All over the Press Down Under

By Trembath, Brendan | Washington Journalism Review, December 1992 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

All over the Press Down Under

Trembath, Brendan, Washington Journalism Review

Australian journalists have come to dread Monday evenings, when they could well find their reporting scrutinized on "Media Watch: The Last Word," a much-feared 15-minute television program produced by the government-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Since 1989, "Media Watch" has critiqued everything from the way American and Australian correspondents dressed while covering the gulf war to the influence of the businessmen who own much of the nation's urban media. It also has brought to light some embarrassing cases of plagiarism, such as the editorial by an influential radio commentator in which passages had been lifted from a Frederick Forsyth novel.

Journalists can usually stomach coverage of issues such as ownership, but they often blanch when the criticism is aimed at their work. Relatively obscure print reporters have found their words being dissected over the airwaves by anchor Stuart Littlemore, who singles out questionable reporting that is read aloud in a tone to match the article. Items from Rupert Murdoch's tabloids, for example, are shouted.

A former journalist who now works as a lawyer, Littlemore says Australian reporters dislike "Media Watch" because he hits them with their own artillery. "I use the techniques of modern journalism to criticize modern journalism," he explains.

Television reporters seem to take the hardest hits. One of the latest was Steve Barret of the Nine Network, who was captured on videotape trying to obtain photos of a murder victim from the man's widow. Littlemore introduced the tape, shot covertly by a rival network cameraman, by explaining to viewers that "tabloids like Nine regard a picture of the deceased as essential" for their newscasts. He also noted that many reporters have no qualms about lying to get them, as Barret appeared to do.

The tape showed Barret, wearing a suit and carrying a cellular phone, just inside the woman's front door. Among other things, he told her that he needed photographs of her dead husband for "general police release.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

All over the Press Down Under


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?