Roundup: Ben Roberts-Smith, Guardian Australia, At the Movies set

Ben Roberts-Smith

Antoinette Lattouf, Meta, Lisa Wilkinson, Spotify podcasts, Married At First Sight, Dancing with the Stars

Business of Media

Who’s winning the three big cases of the year? The lawyers, of course

Three of the biggest cases of last year were back in court this week for blockbuster sequels that prove the only sure winners on the legal system’s merry-go-round are lawyers, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Pelly.

Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, media personality Lisa Wilkinson and former ACT prosecutor Shane Drumgold were all seeking vindication.

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Will Ben Roberts-Smith’s failed defamation case stand? His lawyers argue the facts don’t add up

War veteran Ben Roberts-Smith is once again playing a waiting game as three Federal Court judges consider whether the result of his failed defamation case against Nine Entertainment will stand, reports the ABC’s Jamie McKinnell.

The 45-year-old’s lawyers spent the past fortnight in a Sydney courtroom for an appeal hearing, articulating why they say Justice Anthony Besanko made errors of law in a lengthy judgement delivered last June, when the civil case was dismissed.

The asserted missteps included incomplete fact finding, insufficient reasoning, arbitrary conclusions about witness reliability, or overlooking discrepancies between accounts said to have been corroborative.

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Lattouf dismissal emails not provided in unlawful fire hearing

Former ABC reporter Antoinette Lattouf has been denied access to the emails relating to her dismissal, reports The Australian’s James Dowling.

The former radio presenter lodged a Fair Work Commission complaint against the national broadcaster in January. Lattouf has claimed that she was unlawfully terminated by the ABC over her social media and as an act of racial discrimination.

As a part of the commission, Lattouf and her legal representation sought an order for the ABC to provide emails sent to Chairperson Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson.

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No news is bad news for all of us, Meta

It is no secret that traditional news outlets are struggling: every few weeks, respected publications announce redundancies, cuts and closures. Partly, this is because social media has become many people’s primary source of news. Teenagers and more and more adults are using TikTok, while millennials are turning to Instagram after Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter (X), reports The Guardian’s Kathryn Bromwich.

This has made logging into social media particularly jarring over the past months. If I open Instagram, this is what I see: a blurred video from Gaza marked as “graphic content”; a porcupine eating an apple; news that a teenage trans girl was stabbed 14 times at a roller disco; an escalator full of men carrying golden retrievers; mosques turned to rubble. This level of emotional whiplash is exhausting and bewildering; we don’t yet understand its long-term psychological impact.

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News Brands

Guardian Australia asks readers to pay once reaching a 20 story cap on its premium app

The Guardian Australia has introduced a cap on the number of stories readers can access each month, as the masthead ­confronts increasing financial pressures, reports The Guardian’s Sophie Elsworth.

The paywall on the media outlet’s app has begun alerting readers that once they hit a 20-story cap in any given month, they must either pay to access further articles or wait until the end of the month for the story cap to reset.

A Guardian Australia spokeswoman said the move to introduce the 20-story cap came into effect late last year, but she said it “only applies to the premium app for regular users.”

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Is the ABC Lisa Wilkinson’s last chance saloon?

Lisa Wilkinson has been missing from Australia’s TV screens for 424 days but her absence could soon be over. The 64-year-old broadcaster has worked at every commercial broadcaster in the country – networks Seven, Nine and Ten – so it’s no denying the options left for her to return to the small screen are limited, report The Australian’s James Madden and Sophie Elsworth.

Veteran news and current affairs boss Peter Meakin, a consultant to The Project and long-time friend of Wilkinson who has worked with her at all three commercial free-to-air networks, says her career is far from finished.

He believes the ABC could be in her sights. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the ABC could use her talents,” Meakin told The Australian. “I think there’s still a future for her but it might be something different, still involved with interviewing but something different.”

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Lend me your ears: epic podcasts find an eager audience

Joe Walker once broadcast 4½ hours of him talking to a former public servant about tax (among other things). It was the best rating episode of his popular Jolly Swagman podcast for all of last year, reports Nine Publishing’s Gus McCubbing.

Walker’s success – the interview with former Treasury secretary Ken Henry was just one of many long-form chats – goes to show that there’s no magic formula to satisfying Australia’s seemingly insatiable appetite for podcasts, Spotify’s local boss says. And there’s more to the format than 20-minute bursts of true crime.

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Australia is obsessed with reality TV, and it’s become one of our key exports

If you were to ask the Married At First Sight experts what makes a good relationship, they’d say words such as loyalty, respect and commitment, reports Nine Publishing’s Thomas Mitchell.

By these markers, the strongest relationship to emerge from 11 seasons of the dating reality show that airs on Nine is the one Australians have with it.

What did we all do on Valentine’s Day? Well, nearly 1.4 million of us chose to spend it with our most beloved, MAFS, according to VOZ figures, ratings agency OzTAM’s new measurement system.

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Lisa McCune joins Dancing with the Stars

Dancing with the Stars has secured high-profile talent for its 2024 season with actor and multiple Gold Logie winner Lisa McCune leading the cast, reports TV Tonight.

Also featuring is TV cook Julie Goodwin, SAS Australia’s Ant Middleton, AFL Footy Show favourite Shane Crawford, singer Samantha Jade, Home and Away actor James Stewart, Better Homes and Gardens presenter Adam Dovile, controversial ex-AFL player Ben Cousins, former WAG Nadia Bartel, Olympian turned Senator Nova Peris, chef Hayden Quinn, and comedian Nikki Osborne.

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How did The Weekly get the set for At the Movies?

At the Movies ended on ABC a decade ago, but much-loved reviewer Margaret Pomeranz has become a sensation all over again with her parody reviews on The Weekly with Charlie Pickering, reports TV Tonight.

But how did they replicate the set?

“I think we managed to find her actual chair somewhere in storage and then managed to replicate the backdrop and the set exactly. There might have been some opaque curtains that were still there that we use, but we had to match the picture behind it. It took a little bit of work,” Charlie Pickering tells TV Tonight.

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