News Corp Australia’s many publications around the nation often decry the need for “full disclosure” when it comes to the decisions and behaviour of those in the political and business worlds.
More correctly, that should be “others in the political and business worlds” because it doesn’t seem to apply the same rules to itself.
Take for instance a small but we believe important example in some News Corp metro dailies today.
It’s a down-page item about the huge audience that apparently paid streaming service Binge to watch a special four-hour director’s cut of the 2017 superhero film Justice League.
Readers were told that the movie’s 18 March screening was “officially the biggest premiere on Binge”.
The story said the flick “took the record for the largest daily audience of any show or movie to premiere on Binge”
“The Australian launch was a massive win for fans, who got to watch it at the same time as the global premiere,” readers were informed.
But wait, there’s more – as they say.
The story went on to alert readers that “fans can see a special black and white version called Zack Snyder’s Justice League: Justice Is Gray tomorrow.”
It quoted Binge executive director Alison Hurbert-Burns as saying: “We knew the fans wanted to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League, after rallying passionately for years to bring it to reality, but we have been thrilled that so many more Aussie viewers have experienced what this Hollywood blockbuster is all about. And now they will get to experience the black and white version.”
Wow! What a scoop, I hear nobody say.
For those who don’t know Binge is the subscriber-based streaming service started in early 2019 by pay TV operator Foxtel.
For those who don’t know, Foxtel is 65% owned by News Corp and 35% by Telstra.
So basically News Corp has run a “news” story blatantly plugging one of its own products.
Yet nowhere in the story does it disclose its direct commercial connection.
News Corp’s Sunday turdbloids also ran a preview story on the launch of a major pre-election manifesto by leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bant.
But we think we know how the Greens’ agenda will be treated in the lead-up to the next federal election as further details are rolled out.
The headline in Brisbane’s Sunday Mail and the first paragraph of the story referencing the party’s “utopian plans” do tend to show News Corp’s hand a tad. (pictured)
The News Corp story on the Greens and their election platform ideas ended with a line about a plan to target a national goal of achieving “700 per cent renewable energy”.
Yes, that number again – 700! The same figure appeared in stories running in other media outlets such as The Guardian Australia about the Greens’ launch today.
No doubt if it isn’t a major and embarrassing typo in the material provided to the media by the Greens, it will be explained at their news conference today.
But we kinda think readers might have asked their own questions about that big number when reading the preview stories and might have appreciated at least a brief explanation of it.