Business of Media
Mark Willacy tells Heston Russell defamation trial he did not breach ABC editorial policies
Investigative journalist Mark Willacy has rejected accusations in court that he breached ABC editorial policies and the media union’s code of ethics over stories about allegations of war crimes, reports the ABC’s Jamie McKinnell.
Willacy has been cross-examined for a third day in the Federal Court as the broadcaster defends a defamation case initiated by former commando Heston Russell.
The veteran is suing over 2021 stories that he says falsely implied he was involved in the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan, while the ABC is relying on a defence of public interest.
The stories followed earlier reporting of allegations against unidentified soldiers from a US marine, nicknamed “Josh”, that a prisoner was executed in 2012 when there wasn’t enough room in a helicopter.
Russell was the commander of the November platoon from 2011 to 2012.
The 2021 article referenced the declining of a freedom of information (FOI) application in reporting there was an active criminal investigation and contained a denial from Mr Russell that the alleged incident occurred.
Meta to ask EU users’ permission to show targeted advertising
Facebook and Instagram are to ask EU users for permission to show them personalised adverts, in a concession that challenges the platforms’ core money-making strategy, reports The Guardian’s Dan Milmo.
The social media networks’ parent company, Meta, announced the change after a series of regulatory rulings struck down the company’s legal justification for harvesting audience data to create user profiles that can be targeted by advertisers.
Meta had argued it had a “legitimate interest” to process users’ data in such a way, but has now conceded that under EU data laws it must seek consent instead.
The company said in a blogpost: “We are announcing our intention to change the legal basis that we use to process certain data for behavioural advertising for people in the EU, EEA [European Economic Area] and Switzerland from ‘legitimate interests’ to ‘consent’.”
The UK data watchdog said on that Wednesday Meta’s announcement was “to the exclusion of the UK” and would be scrutinised by the regulator.
Twitter sues anti-hate speech group over ‘tens of millions of dollars’ in lost advertising
Elon Musk’s rebranded Twitter has accused an anti-hate speech group of costing the social media app “tens of millions of dollars” in revenues after advertisers paused spending on the platform, according to a lawsuit, reports The Guardian’s Dan Milmo.
A legal filing by the owner of X, the new name for Twitter as of last month, accuses the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) of hurting the business financially through its research of content on the social media service.
The lawsuit filed in a US district court claimed that 16 unnamed advertisers had stopped spending on the platform, paused advertising plans or decided not to reactivate campaigns, after reading CCDH work.
It said at least eight organisations and companies, including multinational corporations that have advertised on X historically, had paused spending on the platform in June and July after reading CCDH reports. The lawsuit added that a further five separate companies, including large multinationals, had paused advertising spending plans around November last year – shortly after Musk’s purchase of the company – after reading CCDH research. Three more companies were not reactivating ad campaigns due to CCDH, the lawsuit said.
The filing said the cost of the advertising postponements ran into tens of millions of dollars.
ABC defends Four Corners crew attending protest
The ABC has defended the presence of a Four Corners team at protest action outside the home of Woodside energy CEO Meg O’Neill in Perth, reports TV Tonight.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland says the behaviour of protesters this week was “completely unacceptable” and was seeking “detailed commentary” on ABC’s attendance.
Rowland said the ABC had confirmed a television crew was present to film the protest for an upcoming documentary, but they had “no knowledge of the nature of the behaviour that would occur”.
ABC confirmed a Four Corners team attended the protest action to gather material for a potential report later this year.
‘Devastating’: Australian Succession star Sarah Snook opens up on show’s end
Australian actress Sarah Snook has revealed that the end of hit TV show Succession was “devastating” for her, reports News Corp’s Tiffany Bakker.
Snook, whose performance as media heiress Shiv Roy on the hit show garnered acclaim, told Variety in a new cover story that she had hoped the drama would continue on into a fifth season, even while the cast were filming.
“I knew it probably could end, but thought it could go one way or the other — and also, it’s nice to hope,” she told the outlet.
But a read of the script for the show’s finale, and Snook knew it was over.
“I arrived and was like, ‘That’s it. It’s done,’” she said.
“And I walked in, and Matthew [Macfadyen who played Snook’s on screen husband, Tom] was like, ‘No, I don’t think so. I think that’s quite hopeful! The last handhold, maybe there’s potential for what’s going to happen with Tom as CEO.’”
Scott Cam reveals his sneaky long-running Logies tradition
Scott Cam has revealed his sneaky Logies trick to ensure he’s never empty-handed at TV’s night of nights, reports News Corp’s Lexie Cartwright.
The Block host, who is gearing up for the premiere of the Channel Nine renovation show this Sunday, attended the annual awards show at The Star in Sydney at the weekend, and has since revealed his years-long tactic to be at the top of the list when it comes to drinks service.
Speaking to Triple M’s Mick & MG in the Morning, Cam revealed it was notoriously difficult to get a beverage at the televised awards, saying waiters can only approach tables during commercial breaks.
But Cam has figured out a way around it.
“I did do what I always do every year … You know what it’s like to get a drink at the Logies, it’s a bit tough,” he said.
“So the young bloke [waiter] turned up, I said, ‘My name’s Scott. Phil? Lovely to meet you. Here’s $50 in your pocket, and if I’m happy with your service at the end, there’s another $50 for you, so there’s $100 cash here champion’.”
Farmer Wants A Wife’s Brenton Kuch and Sophie Holcombe split three months after finale
Farmer Wants A Wife couple Brenton Kuch and Sophie Holcombe have split just three months after the finale episode aired on screens, reports News Corp’s
Sophie, who won the Victorian cattle farmer’s heart on the Channel Seven dating show, announced the break-up in a social media post on Tuesday evening.
“I have an update to share,” she captioned a slide on Instagram Stories. “With a heavy heart, I want to let everyone know Brenton and I have gone our separate ways.”
The 25-year-old social media manager had moved from her home in Queensland to the rual town of Darriman in Victoria to be with Brenton.
Sophie said relocating didn’t faze her as she and her dog, Reggie, “loved our life in Darriman” and are now “missing the farm a lot”.