While Tasmanian Keith Bradshaw is in the news for getting the top job
at the Marylebone Cricket Club in England, another Tasmanian has
quietly taken up a key post in the Arab world – with Al-Jazeera.

Marcus Cheek moved to Kuala Lumpur in January to become Al-Jazeera’s
program director in its push into the South East Asian region,
including Australia and New Zealand.

Cheek, 32, is the son of former Tasmanian Liberal Opposition leader
(and former journalist) Bob Cheek, who has been in the news for his
memoir, published last year, Cheeky: Confessions of a Ferret Salesman, in which he revealed in detail how politicians rip off taxpayers, from sly grog to family junkets.

Cheek junior began as a cadet with ABC TV in Hobart. Since then, he has
worked for the ABC in Alice Springs and Melbourne, and with the BBC in
London. He was poached by Al-Jazeera from his most recent job,
producing Asia Pacific programming for the ABC in Melbourne. Financed
by oil billions, Al-Jazeera is gearing up to take on CNN and BBC World
for the global audience, and will go to air from Malaysia in May.

But back to cricket…Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting has donned
a business suit to swing a bat in a big newspaper ad campaign by the
University of Tasmania in India, intended to lure full fee paying
students to his home state.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey