Better late than never. It took three weeks, widespread condemnation and an appearance on Media Watch, but on Saturday the Courier-Mail finally said the two special words after it’s “Monster Chef and the Shemale” front page about the murder of transgender prostitute Mayang Prasetyo by her partner.
In an editorial on page 62, the paper states the fact that it wasn’t alone in publishing salacious details and images about Prasetyo’s profession. But the Courier-Mail’s front page had “galvanised the public’s dismay at the crime”.
“In our reporting, we never intended to offend any member of the community. Clearly the coverage did, unintentionally, offend the LGBT community and others, and for that the newspaper is sorry,” the paper’s editors said.
The day after its front page sparked outrage, the Mail ran a statement saying it had no intention of “diminishing the value of Mayang’s life, or to add to the grief being felt by her family”. But this statement stopped short of saying saying the word “sorry”, making Saturday’s editorial a far more complete response to the criticism.
In the editorial, The Courier-Mail says Prasetyo’s mother “never expressed offence”. It also mentions that the paper published an article from Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland, which was “highly critical of the Courier“.
That piece, by Gina Mather and Kristine Johnson, was published on October 16. — Myriam Robin
Scott beat-up. “Could the Sky News CEO replace Mark Scott?” asked The Australian this morning in its front-page teaser above the masthead. Stranger things have happened, so we turned to the Media section in search of confirmation. There, the first item in the Diary column carried a more substantial headline: “Sky News boss tipped to oust Scott as ABC chief”. Tipped by whom, exactly? Er, nobody. Eight long pars under the joint bylines of Sharri Markson and Darren Davidson sang the praises of Sky boss Angelos Frangopoulos and slammed the ABC but curiously failed to produce a single quote to back up their story. Not a word — not even from a convenient unnamed source.
The best they could manage was this utterly unverifiable fluff: “Frangopoulos’ name has been discussed in Canberra for a while now”. Discussed by whom? We’re not told. This is a level of journalism that makes New Idea look like a journal of record. In any case, it will come as a surprise to Markson and Davidson that “Canberra” has no say in the choice and appointment of the ABC managing director. That decision rests entirely with the board. — David Salter
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Reality TV shake-up. Rival networks Seven and Nine have shown differing levels of ruthlessness about two of the their under-performing reality-TV series. Big Brother, the original “reality” format, is slowly going to TV hell — aided by the Nine Network, which continues to wring its neck, on air. Last week we pointed out that Nine had dropped the reasonably rating Sunday night episode of Big Brother in favour of Gotham, the new US Batman prequel. Then last Friday morning, it axed that night’s episode of Big Brother and ran ratings spakfilla programs, including repeats of The Big Bang Theory. That’s a 40% cut in the number of Big Brother programs (and Nine was again Big-Brother-free last night, and there’s nothing slotted in this Friday night except repeats of The Big Bang Theory).
But over on Seven, on Friday network management pulled out the axe and chopped Beauty and The Geek Australia, dropping it completely from its schedule on Thursday night — where it died on air last week in two weak episodes that couldn’t break the million-viewer mark nationally (919,000 for the first, 812,000 for the second. But both beat Big Brother, which could only manage 793,000 viewers). Instead, Seven has programmed a second episode of Dancing With The Stars for the 7.30pm, time slot, in addition to the usual Tuesday night episode. Seven has cut the usual one-hour Thursday night Home and Away episode in half, and it’s running an hour-long episode of that program on Wednesday night (as it did a couple of weeks ago).
It’s not the first time Nine has flicked Big Brother at the last minute — two Fridays ago it quietly dropped it and slotted in the weak James Bond movie, Goldeneye (which has already screened on Seven a number of times and rated weakly). Nine said at the start of last week that Big Brother would be restored to Friday night — but on Friday night it was nowhere to be seen. — Glenn Dyer
Video of the day. Regular Tuesday night for Shia Labeouf …
Front page of the day. That’s reassuring …