New News 2015: Branded Content
Journalism outlets have traditionally enforced a stringent division between their editorial and business sides, ensuring that reporting is not influenced by advertisers. Yet the collapse of the old media business model has meant that the boundaries between journalism and public relations are blurring. Our panellists debate the ethics of branded content. Hosted by Jim Middleton with Amanda Gome (ANZ), Matthew Pinkney (AFL), Rakhal Ebeli (Newsmodo) and Jonathan Green (Meanjin and ABC RN).
Jim Middleton has been reporting national and international affairs since 1970, first for the ABC and now as a correspondent for Sky News. For two decades, he was ABC Political Editor in Canberra – covering Prime Ministers Hawke, Keating and Howard.
He was ABC North America correspondent in New York and Washington from 1980–1986, and has reported from every country in North, South and Southeast Asia – except North Korea. From 2008 to 2014, he presented Newsline and The World, broadcasting to and from Asia on Australia Network TV.
From 2008 until 2015, he was a member of the board of the Australia-Thailand Institute for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
Amanda Gome is head of digital and social media at ANZ, where she is leading the bank’s content and social media strategy. She is also associate editor of BlueNotes.
Amanda is a successful media entrepreneur, founding SmartCompany in 2006. She went on to launch five other media publications during the next six years, building their brands through social media. SmartCompany had 70 staff and $6 million revenue when she sold her stake in 2012 and returned to Fairfax as publisher of BRW and SmartInvestor, leading the migration from print to multiplatform.
An award-winning journalist and presenter, Rakhal Ebeli founded global journalism agency Newsmodo in 2012. With a unique ‘global newsroom’ solution, the platform and Australian-based team provide an end-to-end publishing solution, leveraging a network of 25,000 freelance journalists and content creators around the world.
Jonathan Green has been a working journalist since the late 1970s. This makes him both very old and reasonably experienced. After an early degree-ending flirtation with public radio, the bulk of Jonathan’s career has been spent in newspapers, beginning with a cadetship at the Canberra Times and taking in a small Cook’s tour of Australian dailies: the Melbourne Herald, the Herald Sun, the Sunday Herald, the Sunday Age and the Age. In mid-2015 he was appointed as editor of the literary quarterly Meanjin.
Matt Pinkney is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who specialises in content strategy across digital, broadcast and print.
In 2012, he joined the AFL as its founding Head of Content. In this role, he has been responsible for creating a dynamic newsroom, setting content strategies across all platforms and implementing cultural change as the AFL moves from client publisher to major multi-media news and feature service. The AFL’s content platforms have grown to become Australia’s biggest digital sports network, with more than 4 million weekly unique viewers in-season.
In a 23 year career with News Limited, he was a political bureau chief, senior writer, European correspondent and digital editor. He also created Australia's biggest sports fantasy game, SuperCoach.