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Dec 5, 2012

Media briefs: Oakes v Cave ... Nine privacy breach ... death shot ...

ACMA has found Channel Nine Adelaide guilty of breaching privacy provisions in the commercial TV code of practice. And other media news of the day.


Oakes defends Walkleys from Cave assault. Press gallery doyen and Walkley advisory board chairman Laurie Oakes has shot back at former ABC foreign editor Peter Cave, saying the legendary curmudgeon shouldn’t have entered the Walkley Awards if winning them would cause him so much angst.

Cave was handed the gong for outstanding contribution to journalism last Friday and used his acceptance speech to blast the Walkley judging process. Cave said he only truly deserved one of his five previous Walkleys and later claimed too many awards were given out to stories that are “s-xy” or “politically correct” rather than those involving real skill or effort.

“I don’t see a lot of validity in what he said,” Oakes told Crikey this morning. “Peter Cave entered all five awards. Is he saying he entered them thinking they weren’t worthy? That seems odd to me. You enter the awards yourself; they’re not forced upon you … I’m puzzled by what he said.”

The Channel Nine veteran also disagreed with Cave’s criticism of the televising of the awards, saying: “At a time of declining trust in the media it’s important to put outstanding journalism on display.” Oakes says the Walkley advisory board would welcome a submission from Cave to a review, currently underway, into the future of the awards. — Matthew Knott

Channel Nine slapped for privacy breach. The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found Channel Nine Adelaide guilty of breaching privacy provisions for airing unauthorised footage of a family involved in a home birth. It’s the first time a TV station has been slapped for breaching new privacy guidelines introduced by ACMA last December.

The February news story, about a deregistered midwife who had continued to practice, identified a family involved in a home birth. Nine aired footage of the family taken through their window as well as shots of the exterior of their house. While ACMA found the story was in the public interest, the watchdog decided this did not justify the invasion of the family’s privacy.

“The concept of being protected against someone intruding on your private space is a key tenet of the privacy guidelines,” ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement. “It is partly based on a person’s reasonable expectation that their activities would not be observed or overheard. In this case, footage in and around the complainant’s home was found to be an invasion of privacy,” he said. Nine Adelaide has agreed to introduce a tailored training program for staff and will post a link to ACMA’s decision on its website. — Matthew Knott 

Front page of the day. Interesting journalistic ethical issues raised here with the publication of a photo showing a man seconds before he died …


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