Tim Longhurst's Blog

Packer’s orchestra backs Pavarotti visit

August 2nd, 2005 · No Comments

packerpavarotti.jpgIs Luciano Pavarotti’s upcoming tour one of the top six current affairs stories of the week? Or was 60 Minutes‘ profile on the singer just the Nine network playing its role in the Publishing and Broadcasting Limited orchestra?

When Pavarotti performs at the Sydney SuperDome on 5th November as part of The Farewell World Tour, patrons will have forked out between $125-$535 to Ticketek for each ticket.

It’s not a bad deal for Kerry Packer, whose company, PBL, produces 60 Minutes (in Australia) and owns Ticketek as well as a controlling interest in the SuperDome.

So should 60 Minutes‘ audience have been notified of these ‘synergies’ when they were subjected to a fawning Pavarotti interview on Sunday night?

Tara Brown’s introduction to her own interview gives you an idea of just how loudly 60 Minutes was beating the Pavarotti publicity timpani:

Like Madonna, Bono or Sting, like any self-respecting international idol, Pavarotti is simply that, Pavarotti. He’s the most famous of the Three Tenors, more famous than any opera he’s ever performed. And after 43 years on stage, he’s had more standing ovations than he can count. But the music’s about to end for Luciano Pavarotti. At 69, the maestro is finally saying arrivederci — goodbye. Don’t despair, in true operatic style, it’s a long goodbye — a two-year world tour, including Australia. And lucky me, I was granted a sneak preview — an audience with the great man in Dublin.”

Reads a lot like a promoter’s press release, doesn’t it?

60 Minutes’ story appears to have been driven by the most compelling commercial news value of all: self-interest.

Shock-jocks like Alan Jones are obliged to disclose their interests when they editorialise on issues linked to their financial backers. Perhaps it would be best if ‘news programs’ like 60 Minutes did the same?

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Category: Media Mayhem

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