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Media Watch -

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(generated from captions) This program is captioned live. THEME MUSIC makes it even clearer. The online version The Northern Star in Lismore with a broken glass and tomato sauce. illustrated its front page yarn Very tasty. If not very tasteful. I'm Jonathan Holmes. Welcome to Media Watch. for the US forces in Afghanistan - It's been a bad weekend coordinated attack by the Taliban. eight Americans killed in a in Afghanistan for eight years now America has been fighting with Australian help. - for much of that time we're going to spend some time Tonight, and haven't been allowed to know looking at what we have to the Afghan campaign. about Australia's contribution

through the greenery, Australian troops push their way hunting for the Taliban. They stay off the pathways of improvised explosive devices. because of the danger of an experiment That report was the result and the Australian Defence Force in which the ABC, News Ltd and effort. had all invested a lot of time and reporter Ian McPhedran The ABC's Sally Sara of News Ltd, and photographer Gary Ramage with Australian units in Afghanistan. were "embedded" for three weeks there were high hopes. Before they left, The Australian quoted McPhedran: that it's: The ADF has told Media Watch filed numerous reports from the field It's true that McPhedran and Sara with video shot by Gary Ramage: and News Ltd has put up a website where the Australian troops This is the qala

they've found bomb-making equipment have found a cache of weapons and hoping we can get permission and we're just waiting at the door, at what they've found. to go in and have a look

Ian McPhedran revealed But on his return, the trial had been frustrating. that for the journalists, they travelled for ten hours Early on, to a far-flung military outpost: from the Australian headquarters the reporters accompanied troops In the end, outside the wire. on only three patrols to the Australian Defence Force, In a report on the trial Ian McPhedran wrote: which he's passed on to us, to close the yawning gap The embedding trial was an attempt idea of media access between the ADF's principal allies in Afghanistan - and the practice of most of our and especially the Americans. the Dutch, the Canadians, the British are given remarkable access. Journalists embedded with US forces Guidelines state bluntly: US Central Command's Public Affairs was exactly why Sara and McPhedran But concern for their safety or so they were told. were allowed to go on so few patrols, McPhedran wrote in his report: that true embedding carries risks There's no doubt of journalists. and not just to the safety we're about to show you The infamous and shocking footage Stephen Dupont, four years ago, was shot by Australian freelancer, with the US army. while he was embedded SBS's Dateline. It was first shown in a report on US soldiers have set fire killed the night before. to the bodies of the two Taliban The burning of the corpses they've been laid out facing Mecca, and the fact that of Muslim beliefs. is a deliberate desecration the Muslim world. Those images scandalised Yet as Dupont told George Negus, him filming, or filing the pictures. there had been no attempt to prevent with them I think once you're embedded whatever they're doing. you can pretty well see the Australian Defence Force By contrast, until this year, media derisively calls "bus trips" - only permitted what the a few days on the ground, fortified bases, most of them spent on heavily from Defence Public Affairs. escorted at all times by an officer Until recently, combat operations almost all Australian have involved the special forces, to the media. who are completely off limits focused on the work So the ADF's bus trips which has been constructing of the Reconstruction Task Force,

its base at Tarin Kowt. schools and hospitals near and engineers in uniform Australian plumbers and carpenters and pick up their tools. will put down their weapons of the Reconstruction Task Force But writing about the good works for the Australian media. has long since palled As Ian McPhedran wrote in his report: For the last year, infantry patrols to cover. there have been a lot more Afghan army units, Australian infantry now "mentor" and occasionally, going out into the villages, ABC's Thom Cookes showed in June, as this graphic footage from the finding themselves in real combat. we're ambushed again. And soon enough, GUN SHOTS RING OUT land close to our position. This time several RPG's (SPEAK INAUDIBLY) Stay there I'll move to you! Stay there! I'm moving to you mate. of Australian soldiers in combat This is possibly the only footage in eight years of war in Afghanistan. shot by a civilian journalist Cookes's trip was not arranged And significantly, in Canberra. by Defence Public Affairs

I'm doing a head count now! at the ABC's expense and once there, Cookes went to Afghanistan with the infantry at Tarin Kowt. was given an informal embed Cookes told Media Watch: finally did get their trial embed, When Ian McPhedran and Sally Sara caution was imposed from the top. Monash University's Kevin Foster, media relations policy, who's been studying the ADF's of journalists isn't the only reason. reckons that concern for the safety

"a seamless PR message", In its pursuit of what he calls Public Affairs division: Professor Foster says the ADF's Unlike the US Defense Department, before they're filed. the ADF often asks to view stories "operational security". Ostensibly that's to safeguard and McPhedran's embed, this happened: But a couple of days into Sara shot dead an Afghan police officer And Australian troops have and wounded another in Afghanistan.

was evacuated by military helicopter The injured police officer suffering from serious injuries. checkpoint at Dorafshan, He was shot at an Australian north of Tarin Kowt. That story, ADF's "seamless PR message", certainly not one that helped the made it to air. But according to Ian McPhedran's report, its filing was delayed for some hours because: In its usual ponderous prose, the ADF has told Media Watch that: But the fact is, good war reporting is risky. There's the risk of journalists getting wounded or killed

and the risk that they'll see bad things happening. What we're getting now, in Australia, is not just managed risks, but managed news. Two weeks ago, we looked at some of the ways the commercial TV networks can run ads and promos that somehow don't count and promos. Well, here's another, that lasted for the best part of eight hours.

It started a couple of minutes into Seven's Border Security last Sunday night. What our concerns are, you've gone to all this trouble, going to Vietnam, obviously costs a fair bit... See that? It stayed there for the rest of the show.

And it was there right through the show that followed, The Force.

Officers from Bass Hill's regional enforcement squad... And from the opening credits of Casino Royale till the end of the movie. THEME MUSIC And after that, right through Las Vegas, though after midnight, the message changed to... So far as we're aware, it's a new development on Australian TV. And a number of Seven's viewers told us they didn't like it one bit. Keith Hughes complained to Seven:

Well Keith, good luck. But I'm sure Seven will claim that it hasn't breached the rules. The Commercial TV Industry Codes of Practice say that... exempt from the time limits that apply to ads and promos. So Seven might argue that it can watermark promos all day and all night if it wants. But the Code also says that it intends to ensure that: Seems to me, if Seven's allowed to get away with this, the limits aren't firm, but exceedingly limp.

That's something Keith, that you could put to the "relevant authority", the Australian Media and Communications Authority. And then there was this, on Nine's Wide World of Sports:

Well Shane, let's start from the top.

Your hair. Good hair day or bad hair day? Good hair day, today. You know, when I first came to Advanced Hair Studio a few years ago, I wanted to do something about it. And now with the DNA testing,

young people can come in early and it's 95% accurate.

The people can come in and find out if they're going to go bald or not. All right let's talk about the Ashes... Australia's greatest-ever spin bowler back home in Melbourne,

the Ashes lost, the Champions' Trophy coming up and Wide World of Sports lead off with a question about Warney's hair? At least Ten's One HD left the question till last: And just quickly, time to pay the bills, what's today all about, what's going on there? Yeah it's pretty exciting for Advanced Hair. Advanced Hair Studio have come up with a DNA test that's 95% accurate. People can come in and get a test done and they'll tell you if you're going to go bald. I might get it done. Thanks Shane. Thanks mate. Advanced Hair Studio is one of Warney's sponsors. The interviews took place at the launch of their new product and the ubiquitous Max Markson was there to put the pressure on. As he told Media Watch:

And hey, it may be a blatant plug, but it doesn't count as an ad. So why not keep Warney happy? That's it for this week. For Ian McPhedran's full report on embedding in Afghanistan and more, visit our website. Until next week, goodnight. THEME MUSIC Closed Captions by CSI

This program is not subtitled This Program is Captioned


Good evening. Samoans have

flocked to church services

around the country to grieve

for those killed by last week's

tsunami. About 100 victims

will be laid to rest in a mass

grave on Thursday. Local

authorities now fear a wave of

economic devastation as

tourists cancel bookings.

Another Australian has died on the Kokoda Track, taking this

year's tally to four. Phillip

Brunskill of Sydney was two

hours into the trek when he

died of a heart attack. A

woman from his group was later airlifted out because of

concerns about her health. The

incident have rekindled calls

for trekkers to pass mandatory

health checks A-bomb has gone

off in a heavily-guarded United

Nations building in Islamabad.

Three people were killed when a

suicide bomber blew himself up

at the offices of the World

Food Program. The attack is

being blamed on Taliban

militants. And, the Melbourne

Storm have made a triumphant

return to Princes Park. About

1,000 fans gathered to cheer

the team which beat Parramatta

in last night's NRL Grand

Final. Eels' fans meanwhile

were in a better mood this

morning and turned out in force

this morning in Sydney to

applaud their team's valiant


More news in 'Lateline' at

10:30. Goodnight.

'missing since ten o'clock this morning. 'The police officer was last seen driving away 'from the South Bank after a failed attempt to apprehend a gunman. 'The police have named the gunman as...' She's dead for sure. '..and have described him as armed and dangerous. 'The search for Detective Inspector Drake continues with police releasing a photo fit of the suspect...' This bloke'll be joining her by the end of the day. I'd put a fiver on it. Ssh, he might be able to hear you. 'It's feared he could be holding DI Drake as a hostage. 'Alex Drake has a 12-year-old...' Cool. 'It's time to reveal who you think is the weakest link.' I wonder where she is. This had better be kosher, Bolly. If I get shit on my boots... You won't do. I spoke to the water board. Tunnel 96 hasn't been used since the turn of the century. According to this floor plan, there's an interior drain that drops right down into this tunnel. What number tunnel is this? What? 96. Why? Not 69? I'm sure DI Drake knows what a 69 is. FAINT CLATTERING What was that noise? I must have read it wrong. I fear your time on this earth is coming to a close, DI Drake. Run! Oh, shi-i-i-i-it! 69...96. Easy mistake to make. TV NEWS PLAYS 'Some people had driven down from the Midlands and the North to see Britain's fleet set off. 'It was led, with an unhappy irony by a ship the Defence Secretary is to sell to Australia next year. 'Invincible is the Navy's brand new Harrier Carrier...' 'Molly, this just isn't the sort of behaviour I expect from you.' Molly. 'Molly, you're going to have to do better than that. 'Why did you lock yourself in the toilet? Tucker said Mum was dead.' I'm not dead, Molly. I'm not. 'We had a fight. 'Miss Mooney said I had to come and see you. 'I didn't want to. Listen, Molly. 'When a teacher says something to you, you have to do it, do you understand? 'Yes, Miss.' Molly. 'It's just... 'What is it, Molly? 'It's my mum. 'There's news.' GRANGE HILL CLOSING TUNE What news?! Am I alive? Has someone found me? 'My name is Alex Drake. 'I've been shot and that bullet's taken me back in time. 'Now I'm lost in 1982. 'And all I can do is fight and search and stay alive. 'Because somehow I will find a way home.' # You're a bird of paradise # Cherry ice cream smile # I suppose it's very nice # With a step to your left