Pay writers or we’ll pull ads, National Library tells arts website

Pay writers or we’ll pull ads, National Library tells arts website

November 12, 2013 – 12:05PM

Ben Butler

The National Library of Australia has threatened to pull its advertising from a new arts website run by Eric Beecher’s Private Media group unless it starts paying its writers. The Daily Review, an offshoot of Private Media’s popular website Crikey, launched yesterday amid controversy over its decision not to pay for contributions. In an open letter, arts writers, many of whom already write for blogs run by Crikey, have asked others not to contribute to the new site for free.Veteran music writer Andrew Stafford has also refused to work for The Daily Review, writing on his blog that do so ‘‘felt like providing scab labour’’.

The National Library of Australia was the only arts advertiser visible on The Daily Review site this morning.

Library spokeswoman Sally Hopman said the organisation agreed to advertise on the site ‘‘in good faith, believing it to be a new voice for the arts online’’.

‘‘We are obviously not privy to financial arrangements with their staff,’’ she said. ‘‘The National Library will not advertise again on this website if it is shown that contributors are not being paid for their work.’’

BusinessDay has called Mr Beecher for comment. Crikey editor Jason Whittaker declined to comment.

Among those signing the open letter calling for a writers’ boycott of the new site are Crikey’s literary blogger Bethanie Blanchard and its TV critics Byron Bache and Laurence Barber.

Others endorsing the letter include Fairfax Media contributor John Birmingham, The Monthly writer Benjamin Law, theatre critic Chris Boyd, Daily Life columnist Clementine Ford and Melbourne Writers Festival director Lisa Dempster.

While Mr Beecher is involved in both, The Daily Review is separate from industry superannuation-backed news website The New Daily, which launches on Wednesday.

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Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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