A
media bunfight is in full swing in Bali as the Schapelle Corby drugs
trial verdict is due shortly. The Nine and Seven networks have sent
large teams into Bali, promising comprehensive coverage and by the time
you receive today’s Crikey, their respective live-from-the-scene
offerings will be well and truly underway in a battle to win the
ratings.

The Ten network isn’t getting caught up in the Corby
frenzy. Ten’s newsroom chief, Jason Morrison, said Ten will only be
breaking into its programming with live coverage from Bali when there’s
a clear verdict. But the intense manoeuvring between Seven and Nine has
upset representatives from both sides, with tensions also running high
between Australian photographers and the local media.

Seven’s
move to set up platforms around the court to take control of key
vantage points is creating friction between camera crews from Nine and
local outlets. Seven have apparently made separate arrangements for
government permits to set the positions.

A court staffer has also used a member of Seven’s team as a go-between
with English-speaking media, issuing laminated identity cards required
to access the courtroom for 20,000 rupiah each, a source told B&T.

Seven’s news and current affairs chief Peter Meakin, who has
successfully engineered coverage for numerous one-off news events, says
the situation lends itself to tension, but in the end the competition
was more useful than not. “Yes things do get a bit willing but I’m
confident there will be no problems with the pool,” Meakin said.
“Sometimes we need each other.”

Meanwhile, the ABC has reported that a clash occurred between a Sydney Morning Herald
photographer and Nine reporter over access to Corby’s family as her
parents drove away in a car provided the network. “Take ya chequebooks
back home, take ya chequebooks back home,” the photographer shouted.