Ray
Martin was in a paricularly talkative and candid mood when he was
interviewed by Monica Attard for the ABC’s Sundy Profile. He even had a
stab at trying to explain why A Current Affair just keeps drifting down market.

Martin: I can bring on the Prime Minister as
Kerry O’Brien had him on Monday night and I can see 100 000 people turn off in
Sydney in the space at the
moment he comes on. Not just John Howard, but Paul Keating beforehand. So the
fact of the matter is that maybe Australians are not as interested in Australian
Politics as you and I are. That is The 7.30 Report and I thought and I watched
the O’Brien interview with the PM and I thought it was very good and I was
interested. Had I put it on A Current Affair, I think we’d have halved our
audience, not just in Sydney but right around the country. So there’s a fact of
life that what we as journalists think is important is not always what they
think.

I’m not comfortable with chequebook
journalism generally. It’s a fact of life. In that particular case, Media Watch
I didn’t see but I know what it was about. This wasn’t cash in hand; this was
airfares across to Bali for a family with
eight children.

Monica Attard: And a bit of shopping while they
were there.

Ray Martin: And a bit of shopping but am I
comfortable? No, I’d sooner not pay and I’m sure Kerry Packer would sooner not
pay as well. It’s a fact of life, if we don’t pay in television, the others
do.

http://www.abc.net.au/sundayprofile/stories/s1361901.htm

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW