ABC offices raided by police. Queensland police have raided the ABC’s Brisbane office over a series of stories based on leaked cabinet documents. Executing a search warrant, the ABC reported yesterday that cabinet secretary Leighton Craig had complained to the police about the leak, saying they had been “improperly accessed”. The stories by Mark Willacy and Alexandra Blucher detailed the decision making by former Premier Campbell Newman’s government to cut the public service, including cuts to oversight of the coal-seam gas industry and how the government sold off a profitable climate change company. The journalists’ union, the MEAA, has condemned the raid, saying it’s an “outrageous attack on press freedom”.
MEAA chief executive Paul Murphy said: “The role of the media in a healthy democracy is to scrutinise those in power. The execution of a search warrant to hunt for leaked Cabinet briefing documents is a belated attempt to pursue journalists’ sources rather than address the matters raised in the legitimate journalism by two ABC reporters.”
In deep Meltwater. Media monitoring and data insights agency Isentia has settled a case it launched against competitor Meltwater for allegedly “free-riding” off its copyright licences. The terms of the Federal Court settlement are confidential, but in a statement to the ASX, Isentia said Meltwater had agreed to permanent orders restraining them from engaging in the conduct that Isentia had taken them to court over. Isentia had accused Meltwater of using content accessed through an Isentia account and sending it on to its own clients, inducing Isentia clients to share their account details in breach of their conditions. Isentia has also accused Meltwater of lying to current, former and potential Isentia clients about the business.
Rundle: will this be Lateline‘s swan song? “Coming up later on Lateline … infamous Donald Trump strategist Roger Stone…”. Say what now? In its dying days, Lateline has apparently decided to throw all journalistic standards to the wind and ‘interview’ Stone, former Nixon ‘dirty trickster’ and one of the shadowy ‘alt-right’ operatives who fired up a political machine which gleefully promoted lying, threats of violence to protestors, and the intimidation of opponents. Stone is no longer invited to appear on CNN and MSNBC after calling some of its presenters ‘fat negros’, and before the 2016 Republican convention, he promised that delegates who didn’t vote for Trump would be met with a “days of rage”, in which their hotels and room numbers would be released to angry mobs. None of this made it into the interview. Great source. Journalistic triumph. It’s Michelle’s ABC. –– Guy Rundle
Everybody do the News Corp Shuffle. The editor shuffle continues at News Corp Australia, with new bosses announced yesterday for Hobart’s Mercury and the Townsville Bulletin. Courier-Mail executive editor Chris Jones will be moving to Tassie as editor of The Mercury, taking over from Matt Deighton, who has been appointed editor of The Advertiser in Adelaide. Deighton replaces Sam Weir, who was moved to Brisbane as editor of The Courier-Mail to replace Lachlan Heywood, who has left News Corp. Sunshine Coast Daily editor Jenna Cairney is also shifting papers, to become editor of the Townsville Bulletin.
Turkey hunt. This week, 48 journalists in Turkey will face court in the government’s ongoing media crackdown. Three separate trials against journalists will run, charged with various offences including “trying to overthrow the government and constitutional order” and divulging state secrets and aiding terrorists by “creating a negative perception of the authorities”. Press Gazette reports that about 150 media outlets have been closed in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and more than 100 journalists are currently in prison.
That didn’t take long. Rumours are rife that serial sex abuser Bill O’Reilly has been holding talks to host a TV program on the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group’s TV stations in the US. Donald Trump-supporting Sinclair is America’s largest TV-station owner, owning and operating 173 stations. The company was going to offer Donald Trump his own show if he had lost the 2016 election while former Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes was reported to be associated with Sinclair for a while. Sinclair is already in hot water in the US for compelling its local station news chiefs to run newscast segments featuring former White House aide Boris Epshteyn who was let go around the time of the clean out that saw Steve Bannon depart. — Glenn Dyer
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. The Bachelorette is down to two. Will Apollo be promoted to be his own Bacherlor in 2018 after his early exit last night? After all, this year’s Bach, Matty J, was a 2016 dumpee. Apollo could revive the weak ratings from this year’s series. Ten ran second in the metros overall, but again won the main channels and will win both tonight. The Bachette — 1.56 million and the most watched program nationally and in the metros — 1.18 million. And tonight, more for Ten.
Nothing wrong with Sisters — 878,000 nationally over two hours, made up of 624,000 metro and 254,000 regional viewers. It is, in fact, the sort of comedy drama that the ABC should have really made instead of drifting off into science fiction with the likes of Glitch or getting lost in a Medicare office with Pulse. And isn’t it interesting that poor, broke Ten is still having a go with interesting new program ideas.
In the metros, Seven News was back on top with 525,000, second was Home and Away with 422,000, third was Seven News/TT with 415,000, then The Bachette with 383,000 and Gruen was fifth with 350,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website