Roundup: Farmer Wants A Wife, Betting ads, Schitt’s Creek

state of origin farmer wants a wife

Press freedom, Canada blocks TikTok, Indigenous voice to parliament, SAGs

Business of Media

Media bosses unite to push government on press freedom

Australia’s major media bosses united on Monday to push for changes to stop police being able to raid journalists “just for doing their jobs”, and to fix Australia’s beleaguered freedom of information regime, reports Nine Publishing’s Nick Bonyhady.

At a closed-door meeting with Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus in Canberra on Monday, executives from publishers including News Corp, The Guardian, the ABC and Nine pressed their case to the government over its proposed reforms to privacy law and commitment to enacting recommendations stemming from the 2019 raids on the ABC and then News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst, who now works for The Age.

Dreyfus told the meeting that he had been shocked by those raids.

“I think that journalists should never face the prospect of being charged just for doing their jobs and there is agreement across the parliament and indeed the community that improved protections are overdue,” Dreyfus said in prepared opening remarks.

“Unlike the former government which ignored not one, but two separate bipartisan committee reports, the Albanese government intends to progress press freedom and protection of press freedom.”

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Canada blocks TikTok from government devices citing security risks

Canada on Monday blocked the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok from government-issued devices, saying it presents an “unacceptable” level of risk to privacy and security, reports Reuters.

Canada also moved to block federal employees from downloading the application in the future, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat said in a statement. TikTok’s data collection methods provide considerable access to the contents of the phone, the statement added.

TikTok said it was disappointed by Canada’s decision. It was issued “without citing any specific security concerns about TikTok or contacting us to discuss any concerns prior to making this decision,” a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

The move, which comes days after the European Commission imposed a similar ban, underscores the growing lobby against TikTok over concerns of its proximity to the Chinese government and hold over user data across the world.

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ABC staff to receive ‘impartiality’ training on Indigenous voice to parliament

The ABC has taken the unprecedented step of reminding journalists they must be objective when reporting on the voice ahead of the referendum, reports The Australian’s Sophie Elsworth.

An email to staff on Monday outlines that a “deep-dive” session into “impartiality” will discuss “some knotty editorial policy issues” and how reporters should ensure they do not favour one view on the Indigenous voice parliament.

It goes on to explain that staff are about to “embark on one of the most difficult and consequential stories of recent times”.

The session – to be held on Tuesday – will be headed by editorial policy manager Mark Maley and editorial policy adviser and Indigenous woman Bridget Caldwell-Bright.

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Key moments from the SAGs: Clean sweep for Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once has won big at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAGs), reports the ABC’s Mawunyo Gbogbo.

The SAGs are the last major awards show before the Oscars and are considered the most reliable predictor of the Oscars race.

Jamie Lee Curtis was the first actor from the movie to win an award when she stepped up to receive the SAG for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role.

“I love actors. I love acting,” Curtis said.

“It’s such a beautiful job. And I know that so many people in our industry who are actors don’t get to do this job.”

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Farmer Wants A Wife shake-up as Sam Armytage announced as host

Former Sunrise anchor Samantha Armytage is back on hosting duties, reports News Corp’s Lexie Cartwright.

The 46-year-old presenter, who quit the Channel 7 breakfast program after eight years in 2021, has been announced as the new host of 2023’s Farmer Wants A Wife.

Armytage is replacing long-serving host Natalie Gruzlewski, who has helmed the series on-and-off ever since its debut in 2007.

Gruzlewski, 45, will remain on the show as a co-host, which is a step down from her usual role.

Gruzlewski’s new role as a co-host is essentially the one that Armytage filled when she first joined the dating series last year. Armytage mainly mingled with contestants in a casual setting, while Gruzlewski officially fronted the show.

Seven didn’t address the big shake-up in a press release issued today. Instead, it casually referred to Armytage as “host” and Gruzlewski as “co-host” in the last line of the statement.

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Schitt’s Creek reunion?: “Never say never” says Eugene Levy

Actor Eugene Levy has commented on the possibility of a reunion for the cast from Schitt’s Creek, reports TV Tonight.

One day. Maybe.

“It was a great production, mostly everybody was on the show for all six years,” he told Radio Times.

“It was really just such a delightful show to do. The fact that I’m working with my son and daughter, it was kind of a gift to fatherhood I guess. I thought it was hitting on all cylinders pretty much from the first season right through to our last.”

As for whether he’d ever return to the show, Levy says that while it’s a “never say never” situation, he has discussed its future with son, Dan Levy. “I know my son Daniel has said this, we’d love to get together with these people again and take the show and the characters to yet another level.”

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Sports Media

NRL, AFL on collision course with governments over betting ads

The NRL, AFL and other major sports are on a collision course with governments over tighter rules on sports betting advertising, prompting the head of a parliamentary inquiry to say the codes are failing to grasp the concerns of the public and experts, reports Nine Publishing’s Paul Sakkal.

The sporting bodies say bookmakers’ ad spending – which grew from $89.7 million in 2011 to $287.2 million in 2021 – boosts the value of TV rights deals that help fund grassroots sport.

The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, which represents the football codes as well as Tennis Australia and Cricket Australia, says that betting on live sport is a legitimate Australian past-time.

“If advertising revenue is diminished, the value of sports media rights will diminish. Revenue from media rights is the principal source of income for the major professional sports … This is then used to fund grassroots sporting programs and the activities of leagues and clubs in the sporting pyramid,” the group’s head of policy, Jo Setright, wrote.

“The sports believe the current rules … strike a reasonable and responsible balance between the public interest in regulating gambling advertisement and minimising problem gambling and the ability of legitimate, regulated wagering businesses to operate.”

Free TV Australia echoed sporting codes’ concerns about the value of TV broadcast deals and said it would become more difficult to keep sports on free-to-air if gambling ads were reduced.

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