McLachlan throws Seven into damage control. Fairfax and the ABC have named actor and star of hit TV series The Doctor Blake Mysteries Craig McLachlan as a serial predator in a joint investigation. The ABC’s 7.30 program will air interviews tonight, and today’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age carry a report from journalist Kate McClymont detailing the allegations. McLachlan has denied all the allegations of indecent assault and sexual harassment in a statement to Fairfax.

Interestingly, the Seven Network picked up The Doctor Blake Mysteries after the ABC axed the popular series last year. The show was planned to air as a miniseries on Seven later this year. Though its future seems rather less certain now. The Seven Network told Crikey:

Seven is aware of the allegations concerning Craig McLachlan which it takes seriously. However, as this is a police matter it is not appropriate to comment.

Concerning the upcoming series of The Doctor Blake Mysteries, this is produced by December Media and is in early pre-production funded by Seven and other parties. Seven has sought an urgent update from the producers.

BBC editor quits over gender pay gap. A BBC editor has quit her job after learning of a huge pay gap between the women and men in the same role. Carrie Gracie quit as China editor (to return to the BBC newsroom) when she learned that of four international editors at the broadcaster, the two men were paid at least 50% more than the women. In a letter to the BBC audience, posted on her website, Gracie explained her decision:

“I am a China specialist, fluent in Mandarin and with nearly three decades of reporting the story. Four years ago, the BBC urged me to take the newly created post of China Editor … I accepted the challenges while stressing to my bosses that I must be paid equally with my male peers. Like many other BBC women, I had long suspected that I was routinely paid less, and at this point in my career, I was determined not to let it happen again. Believing that I had secured pay parity with men in equivalent roles, I set off for Beijing … Despite the BBC’s public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women’s work was worth much less than men’s.”

Fairfax’s ‘unmasked troll’ pleads guilty. An American internet troll who convinced Islamic State jihadists he was an Australian mujahid, and whose identity journalists from The Sydney Morning Herald helped uncover, has pleaded guilty to charges from trying to enlist someone to bomb a September 11 memorial event in Kansas City. In 2015, the Fairfax newspaper revealed it had reported Joshua Goldberg to the Australian Federal Police, who then passed information onto the FBI, after journalist Elise Potaka’s photo was used on a fake Facebook account set up by Goldberg. Weirdly, Fairfax appears to have not yet reported the guilty plea, despite bold claims at the time that its information led to Goldberg’s arrest.

SBS’ slow TV win. SBS’ three-hour “slow TV” broadcast last night of The Ghan’s train journey paid off, with a metro audience of 436,000, 406,000 and 396,000 for progressive hours. There were no ads, no breaks, no commentary and no soundtrack to the program — just three hours of the iconic Australian journey.

 

Peter Fray

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