It seems that the ABC Managing Director, Mark Scott, may be a little disappointed in Media Watch this week because if failed to tackle – or even mention – the fundamental issues of journalistic ethics that have been at the centre of the news.

Given that Scott has ordered a review of some of these very issues and is encouraging debate on them, did he agree with critics who have suggested Media Watch was off its game?

There was a pause when Crikey asked him about the criticism this morning. He muttered something about “minefields all around” before saying:

I watched Media Watch on Monday. I was probably expecting to see something on these contentious issues. But then they have to exercise their own editorial judgement.

In a long article on the front page of its Media section this week, The Oz sledged the show journos used to hate to love, but have perhaps ceased to fear, for devoting Monday’s program to comparative trivia.

Scott commented that while the ABC was open to criticism, he was surprised by the extent and length of the Australian’s coverage – akin in scale to “the outbreak of international warfare”.

“But just as I don’t want to second guess (Media Watch producer) Tim Palmer, I don’t want to second guess (Australian editor) Chris Mitchell.”