Viewers of last night’s SBS World News might have wondered if the program had suddenly developed an anti-Telstra bias. During an item about the Geoff Cousins appointment, presenter Mary Kostakidis seemed to report that “relations between the federal government and Telstra are worsening with the corrupt corporation rejecting the Prime Minister’s nomination for a new board member”. For the sound file, click here. At first listen, it sounded like an interesting bit of editorialising from the senior presenter.  But Mark Boyd, Head of News at SBS says it was a slip of the tongue. “Mary tripped over the word ‘corporation’ in the Telstra story, so that it sounded like she said ‘corrup .. corporation'”, he tells Crikey. “It was certainly not scripted nor intentional.” Telstra has written to SBS to ask for an on-air correction. Slip of the tongue or not, “Telstra regards this matter very seriously”, says a company spokeswoman.

Peter Fray

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