Media Watch v Sunrise war of words

ABC and Seven staff have been pointing the finger at one another in a series of tweets about watermarks and lack of attribution.

As previously noted, things came to a head when Sunrise failed to attribute Four Corners for footage of the Thai Cave Rescue. ABC journos and staff let rip with tweets accusing it of theft. Sunrise maintains it was an error in one news break and it attributed thereafter.

Last night Media Watch questioned the brevity of that attribution and stumped up with several previous examples where Sunrise also failed to give credit.

“How did this copycat story about Canberra woman Jessica Kelly losing her sense of smell sneak in three weeks ago?” Paul Barry asked.

It was a story aired on ABC 4 days earlier, he explained.

“The ABC also published its story about Jessica Kelly online, with those lines about bacon and popcorn,” he added,

“And come the weekend, Sunrise was helping itself. Taking all of the ABC’s footage and getting Jessica to tell them about chocolate.”

On the Thai Cave item, Craig McPherson, Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs told Media Watch, “The production mistake was acknowledged and fixed immediately. The EP apologised.

“Unlike the ABC which to this day continues to portray the telling vision of Peta Credlin and Stuart Robert, shot exclusively by 7 News, as its own. Repeated requests back in 2015 were continually
ignored. It remains today on its website.

“But the real crime here is the attack on a young 7 News reporter thousands of kilometres away in
Thailand. The social media ferals, some who it appears have journalistic and television pedigree,
relentlessly targeted the reporter who would have no knowledge of what bugs and straps are or are
not placed on screen. Those with any understanding of TV production would be aware of that. Their
behaviour is reprehensible.”

McPherson’s response didn’t make it into the Media Watch story but is posted online …which some suggest was because it did not fit ABC’s narrative.

Seven’s Mark Riley also tweeted about ABC supposedly pinching Seven footage, retweeted by Sunrise EP Michael Pell.

The ABC says its use of the 2013 Credlin / Robert vision was agreed to by the Channel 7 Melbourne News library as part of a ‘vision swap’.

For those looking for the lighter side to it all, the ‘theft / error’ managed to make it into a question on Have You Been Paying Attention?


  1. “the reporter who would have no knowledge of what bugs and straps are.”
    I’m just a humble viewer and I know what bugs and straps are. I have for a long time.

  2. Media Watch used to be good, when they were ripping into A Current Affair and other news programs. Now its just Paul Barry picking out spelling mistakes in the paper.

    • Disagree. It’s always been a mix of serious and lighter (like a certain blog). This week it looked into big implications for reportage from the UK following Cliff Richard case and whether it will impact Australia. Recently there was a full special looking at privatising the ABC.

  3. The discussions in the past of viewers possibly wanting a longer 30 min program of Media Watch may be warranted. It is noticeable that in the last couple years, instead of giving right of reply, Media Watch instead advises viewers to go to their website and see their reply.

    This was something that I did after watching Monday’s Media Watch to find a statement from Sunrise which didn’t answer any of Media Watch’s questions, and has the attitude “everyone is doing it, why pick on us”
    ABC at least gave an explanation for the Peta Credlin footage, haven’t heard so much from Ch 7.

  4. Harshreality

    Very disappointed with Media Watch tonight as there was little Murdoch/Sky News bashing that this show is infamously known for.

    Having said that I do find it laughable that the ABC are taking the moral high ground especially considering the amount of insensitive jokes the ABC guests have made regarding Melbourne gangs when there are real thefts, crimes, victims and possibly a death attributed to this violent trend which is only growing in Victoria.

    Pity The Checkout was axed and not Media Watch. As this toss is nothing more than a ABC *itching about their media competitors paid for by Australian tax payers.

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