Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has let fly on the Nine-Fairfax merger, dishing out some scathing criticism of the TV broadcaster’s approach to news management.
In a column on The Guardian, Keating described the takeover deal as “an exceptionally bad development” in Australia’s media landscape, and warned what will happen if Nine – who holds the majority stake in the new entity – runs the editorial policy.
“The problem with this is that, in terms of news management, Channel Nine, for over half a century, has never other than displayed the opportunism and ethics of an alley cat,” he wrote.
“There has been no commanding ethical or moral basis for the conduct of its news and information policy.
“Through various changes of ownership, no one has lanced the carbuncle at the centre of Nine’s approach to news management. And, as sure as night follows day, that pus will inevitably leak into Fairfax.
“For the country, this is a great pity.”
However, Keating wasn’t done there, with the former PM putting his boot even further into Nine, in an appearance on ABC’s 7.30 last night.
“Channel 9 is such a low-brow outfit. I have said, cheque book journalism, not foot-in-the-door journalism,” he said.
“It’s a low-brow show and it always has been. And people who have worked there have been happy to take the money working for a low-brow outfit.”
— abc730 (@abc730) July 26, 2018
Nine declined to comment when contacted by B&T.