Business of Media
Judge dismisses application for confidentiality orders over News Corp and ABC defamation case settlements
Justice Michael Lee has dismissed an application by News Corp and the ABC for confidentiality orders over how much each media organisation paid Bruce Lehrmann to settle his defamation claim, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.
Lehrmann sued the ABC and the publisher of news.com.au and journalist Samantha Maiden, but the parties settled out of court.
Barrister Dauid Sibtain SC, for News Corp, asked Lee to grant a confidentiality order to keep the dollar amount paid towards Lehrmann’s legal costs confidential. The ABC asked for the entire settlement document to be suppressed.
“I do not believe that either order should be made,” Lee said.
Lee said details of the ABC’s settlement were likely to come out at Senate estimates anyway and ordered that both deeds of settlement be made public.
‘Bigger than mobile phones and the web’: Google reveals generative AI competitor to ChatGPT
Google has unleashed its competitor to ChatGPT, saying it is more powerful than any chatbot on the market as the AI arms race intensifies, reports The Australian’s Jared Lynch.
Google launched Gemini, its new AI platform, on Thursday — eight months after it announced its first effort, Bard, which failed to take off like ChatGPT. Bard also attracted criticism earlier this year when it backed the Indigenous Voice to Parliament as a “positive step”, praised Anthony Albanese as a “man of the people”, and labelled Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison as “controversial”, sparking concerns over political bias and “propaganda” from Big Tech.
But after a boardroom showdown at Microsoft-backed OpenAI, which owns ChatGPT, Google is seizing its chance to gain a firmer foothold in the market.
Meta to introduce watermarking feature for some AI products
Meta Platforms will add invisible watermarking to its text-to-image generation product imagine with Meta AI chatbot in the coming weeks to enhance transparency, the Facebook-parent said on Wednesday, reports Reuters.
The social media firm rolled out products infused with artificial intelligence (AI) for consumers, including bots that create photo-realistic images and smart glasses that answer questions, in late September.
“We aim to bring invisible watermarking to many of our products with AI-generated images in the future,” Meta said in a blog post, adding that it is resilient to common image manipulations like cropping, screen shots, among others.
Trump will target media ‘criminally or civilly’ if re-elected, ally vows
A Donald Trump ally who worked in his justice department said on Tuesday that if the former president is elected again, his administration will retaliate against people in the media “criminally or civilly”, reports Associated Press.
Kash Patel, who was also chief of staff in the defense department and held a role on the national security council, made the comment on Steve Bannon’s podcast. He said that, in a second Trump administration, “We will go out and find the conspirators not just in government, but in the media,” over the 2020 election, which Trump lost to Joe Biden.
Paramount+ launches in Japan in partnership with J:COM, Wowow
It’s official: Paramount+ is finally available to consumers in Japan. As first tipped by the company in September, the streaming service launched in Japan Wednesday as a no-additional-cost addition to the on-demand services of local operators J:COM and Wowow. J:COM is one of Japan’s top cable television operators and broadband internet providers, while Wowow is the longstanding leading premium pay channel in the market, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Patrick Brzeski.
The Japan launch completes Paramount+’s entry into all of the world’s top ten international subscription video growth markets. The partnership marks the second launch for Paramount+ in East Asia, following a similar arrangement set up last year in South Korea with TVing, the streaming service controlled by Korean entertainment giant CJ ENM. Parmount+ also launched in Australia via a partnership in August 2021. In Europe, the service is available through partnerships with SKY in Italy, the U.K., and Germany, and with Canal+ in France.
ANU chief Brian Schmidt calls for tighter media regulation
Outgoing Australian National University vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt has called for tighter regulation of the media to boost trust in media organisations which are challenged by digital disruption and the rise of AI fakes that are indistinguishable from reality, reports The Australian’s Tim Dodd.
In a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday Professor Schmidt said that a self-accreditation system for media organisations against broader set of regulatory standards – similar to the way universities are regulated – could help the media retain the public trust.
“This reform could ensure, that once again, the media be held as a highly trusted institution within our democracy that informs the public and helps hold society’s institutions to account,” he told the press club.
Samir Shah to be appointed as next chair of BBC
The veteran TV executive Samir Shah is set to be appointed as the next chair of the BBC, report The Guardian’s Alexandra Topping, Jamie Grierson, and Kiran Stacey.
Shah, 71, who has previously served as a non-executive director at the broadcaster and was the co-author of the government commission’s controversial racial disparities report in 2021, has been announced as the culture secretary’s “preferred candidate” for the three-days-a-week position, which pays a salary of £160,000.
Before being appointed to the role, Shah will be questioned by a cross-party group of MPs on the culture, media and sport select committee, at a hearing expected to be held next Wednesday.
Taylor Swift is Time’s Person of the Year
Time magazine on Wednesday named Taylor Swift as its person of the year, reports The New York Times’ Claire Moses.
“Picking one person who represents the eight billion people on the planet is no easy task. We picked a choice that represents joy. Someone who’s bringing light to the world,” said Sam Jacobs, the magazine’s editor in chief, on NBC’s Today program on Wednesday morning. “She was like weather, she was everywhere.”
Swift beat out eight other finalists who were announced on Today this week, including King Charles III and Barbie.
Ali Moore lands full-time Drive gig as ABC Melbourne locks in 2024 line-up
Ali Moore will continue into 2024 as the Melbourne Drive host on ABC Radio after filling in following Rafael Epstein’s move to the morning slot in September, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.
Long-time host Trevor Chappell will remain at the helm of Victorian Afternoons show and comedian, musician and author Sammy J will return to a five-day schedule, leaving the broadcaster’s Melbourne station relatively untouched after a slew of changes in Sydney last week.
Moore and Chappell were appointed to their roles in September until the end of the year, but will now get the gigs full-time, eight months after the ABC began its extensive review into its local radio services.
Channel Nine axes My Mum, Your Dad despite putting out casting call
Nine has axed reality series My Mum, Your Dad after just two seasons on-air, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.
The Kate Langbroek hosted series follows a group of single parents looking for love – and who don’t know their adult children are secretly pulling the strings of their dating life.
It had recently been renewed for a third season, with a casting call put out on the production company’s website asking for applications for when the show returned next year.
Tay and Ari win Big Brother 2023
Gold Coast sisters Tay and Ari Wilcoxson have won Big Brother 2023, walking away with $100,000 prize money, reports TV Tonight.
Tay, 23, said: “Oh my god! This doesn’t feel real. Thank you everybody so much.
Critics Choice TV nominations: The Morning Show leads, followed by Succession with Sarah Snook up for best actress
Succession actress Sarah Snook and Bluey lead the Australian nominees for the TV categories at the 29th Critics Choice awards on January 14, reports the ABC.
Australia’s favourite blue heeler family is nominated for best animated series, while Snook is nominated for best actress in a drama series.
The Morning Show, which is known as Morning Wars in Australia, starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon leads the television contenders with six nominations.
ABC tops BVOD in 2023
ABC has claimed ABC iview as the No.1 free-to-air broadcast video on demand service in Australia for the sixth successive year, reports TV Tonight.
The ABC also had a stellar year in the Network rankings, finishing third, behind Network Seven and Nine in the overall linear rankings.
In 2023, ABC again commissioned more Australian content than any other broadcaster or streamer in Australia.
Bay of Fires was the highest rating non-kids title on ABC iview in 2023, while Utopia was this year’s highest-rating comedy on ABC iview.