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IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Channel7 News Anchor Blunder

A candid conversation between two Channel7 news readers discussing Novak Djokovic has gone viral after the alleged illegal video was leaked online.

Reporters, Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor, were allegedly filmed before their usual news segment discussing the World Number 1 tennis player in an expletive laden conversation. Maddern referred to Djokovic as a “lying sneaky [expletive]” and Amor stated that Djokovic had “fallen over his own lies”.

They were discussing Djokovic’s efforts to enter into Australia to play in the Australian Open tennis tournament – he is the defending champion. Djokovic’s visa was denied after he was unable to show proof of vaccination. However, Djokovic claimed he has a medical exemption as he had previously contracted Covid-19. The Australian public alongside the rest of the world is currently awaiting the decision of Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke, who could use his ministerial powers to cancel the Visa.

Maddern and Amor were greeted with praise for their candour by the Australian public, with Twitter users commenting: “Is it too late to nominate Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor as Australians of the year?”. On TikTok users were commenting on a review of the news by Michael Shafer saying, “I reckon most of Australia would agree with Mike and Rebecca,” and “That would definitely make me want to watch the news”.

But this good publicity was met with harsh criticism with much of the Australian community calling for the pair to get sacked. Most painting the anchors as being unprofessional and many wanting a formal apology. What a PR nightmare!

Channel7’s official stance on the issue was that this was an illegal recording of a private conversation, and a TikTok user commenting, “Applause to Channel7 for sticking up for them.”

As Public Relation professionals we can see that both Channel7 and the anchors need to honestly address the illegal leak. Although it had the potential to ruin the professional reputation of all parties involved, with some already agreeing that it has, it mostly worked in their favour. It has made the anchors appear more genuine, a refreshing take for lots of Australians to hear their own views reflected in the media in such a candid way.

By Anouk Daddo – PR and Influencer Assistant at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn.

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