Sunday Tele’s “inaccurate” report. The Sunday Telegraph has been found in breach of the Australian Press Council standards for an article that implied a woman’s death was caused by her son. In an article published on July 30, the council found that the headlines (“Mum died from her toddler’s sickness” and “Dead mum Imogen Petrak may have caught pneumococcal disease from her child“) were inaccurate. It found that the Sunday Tele didn’t take reasonable steps to make sure its story was accurate, that it should have printed a correction, and that it breached the family’s privacy. The article referred to Petrak’s 17-month-old son’s vaccination status and her blood test results.
“The council accepted there is a strong public interest in reporting on matters of public health. However, having regard to the unusual medical circumstances surrounding Imogen’s death, the relevance to the public in reporting on this matter was less strong than it might have otherwise been,” the decision said. The council also found that the “substantial distress” the article caused was not justified in the public interest.
New website, same old content. The Ten Network has launched its news lifestyle and news website Ten Daily today. There isn’t much yet to distinguish it from competitors in that area — it’s leading with a column from the site’s executive editor, The Project host and Nine defector Lisa Wilkinson about being bullied, as part of a campaign currently running on The Project. And that story is one of its “trending topics”, along with separate topics for the royal wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (we counted four stories this morning on the home page about the couple and their upcoming nuptials).
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US TV’s killing season. The 2018-19 US TV series upfronts started on Sunday in New York and continue all week, with anther round in Los Angeles. Australian networks and Foxtel are there. It’s the so-called “killing season” — the usual end-of-season bloodletting with a slew of cancellations, and a host of new programs. A total of 25 programs were cancelled, one was saved by another network, making a net 24 cancellations.
SBS will be happy: a day after Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the cop comedy series, it has been picked up by NBC with a 13-episode sixth season starting later this year. Fox also restarted Last Man Standing with Trump fan Tim Allen — Seven had it here and could get it again given its new agreement with Fox. Last Man Standing found a natural home at Fox where Rupert Murdoch is a close confidant of Trump and Fox News Channel the leading cheer squad.
ABC killed off Quantico after three seasons. It wasn’t doing well for Seven here. NBC renewed Law and Order SVU for a 20th season — making Ten happy here. It is its best-performing foreign program. — Glenn Dyer
The revolving door. Seven West Media’s WA CEO John Driscoll has left the company for “family reasons”, according to a statement from the company on Friday. Driscoll had been in the job for less than a year, appointed in June. The statement from Seven said chair Kerry Stokes had asked Driscoll to take on extra responsibilities that would have “required extensive travel”. “After further consultation and consideration, Mr Driscoll has, for family reasons, decided that he would not be able to accommodate the additional responsibilities.” A new CEO for Seven West Media WA will be announced this week.
Do as I say. The call from News Corp CEO Robert Thomson, late last week from for an Algorithm Review Board to keep tech companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook under control was typically hypocritical of the company.
Thomson told the News Corp analysts’ briefing that the board would be “useful in the oversight of companies which have horizontal dominance and use that leverage to dominate a vertical, such as Amazon with audiobooks and potentially Facebook with dating”. It’s an idea News has also flagged in its submission to the ACCC’s inquiry into digital platforms’ impact on the media.
But the idea is pretty rich, coming from the CEO of a corporation that pioneered the invasion of data privacy with the News of the World phone-hacking scandal in the UK, which continues to impact UK politics and media life today. The House of Commons only last week defeated a concerted attempt to start a new inquiry into media practices in the country. The scandal cost the company the News of the World, and around a billion pounds in lost advertising and circulation revenues as well as legal costs and awards to the thousands of people whose phones were hacked. Facebook and Google are draining hundreds of millions of dollars a year in ad revenues from News Corp’s papers and TV businesses in the UK, US and Australia. — Glenn Dyer
Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. Olivia Newton John: Hopelessly Devoted To You (what a mouthful) was the queen last night on Seven. Well sort of with 1.16 million nationally, which was nowhere near good enough for all the money spent on it. Were the 70’s really that bad, and the 80s? So will viewers return next Sunday? Seven hopes so, but by that showing last night — nah. The figures for House Rules were softer, 1.10 million nationally for a reveal (the highest rating ep each week). But with the 6pm News (1.57 million and tops), the network managed to top total people, run second in the main channels behind Nine, but snaffle the main demos narrowly, with Ten a distant third.
In the regions Seven News was on top with 460,000, with The Voice second with 444,000, then the Olivia Newton John biopic with 432,000, Nine/NBN News was with 4328,000 and House Rules was with 415,000. Read the rest at the Crikey website.