60 Minutes defends forced marriage story. Nine’s 60 Minutes is defending a story about a woman who said her parents had tricked her in order to hold her against her will in Syria for five years. A defamation hearing is being heard in the New South Wales Supreme Court. Nadia Tabbaa told the program in 2014 she was made to live with her paternal grandparents and was beaten, threatened and forced into marriage, claims her mother has told the NSW Supreme Court are untrue. Tabbaa’s parents and brother are suing Nine for defamation, saying they’ve been brought into ridicule and contempt by the story. Nine is using the defences of fair comment and truth.
The revolving door. The ABC’s Insiders program has a new executive producer, The Australian reports. Gold Walkley winner Sam Clark will lead the Sunday morning politics panel program, replacing Kellie Mayo, who will now be running the Asia Pacific newsroom.
Criminal trial for US photojournalist. A freelance photojournalist is facing a criminal trial in the US after he was arrested while covering inauguration day demonstrations in Washington, DC last year. Alexei Wood was arrested alongside 200 protesters. Huffington Post has marked the “virtually unprecedented prosecution of nearly 200 protesters on felony charges” by reporting the story using the language the media “typically reserves for news stories written about more repressive countries”:
An American photojournalist swept up in a mass arrest of hundreds of demonstrators conducted by security forces in the nation’s capital earlier this year during a protest of a regime change ceremony will face a criminal trial here Monday. Alexei Wood, a 37-year-old freelance photojournalist based in the American southwest, has been charged with multiple felonies. If found guilty, he could face decades inside a mammoth prison system in the world’s most incarcerated nation.
Financial Times‘ on the rise. It’s not only The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal adding readers in the middle of the deepest trough print media has ever been in. Both papers have reported gains in the September quarter in digital subscribers, while not talking about falling print sales. The Financial Times has been enjoying circulation gains and this week revealed it had “burst through the 900,000 paid-for reader level” and the paper is reaching a million readers. The New York Times has well over 3 million print and digital readers a day, while The Wall Street Journal has more than 2.6 million.
The FT sold 190,265 print copies a day (which includes just over 26,000 so-called bulk sales in Britain which papers sold or given to outlets such as airlines and hotels), which means the paper has lifted its digital subscriber base from 640,000 a day in April of this year to close to 740,000 this month. The FT rarely gives an accurate breakdown between print and digital sales and readership.
CEO John Ridding said in a statement a strong subscriber base would help the company face the challenges the news media faces, and the next stop was reaching a million subscribers. — Glenn Dyer
Charlie Rose sacked. US journalist Charlie Rose has been sacked by two networks a day after he apologised for sexual harassment claims published by The Washington Post. Rose was suspended by CBS and PBS yesterday, and has now been sacked, after eight women detailed his behaviour.
Video of the day. A cameraman in Atlanta waited 40 minutes to film a stadium being demolished, only for a bus to turn up at the perfect moment.
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Seven’s night because of the innate year appeal of a certain Good Doctor — the Tuesday outing averaged 1.75 million national viewers, 1.12 million metro and 626,000 regional viewers. And that was the night. Seven’s Instant Hotel did well with 1.06 million viewers. It’s a good idea and like My Kitchen Rules and The Block, it all depends on the casting.
What was interesting was the massive turn on from Instant Hotel to The Good Doctor — a huge 77% more viewers in the metros last night — from 633,000 for Instant Hotel to 1.12 million for the Doc. Nationally it was nearly 65% more viewers, or 688,000. That is ratings gold for a TV network. It shows viewers are actively looking for a program and flocking to it because they like it.
It is very much against the grain of recent ratings experience in Australia where new or returning programs struggle to hold audiences, especially early solid audiences in the case of debuts. In these days of streaming video and fragmenting audiences (and twice a week screening by Seven), The Good Doctor is a surprise. What will be interesting is how viewers respond when it returns next year.
In the regions The Good Doctor topped with 526,000, then Seven News with 529,000, followed by Home and Away with 448,000, Seven News/TT was fourth with 440,000 and Instant Hotel was fifth with 434,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website