Sunrise protest derails broadcast. Sunrise’s outdoor broadcast this morning from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games was derailed by protesters calling for Indigenous land rights (and criticising the show for its prior treatment of Indigenous issues) as it went to air. 

Presenters Sam Armytage and David Koch addressed the crowd while on-air — unlike last month’s protest outside the Martin Place studio, which was hidden from viewers with blinds and a pre-recorded back drop.

Today’s protesters drowned out a panel with former athletes and reportedly prompted Armytage to say off-air that filming the protest was the only way rival network Nine would get ratings. Last month’s protest related to an error-ridden panel about Aboriginal child welfare, for which Sunrise is yet to apologise.

Rush “hounded”. Geoffrey Rush and The Daily Telegraph were back in court yesterday over the actor’s defamation suit. Rush’s lawyers reacted to the Nationwide News (the Tele’s owner) counterclaim application against the Sydney Theatre Company, saying that it would cause ongoing hurt. The Tele says the STC should also be a defendant in the claim, given it was a source for the story in question. The Tele published a story last year that alleged Rush had been subject of a complaint for inappropriate behaviour during the production of King Lear, a claim that he denies.

The cost of speaking out. Women who speak out about sexual harassment at news organisations are often blacklisted by other similar organisations, the Columbia Journalism Review reports, even by outlets that reported the allegations with disgust:

Over the past 18 months, at least 15 women have come out publicly with allegations of sexual harassment at Fox spanning decades. Of them, just one has landed a job in TV news, and at least five have failed to find any full-time employment. None of the women who filed sexual harassment claims against Fox have found jobs in news. Most haven’t been seen in the media in years.

Learning to report before fake news. BuzzFeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith has reflected on his time as a journalist in Eastern Europe, reporting on Belarus in 2001:

I was then a lowly ‘stringer’ for the Wall Street Journal’s European edition, based in nearby Latvia. As such, I was probably the most clueless reporter who had attached himself to a brand-name outlet to cover the curiosity of a dictatorship hanging on between a booming European Union and a modernizing Russia. I was 24, and as a true child of the 1990s, complacent about the direction of history in a way that made me a particularly bad reporter.

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. It was Seven’s night in the ratings — and Australia’s in the Games, thanks to the three Australian competitors in the women’s 10,000 metres who waited until the final competitor had finished two laps after them and congratulated her. An average of 2.27 million people watched the evening and night sessions on Seven, 7TWO and 7mate, which is not to be sneezed at. Nine’s early morning coverage of the masters (last round) averaged 159,000 on Gem and 68,000 on Fox Sports.

A special mention for last night’s Australian Story, the best episode for ages — 533,000 nationally up against the Games, and deserved treble that. The subject was former Australian commando, Mick Bainbridge taking on the public servants and military high ups in Defence and then Veterans Affairs and winning, with the help in part of Jacqui Lambie and a local lawyer.

In regional markets, the Night Games won with 631,000 viewers, from the Evening Games with 624,000, Seven News with 534,000, Seven News/Today Tonight with 466,000 and Young Sheldon in fifth spot with 369,000. — Read the rest on the Crikey website.

Peter Fray

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