60 Minutes creator dies. A month ago a giant of American journalism died when Walter Conkite passed away at 92; overnight a second giant left this world when Don Hewitt, creator of 60 Minutes for CBS, died at the age of 86. Hewitt worked as producer or director for CBS legends Edward R. Murrow, Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite, but he will be remembered for the TV news magazine format on 60 Minutes, which started in 1968.

In the US, 60 Minutes is still an agenda setter and viable, authoritative news program. Here, the Nine Network’s version is a lightweight, star-struck bit of fluff trading of the good reputation from when it started in the late 1970s.

Hewitt helped make journalists such as Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Morley Safer and Harry Reasoner. Hewitt spent 60 years in TV, most of them at CBS. He reluctantly stepped down as executive producer of 60 Minutes in 2003.

He started at CBS in 1948, was producer and director of the network’s evening news broadcast during the tenures of Edwards and Cronkite, and also produced and directed the first televised debate between presidential candidates John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960. — Glenn Dyer

Nearly half of employers screen social network profiles. This according to research firm Harris Interactive, which was commissioned by CareerBuilder.com and surveyed 2667 HR professionals, finding that 45 per cent of them use social networking sites to research job candidates, with an additional 11 per cent planning to implement social media screening in the very near future. — Mashable

iPods can’t take the heat. Apple iPods and iPhones that reportedly explode in the heat of the sun have prompted an investigation by the European Union’s safety watchdogs. Officials have acted after a series of incidents in Britain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden in which Apple’s digital music players and mobile phones allegedly spontaneously combusted or detonated. — Sydney Morning Herald

Tom Sherak, Tom Hanks to lead Motion Picture Academy. Tom Sherak, a veteran film executive who was long associated with 20th Century Fox and then Revolution Studios, was named president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a changing of the guard. At the same time, Tom Hanks was elected first vice-president, while producer Kathleen Kennedy and writer Phil Robinson were elected to vice-president posts. — New York Times

British Media Firms more confident. Nearly 30 per cent of technology, media and telecoms companies surveyed by accountants and business advisers BDO Stoy Hayward said they were “slightly or more confident” about the media’s economic prospects facing the sector over the next quarter. — The Guardian

Afghan media blackout continues. Afghan authorities are orchestrating a controversial crackdown on media reports of Taliban attacks during tomorrow’s elections in Afghanistan as part of a last desperate attempt to boost voter turnout. After a day that saw yet another brazen attack on the Afghan capital, a government spokesmen said local journalists who defied the ban would be put out of business, while foreign media would be “kicked out” if they did not respect a decision taken “for national security reasons”. — The Guardian

New media adviser for Malcolm Turnbull. Mark Westfield, a former journalist and financial public relations consultant, has been appointed senior media adviser to federal Opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Westfield is replacing Tony Barry, who has returned to Melbourne. — The Australian

Peter Fray

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