Wednesday June 5, 2019

GfK Radio Ratings 2019, Survy 3: Highlights + Full Results

• Full results and analysis of the third radio ratings of the year in every market

By James Manning


Up: 104.9 Triple M +0.8
Down: 104.1 2Day FM -0.4

• #1 overall 2GB and #1 FM smoothfm increase their leads
Triple M the biggest improver as Moonman makes a move
• ARN again controls FM breakfast as Jonesy and Amanda lift
• Kate, Tim, and Marty push past smoothfm to be #1 FM drive

Read full analysis here: Radio Ratings: GfK Survey 3, 2019 – Sydney


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Up: KIIS 101.1 +0.9
Down: smoothfm 91.5 -0.7

• Biggest movers this survey: KIIS 101.1 and SEN
• Happy anniversary Christian O’Connell Show – up to 7.7%
• Breakfast on the move: Garry & Tim up, Hot Breakfast down
• Talent time: All music smooth & Gold drive shows FM leaders

Read full analysis: Radio Ratings: GfK Survey 3, 2019 – Melbourne


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Nova #1 as all FM stations lose share, 4BC & 4KQ increase
• Breakfast battle: Alan Jones now outrates Bianca, Mike and Bob

• Up: 4BC +1.5
• Down: 104.5 Triple M -1.9

Read full analysis: Radio Ratings GfK Survey 3, 2019 – Brisbane


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• Radio audience votes for Fiveaa plus David and Will
• Nova Entertainment avoids share slide at ARN and SCA

Up: Fiveaa + 1.5
Down: Mix 102.3 -1.7

Read full analysis: Radio Ratings GfK Survey 3, 2019 – Adelaide


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• Mix 94.5 holds at #1 as Nova, Hit 92.9 and 6PR all lift share
• Steve and Baz biggest movers at breakfast with 6PR show +0.7

Up: 6PR/Nova 93.7 +0.5
Down: Mix 94.5 -1.1

Read full analysis: Radio Ratings GfK Survey 3, 2019 – Perth


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Drama schedule, The Front Bar, 7Plus, output deals and 7Food

• Part 2 of Mediaweek with Seven programming chief Angus Ross

By James Manning

Seven’s director of network programming Angus Ross told Mediaweek there is more UK drama to come and he noted good audiences for Manhunt and The Bay.

See also: Angus Ross Part 1: Seven Network back at #1 after battle with Nine in Q1

“Still to come is the four-part drama Cheat and Wild Bill, an ITV drama with Rob Lowe as a US police chief who moves to the UK. Hatton Garden about the biggest UK jewel heist and series two of Liar is on the way. One I am really excited about is Gold Digger, an ITV drama starring Julia Ormond and Ben Barnes. It’s about a women who gets divorced and takes up with a younger lover much to the horror of her adult children.”


Australian dramas still to come include Between Two Worlds, Seven’s new Bevan Lee project. “The series is currently shooting and will be on this year. Secret Bridesmaids Business is also in production and due later this year.”

Bevan Lee

Seven is going to further exploit The Chase format with a number of primetime specials later this year. The format is so strong these days it outrates many programs screening later in the night.

All Together Now, which brought Julia Zemiro to the network, won’t be back in 2019.

Bingeing with 7Plus

Ross and his Seven programming colleague Brook Hall look after content for the 7Plus platform and they do buy some programs exclusively for it.

“There is an advantage to at least launch a show on broadcast to create awareness and then send people to 7Plus if they want to binge the remainder of the series.

“Earlier this year we were running The Passage, a Fox show, which was launched on Seven and then in week two we made all of the episodes available on 7Plus.”

Ross said Seven will make sure all of its episodes for its programs are available for some time at 7Plus. He said the length of the rights they have to keep shows online vary by distributor. “Some older deals might give us just 30 days. A minimum for us now is 12 months on any shows. For some shows it might be for our entire licence period, which could be three or four years.

“We have to be able to monetise our shows on every platform and every screen. Those rights are incredibly important to us and they have been deal breakers on some occasions. We are not going to spend a lot of money on a show and then not have it available on 7Plus.

“Viewers now expect they should be able to watch shows when they want to. If they miss the initial broadcast, they expect to be able to go to 7Plus and watch a season.”

The Front Bar

A continuing Seven success is another season of The Front Bar. Ross has bent over backwards to give Sydney audiences the chance to sample it, but it remains an AFL-market hit. “Those guys have found lightning in a bottle. My mantra on that one is no network interference. They do what they want. Too many times in the past Sydney tried to get involved in Melbourne AFL shows and it never ended well.

“This has been a slow burn and everyone has been patient and supportive. Those guys can do what they want for as long as they like as far as I am concerned.

“While we have tried it early and late in Sydney and Brisbane, you can also watch it live on 7Plus which is how I watch it.”

Regarding future planning, Ross said: “Our schedule for the remainder of this year is pretty much set. We are looking well into next year and what we are going to launch out of the Olympics. I have enough shows that I can always respond to things if need be.”

Output deals

The days of big output deals with Hollywood studios are almost gone. Ross revealed Seven still has one with Fox, despite the change of ownership recently.

In the past Seven has had deals with Disney/ABC, Warner Brothers (Ross said they still have one for movies, but not TV series) and NBCUniversal. “We have been around haven’t we!”

The ongoing deal with Fox means Seven will pickup the 9-1-1 spinoff 9-1-1 Lone Star with Rob Lowe. “We have another pick and there is a bunch of other shows to choose from.

“I wouldn’t say it has been a standout year for new US series.”

Making 7Food taste better

7Food is the most recent arrival of Seven’s suite of four multichannels.

The new food channel, launched late in 2019, has yet to overtake its main FTA opposition, SBS Food.

Ross told Mediaweek he would like to see 7Food punching a bit harder. “There is room for improvement.”

Part of the problem could be its MPEG4 delivery. “It can be harder for older televisions to pick it up. 7Food is incredibly young skewing and that is indicative of people who have newer televisions.

“We can do a better job of explaining to people how they can get that channel.”

Listen to the complete unedited podcast featuring Seven’s Angus Ross with Mediaweek’s James Manning

Listen via:


Libbie Doherty appointed ABC head of children’s production

The ABC has appointed Libbie Doherty (pictured) head of children’s production, overseeing our outstanding Australian children’s content across ABC Kids, ABC ME, ABC Kids listen and on digital and third-party platforms.

Since joining ABC Children’s in 2015, Doherty has been highly influential in the creation of distinctive and award-winning Australian programmes such as Mustangs FC, My Year 7 Life, Grace Beside Me, Hardball and the upcoming sci-fi series The Unlisted.

Michael Carrington, acting ABC director of entertainment & specialist, said: “Libbie has been an invaluable member of ABC Children’s, bringing huge levels of innovation to the team and leading many successful diversity projects such as International Day of the Girl and the DisRupted initiative.

“She is a champion of Australian children’s content and has been instrumental in creating the ABC’s world-class portfolio of programmes that reflect and celebrate children’s lives and experiences. I know our team and industry partners will join me in congratulating Libbie on her appointment.”

Libbie Doherty said: “I feel so proud of the work we do in ABC Children’s, every day, which makes an enormous contribution to the lives of young Australians. We are in a golden age of children’s entertainment, exemplified by outstanding ABC programs such as Bluey and First Day. I am committed to continuing to deliver content that challenges expectations, ignites curiosity and reflects children’s lives.”

As head of children’s production, Doherty will commission more than 350 hours of content across the ABC’s two children’s TV channels, which reach up to 94% of Australians under 15 years. She will oversee in-house development and production across ABC Kids, ABC ME, ABC Kids listen and on children’s digital products and third-party platforms and take the lead on commissioning external producers.

Doherty joined the ABC as a commissioning editor in 2015, after working as a producer and director in the independent production sector. Since then, she has worked collaboratively on partnerships with the ACTF, NITV, Screen Australia, state and territory screen agencies and international co-production partners. She was appointed acting ABC head of children’s content in June 2018.

Flying Bark CEO Barbara Stephen to lead Studio 100 content

• Alexia Gates-Foale appointed Flying Bark Productions’ head of animation production

Studio 100 Group is expanding global and Australian businesses commencing with the appointment of Barbara Stephen as CEO of content for Studio 100 International.

In addition to her role as CEO for Sydney based Flying Bark Productions, Stephen will assume executive management of all development, investment and animation production across the creative businesses including Studio 100 Animation (Paris), Studio Isar Animation (Munich) and Little Airplane Productions (New York).

The company has also backed the major expansion of Flying Bark Productions’ in-house animation capabilities, which now includes the new appointment of Alexia Gates-Foale as head of animation production.

Leading a team of almost 300 people, Foale will help develop greater expertise and long-term employment opportunities for the local Sydney studio across the hand-drawn 2D animation and in-house CGI teams.

Hans Bourlon, CEO of Studio 100 Group: “We absolutely trust in Barbara to lead our content and production teams across the globe. The board and I are very optimistic about the future, while being grateful for the hard work of our staff and what was achieved so far. And we believe that the best is yet to come!”

“Flying Bark Productions has worked hard to develop a strong culture of creativity and inclusiveness with a focus on delivering world-class content across hand-drawn 2D and CGI character animation. Alexia has been pivotal in shaping the modern studio and will continue to provide strong leadership and creative vision for our future direction,” said Barbara Stephen.

Studio 100 will continue to invest significantly in local, original independent animated movies, series and brand activities, as well as the diversification of its technical and animation services.

About Flying Bark Productions

Flying Bark Productions is a prolific independent producer on the international stage with a successful legacy of creating iconic animated children’s entertainment since 1968. Operating as a full-service production facility for independent feature films and series as well as providing animation services for global clients.

Flying Bark is set to deliver the highly anticipated Indie-Australian film, 100% Wolf – adapted from Jane Lyon’s book with the same name – and the spin-off series in co-production with Australian broadcaster, ABC and Germany’s number one channel for family entertainment SUPER RTL. The TV series will be introduced this year at MipJunior and Mipcom in Cannes. Both, movie and series will be available by year-end.

About Studio 100 Group

Studio 100 was founded as a TV production company back in 1996 and has grown into one of the largest independent family entertainment companies globally – with offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland, Australia and USA.

About Barbara Stephen

Stephen joined Flying Bark Productions in 2012 which has been a part of the Studio 100 group since 2007. A decade of producing successful, award-winning titles, lead to her appointment of CEO in 2014/15. The company has won the State Premier’s award for Women in International Business Award of the year (2016) and a highly commended Innovation in Export Award in 2017. Stephen leads a team of crica 250 in the Sydney studio, increasing to 300 by year end.

About Alexia Gates-Foale

Alexia Gates-Foale has worked in children’s animation for over 10 years and is credited across a number of titles, including the award-winning Erky Perky, Zeke’s Pad, The Woodlies and The Adventures of Figaro Pho. Gates-Foale produced on the successful feature films, Maya the Bee Movie, Blinky Bill: The Movie, and the AACTA nominated television series, The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill.

Top Photo: Barbara Stephen

TV guide: State Of Origin on Nine & 9Now

• Former Origin stars Thurston, Slater, Gallen and Thaiday join Nine commentary
• Four supplementary video streams available for fans on 9Now

The greatest sporting rivalry in Australia begins its next chapter with Game One of the explosive 2019 Holden State of Origin series tomorrow night at 7.00pm AEST, exclusively live on Nine.

There will be greater analysis and insight available to viewers than ever when the Maroons meet the Blues in the cauldron of Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

State of Origin has proven to be one of the can’t-miss television events since it began in 1980 as New South Wales and Queensland compete in a state-versus-state rivalry without rival.

With Ray Warren – the voice of Origin – calling every big hit, line break and try, Nine’s unrivalled commentary panel this year will include more Origin legends than ever, with Phil Gould, Paul Vautin, Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer, Peter Sterling and Wally Lewis analysing the action.

For the first time, former Origin stars Johnathan Thurston, Billy Slater, Paul Gallen and Sam Thaiday also join the commentary team to give insights throughout the series from their unique perspective as recent players, explaining what the current players experiencing and feeling.

Viewers will have unprecedented access to the game, with four supplementary streams available on 9Now in addition to the game itself. These include Spidercam, NSW coaches box, QLD coaches box, and for the first time, the innovative Referee Cam, allowing fans to see and hear everything lead referee Ashley Klein does on the field.

Also for the first time in a State of Origin game, Nine’s corner post cameras will be employed, offering incredible close-up shots of players as they attempt to score and defend tries.

In another innovation, NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler will speak with Nine commentators during the game to give his thoughts on his team live and what they need to do to overcome the Maroons.

After winning the series last year for the first time since 2014, the NSW Blues are looking to post back-to-back series wins over the Queensland Maroons for the first time since 2005.

It’s a new generation for both sides, with several players on debut. NSW has five debutants in Cody Walker, Payne Haas, Cameron Murray, Jack Wighton and Nick Cotric, while Queensland has three in Moses Mbye, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita.

NSW will head into a volatile confrontation in front of a sellout, hostile crowd at Suncorp Stadium, willing Queensland to a 1-0 series lead ahead of Game Two, which will see Origin played in Perth for the first time.

The coverage begins Wednesday morning at 5.30am AEST as the Today show broadcasts live from Suncorp Stadium. A number of Nine’s Origin legends will give their final thoughts on the game, while lucky viewers on-site can win tickets to the game and merchandise.

TV Ratings Analysis: June 4

• The Voice finds Young Talent Time’s Joey Dee + a new girl group
• Seven lifts Tuesday share as Denton with Gibney lift Interview
• Anushka cooks for immunity on MasterChef visiting Maleny

Tuesday Week 23 2019

By James Manning

• Seven News 1,180,000/1,126,000
• Nine News 985,000/986,000
• A Current Affair 847,000
• ABC News 722,000
• 7.30 502,000
• The Project 319,000/487,000
• 10 News First 458,000
• The Drum 213,000
• SBS World News 138,000

Breakfast TV

• Sunrise 292,000
• Today 202,000


The primary channel enjoyed its best Tuesday share in five weeks.

Home And Away had a second successive night close to 750,000.

House Rules was on 611,000 and trailing The Voice and MasterChef. (The reno show easily outrated the cooks though nationally with a bigger regional audience.) The House Rules audience was also well up week-on-week after 544,000 in week 22.

Also lifting its audience week-on-week was Andrew Denton: Interview where he spent time with Seven’s Rebecca Gibney and Geraldine Hakewill. The audience climbed from 458,000 to 520,000.


A Current Affair spent a second successive night close to 850,000 with a special Tuesday edition featuring Tracy Grimshaw with UK singer Susan Boyle.

The penultimate episode of the The Voice Blind Auditions featured Young Talent Time star Joey Dee and the biggest group ever to perform on the auditions. The episode was on 977,000 after the first two eps this week cracked 1m. Tuesday last week did 917,000.

Two episodes of The Big Bang Theory were on 576,000 and 410,000.


Waleed Aly was back from his Spanish football trip at The Project. The audience of 487,000 saw guests Rudimental, Matt Preston and Curtis Stone.

MasterChef was into day three of its Queensland visit and the immunity challenge took place on a property at Maleny with sensational views. Anushka made it through to the immunity challenge against chef Ben Williamson. The Tuesday audience was 635,000 after 611,000 a week ago. The episode was #2 entertainment show under 50 and #1 16-39.

Mr Black then did 309,000 after 303,000 a week ago.


The primary channel had its lowest Tuesday share since January.

The Recording Studio was on 257,000 after 8pm.

A repeat of David Attenborough’s Great Barrier Reef then did 222,000. 


Kurt Fearnley was featured on Who Do You Think You Are? with 307,000 watching, up from 268,000 a week ago.

An Insight repeat then did 177,000 followed by Dateline on 196,000.

Week 23 TV: Tuesday
ABC Seven Nine 10 SBS
ABC 9.0% 7 20.5% 9 22.4% 10  11.8% SBS One 6.0%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.2% 7TWO 2.2% GO! 2.6% 10 Bold 3.7% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 0.6% 7mate 4.1% GEM 2.7% 10 Peach 2.4% Food Net 0.8%
ABC NEWS 2.1% 7flix 1.5% 9Life 1.9%     NITV 0.2%
    7Food 0.6%            
TOTAL 14.8%   28.9%   29.7%   17.9%   8.7%


ABC Seven Affiliates Nine Affiliates 10 Affiliates SBS
ABC 7.6% 7 21.8% 9 18.6% WIN 9.0% SBS One 5.9%
ABC KIDS/ ABC COMEDY 3.0% 7TWO 3.9% GO! 3.0% WIN Bold 3.6% VICELAND 1.8%
ABC ME 1.0% 7mate 6.3% GEM 4.7% WIN Peach 1.9% Food Net 1.0%
ABC NEWS 1.4% 7flix (Excl. Tas/WA) 1.8% 9Life 1.5% Sky News  on WIN 1.9% NITV 0.2%
    7food (QLD only) 0.3%            
TOTAL 13.0%   34.0%   27.7%   16.4%   8.9%


85.6% 14.4%
  1. Seven News Seven 1,180,000
  2. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 1,126,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 986,000
  4. Nine News Nine 985,000
  5. The Voice Nine 977,000
  6. A Current Affair Nine 847,000
  7. Home And Away Seven 753,000
  8. ABC News ABC 722,000
  9. The Chase Australia Seven 682,000
  10. MasterChef Australia 10 635,000
  11. House Rules Seven 611,000
  12. Hot Seat Nine 595,000
  13. The Big Bang Theory Nine 576,000
  14. Andrew Denton: Interview Seven 520,000
  15. 7.30 ABC 502,000
  16. The Project 7pm 10 487,000
  17. 10 News First 10 458,000
  18. The Chase Australia-5pm Seven 433,000
  19. The Big Bang Theory – (R) Nine 410,000
  20. Hot Seat -5pm Nine 353,000
Demo Top 5

16-39 Top Five

  1. MasterChef Australia 10 191,000
  2. The Voice Nine 182,000
  3. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 174,000
  4. Seven News Seven 164,000
  5. Home And Away Seven 140,000


18-49 Top Five

  1. The Voice Nine 391,000
  2. MasterChef Australia 10 296,000
  3. Nine News 6:30 Nine 268,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 264,000
  5. Seven News Seven 263,000


25-54 Top Five

  1. The Voice Nine 444,000
  2. Nine News 6:30 Nine 336,000
  3. MasterChef Australia 10 325,000
  4. Seven News / Today Tonight Seven 324,000
  5. Seven News Seven 320,000
TUESDAY Multichannel
  1. Dino Dana ABCKIDS/COMEDY 199,000
  2. Rusty Rivets ABCKIDS/COMEDY 194,000
  3. Peter Rabbit ABCKIDS/COMEDY 187,000
  4. Peppa Pig PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 183,000
  5. Andy’s Safari Adventures ABCKIDS/COMEDY 182,000
  6. Outback Truckers PM 7mate 179,000
  7. Octonauts ABCKIDS/COMEDY 179,000
  8. School Of Roars PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  9. Floogals ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  10. Bluey ABCKIDS/COMEDY 173,000
  11. Fireman Sam PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 172,000
  12. Molly And Mack PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 168,000
  13. Bluey AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 166,000
  14. Highway Patrol-Ep.2 Pm 7mate 152,000
  15. Bob The Builder PM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 145,000
  16. Death In Paradise 9Gem 143,000
  17. Peppa Pig AM ABCKIDS/COMEDY 137,000
  18. Neighbours 10 Peach 136,000
  19. NCIS (R) 10 Bold 134,000
  20. CSI: Miami 10 Bold 133,000
Tuesday STV
  1. Wentworth FOX SHOWCASE 96,000
  2. Paul Murray Live Sky News Live 86,000
  3. Jones & Co Sky News Live 79,000
  4. The Bolt Report Sky News Live 75,000
  5. Live: NRL 360 FOX LEAGUE 68,000
  6. PML Later Sky News Live 66,000
  7. Credlin Sky News Live 60,000
  8. Live: AFL Hall Of Fame FOX FOOTY 54,000
  9. Live: World Cup: Sri V Afg FOX CRICKET 54,000
  10. Live: The Back Page FOX SPORTS 503 53,000
  11. League Life FOX LEAGUE 53,000
  12. The Simpsons FOX8 46,000
  13. Family Guy FOX8 43,000
  14. Hogan’s Heroes FOX Classics 41,000
  15. Border Security: Australia’s Front Line FOX8 40,000
  16. The Big Bang Theory COMEDY CHANNEL 38,000
  17. Live: World Cup Pre-Game FOX CRICKET 36,000
  18. NCIS TVH!TS 35,000
  19. The Simpsons FOX8 35,000
  20. Family Guy FOX8 33,000

Shares all people, 6pm-midnight, Overnight (Live and AsLive), Audience numbers FTA metro, Sub TV national
Source: OzTAM and Regional TAM 2018. The Data may not be reproduced, published or communicated (electronically or in hard copy) without the prior written consent of OzTAM

Media News Roundup

Business of Media

Stan grows audience, makes money – can it renew Disney deal?

Stan boss Mike Sneesby (pictured) wants to continue its content partnership with Disney as the streaming platform ramps up local production before an expected drop in international content, reports The Australian’s Lilly Vitorovich.

Stan’s one-year deal with Disney expires in December, and investors are keen to hear if it will be extended as the US giant prepares to launch the keenly anticipated streaming service, Disney+.

Stan, which is owned by Nine Entertainment, has now “more than 1.6 million active subscribers”, thanks to its string of US shows and movies, and has been “EBITDA positive from March”, Sneesby told the Morgan Stanley Australia summit in Sydney yesterday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the summit, Sneesby told The Australian that Disney had been “a great partner”, adding that it had a “really positive relationship with their local and international teams”.

“We’ve said to them quite openly that we’re open to continuing partnership in one form or another beyond some of this core period that people are referring to, and what that means I think is kind of up in the air.”

[Read the original]

Rationale for Foxtel IPO remains: Telstra’s CEO Andy Penn

Telstra chief executive Andy Penn says the telecommunications giant is fully committed to Foxtel and believes it still makes sense to list the under-pressure pay TV provider down the road, reports The AFR’s Max Mason.

Telstra owns 35% of Foxtel, while News Corp owns the other 65%. Previously Foxtel was 50-50 owned by News Corp and Telstra, but the ownership structure changed when it was merged with Fox Sports, which was 100% owned by News Corp.

“The whole rationale for doing the restructure was we could see that the media industry was going to go through this period of very substantial change and that bringing Fox Sports and Foxtel together would be beneficial to help Foxtel navigate that period, and to achieve that we needed to dilute down to 35%, we were happy to do that,” Penn told the Financial Review at the Morgan Stanley Australia summit on Tuesday.

[Read the original]

Claude Outdoor signs contract for Avalon Airport advertising

Claude Outdoor, sister company to TorchMedia, has secured the exclusive advertising rights to Avalon Airport.

The rights include large format billboards on the Princes Highway and Airport Drive and internals in the Domestic and International Terminals which feature new large format internal LED displays.

Avalon Airport services over 1,300,000 passengers following the recent opening of the International Terminal. The new International Terminal features anchor carrier Air Asia.

Phillip Hare, managing director of Claude Outdoor said:

“With the addition of the International terminal Avalon Airport is now a gateway to Victoria and in particular Melbourne, Geelong and the Surf Coast. We are also seeing an expansion in passenger numbers using Avalon as a hub connector to Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.

“Avalon is a fabulous addition to our airport solutions for SMEs and local businesses. Avalon presents the perfect opportunity to target both domestic and international travellers.”

Claude Outdoor’s airport media portfolio continues to grow, reaching nearly five million passengers annually. In addition to Avalon, Claude Outdoor’s portfolio includes Sydney’s Rex Terminal, Hobart, Launceston and Devonport.

News Brands

Press freedom undermined as Federal Police chase sources

The Morrison government has been accused of intimidating journalists and undermining press freedom, after the home of senior press gallery reporter Annika Smethurst was raided over a 2018 leak that authorities said could threaten national security, reports The Australian’s Richard Ferguson and Zoe Samios.

Hours after the AFP raid, 2GB radio host Ben Fordham revealed live on air that he was now involved in a Home Affairs Department inquiry for reporting on Monday that six asylum-seeker boats were headed for Australia.

In April last year, Smethurst, the political editor of News Corp Sunday newspapers, reported on a secret plan that would have allowed the Australian Signals Directorate to spy on Australian citizens for the first time and gain access to their emails, bank records and text messages.

News Corp Australia said the seven-hour AFP raid would “chill public interest reporting” and was a “clear and dangerous” signal to those trying to cover ­intelligence and national security matters. This raid demonstrates a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths,” a News Corp spokeswoman said. “The raid was outrageous and heavy handed.”

Fordham said there was “no hope in hell” he would give up any sources, even though he was not the target of the investigation into his asylum-seeker boats reports. “I don’t know how concerned I should be, because I haven’t been in a situation like this before,” he said. “I’ll co-operate with them as much as I can, but I’m not able to reveal my sources. Never have, never will. Agencies like Home Affairs are free to investigate leaks, just as I’m free to decide not to reveal my sources.”

[Read the original]

The Australian: Dangerous intimidations hurt public’s right to know

The Australian Federal Police raid on the home of Canberra journalist Annika Smethurst is an ominous development for those who value, espouse and rely on press freedom in this country, comments an editorial in The Australian.

Yesterday morning AFP officers presented Smethurst with a warrant to search her home, computer and mobile phone. Such actions seek to cow reporters, publishers and whistleblowers from bringing into the public realm vital information about threats to citizens’ rights and freedoms in our democracy.

That the present AFP action comes more than a year after publication, and so soon after the federal election, is a worrying sign for publishers and their employees – and also whistleblowers.

Media companies have fought a brutal battle against incursions into the public’s right to know. Policymakers have scant regard for press freedom or the protection of journalists and sources. At best, such matters are an afterthought, with the insertion of limited defences into ever-harsher security legislation.

During the election campaign, Scott Morrison spoke about protecting basic freedoms, including the right to religious belief. Amid heavy-handed assaults on the public’s right to information and the creep of government into our lives, the Morrison government must step up. The Prime Minister has a duty to make sure citizens are kept informed by a viable, vibrant and unhindered press about vital issues that affect their lives.

[Read the original]

Daily Telegraph: Journalists shouldn’t fear working in a free society

Armies and navies keep a nation’s border secure, police ensure it is safe to walk the streets and it’s an independent press that, without fear or favour, is able to hold authorities who govern a nation and ensure they don’t overstep their mark.

But they did just that on Tuesday.

[Read the original]

Annika Smethurst raid was more than an invasion of privacy

Seven federal cops. Seven hours. The rubbish bins. The oven. The underwear drawers.

Tuesday’s raid on the home of our national political editor Annika Smethurst was a shocking invasion of privacy – but it was much more sinister than that, comments Claire Harvey, deputy editor of News Corp’s Sunday Telegraph.

This is an attempt to intimidate journalists, and more importantly their sources, who attempt to reveal information that is in the public interest.

Annika’s story, published in April 2018, was absolutely in the public interest: it revealed secret plans at the highest levels of the Canberra bureaucracy to allow the Australian Signals Directorate to cyber-spy on Australian citizens.

[Read the original]

ABC journalists call on news chief to explain why story was pulled

ABC journalists have condemned alleged editorial interference by Adani and called on the news director, Gaven Morris, to explain why a story on the mining giant was never run, reports Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade.

Staff representatives from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) and union officials met on Tuesday morning after Guardian Australia and Media Watch reported the Adani spokeswoman Kate Campbell made a direct call to Morris to complain about a story before it aired.

The radio story, which had been commissioned for Saturday AM, was pulled from the run-down hours later. The ABC said later this was done to give Adani more time to respond.

[Read the original]

Former SMH music critic Roger Covell dies aged 88

Roger Covell musicologist, author and chief music critic of The Sydney Morning Herald for 40 years, has died. He was 88, reports Peter McCallum in Covell’s former newspaper.

Covell was born in Sydney in 1931 but was brought up and educated in Queensland, moving there aged one after his father died of war injuries.

After graduating from the University of Queensland he lived for a time in the UK working as an actor and with the BBC. He became chief music critic of The Sydney Morning Herald in 1960, contributing reviews and articles in which he championed Australian composers and performers into the late 90s, when illness forced him to curtail his activities.

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Sarah Lambert and Bruna Papandrea team up on a TV adaptation

The mastermind behind Love Child, Sarah Lambert, is working on her next big TV series, teaming up with Big Little Lies producer Bruna Papandrea to adapt a best-selling Queensland novel, reports News Corp’s Amy Price.

This week Lambert is writing the pilot episode of the eight-part series, which has recently been backed by Screen Australia.

Lambert, who is also behind Foxtel series Lambs of God, said she learnt from long-running Channel 9 drama Love Child, which ended in 2017 after four seasons, that audiences are hungry for “brave storytelling”.

“If we tried to make this five years ago I would have thought it would be really hard, but it’s time,” she said. “It’s being really bold about the way we still stories and brave … and I think this will be big.

“We are still having this conversation about the male perception of violence against women. We still haven’t solved it and dealt with it.

“We need to look at not blaming women for it and that’s done really well in the book. It’s got amazing female characters.”

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