The dramatic attack on Channel Seven cameraman Matt Rose by supporters of the alleged terror plotters on William St in Melbourne yesterday was unprecedented for an Australian news story. There have been plenty of incidents in the past, but it usually involves just one attacker and the footage isn’t nearly as dramatic or the story so big.
However, why is it that Channel Seven cameramen seem to get hit more often than their public and commercial rivals? Here is Crikey’s first go at a roll call of punched cameramen over the past 20 years but we’ll need your help to complete it so email additions or corrections to [email protected]:
May 1987: Max Uechtritz got all the media attention during the punch up at Robert Trimbole’s funeral but it was actually Peter Oliva and Giuseppe Barbara who were charged with assaulting Channel Seven’s cameraman Scott Gordon and News Ltd’s suburban snapper Nick Andrean.
May 1997: Mal Colston’s son and former highly paid media adviser Doug Colston punched Channel 10 cameraman Tim Sweeney as he tried to cover his last trip to Canberra.
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Feb 1995: John Fairfax CEO Stephen Mulholland “kicked” Channel Seven cameraman Tim Mason whilst entering its Broadway headquarters. Police were called in but no charges were laid.
Nov 1999: Morris Wilcox, a pastor with an obscure religious group who allegedly stole more than $180,000 from three of his parishioners, attacked NBN television cameraman Ryan Jenkins and reporter Helen Kapalos outside the Newcastle Local Court.
July 2000: Ronaldo Morales brawled with a television camera crew assigned to cover his wife’s trial over allegedly having sex with a teenager outside Sydney’s Downing Centre.
March 2004: Channel Seven cameraman attacked by two Canterbury Bulldogs supporters outside Telstra Stadium.
March 2005: Seven network cameraman Brad Smith was attacked by two men after the funeral of 17-year-old Dylan Rayward, who was killed in the police chase that triggered the Macquarie Fields riots.
Feb 2005: Rodney Adler’s Lexus hit a Channel Nine cameraman as he sped away from court and he was taken to hospital in an ambulance.
Nov 2005: Channel Seven’s Matt Rose set upon by five supporters of the alleged terrorist plotters outside the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.
Of the nine incidents we’ve been able to find, five have involved a cameraman from Channel Seven. Is this just a coincidence or are Seven people more pushy and annoying than their competitors? We’ll extend this list to attacked reporters and would love to run accounts of such dramas from the people involved so keep that feedback coming.