"Everyone loves it until they're on it."
— The tagline of the show
Media Watch is an ABC
television news program which focuses on analysing and dissecting the news media in Australia
. It swings between
covering the appalling
and the hilarious
. It covers lies, discrepencies and ethical violations by all of Australia's major networks, papers, radio stations and other outlets, and it certainly isn't afraid to aim at the ABC itself should the situation call for it
. It follows up on quotes, demands citations and explains how the stories get written.
Needless to say, it is hated by the less honest media figures in the country
, and the show just loves the hate.
The ABC puts complete episodes up on its website
, as part of its policy of keeping its content free to peruse.
Media Watch provides examples of the following tropes:
- Advertising Disguised As News: The show increasingly highlights how newspapers, becoming increasingly desperate for advertising revenue, are printing what are basically commercials that look like editorial content.
- Arch-Enemy: Radio personality Alan Jonesnote is perhaps the most frequently covered media entity on the show of late, and for good reason. For his part, Jones doesn't think at all highly of Media Watch and derides it at every opportunity... much to former host Jonathan Holmes' amusement.
- Kyle Sandilands occasionally fills this role. For reference: fawn cardigans.
- Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt as well.
- Also tabloid news shows, especially Today Tonight.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: After Media Watch caught Nigel Adlam of the NT News out for an inaccurate report about government handouts to Aboriginals, Adlam claimed that instead of being criticised for inaccuracy, he should have been given a prize for "holding the government to account". Jonathan Holmes announced he was the frontrunner for the new Rhino Hide Award, awarded to the journo with the thickest skin.
"Itís especially suitable, we reckon, because rhinos are famously short-sighted, and have a tendency to charge ferociously at anything that moves."
- Cowboy Bebop at His Computer: Egregious examples are some of the show's favourite fodder to cover.
- Dan Browned: It absolutely delights in tearing apart the rare case of this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much a requirement for hosting the show. Original host Stuart Littlemore set a very high standard that all subsequent hosts have tried to live up to.
- Grammar Nazi: Justified in that they're handling a field where one really needs to be careful with this stuff.
- Insult Backfire: In 2002, the then-editor of The Daily Telegraph, Campbell Reid, sent host David Marr a dead fish; a replica of it is now awarded as the Campbell Reid Perpetual Trophy for the Brazen Recycling of Other People's Work. Known as "The Barra" and bearing the motto ''Carpe Verbatim'', it is awarded annually for bad journalism and particularly plagiarism (a practice for which Reid was frequently criticised).
- News Tropes: Duh.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: They don't screw around when it comes to taking people down.
- Poe's Law: From the 24/3/14 episode: Two of the following headlines about the missing Malaysia Airlines jet are from genuine newspapers, while one is from a spoof - "Pastor Predicted Disappearance of Jet", "Missing Jet in North Korea", "Plane Stolen by Aliens". Which one is the spoof? The correct answer is "Missing Jet in North Korea"
- Shown Their Work: Media Watch never half-asses debunking their targets.
- Subliminal Advertising: Devoted a segment to Network Ten and its 2007 ARIA Awards coverage, which included rapid-cut logos for its sponsors into the nomination segments. Ten also did something similar in an episode of Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.