A Q&A discussion on the ABC further fuelled broadcast discussions about asylum seekers on Monday, but it was online reporting that topped volumes over the week, with media focusing on the Nauru leaks and statements from former detention centre staff. Is there a serious issue of news outlets relying on each other for content? Manus Island’s eventual closure was announced and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton accused the ABC and The Guardian of defamation following the leaks, hinting to ABC radio’s Michael Brissenden that media shouldn’t report on other outlets’ stories.
The same-sex marriage plebiscite vs. Parliament bill debate continues, with coverage relatively evenly spread in volume across press, radio, TV and online, and taking up a large chunk of social media discussions as well in the same timeframe. Former Justice Michael Kirby brought the issue back into the spotlight with his critiques, and the government announced on Monday that its planned plebiscite, first promised within 100 days of winning government by Attorney-General George Brandis, will be delayed until February next year.
Some talkback radio callers used the Census outages as an argument against online voting in future elections, while others calling for a question on same-sex marriage to save the $160 million reported cost for a plebiscite. Recent reporting focused on submission rates and the unusually high level of census-related publicity (look, the machine feeds itself!).
The government’s omnibus bill, to be introduced when parliament resumes, was picked up by broadcast media last week, particularly radio, as the PM calls for Labor to support $6.5 billion in budget savings and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten suggesting raising budget cuts to $8 billion this morning.
Regional radio stations lead the charge as major dairy processors Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese announced their financial results, with both reporting a lift in full year profits.
Broadcast was king of Olympics coverage, winning over live streaming and online reporting, with media having their pick over whether to cover a wide range of scandals or actual sporting events.