 Image:Its A Wonderful Life Movie Poster.jpg

A fairly incredible white knuckle ride in the 'back story' to this report here:

Wednesday, 16 April 2008
According to our media monitoring yesterday the Sydney Daily Telegraph story applying it's (in)famous (melo)dramatic blowtorch on a pillar of society hit a brick wall of incredulity. Did the story ramp up through the day and onto the nightly tv news bulletins? Were peers in the relatively bigger TV news sector of the Big Media willing to back the trashing of a legal professional's reputation? Put themselves in the line of fire of a defamation action on the strength of the journalism of Janet Fife-Yeomans, and editor David Penberthy?
No, no, and no, they declined. What's  more the ABC TV prime time news sunk the slipper in to the SDT agenda with another legal angle altogether, which might be sobering discipline on both the Tele and the "popular authoritarianism" of the NSW Govt [to borrow a phrase of Quentin Dempster].
In summary as best we could tell:

- all the tv nightly news ABC and commercials stood off the story. So did the current affairs and 7.30 Report;

- what was most profound was the lead ABC 7pm flagship tv news led with an incredible repudiation of the Daily Telegraph agenda by

(a) ignoring the story totally, and

(b) running as no. 1 lead a related story about lack of safety/resources at Newcastle Family Court precincts - which is NSW AG Hatzistergos's ministerial responsibility and VERY embarrassing.

The Telegraph runs a smallish story today Thursday 17 April 08 well into the paper, no picture, cleaning up loose ends,  as if by way of belated 'balance' sourcing the instructing solicitor. Only it's way not proportionate or contemporaneous with the damage of their front page story against the barrister the day before. This might only mitigate fertile defamation action for the day before.

The blowtorch story against the harried barrister is virtually all over next day: It's not many people who survive the Telegraph blowtorch in such good shape. It's usually a one way street like John Brogden, others before, others no doubt in the future.  
We are impressed. Like James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life the civil rights lawyer Tania Evers obviously has got alot of social capital goodwill out there, including from such as this writer for her pro bono support of a disabled volunteer/friend of ours, at least within reasonable limits.
We can't comment on the facts of the legal case in the screaming front page headline because we don't know them well, and as a lawyer we are bound like everyone else by the court gag order. But we do note with a great deal of irony this other story running yesterday about the bad, sad fact of sexualised children being given implanted contraception in Qld:
The World Today, ABC - Wednesday, 16 April , 2008  12:20:00 Reporter: Annie Guest
[with this concluding extract following]
ANNIE GUEST: But how do you decide whether they are making an informed decision about having sex given that they are needing to have this contraceptive implant? Perhaps it would indicate that they’re not making fully informed decisions?

MATTHEW BOWDEN: Because of guardianship laws. They would not be able to make that decision independently.

ANNIE GUEST: An anti-child abuse campaigner says she's shocked to hear young girls are being implanted with contraceptives, but the executive director of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, says she also gives the practice qualified support.

HETTY JOHNSTON: It has to have some sort of tattered support. It’s horrifying to think that those words are even coming out of my mouth but the last thing we want is 12-year-olds pregnant. But look, it could only be with education, it needs to get … we need to get some education into these communities.

LISA MILLAR: Hetty Johnston from Bravehearts ending that report from Annie Guest. 
We simply add that one reason things end up in court is because the facts are contested, and sometimes related to social situations quite out of the experience of normal reasonable people, which the courts and legal professionals are then given the frightening job of wrestling with into a framework of justice and truth - it's a hard job to be respected not trashed.
Postscript from mid February 2010

Posted by editor at 1:23 PM NZT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 March 2010 2:08 PM NZT
Friday, 12 March 2010
Even tame green lobby upset over koalas ... you won't read on 'dirty' Woodford blog
Mood:  energetic
Topic: independent media

What wicked ways the state ALP have with their financial, access and careerism hooks in the NSW green movement. But even umbrella groups dependent on govt grants spit the dummy every so often.

Here is a letter you won't read on the unreal, sanitised so called "real dirt" blog of James Woodford based on the south coast of NSW. It was forwarded via a non signatory (ironic) being the convenor of ChipStop being Harriet Swift, an authentic regionally based (Bega) authority figure on forest conservation, former journalist, tree changer, artist with blowtorch (literally). H confirms just now that the omission was incidental and it's "a good letter".

And so it is, only it's somewhat hypocritical too, in varying degrees, given the same lead green group (former staff and board) and Jeff Angel still current mentioned in the letter, were financed by the Carr Govt to reach exactly this corrupt "resource security" outcome for industry in publicly owned forests. We know because we resigned from the board of the same Nature Conservation Council over this very issue in 2000, having been elected twice to the position. Notice this sent recently:

Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 6:25 PM
Subject: resource security and shuffling deck chairs ... Re: [chipstop] 40 NGOs ask the Premier to save the Mumbulla koalas

If and when the koalas are saved it will be at the price of other forest and other animals in the absence of broad logging industry reform. It might even be Brown Mountain in East Gippsland across the border depending on how litigation goes there. Or forest in the Upper Deua catchment which was once identified wilderness quality. Or giant brown barrels in Coolangubra. No one really knows. But it will mean shuffling the deck chairs.
People will say you have to make a stand somewhere. I agree. But I know this is no lasting solution either. The loggers will move to the next forest, with quolls, Yellow Bellied Gliders etc. This is the terrible terrible consequence predicted as far back as 1991 by this text in this leaflet here
which was the covert price NSW NCC chair and director of the TEC signed up to with 20 year logging guarrantees as per the Regional Forest Agreements. It was also implied in the peace plan agreed by select players in the 1995 state election campaign. These were pre emptive buckles by the green movement. Under duress no doubt.
According to Dailan Pugh/NEFA quote in The Australian weekend magazine in 2008, only 1/4 of the forest identified by the scientific process for a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system was achieved by the NSW Govt decisions 1998-2000.

So here is the official greenie letter and below that again is a screenprint from the dirty Woodford blog waxing lyrical about in his words "one of the nation's most loved creatures" in the extinct form ..... but not on the Woodford blog when it involves loggers from the spouse's former employer (NSW State Forests as a PR officer).

Below that a speech from Harriet Swift to a public meeting at Tathra town hall earlier this month which is actually the real business free of ALP land use corruption.


[PDF file from ChipStop website]

Woodford ommission of this koala logging furore, yet he dares write about extinct koalas here:

The last word to the admirable Harriet Swift SE NSW town hall meeting last Monday night:

If this hall had a back window, in a few months or weeks from now we could look out from here and see this logging. What are we doing about it?
  1. SERCA reps have met with the State Minister for the Environment, local MP Mike Kelly and advisers to the federal Minister for Forestry and the Environment.
  2. We have approached all Japanese paper companies asking them not to buy native forest woodchips from the Eden chipmill because it cannot guarantee that they don’t come from koala habitat. 13 Australian ENGOs signed. We have a strong group of major Japanese groups approaching Nippon Paper asking for the same thing.
  3. A group of all the major conservation and animal welfare groups in Sydney is making a joint approach to the State Premier and Ministers. For many of these groups this will be the first time they have involved themselves in forests and logging issues.
  4. Those stories about the SE koalas that have been in the national media over the past couple of weeks are not just good luck. They represent an enormous amount of work by many people.
  5. Well over 1,000 people on Facebook have signed on to a group called Save the Mumbulla and FF koalas
  6. Local groups are forming to resist the logging, but – importantly, working together. I’m not one of those who sneers at people for looking after their backyards. On the contrary, I believe we have a special responsibility to. If we don’t, who will? It was logging in Tanja State forest on our boundary many years ago that first got me into the forest campaign in a serious way and I’d like to think I have given FNSW a few headaches in that time. However, as a forest campaigner I have also always been strongly opposed to arguing for my backyard at the expense of somewhere else. My local forest at the expense of the one down the road or Australia’s forests at the expense of those in some other country. It’s not an ethical message. Forests NSW always tries to force us into that paradigm and we mustn’t fall for it. They always offer what appear to be “concessions” in terms of what they call “resource neutrality.” That means the forest must yield the same amount of woodchips whether they get it from one place or another. If they make a provision for a powerful owl, it doesn’t mean less forest is logged, it just means it’s logged more intensively in the places that don’t have a powerful owl roost.
  7. Right now, the industry doesn’t need most of this wood. The woodchipping industry is still suffering from the GFC. In 2009 it spent most of the year on a 4 day week. For weeks at a time it was closed altogether. Its stockpiles of chips and logs were enormous. It was asking contractors to store logs in the forest rather than deliver them to the chipmill because it couldn’t store them. It had to clear bush inside the chipmill to expand its log storage area. Forests NSW has take or pay contracts with SEFE that can force them to keep on taking logs even when they don’t want them. We might even be doing them a favour if we could persuade State Forests not to take any pulplogs from these forests.
  8. One final thing: there has been some suggestion that we will do better if we pretend we are not greenies. I take issue with that. I am a greenie and why should I be ashamed of that? In the longer term, the more politicians realize that greenies are well informed, ethical and energetic and numerous, they’ll start to pay more attention to the environment.
 - Harriett Swift



Posted by editor at 9:10 AM EADT
Thursday, 4 March 2010
SAM news stats for Feb 2010 running at around 30K pageviews
Mood:  a-ok
Topic: independent media




Some screen shots above but excluding numbers for 3 days 9 and 10 Feb and 3rd March in usual period taken from 3rd of the month. Also taking into account Feb is a short month. While not being an expert on reading web stats it seems our pageviews are about 30K per month on a general upward trend, after a huge kick off early in the piece - perhaps a story about Simpson of Gallipoli

As we always say, it's not the numbers as the audience that interests us. We aim to reach the beltway in big media and big politics. Perhaps this is impertinent, overly optimistic, arrogant but you have to have a goal.

We got this nice feedback earlier this week:

Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: I called EP for PM/AM show and counselled them ....

Gosh you are good, with a good memory and excellent research skills!
Thanks for letting us know that Tom. I will pass this on to others as well.
There's going to be more of this stuff too I am sure...
Electorate Officer for .......... MP.
For other reports of SAM stats refer to the "independent media" topic link on the left hand column.

Posted by editor at 8:43 AM EADT
Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Oh, those comments ...
Mood:  chatty
Topic: independent media

We have just trawled 16 pages of comments from back stories here on micro news SAM.

Regretably we didn't realise our email prompt was out of date having shifted servers to the national carrier due to 3 quick takeovers and bust for the old server.

Perhaps now we can be more timely and responsive to folks who comment.

Sorry if anyone felt ignored, or snubbed this last year or more. Nor are we particularly offended by sledges. We only care about being sued for defamation for illegal comments, excessive use of memory space, or porn intrusions.

Otherwise we feel secure enough in ourselves to handle most genuine comments for or against. For instance we percieve emotionally violent comments reflect more on the writer - take note supporters of Tim Blair, who surely doesn't benefit from reflected aggression.

By the by yesterday we posted on a certain peak green group and daily readership figures jumped to 1750 odd pageviews which is alot more than usual. The sincere piece works on several levels - as we knew it would.

Posted by editor at 8:18 PM EADT
Updated: Wednesday, 17 February 2010 8:34 PM EADT
Thursday, 11 February 2010
Uh oh SAM micro news stats counter has gone AWOL
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: independent media

Either our host server or some other bug has intervened in our daily stats counter. We were curious given activity in the last week but a big fat zero is the result. This isn't real because as a lawyer you get to learn that extreme results are usually impossible. A low or high number is more like it, zero is not. Sure enough the menu indicates the counter has frozen at 8th Feb 2010.

One sledge too many of the News Corp mega machine? One hopes not.

Such is life. Here is a screen shot extract telling the story:


Postscript - seems our counter is back after crashing 9, 10 Feb 2010. 1250 page views for 11 Feb 2010. Welcome back! 


Posted by editor at 10:53 AM EADT
Updated: Friday, 12 February 2010 8:48 PM EADT
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Woohoo, SAM pulls 30K hits for silly season month of January
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media

More background here on SAM stats over our trajectory from inception 3rd January 2007, in frustration at official Sydney Indy Media going offline in the lead up to the NSW state election:



Posted by editor at 9:35 AM EADT
Updated: Thursday, 4 February 2010 9:45 AM EADT
Monday, 4 January 2010
SAM Slog reader stats on upswing again 3 years later
Mood:  incredulous
Topic: independent media


As SAM here kicks on into the new year, forerunner Sydney Indy Media remains off air over a month now. We also notice our reader stats have kicked up a little.

We don't publish for high reader numbers. Rather we seek the indefinable core 'beltway' AAA demographic. (Beltway meaning vested interest lobby in big media, politics, business. AAA refers to the well paid, educated mob thought to support the ABC.) Whether we get that readership is hard to know. Certainly this clunky format has poor engagement with little or no comments.

In any case our reader stats are on an encouraging upswing of some 10 times gradual increase from our first month 3 years back. Also on a personal note the editor here is no. 1 globally google name search, ahead of namesake ritzy resort owner, US financiers and schlock hollywood director. This effect is not so useful for job applications but possibly does measure some kind of social capital.

Here is the general backgrounder, we used to publish every month but got a bit lazy: We might move to quarterly at this rate:

Previous monthly reader pageview figures for 2007, 2008 verified by screen shot (web host provider monthly pageview account details) checked and posted on or about 4th day of the month found in this thread:

  •  December 2009 - 31,335
  • September 2009 - 19,132
  •  August 2009 - 22,072 (host metric, not screenshot)
  • July 2009 - 18,293 (host metric, not screenshot)
  • June 2009 - 29,165 (host metric, not screenshot)
  • May 2009 - 32,125 (host metrics, not screenshot)
  • April 2009 - 23,421 (host metrics, not screenshot)
  • March 2009 - 34,255
  • February 2009 - 23,208
  • January 2009 - 27,462
  • December 08 - 21,858
  • November 08 - unavailable, host breakdown
  • October 08 - 20,343
  • September 08 - 20,746
  • August 08 - 25,344
  • July 08 - 22,855
  • June 08 - 27,440
  • May 08 - 25,046
  • April 08 - 19,250
  • March 08 - 20,803 
  • February 08 - 13,109
  • January 2008 -  19, 898
  • December - 11,627
  • November - 10,220
  • October - 9, 100 
  • Sept -  8,100 roughly, no screenshot
  • August - 8,845
  • July - 7475
  • June - 9675
  • May  - 9, 059
  • April  - 12,087
  • March  - 6,684
  • February - 5,372
  • January 07 -  2800 (3rd Jan - 3rd Feb 07)

Posted by editor at 8:31 AM EADT

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