Today in Media Files, the ABC and The Guardian were refused access to cover Tony Abbott’s global warming speech in London, and advertising and editorial priorities collide in the same sex marriage debate.

ABC blocked from covering Abbott’s London speech. The ABC and The Guardian were blocked from covering Tony Abbott’s speech to the Global Warming Policy Forum in London, while The Australian was given an advance copy to report as an “exclusive” on its front page today. In the now widely-reported speech, Abbott said global warming was “probably doing good, or at least, more good than harm”. The ABC’s London bureau chief Lisa Millar told Crikey via email this morning that the team in London had been trying for weeks to obtain permission to film and have access to the speech, but they weren’t successful. “We have made consistent and dedicated attempts since the speech was announced to get approval to cover it appropriately,” she said.

The Guardian also reported it had been blocked from attending the event, which was advertised as “by invitation only” on the forum’s website.

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The forum (in the UK) did not respond to Crikey‘s request for comment before deadline.

Advertising conflicts in same sex marriage debate. Youth-oriented publishers Junkee, Pedestrian and others have taken a strong stance in the same sex marriage debate, most notably in a coordinated blackout of advertising on their sites. But Junkee came under fire on social media over the weekend when its owner, outdoor advertising company Ooh! Media was displaying billboard ads from the Coalition For Marriage, advocating a “no” vote in the postal survey.

The Nine network owns Pedestrian, and has also accepted ads from the No campaign.

Junkee did not respond to a request for comment.

Bauer appeals record Rebel damages. Bauer Media is appealing the record damages handed down in actor Rebel Wilson’s defamation case. Wilson sued the German publisher over articles it ran in Woman’s Day and online that suggested she’d lied about her age and background, and won $4.56 million in special damages following the case in the Victorian Supreme Court. Bauer’s general counsel Adrian Goss said, “It’s important for us to revisit this unprecedented decision on the quantum of damages, which also has broad implications for the media industry.”

In a statement on Twitter, Wilson said she was not surprised by the appeal. “I am disappointed that this now delays my plans to support Australian charities and Australians in the entertainment industry,” she said. “Nevertheless if this is a chance to expose more of their disgraceful practices & present more evidence on damages, I welcome it.”

Who knew what? Harvey Weinstein’s fall continues, sacked yesterday from his own company after a New York Times investigation reported eight cases of sexual harassment against the Hollywood producer were quietly settled. A former Times editor has rejected claims from a former reporter with the paper and founder of The Wrap, Sharon Waxman, who published a piece saying she had the story for the paper in 2004, but The Times spiked it. In her piece, she reports that Weinstein, as well as Matt Damon and Russell Crowe, pressured the paper to drop the story, which it did. Jonathan Landon, who was an editor at the time and named in Waxman’s piece, told Politico the story wasn’t true:

“Sharon has now had more than a decade to pursue this story unencumbered by me or any New York Times editor. Why, if she had the goods on Weinstein in 2004, has she been unable or unwilling to publish something in the Wrap, where she was in charge? Could it be because she didn’t actually have the goods then, now or in between?”

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Last night we had two good examples of why we need the ABC and as much current affairs reporting as possible — the stories are there, the reporting talent is there, but the resources and managerial will is lacking. There was Four Corners‘ (848,000 nationally) report on the toxic fire fighting foam used by the RAAF around the country and the damage it is doing to people’s lives and farms. It’s a story first reported by 7.30, which last night had a horrifying report on the level of abuse experienced by handicapped children in NSW state schools (917,000 nationally). Both solid reports, deserved more viewers. If the ABC is going to have a Stan Grant hosted program on ABC News channel at 9pm, it can also afford to spent the pittance that will cost on a state-based current affairs panel discussion/interview program on Fridays at 730pm — like the old state based 7.30 reports before they were neutered.

Australian Survivor on Ten got 890,000 nationally for the penultimate episode (which is not very good). Have You been Paying Attention — which follows Survivor — averaged 1.03 million nationally (and 9th nationally last night). In other words 141,000 people would rather watch something else than Survivor (probably watching The Block) and moved across to watch Attention which remains — in terms of cost to ratings — the best program on Ten. The Bachelorette is more expensive for the ratings it generates, while The Living Room on Friday nights is pretty cost effective as well. Have You been Paying Attention though has the added bonus of being entertaining and funny. The final of Australian Survivor is on tonight — a “who cares” end to the series. 

In regional areas last night The Block again dominated with 616,000 viewers, from Seven News with 561,000, Seven News/Today Tonight with 461,000, Home and Away was fourth with 441,000 and A Current Affair was fifth with 386,000. Read the rest on the Crikey website

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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