November 20, 2017

Channel 9 sacks staff over fake ‘live’ interviews

Channel 9 staff conspire to deliver the journalistic equivalent of a fake orgasm.

Three Australian journalists have been sacked and a Channel nine news director has resigned in the fall-out from the network’s faked live helicopter crosses to the Daniel Morcombe search scene.

Reporters Melissa Mallet and Cameron Price were fired by management yesterday as well as Nine News Queensland’s producer Aaron Wakeley, while the network’s Queensland news director Lee Anderson resigned, accepting full responsibility for the scandal.

The network admitted on Wednesday that it faked two live helicopter crosses during weekend bulletins, presented by news anchor Eva Milic.

On two separate occasions viewers were told Ms Mallet and Mr Price were in helicopters near the Sunshine Coast.

The aircraft was in fact on the station’s Brisbane helipad on one occasion and circling the station’s Mt Coot-tha studios on the other.

When news surfaced of the first breach, which occurred during Sunday night’s bulletin, the station blamed bad weather.

In a statement to media and marketing website Mumbrella the network confirmed Mr Anderson’s resignation as well as the dismissal of three station employees.

The statement also indicated all Nine staff would be given “further training on their editorial, legal and code obligations.”

On Twitter former Nine reporter Hugh Riminton said Mr Anderson was “away from work” when the fake crosses were aired, claiming Mr Anderson resigned in protest after staff were sacked.

Mr Anderson had close to 25 years experience working with the network.

On Wednesday night’s bulletin the network apologised to viewers for the fake crosses.

Cameron Price took to Twitter last night to express his outrage at the sacking.

He told his 1020 followers: “Thanks for all the support. I believe what happened today is completely unfair .. And I am seeking advice on the matter.”

Mr Price also changed his personal description to: “Walkley and Clarion nominated Journo. With a clear conscience.”

Melissa Mallet has also tweeted: “will miss the team dearly.. Thank you for the support, a very difficult day to fathom.”

Newswarped had an inkling that some news outlets made stuff up – now we know.

Editorial integrity is paramount to the credibility of any news outlet. Channel 9 deserves to get their arses kicked over this. Instead senior management have blamed their staff and sacked them.

For this ‘fake’ news reporting to happen there has to have been a culture of acceptability within management and that starts at the top.

It is a product of 24 hour news channels that for ratings they have to present world events as far more dramtic than they really are. Live feeds to reporters on the ground add very little to a story and we often end up with an anchor interviewing a reporter about nothing. But hey we have sent the team out there and therefore will interview them regardless.

Channel 9 has broken new ground by cutting the crap and giving live feeds the moon landing treatment.