September 4, 2007

Channel 7 backs down on AFL drugs story

Posted in Seven Network at 10:32 pm by Give Me The Remote

After an interesting chat between Monica Attard and Peter Meakin last night on Media Watch, channel 7 today released a statement basically apologising (without quite apologising) over the whole druggy drug hoo-haa.

It went something like this..

“The Seven Network values the co-operation it receives from AFL players and sincerely regrets any damage which has been caused to our relationship with the players by virtue of a story which was aired on Friday 24th August,” a released statement reads.

“The Network accepts the principle that the confidentiality of private medical records between a medical practitioner and his patients was paramount and critical to the treatment and welfare of a patient.

“The Commercial TV Industry Code of Practice only allows for the broadcasting of such material in any event when there is an identifiable public interest.”

So it appears that the stalemate of sorts is over. The network have agreed to drop all legal action fighting the injunction and will now make no more comment about the club and the drug issues surrounding it.

Is this the right move to make? I’d say unequivocably yes. Seven wanted to play the good guy exposing drugs in the sport etc. etc. and had this been any other famous person (eg. movie star, singer) then they would have had absolutely no problem. But because of the ‘code’, AFL players appear to be protected and it is really to bigger a worldpeace to conquer. It reminds me of that Frontline episode where Mike has the big story, but due to the enormous ramafications, he is eventually talked out of it by the end of the show.

Mike Moore
“I’m Mike Moore – welcome to Front Line.”

If channel 7 wanted to break this story, it would mean a total tearing down of the code and risk irrepairably ruining their relationship with the AFL – something a games broadcaster would equate to shooting oneself in the foot.

If channel 7 want to change the code – and let’s face it, all they really wanted to do was report an ‘exclusive’ – then there are more appropriate avenues to take.

I’m guessing Dylan and co. may have finally decided to leave breaking the drugs stories alone to official AFL releases, because let’s not kid ourselves, there of course is rec. drugs in sport, just like there’s rec. drugs all over younger people’s circles. I hope the witch hunt ends soon.

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