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Media Watch Lashed By Press Council, Accused Of Failing To Correct Story

Media Watch who like to beat up media organisations, but not the bias or the manipulation of news stories by the ABC, has been lashed by the Australian Press Council who has accused the ABC program of getting its facts wrong.

Earlier this year Media Watch had a crack at ChannelNews and SmartHouse for posting stories that they said were plagiarised.

This is even though the original stories appearing on our web sites, were predominantly based on press releases and briefing documents issued by technology vendors to overseas publications which we credited.

In addition, the information supplied to these organisations is also syndicated to thousands of media organisations worldwide and is not “unique” under the definitions of the Copyright Act, something that the ABC failed to report, which is not surprising as the normal modus operandi of the ABC is to selectively report stories.

This is not the first time that the ABC has found themselves defending their actions.

In their latest skirmish the Press Council has investigated a story that Media Watch ran last Monday about paparazzi intrusion into the privacy of TV stars and in particular a complaint by Osher Gunsberg, host of The Bachelor.
It’s claimed that the Daily Mail Australia article poked fun at his weight.

According to the Australian newspaper who are no fan of Media Watch, the Daily Mail article and paparazzi photographs referred in a headline to Gunsberg’s weight while on holidays as “Bali Belly”.

The press regulator said Media Watch made a factual error it did not correct and left out “important background material”.

The press council ruled in favour of Gunsberg, but Media Watch claimed that “the Daily Mail’s only punishment was a requirement to post a link on the story”.

The Press Council asked for a correction, and Media Watch attached a note on its website but not a correction.

The APC also accused Media Watch of failing to report Gunsberg’s favourable attitude to the APC adjudication.

“Importantly, the program omitted all reference to Mr Gunsberg’s public statements that he was very happy with the result of the Press Council’s process and had no complaint about the Daily Mail’s ‘punishment’ being lacking,” APC executive director John Pender said in a statement.

But on the program, last Monday, presenter Paul Barry said: “The Press Council tells us it doesn’t want the power to censor, and that Osher Gunsberg is very happy with the result.’’

Media Watch executive producer Tim Latham, who has run the program for three years, said the program’s coverage was “fair and accurate”.
“We put that up there but they are still not satisfied,” Latham said.

The Australian said that the Press Council has no jurisdiction over the ABC, which can be overseen by the Australian Communications and Media Authority if the public broadcaster’s own internal complaints proceedings do not resolve an issue.

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