Roundup: Four Corners code of practice breach, cricket rights bid, Bruce Lehrmann

four corners

Mexico media, Netflix password sharing, Latrell Mitchell, Oscars shortlist

Business of Media

Four Corners ‘materially misled’ audience with Fox News episodes: ACMA

A two-part Four Corners investigation into Fox News and its reporting of the Donald Trump presidency breached accuracy and fairness requirements in the ABC’s code of practice, Australia’s media regulator has found after a year-long investigation, reports Nine Publishing’s Sam Buckingham-Jones.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority probed the two episodes of “Fox and the Big Lie” helmed by investigative journalist Sarah Ferguson and broadcast on ABC TV in August 2021. For the series, Four Corners spoke to media commentators and former executives at Rupert Murdoch’s 24-hour news network about its coverage of former US president Donald Trump.

Responding to a complaint by Fox News, the ACMA concluded in a 65-page report released on Wednesday that the program omitted key information that meant it reported information “in a way that materially misled the audience”.

ACMA also found one interviewee was not properly informed about the way the show would be presented.

“By omitting key information, the ABC did not give its audience the opportunity to make up their own minds about Fox News,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

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Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyers send legal letters to Ten, News Corp

Lawyers acting for former political staffer Bruce Lehrmann have sent legal letters to media outlets over their coverage of rape allegations aired by his former colleague, Brittany Higgins, as he welcomed a public inquiry into authorities’ handling of his abandoned criminal trial, reports The Age’s Angus Thompson.

The ACT government announced the inquiry following reports that the territory’s director of public prosecutions, Shane Drumgold, SC, complained that police had tried to pressure him not to prosecute Lehrmann, prompting law enforcement to call for a separate probe.

Lehrmann pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Higgins in the ministerial office of the pair’s former boss, Coalition senator Linda Reynolds, in March 2019. The trial was aborted in October this year due to juror misconduct, and the case against Lehrmann was later dropped due to grave concerns about Higgins’ mental health.

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Mexico media say president’s attacks on journalists are ‘invitation to violence’

Mexico could be plunged into “an even bloodier” era of deadly violence against the press unless its populist leader stops harassing the media, scores of top journalists have warned after an apparent attempt to assassinate one of Mexico’s best-known news anchors shocked the nation, reports The Guardian’s Tom Phillips.

In an open letter, the signatories – who include professionals from major outlets including El Universal, Excélsior, Milenio and Reforma – issued a rebuke to Mexico’s media-bashing president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

“Almost all of the outpourings of hatred towards journalists are incubated, born and disseminated from the presidential palace,” said the declaration, which was penned in response to last Thursday’s botched gun attack on the newsreader Ciro Gómez Leyva in Mexico City.

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News Brands

The end of Netflix password sharing is nigh

The end of password sharing is coming to Netflix soon—and it will be a challenge for both viewers and the streaming giant, reports the Wall Street Journal’s Sarah Krouse.

The company has put off this moment for years. Researchers inside Netflix Inc. identified password sharing as a major problem eating into subscriptions in 2019, people familiar with the situation say, but the company was worried about how to address it without alienating consumers. Then Covid lockdowns hit, bringing a wave of new subscribers, and the effort to scrutinize sharing petered out.

Netflix didn’t pursue a plan to crack down widely on the practice until this year, as subscriber losses mounted. At a company gathering outside Los Angeles early this year, co-chief executive Reed Hastings told senior executives that the pandemic boom had masked the extent of the password-sharing issue, and that they had waited too long to deal with it, according to people who were at the meeting.

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Foxtel and Nine Entertainment could combine for cricket rights bid

Foxtel and Nine Entertainment are contemplating joining forces to make a late play for cricket broadcast rights in a move that would shut out rival Network Ten from all the big sports in Australia, reports The Australian’s John Stensholt.

The cricket is currently telecast by Foxtel, which holds all rights across Test matches, limited-over internationals and the Big Bash League, and Seven West Media, which has the free-to-air rights.

But Seven is taking legal action against Cricket Australia and has indicated it would be willing to give up the rights, which expire at the end of the 2023-24 summer, under a record six-year $1.18bn deal signed in 2018.

Seven’s indifference towards cricket has left open the chance for Nine to make a shock return to the sport, which it broadcast for 40 years before switching to tennis four years ago.

If Nine and Foxtel were to be successful in their quest for cricket rights, it would mean cricket authorities have stumped for the combined bid over what is now the highest offer on the table from Ten and its US owners Paramount.

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Channel Nine apologises to Latrell Mitchell for running his image during segment on alleged murder

Channel Nine has apologised to Latrell Mitchell after vision of the NRL star was accidentally played when an alleged murder was being discussed during Sydney’s nightly news bulletin, reports News Corp’s Derrick Krusche.

Host Georgie Gardner was reading out a headline about Ashley Gaddie — who is accused of murdering schoolteacher Danielle Finlay-Jones in Western Sydney — when an image of Mitchell was inadvertently shown at the beginning of the 6pm bulletin on Wednesday.

Police allege Gaddie murdered Finlay-Jones inside a Cranebrook home on Tuesday after they had met each other on a dating app.

Gardner said towards the end of the bulletin that a technical issue had caused Mitchell’s image to be shown.

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Oscars: Shortlists for 95th Academy Awards Unveiled

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday unveiled its shortlists for the 2023 Oscars in 10 categories, including documentary and international features as well as documentary short subject, makeup and hairstyling, original score, original song, animated short, live-action short, sound and visual effects, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Carolyn Giardina.

Fifteen international features advanced, out of the films from 92 countries and regions that were eligible. The list includes Close (Belgium), Decision to Leave (South Korea), All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Bardo (Mexico) and Joyland, which gives Pakistan its first shortlisted film in the category.

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