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Media Watch -

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(generated from captions) in New South Wales. living unnoticed in the community as serious as Ferguson's Many have committed crimes and more recent. as a condition of release, Some are obliged, or wear an electronic bracelet, to undergo chemical castration, was too long ago for that. but Dennis Ferguson's conviction He'd have to agree.

Chemical castration, right, an easy thing to go into, right? is something that is not that have to be canvassed. Um... There are all sorts of issues and the psychologists agreed But were they canvassed, in dealing with your problem, that this would assist you

you would accept it? Ah. I guess if I had to, yes. an electronic bracelet? Would you accept No.

Why should I? that Ferguson would not reoffend? But would even this guarantee The answer, of course, is no. released from jail. This is true of every sex offender find a fair, decent and sensible way The fact is, we have failed to to address this unpalatable reality. But it's an issue that won't go away. THEME MUSIC Closed Captions by CSI .

This program is not subtitled

This Program is Captioned Live THEME MUSIC a rip-off artist last week. Well, I did call Howard Sattler I could expect in return. Supercilious drop-kick is the least Welcome to Media Watch. our champion in the West. And welcome to you, Bob Maumill, is in the mail. Your Media Watch fridge magnet And let's stay in Western Australia of mistaken identity. for an unusual case in West Australia A new and controversial law assaulting a public officer - mandates that any adult and ambulance officers - including police in prison. must serve a minimum of six months two people charged under the new law Three weeks ago, the first of

came before the magistrates courts. of mental illness. Reportedly, both had a history television news bulletins ran it. It was an important story, and four But only Seven made this decision. recently attempted suicide. This 22-year-old mentally ill woman Because of her fragile mental state, not to identify her. Seven News has decided felt such delicacy was necessary. None of the other channels

is the first person in WA. Rhianna McLaughlin to be charged under the new laws. 22-year-old Rhianna Jade McLaughlin a public officer was charged with assaulting paramedic in the face in Mainlands after she allegedly kicked a on Saturday. appearing in court today Rhianna Jade McLaughlin a public officer. charged with assaulting woman looked even smarter Seven's decision not to identify the

fax machines at Seven, Nine and Ten when a couple of days later from a firm of Perth lawyers. spat out a furious letter

court, claimed Thames Legal, The woman they'd filmed outside the was not Rhianna Jade McLaughlin, a completely different woman. but their client,

in TV Newsrooms all over town. The fax caused puzzlement that Friday, As Seven News told Media Watch clear it up too. Media Watch was trying to early that week. We'd spoken to the lawyer's client her name was Stephanie Postans, She told us on an entirely unrelated matter, she'd been in court by TV crews on her way out. and had found herself ambushed night, she said, it was seen by... When she appeared on television that like a hoaxer. Ms Postans didn't sound to us On the other hand, television stories when we sent images taken from the they told us, to the W.A. Police, the TV networks. And that's what the police told Director, Chris Hunt, But to his credit, Ten's Perth News wasn't satisfied. them to reveal their client's name. He rang Thames Legal, and persuaded at police media. Then he called an inspector full correction. So Ten ran an admirably Ten wishes to clarify connected with the story that the person shown was in no way caused by the error. and apologises for any distress So what have the others been doing? woman's face, Well, Seven, who didn't show the has sent a letter of apology. And after hearing from the police, last Tuesday night. Nine News ran an on-air apology The ABC brought up the rear. Instead of sending a fax, Online's email complaint form. Ms Postans's lawyer used ABC News complaint: He's faxed us a print out of his of receiving that complaint But the ABC claims it has no record by the police and that it wasn't informed had changed. that their advice on the matter that it did tell the ABC. Police Media has told us Finally, last Friday, an email Media Watch sent the ABC in Perth Police Media. that we'd received from W.A. from ABC News. At last, we received a response Well, better late than never. someone at ABC Perth But you'd have thought about what we were telling them, might have worried had already apologised on air. or noticed that Nine and Ten wouldn't have come amiss. A bit more pro-activity this one at the bottom of the class. The national broadcaster comes out of And here's another identity stuff-up. What made it worse is that the story, aired by Nine and its affiliates

last Wednesday night, in some regions of New South Wales was a tragic one. It happened just after sunrise, Macquarie. the Pacific Highway north of Port were in the white Sedan. Four teenage school friends 16-year-old Kayla Green. At the wheel,

and was killed instantly. She was driving on a learners permit of the girl who died in the crash. And that is a picture of Griffith. Appalling news for the Green family a nasty shock But Nine was about to deliver called Green. to another Riverina family in a local Griffith team. Kayla played touch football the Kayla Green who died. But that isn't Kayla Maree Green, It's a picture of 22 year-old and is very much alive. who lives in Leeton near Griffith, how Nine's mistake was made. It's all to easy to understand in Google images, Search for Kayla Green is this one - and the first picture that comes up from a local Riverina paper, the Irrigator. And there is Kayla Green, in the front row on the left. That's what The Daily Telegraph did.

But its reporter took the trouble to track down the team's manager before using the picture.

His name is Isaac Houghton, and he's told Media Watch, So the Tele didn't use the picture. Nine did use it, without checking with anyone. Kayla Maree Green's brother Clinton was having a beer at the club that evening. Ten minutes after the news finished, anxious friends read on Kayla Maree Green's Facebook page,

And one of them posted, Which is just what Kayla's mother Sonia did. She called the Channel Nine newsroom, she tells us, and spoke to a woman, Neither of which happened the next day. In fact, as late as Friday afternoon, the story, complete with Kayla Maree Green's picture, could still be viewed on NineMSN's website. But that evening, after Media Watch emailed some questions to Nine, this was aired on Nine News,

Now we'd like to clear up some confusion from a story earlier this week. This young woman was wrongly identified as the Kayla Green tragically killed at Port Macquarie. She is not. Her name is also Kayla Green and she's also from the Riverina district. However, she was not involved in any accident. Nine News apologises to both families for this error. The same day, Nine's Sydney News Director, Darren Wick,

apologised directly to Kayla Maree Green. The original mistake was bad enough. It was made worse when someone in the Nine newsroom failed to make sure the Greens' complaint was acted on. As Ms Green told Media Watch, it's been a tough week. TV stations don't like to apologise. And, other than contacting Media Watch, there's not much people can do in situations like this. They can complain to the regulator, ACMA - but only if they're dissatisfied with the response they get from the broadcaster, and it can take months to get any redress. If the complain to the Australian Press Council.

It's an organisation that the journalists' union once dismissed as a 'publishers' poodle'. But last week, the retiring Chairman of the Council, Professor Ken McKinnon, wrote a surprisingly sharp foward to the Council's annual report. He picked out two stories which Media Watch has also featured prominently this year. This one -

And this one -

Neither the fake Godwin Grech email, nor the fake photos of Pauline Hanson, wrote Professor McKinnon - And, he says, they exemplified a cavalier approach to verifying a story that's becoming all too common.

Another problem, McKinnon says, is exemplified both by the fake Pauline Hanson pictures, and by this story. Both, wrote Professor McKinnon,

All three stories, writes McKinnon, indicate that: Nothing remarkable about those views, you might think. But it's most unusual for anyone on the Council to volunteer opinions about particular stories except after the formal investigation of a complaint. Ken McKinnon has told Media Watch that he thinks the Press Council should take the initiative more often: But he adds that, Publishers' poodle? It'll be up to the new chairman, veteran social campaigner Julian Disney, to decide if he wants to fight those battles. If he does, good luck to him. He'll need it. Check out Ken McKinnon's report on our website. And be sure to join me next week for the last Media Watch of 2009.

Till then, goodnight. Closed Captions by CSI

This Program is Captioned


Good evening. Up to 16

people are feared to have

drowned after their boat

capsized off the Cocos Islands.

19 survivors have been rescued

by commercial ships in the

area. It's not clear if the

group was heading to Australia

to seek asylum. At least 30

people have died in a suicide

bombing in Pakistan. Police

say the attacker drove into a

group of people outside a hotel

in the city of Rawalpindi. The

United Nations says it's

pulling all its staff out of

north-western Pakistan because

of the deteriorating security

situation. Emergency workers

say it'll be at least another

day before they again try to

plug a leaky fuel well off

Australia's north-west. Oil

and gas are feeding a massive

blaze that's engulfed half of

the West Atlas rig. It's been

spewing pollutants into the sea

for 10 weeks now. Green groups

call it a national disaster. Tens of thousands flooded

Melbourne's CBD today for a

final glimpse of tomorrow's

Melbourne Cup hopefuls. The

champion trainer Bart Cummings

is being widely tipped to win

his 13th Melbourne Cup and in

doing so, make a clean sweep of

the major Spring Carnival

races. More news in 'Lateline'

at 10:30.

'There you see, marvellous magic. Did it...make you feel happy?' Not really. Why not? Cos I'm... I'm a bit sad today. AUDIENCE: Aw! Oh, Orville, what's the matter? I'm miser-bubble. AUDIENCE: Aw! You're miserable? Yes. Why? Cos I'm really worried about Alex.