Technology journalists at Consolidated Media Holdings seem to have gone all coy about reporting on the win in the Australian High Court by electronic program guide Company IceTV in their battle with Channel Nine which is also owned by CMH.
A search of Google News at 6.15pm on Wednesday night, some 9 hours after 6 High Court judges ruled in favour of IceTV revealed that out of 33 stories on IceTV not one single story had been written by CMH journalists.
A further search of CMH web sites such as the Ninemsn technology section or apcmag.com or the PC User section also revealed that the story had not been covered despite the fact that all the major newspapers in Australia including the Age, SMH, The Australian covered the High Court announcement.
Dan Warne, the editor of apcmag.com a CMH owned web site which is also part of the Australian Personal Computer stable of technology properties did not return ChannelNews calls however his boss Tony Sarno, the Editorial Director and Publisher at APC, said that the online decision to run or not run the IceTV story was down to Warne.
He said that he was not running the story in APC Magazine as “When we come out in a month’s time the story will be old news”.
Warne who has his own blog and is known for having an opinion on just about anything technical appears to have deliberately avoided the story despite the fact that the IceTV EPG is one of the few EPG services that can be downloaded and run on a Windows based Media Centre or notebook.
This is the same guy who turns up at press conferences and reports live on events and is often called in as a technology expert by Nine Network programs such as A Current Affair and Nine News.
Even a search of the Ninemsn Search Live web site failed to bring up coverage of the High Court Victory by IceTV other than a blog posted by the former Managing Director of IceTV Duncan Ross.
Channel Nine publicity chose to not return 3 calls to their publicity department with one person in the Nine Network publicity department saying “What court case. We don’t know of any loss by Channel Nine we will have someone call you back”. We are still waiting.
The case, which centred around IceTV using Nine’s published TV listings in its electronic program guide, is expected to have wide-reaching implications as it will enable Ice TV to operate independently of the rules the commercial broadcasters impose on other electronic program guide providers such as Foxtel and Seven’s TiVo digital video recorder.
The omission of the story “does raise questions about the independence of journalists working for CMH” said an IceTV executive.
Putting it more bluntly it appears this is one story that Warne and his fellow CMH journalists didn’t have the guts to write because it was simply too close to home and would most probably upset the executives who made the decision to go after IceTV in the not once but twice and who now face paying out million in legal costs to IceTV as well paying out their own legal costs which are expected to be over $3M dollars.