Crikey had this dig at The Australian yesterday:
Given News Corp’s increasingly close ties with China, watch
closely for the company’s coverage of the Chinese diplomat Chen
Yonglin, who is seeking diplomatic assylum in Australia. The Weekend Australian
was the newspaper handed the story by Chen Yonglin, yet it only managed
one paragraph on page one on Saturday – for an exclusive that any other
(non News Corp) paper would have splashed all over the front page.
Rupert and his senior executives, Crikey will be watching closely for
any pesky anti-Chinese columns or editorials on the subject over the
next few days in the News Corp Australian papers.
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But a senior source at The Australian
has been in touch and claims that Chen Yonglin only came to the paper
with his story at about 8:45pm on Friday night, so it was a good effort
to turn it around for a page three lead in Saturday’s second edition.
If the heat really comes on, it will be interesting to watch the
Murdoch press in action given News Corp’s large interests in China
(STAR TV is based in Hong Kong) and Rupert’s marriage to Wendi Deng.
The senior player on The Australian also claimed that Yonglin spent much of Friday offering his story to The Sydney Morning Herald,
but had no joy so he switched to the Murdoch flagship late in the day
to try to get some publicity ahead of his public appearance on
Saturday. The SMH quickly realised the error of its ways and led Monday’s paper with the story.
of this rekindles memories of the Mordachai Vanunu case in the 1980s
when the Israeli nuclear whistleblower failed to interest the SMH, Daily Telegraph or The Australian in his story, which was eventually picked up by The Sunday Times in London. It was David Jenkins at The SMH who said no,and Piers Akerman on The Australian.