Media big shots forget the media’s rules of engagement
Watching happy snaps and YouTube re-runs of the Packer – Gyngell biff reminded me of a 60’s episode of Batman. “Holy media mogul Batman, is that your tooth flying through the air?” Boom! Bash! Kapow!!!
Back in the days of the original Batman, the media didn’t have eyes everywhere -now it does, particularly since smart phones entered the equation.
It seems everyone wants to be a video journalist.
No matter whether you are royalty, an average Joe, or in this case two of Australia’s most powerful media players, what you do or say publicly could become front page news.
On a Bondi street in Sydney, media and casino mogul, James Packer and Nine Network Chief, David Gyngell became news for all of the wrong reasons and it wasn’t pretty – Boom! Bash! Kapow!!!
As they brawled on the footpath in full public view, the two giants of the media industry seemingly forgot one of the media’s basic rules – remain in control…no matter how cheesed off you are at the time.
Media audiences love celebrity scandals
Speculation, reports and claims abound that Packer was angered after learning that a Channel Nine News van was parked in his street and assuming it wanted to see him with his pal Miranda Kerr.
Depending on which media story you believe, the van belonged to an on-call Nine TV staffer who coincidentally lives in Packer’s street – no stalking, just standing, ready for the next day’s job.
Media audiences can’t get enough of celebrity relationships. When the stakes are as high as a celebrity billionaire and a supermodel, both recently separated from their spouses…..well, interest skyrockets.
Oh and please – save the tut-tut – you’re probably reading the stuff……well, somebody is!
The media thrives on dramatic footage and media audiences are hungry for sensational content.
Maybe a hamburger chain will get in on the act and release a biff burger – would you like a black eye with that!
All is fair game in the media
This begs the question, are media big shots beyond the media’s reach? No, quite the opposite.
If you look at the ‘News of the World’ scandal, it is apparent that even when you head international media organisations, the media knows no bounds, everything and everyone are fair game – just ask Rupert Murdoch.
The Packer – Gyngell Brawl
When it comes to the media you can never afford to lose control in the heat of the moment – no matter who you are and no matter what the issue. If you do, you risk becoming the story as did Packer and Gyngell.
Unbelievably, in the heat of the moment these two media powerhouses seemingly lost sight of how their own industry works.
Two of Australia’s most powerful and influential media bigwigs appeared to forget they were in a public place with an audience as they went the biff.
The entire scene was filmed, neighbours hit social media, headline editors had a field day and Packer and Gyngell were headline news.
Media points to remember from this incident
- Bystanders are newsmakers – in this instance a neighbour took to social media and appeared on a national program to give a blow by blow eyewitness account
- Journalists and TV network camera crews are no longer the sole source of news – Joe and Jane average can whip their phone out of their pocket, hit record and send or sell their footage to the highest media bidder.
- Smartphone cameras are everywhere so be careful what you say and do; and where you say and do it
- Drama trumps quality when it comes to content – grainy smart phone footage with poor audio is now more acceptable for airing in the media
- Never lose your cool in front of the media
- Importantly, if you’re going to have a brawl with anyone, do it out the back near the BBQ, not on the footpath…..and allow for a quick escape in the Batmobile!
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