In the annual Andrew Olle lecture, long-time Nine Network journalist Ray Martin last night slammed owners of media companies for “dropping the ball” on serious journalism.
“Would the last journo out please turn off the studio lights?” he asked the audience. “There have been sackings and forced redundancies. Share prices tumbling and TV programs dumped,” he said, listing programs axed by the Nine network, including Business Sunday (”How prescient was that?”), Nightline and Sunday. That program’s reporters have been named as finalists in two categories of this year’s Walkley awards.
“How does (Fairfax chief executive) David Kirk seriously believe he can get rid of 550 jobs and maintain Fairfax’s excellence? Eddie McGuire couldn’t do it by cutting 100 from Channel Nine’s news and current affairs team.”
The Andrew Olle Lecture for 2008 will be broadcast on ABC1 late Sunday night.
Will tonight be remembered forever more as RIP Media in Australia? Ah well, don’t forget to tune into Auntie ABC 1 later tonight.
Ray Martin is the man to deliver the Final Words, a Memorial to Media. Or am I jumping the gun?