Nine has dipped into its chequebook for the second time this year (the first was the Queensland cop who was nibbled on the head by a big croc earlier this month), using the services of Harry M Miller last night to secure its exclusive paid-for interview on A Current Affair with the abalone diver from the NSW South Coast who survived the shark attack.

Meanwhile, the Seven Network was pushing its own questionable yarn. Today Tonight informed us of a wonderful new development called Voice Over Internet Protocol Phones (or IP phones), with a service from a company called Engin that was enthusiastically described on the TT website as “A new revolution … combining mobile phone technology with the internet to allow customers to stay in touch with friends overseas and at home for less than the price of a normal land-line call.”

And here’s a story about Engin and a certain media group. Pick that group. Go to the top of the class if you said the Seven Network. But as AAP reported yesterday, mobile phone service provider Mobi Ltd has pointed out that Engin isn’t the first Australian company to offer VOIP – Mobi has been doing it since mid-2006. 

It’s all a bit “we said they said”. But one thing is certain: viewers of A Current Affair wouldn’t have known that the diver interview was paid for and viewers of Today Tonight would not have guessed the Seven link to Engin unless they were well informed about the stockmarket. And in both cases that’s not good enough.  Glenn Dyer

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey