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City Desk
30 June, 2006  
Nine wants Fairfax sources

The Age published in Victoria the Llewellyn affidavit suppressed on Channel Nine’s application in New South Wales. Now Nine wants to know how the Melbourne newspaper came to publish the juicy affidavit, who was responsible and who was the source. When will all the fun stop?

imageNine Network lawyers are going for broke. They have served a notice to produce on Fairfax to finger the source of the publication in The Age of the spicy affidavit of former Nine news director, Mark Llewellyn.

What started as a battle between Llewellyn and his former employer, the Nine Network, has turned into a war between the Packer interests and Fairfax.

Bruce Wolpe, Fairfax’s director of corporate affairs this afternoon (Friday, June 30), said:

“The Nine Network’s notice to produce directed at Fairfax and The Age is unprecedented and outrageous. By demanding that we disclose our sources, Nine is seeking to eviscerate a principle that is indispensable to the operation of a free press in a democracy. That a leading media company such as Nine would willfully undercut such a fundamental tenet of broadcast and print journalism is a disgrace.”

It didn’t seem so long ago that Nine supported Fairfax’s submissions against the government’s anti-terrorism laws. There was a shared concern about the government being able to compel journalists to disclose their sources. Similarly, Nine supports the introduction of a national shield law to protect journalists’ sources.

Is cant the word we are searching for, or something similar? Self-respecting reptiles at the Fast Eddie’s flea-pit should be downing tools in protest.


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