Paper prank probed by Sydney Uni. The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has launched an investigation into a controversial assignment requiring students to plant fake stories in the University of New South Wales’ student newspaper TharunkaCrikey this week revealed students taking the subject Media Politics were instructed to “design and execute a false story that you attempt to get published in the UNSW student newspaper”. The assignment was worth 25% of their final grade.

University of Sydney students, concerned about the ethics of the task, tipped off Tharunka‘s editors to the prank. Course co-ordinator Peter Chen defended the assignment to Crikey. By the following morning, however, Chen had told Tharunka the assignment was a “bad idea”. He also admitted he had not received approval for the assignment from the head of his department.

“If I was overseeing an honours student, yes, I would have had to go through all the ethics tests, but as it is, just for teaching, all I have to do is to get my head of department to sign off on it,” he said. “This is where you’re going to kill me, if you ask whether or not I did do that, well, no, I didn’t.” Chen deleted his Twitter account — which featured a number of colourful exchanges yesterday — and a Tumblr blog for the subject where he interacted with students.

A University of Sydney spokesman said he could not comment further on the matter until the investigation was complete. — Matthew Knott

That’s just not cricket. The irony of Cricket Australia’s reported legal action against Nine for refusing to pay more for cricket rights than what Ten had bid ($500 million) is exquisite, given how the late Kerry Packer and his empire, led by Nine, had sued the old Australian Cricket Board and forced a peace deal in the World Series Cricket war that allowed Nine to emerge with the cricket TV rights.

That was more than 35 years ago, and now Nine won’t offer more than Ten, even though Nine has the last right to make a new offer. Whether Nine is willing to match the $500 million reported in The AFR is unclear. It is believed to be willing to match the $350 million from Ten, which was that network’s earlier reported offer. There are reports this morning that Nine is denying the Fairfax story of the legal action.

Not paying more would be the smartest thing Nine can do — the half a billion offered by a desperate Ten is too much for what is a summer sport dependent on one event every few years — the Ashes Test series.

But Ten’s big bid raises the question: where’s the money coming from? The Fairfax story suggests it could come from a Packer — James, son of Kerry, a shareholder in Ten and the man who sold Lachlan Murdoch half his stake. Equally the money could come from Foxtel. A week or so ago the line was that Nine and Foxtel would split the cricket season. But now it seems new CEO Hamish McLennan has had a rush of blood to the head and bid an impossible amount of money to get summer content — which is odd because Ten needs new high-rating content between February and late November, and not for the low-revenue summer. — Glenn Dyer

Video of the day. Remember how Coca-Cola, in league with other beverage giants, killed off the NT’s recycling scheme? Coke took the NT government to the Federal Court over its 10 cent deposit recycling scheme, introduced in 2012 (it was similar to SA’s scheme). Coke won the case in March this year so the NT scheme is dead. Now Greenpeace has produced this pro-recycling ad raising awareness about the case — but Channel 9, despite accepting payment for the ad, has since decided not to air it. Nine’s director of sales and marketing Peter Wiltshire told Crikey this:

“We had no issue in taking the original booking from Greenpeace but on reviewing the content we deemed it to be offensive to our viewers and so advised the client we would not proceed with the placement on the Network. We have refunded the original deposit.”

Greenpeace is now asking Seven and Ten if they’ll show it. Well, Crikey ain’t afraid of Coke. Here’s the banned ad …