Media files Rebel Wilson

Rebel Wilson comes back swinging, news.com.au gets a slap on the wrist from the Press Council, The Saturday Paper gets a new editor, and other media tidbits of the day.

Rebel to appeal reduced payout. Actress Rebel Wilson says she will appeal a reduced defamation payout, ordered by the Victorian Court of Appeal yesterday. Wilson won a record $4.5 million in damages from Bauer Media, which was reduced on appeal to $600,000. In a series of tweets, Wilson said the decision was “bizarre” and “absolutely flippant“. She had sued over a series of articles published by Woman’s Day in 2015, owned by Bauer Media.

Wilson had originally been awarded aggravated damages and special damages above the statutory cap of $389,500 for non-economic loss in Victorian defamation cases. The trial judge had found that she’d missed out on film roles in Hollywood because of the articles published by Woman’s Day. But the appeal court found yesterday that there wasn’t evidence for awarding damages for economic loss.

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News.com.au in Press Council breach. News.com.au has been found in breach of Australian Press Council standards for an article about a same sex marriage protest in Brisbane. The article reported claims from Yes campaigners that cars had been used as weapons against their protest in “violent clashes”. The council found that the reporter, who was not at the protest, hadn’t taken reasonable steps to ensure the material was factual, or that it was “fair and balanced”.

The article appeared to rely on untested claims of a single demonstrator that ‘people drove their cars nearly at full speed into the yes campaigners’. The article contained no material supporting the claim that the clash was violent.

The revolving door. The Saturday Paper has announced Maddison Connaughton as its new editor. She was most recently a features editor for Vice, and is a finalist in the Walkley Young Journalist of the Year awards this year. She replaces Erik Jensen as editor, who is now editor-in-chief.

Stepping up. Seven West Media has announced its WA chief executive officer will permanently be Maryna Fewster. Fewster has been acting in the role since John Driscoll stepped down last month.

Glenn Dyer’s TV Ratings. It is a pretty poor state of affairs that the most vibrant interesting programs on TV last night were the NRL game on Nine (644,000 nationally and 220,000 on Foxtel), the AFL game on Seven (533,000 nationally and 180,000 on Foxtel) and MasterChef (1.08 million nationally).

The World Cup started late Thursday and continued into the early hours of Friday (175,000 nationally for Russia v Saudi Arabia on SBS). And the weekend is all sport — France has a training run against Australia on Saturday night, the Swans play the Weagles tonight in Sydney, there’s cricket on tomorrow night from England and the Wallabies play Ireland tomorrow night in the second test in Melboring. Read the rest on the Crikey website.

As a Crikey subscriber and someone who began working as a journalist in 1957, I am passionate about the importance of independent media like Crikey. I met a lot of Australians from many walks of life during my career and did my best to share their stories honestly and fairly with their fellow citizens.

And I never forgot how important it is to hold politicians to account. Crikey does that – something that is more important now than ever before in Australia.

Liz
North Stradbroke Island, QLD

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