“Seminal Moment In Journalism’s Power!” Michael Miller Celebrates Chris Dawson Verdict

News Corp CEO and Ooh Media CEO. Jane Dempster/The Australian.

Chris Dawson has been found guilty of murdering his wife Lynette Dawson, so do we owe the verdict to a podcast?

Well, News Corp’s Michael Miller believes it’s an example of where dogged journalism gets you. News Corp is the entity behind the Teacher’s Pet Podcast.

There’s no denying that the Teacher’s Pet podcast thrust the unsolved case back into mainstream consciousness. The podcast led by Hedley Thomas took over the podcast charts and has been downloaded over 60 million times.

Suddenly everyone was asking, where is Lynette Dawson? She was a mother of two who seemingly disappeared from her northern beaches home in 1982.

But the real story about the podcast is how it crossed over into the real world. Creators of the podcast Hedley Thomas and Slade Gibson won the 2018 Gold Walkley for their work on the podcast. But, these accolades aside, the renewed interest in the case led to a reinvestigation into Lynette Dawson’s disappearance.

Ultimately Chris Dawson was charged with the murder of his wife and was found guilty yesterday.

However, he has maintained his innocence and will likely appeal the conviction.

The podcast was mentioned numerous times during the trial, which was a judge-only case because of concerns that a trial by jury was impossible due to the podcast’s popularity.

The Guardian has reported that the judge presiding on the case, Justice Ian Harrison mentioned the podcast to draw comparisons between the evidence given in court and the interviews done on the podcast.

Justice Harrison even said the Teacher’s Pet Podcast: “May in whole or in part have completely deprived some evidence of its usefulness.”

But would the case have made it to court without the push of public interest created by Hadley’s podcast?

Associate Professor of Media Camilla Nelson told B&T, “I don’t believe the case would have gotten in front of the courts without the podcast. But I have an ambivalent feeling towards the podcast because ‘ideal’ victims like Lynette Dawson will get that recognition through the media, but the vast majority of victims of domestic violence won’t.

“Anna Summers’s recent report showcases the reality for women fleeing domestic violence in this country.”

Similarly, Michael Miller, executive chairman of News Corp Australia, told B&T, “Let’s hope for Lyn Dawson’s family that yesterday’s guilty verdict marks an end to their four-decade ordeal.

“Their quiet dignity, extraordinary courage and determination to correct this terrible injustice is perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of the entire episode.

“Hedley Thomas’s dogged pursuit of the truth shows journalism’s profound importance with a clarity that is undeniable.

“His pioneering use of podcasting with The Teacher’s Pet blending investigative journalism, live reporting, and public contribution mixed with great storytelling also stands as a seminal moment in journalism’s power and its trusted role in questioning authority and holding it to account.

“As a consequence of Hedley and The Australian’s editorial team’s work, much has been done to expose the blight of domestic violence, predatory grooming and coercive control, not only here in Australia but globally.”

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Big data and analytics visualization technology with scientist analyzing information structure on screen with machine learning to extract predictions for business, finance, internet of things
  • Media

IAB Launches Fourth Module In Its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series

IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]

Aerial view of a coal fired power station with large cooling towers emitting co2 into the atmosphere. With its lights already turned on the power station is illuminated in moody twilight.
  • Media

Scope3 Expands Carbon Measurement Capabilities To Include DOOH Advertising

Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising,  announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]

January 14, 2023 - New York, New York, USA: 2023 NRF Big Show press conference with Composition 2024 NRF Singapore.    Photo by Ian Wagreich / © Ian Wagreich Photography
  • Marketing

Now Open For Registration – NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific

NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]

DBC2 Appoints Jason Fisher To Newly Created Role Of CEO
  • Marketing

DBC2 Appoints Jason Fisher To Newly Created Role Of CEO

Following a period of significant client growth, leading auto marketing agency, DBC2 has appointed Jason Fisher (lead image) to the newly created role of CEO. The appointment is part of DBC2’s long term growth strategy ahead of the agency announcing a brand refresh and expanded proposition in early-2024. As a new shareholder of the business, […]

Three New Hires At Amplify
  • Marketing

Three New Hires At Amplify

Extra pressure on Amplify's Nescafé Blend 43 catering tin today with the arrival of three new recruits.

Boomtown’s Final Masterclass Of 2023 Attended By Almost 100 Media Reps
  • Media

Boomtown’s Final Masterclass Of 2023 Attended By Almost 100 Media Reps

Don’t treat regional media as a charity, but a real growth opportunity: That’s the message from Boomtown’s final masterclass of 2023, attended by almost 100 media industry representatives from across the nation. The masterclass was part of a series of educational sessions, delivered by Boomtown, the media collective championing advertising in regional Australia. The sessions […]