Michael Clarke’s appearance on 60 Minutes and the first part of Sally (Beirut child nap) Faulkner’s appearance on Australian Story tonight reminds us of the basic questions in journalism: who, where, when and why — the final point the most important. Why for Michael Clarke is that he has a book to sell and a new role in the summer cricket coverage on Nine, so it was a meeting of minds for him and Nine. 60 Minutes was nothing but an in-house promo for Clarke and the coming cricket season as Nine tries to turn him into a replacement for Richie Benaud. Not even a tiny bit of a chance.

For Ms Faulkner, let’s wait until next week and the end of the second part of her story to pass judgement, but she has to answer the “why” in convincing fashion, and not the “he took the children” excuse. Yes, that happened, but why was she willing to countenance a breaking of the laws of Lebanon, and why didn’t she (and Nine) ask what happens if the whole affair goes belly up, as it did? She has helped undermine the reputation of 60 Minutes (though 60 Minutes did most of the undermining itself and could or should have said ’no’), damaged the lives and careers of others. Will she apologise for that, does she understand her role, or did her desire to regain her kids cloud her judgement (then and now)?

Nine won the night easily in metro and regional markets. Figures for The X Factor and Sunday Night were impacted by the programs being time shifted in Perth because of the Telethon on Seven (which raised more than $26 million). But even allowing for that, the two programs had a weak night out last night. The Block was the most watched program in metro and nationally with 1.808 million and the best figures for an episode so far this year.  The X Factor could only manage 1.263 million (not helped in Perth). 60 Minutes averaged 1.274 million.

The top five regional programs were: The Block, 509,000; Seven News, 504,000; The X Factor, 447,000; Nine News, 399,000; ABC News, 386,000. — Click here to read Glenn Dyer’s full TV ratings.