Blair Cottrell

Seven News Melbourne's interview with a neo-Nazi amid the summer silliness of "African gang" reporting seemed like a new low for commercial TV news. Blair Cottrell gave the network an "exclusive" interview, which ran with more "exclusive" access to a "right-wing activist" meeting. News director Simon Pristel (formerly of the Herald Sun) defended the story as newsworthy, but it had all the hallmarks of a very cynical ratings-grab.

It might feel like a recent dive to the bottom of the barrel for content, but University of Queensland emeritus professor Graeme Turner said the slide into tabloid news has been years in the making.