Sydney Daily Telegraph lead story frozen out by tv big media peers as dodgy?
Topic: big media
A fairly incredible white knuckle ride in the 'back story' to this report here:
Wednesday, 16 April 2008
According to our media monitoring yesterday the Sydney Daily Telegraph story applying it's (in)famous (melo)dramatic blowtorch on a pillar of society hit a brick wall of incredulity. Did the story ramp up through the day and onto the nightly tv news bulletins? Were peers in the relatively bigger TV news sector of the Big Media willing to back the trashing of a legal professional's reputation? Put themselves in the line of fire of a defamation action on the strength of the journalism of Janet Fife-Yeomans, and editor David Penberthy?
No, no, and no, they declined. What's more the ABC TV prime time news sunk the slipper in to the SDT agenda with another legal angle altogether, which might be sobering discipline on both the Tele and the "popular authoritarianism" of the NSW Govt [to borrow a phrase of Quentin Dempster].
In summary as best we could tell:
- all the tv nightly news ABC and commercials stood off the story. So did the current affairs and 7.30 Report;
- what was most profound was the lead ABC 7pm flagship tv news led with an incredible repudiation of the Daily Telegraph agenda by
(a) ignoring the story totally, and
(b) running as no. 1 lead a related story about lack of safety/resources at Newcastle Family Court precincts - which is NSW AG Hatzistergos's ministerial responsibility and VERY embarrassing.
The Telegraph runs a smallish story today Thursday 17 April 08 well into the paper, no picture, cleaning up loose ends, as if by way of belated 'balance' sourcing the instructing solicitor. Only it's way not proportionate or contemporaneous with the damage of their front page story against the barrister the day before. This might only mitigate fertile defamation action for the day before.
The blowtorch story against the harried barrister is virtually all over next day: It's not many people who survive the Telegraph blowtorch in such good shape. It's usually a one way street like John Brogden, others before, others no doubt in the future.
We are impressed. Like James Stewart in It's a Wonderful Life the civil rights lawyer Tania Evers obviously has got alot of social capital goodwill out there, including from such as this writer for her pro bono support of a disabled volunteer/friend of ours, at least within reasonable limits.
We can't comment on the facts of the legal case in the screaming front page headline because we don't know them well, and as a lawyer we are bound like everyone else by the court gag order. But we do note with a great deal of irony this other story running yesterday about the bad, sad fact of sexualised children being given implanted contraception in Qld:
The World Today, ABC - Wednesday, 16 April , 2008 12:20:00 Reporter: Annie Guest
[with this concluding extract following]
ANNIE GUEST: But how do you decide whether they are making an informed decision about having sex given that they are needing to have this contraceptive implant? Perhaps it would indicate that they’re not making fully informed decisions?
MATTHEW BOWDEN: Because of guardianship laws. They would not be able to make that decision independently.
ANNIE GUEST: An anti-child abuse campaigner says she's shocked to hear young girls are being implanted with contraceptives, but the executive director of Bravehearts, Hetty Johnston, says she also gives the practice qualified support.
HETTY JOHNSTON: It has to have some sort of tattered support. It’s horrifying to think that those words are even coming out of my mouth but the last thing we want is 12-year-olds pregnant. But look, it could only be with education, it needs to get … we need to get some education into these communities.
LISA MILLAR: Hetty Johnston from Bravehearts ending that report from Annie Guest.
We simply add that one reason things end up in court is because the facts are contested, and sometimes related to social situations quite out of the experience of normal reasonable people, which the courts and legal professionals are then given the frightening job of wrestling with into a framework of justice and truth - it's a hard job to be respected not trashed.
Postscript from mid February 2010