Why is it that whenever Dateline trails behind other journalists then runs something a month later it’s still a scoop? Read the lead into Martinkus’s piece – transcript here:

“John Martinkus visits Indonesia’s troubled Aceh province, where recently he secured an extremely rare interview with a senior GAM rebel commander – in fact, the first in 2.5 years.”

Rubbish. The guy has given probably a dozen interviews in the past couple of months most of them face-to-face. Here are a few.

  • Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post interviewed him there and published her version on 18 January. Richard Lloyd-Parry of The Times of London also interviewed him but it may have been by phone after soldiers turened him back while walking to the same place.
  • AP ran a story about the same time (maybe by phone).
  • Newsday published their interview with the same guy in the same place in New York on 3 February, journalist Letta Taylor.
  • Channel 4’s Martin Adler (wrongly) claims to have been the first journalist to meet anyone in GAM for years when he sat down with the same guy for their story published 17 January.
  • Harder to miss would have been Matthew Moore’s interview with the same GAM Commander in the same location published on 17th January in the SMH (page one) and The Age.

SBS exclusive? Rare? The first in 2.5 years?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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