Roundup: Sky News provides ‘secret’ recordings, The Drum axed, Marty Sheargold comeback?

sky news voice to parliament

Kerry Stokes, The Project, Gina Rinehart and Dick Smith, Meta, Michelle Rowland, New York Times, Spotify, 10 News First

Business of Media

Kerry Stokes walks away from SAS defence charity

The SAS Resources Fund was set up in the 1990s to give “relief and support” to current and former commandos in the elite unit. According to its website, the charity provides financial assistance for SAS commandos and families who experience hardship, reports Nine Publishing’s Mark Di Stefano.

Kerry Stokes was there from the beginning. His sometimes-frenemy Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest joined the fund’s board in 2012, and continues as a member. Another is James McMahon, who served as an SAS commando before being recruited by Stokes to join his private investment office Australian Capital Equity. McMahon left ACE earlier this year.

Last week, SAS Resources released its annual newsletter, revealing Stokes was leaving as a trustee of the charity.

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See Also: Kerry Stokes to pay legal costs of Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation case

Bruce Lehrmann’s lawyer accuses The Project of not checking ‘credibility’ of Brittany Higgins claims

The Project producer Angus Llewellyn has been cross-examined in the federal court about whether the program checked the credibility of what Brittany Higgins told them before her interview with Lisa Wilkinson was broadcast on Ten, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

Bruce Lehrmann brought the defamation case against Network Ten and Wilkinson over the interview, in which Higgins alleged she was raped by a Liberal staffer in Parliament House in March 2019. Network Ten and Wilkinson are defending the case.

Lehrmann’s barrister, Matthew Richardson SC, put it to Llewellyn that he had failed to “check the credibility” of a photo of the bruise Higgins told him was caused by Lehrmann during the alleged rape. Llewellyn disagreed.

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Gina Rinehart, Dick Smith petition Mark Zuckerberg for second time over illegal scams

Gina Rinehart and Dick Smith are running out of patience with social media platform Meta as they have once again warned the organisation’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, to act on removing scam advertising from its apps, reports The Australian’s Jenna Clarke.

“We are writing to you once again with deep concern regarding the persistent issue of scam advertisements and fraudulent content on Meta’s platforms,” the co-signed letter said.

Less than a month ago Rinehart personally wrote to Zuckerberg accusing him and his organisation of doing nothing to stop the promotion of scams and ­“deceptive content” on sites including Facebook and Instagram.

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Will Meta’s encryption plans be a ‘devastating blow’ to child safety online?

There was a rare utterance from an internet regulator last month: praise for Facebook and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, reports The Guardian’s Josh Taylor.

Australia’s e-safety commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, described Meta as “one of the better detection performers” for reporting child sexual abuse material on its services, making around 27m reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) last year. Apple, for comparison, reported just 234.

To date, Meta has been able to report this material by analysing the images being shared over Messenger against databases of known child abuse material. The company had access to what was being shared, because Messenger chats are not end-to-end encrypted (e2ee). But this is about to change, though, and child safety groups are warning that encryption will impact online safety for children.

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‘Minister for Misinformation’s’ secret powers prompt free speech fears

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland says she will have the power to direct the media watchdog to investigate instances of online misinformation, under controversial proposed laws to toughen regulations for digital platforms that have raised free speech concerns, reports The Australian’s Rhiannon Down.

Rowland wrote to Anthony Albanese in June to seek approval to release the draft bill, informing him that it would grant her the power to direct the Australian Communications and Media Authority to “commence investigations”, documents obtained under freedom of information laws show.

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News Brands

Sky News provides ‘secret’ recordings of Brittany Higgins’ lawyer and fiance to Bruce Lehrmann defamation trial

So-called “secret” recordings of Brittany Higgins’s lawyer speaking to Higgins’s fiance, David Sharaz, at a Sydney bar while she faced cross-examination have been handed over to court, reports The Guardian’s Amanda Meade.

The recordings were taken of Leon Zwier and others at the Park Hyatt Lobby Bar on 4 December and reportedly revealed the lawyer discussing how Higgins could respond to questions in cross-examination in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation trial.

Sky News received the “secret” recording of Zwier and published an article on the discussion on Monday night. Lehrmann made an application to subpoena Sky News on Tuesday morning, and on Tuesday afternoon, Sky News Australia delivered a USB to the court of the recordings which will be provided to the parties.

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New York Times hires first newsroom leader focused on artificial intelligence

The New York Times has hired an editorial director of artificial-intelligence initiatives, signaling a significant commitment to the new technology as major news organizations explore its potential capabilities and risks, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Alexandra Bruell.

The Times has tapped Quartz co-founder Zach Seward to work with newsroom leadership in establishing principles for “how we do and do not use generative A.I.,” Executive Editor Joe Kahn and Deputy Managing Editor Sam Dolnick said in a note to staff Tuesday morning.

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Marty Sheargold eyes comeback after stepping away from spotlight

A Melbourne radio host who was reportedly unceremoniously booted from the AFL Grand Final earlier this year is eyeing a comeback after stepping out of the limelight, reports News Corp’s Joshua Haigh.

Triple M’s Marty Sheargold, who hosts The Marty Sheargold Show in Melbourne, stepped away from his on-air position in October, with anchor Troy Ellis filling in for him.

Now, three months later, neither Sheargold or Triple M have confirmed if the star will return to airwaves in 2024. However, Sheargold will instead be returning to his roots in stand up as he stars alongside comedians Mick Molloy, Lawrence Mooney, and Sam Pang for a special event called The Comedians at the Geelong Arts Centre in February.

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Spotify inks podcast deal with Warner Bros. Discovery for CNN, HBO and more shows

Spotify has teamed with Warner Bros. Discovery on a podcast distribution and monetization partnership, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Caitlin Huston.

The deal will see Spotify’s enterprise podcast platform, Megaphone, host and distribute select podcasts from Warner Bros. Discovery, including CNN’s All There Is with Anderson Cooper, The Assignment with Audie Cornish and HBO’s The Official Game of Thrones Podcast: House of the Dragon.

Spotify will also be one of WBD’s podcast monetization partners through its Spotify Audience Network.

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ABC axes The Drum; last episode to air this week

Nightly current affairs and news panel show The Drum has been decommissioned by the ABC, with its last episode to air on Friday, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

ABC news director Justin Stevens announced the decision on Tuesday, with the program’s three presenters moving to new roles and up to five positions expected to become redundant.

Host Julia Baird’s new role will combine writing, podcasting and video across ABC News and Ellen Fanning will join ABC Brisbane local radio. Dan Bourchier, who recently led the ABC’s Voice referendum coverage, will join the ABC News Channel as a presenter.

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10 News First status quo in Perth

10 News First has bizarrely stated it is “thrilled to announce that the 5.00pm weekday bulletin will continue to be produced locally and broadcast live from 10 Perth’s studio in Subiaco,” reports TV Tonight.

10 has been broadcasting from its Subiaco studios with presenter Natalie Forrest, Lachy Reid (Sport) and Beau Pearson (Weather) since March.

Next year that will continue, just like every other bulletin in the country, except for Brisbane, which is still broadcast from Sydney.

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