CMM220: Week 1

Today we needed to read chapter one of the textbook Media relations issues and strategies by Jane Johnston, 2nd edition.

We also had the following ILT task.

Analyse the front, third and fifth page of an online newspaper and determine which articles were generated via media releases. Count the stories you are confident had no PR involvement.

Write 100 words on stories you found in the newspaper. Comment on the media relations that may have generated these stories.If you are convinced a story did not have any media relations involvement, say why.

DB Post

March 3, Courier Mail
Front Page:
3 dead in Shooting Horror – Queensland Police Media Release
Poison on a plate – Queensland Health Media Release
Page 3:
Cooking up one saucy recipe – interview with MKR contestants
Rates fall into all-new territory – news subsidies with media releases from Canstar, Aussie Home Loans, AMP and Core Logic RP perhaps?
Page 5:
Code Word Accusation in Titans drug case – media release from players’ solicitors.
Can’t Talk, Gotta Zip – court reporting
Millionaire accused of bashing model – Queensland Police Media Release
Boozing passengers problem for airlines – Jetstar Media Release and Social Media
Almost all of the articles I found in today’s Courier Mail appear to be influenced by some form of media relations. The one I found most difficult to determine was the article on rates expecting to fall. There were quotes from a variety of sources, indicating that this article was as described by Johnston, a news-subsidy – where a compilation of media releases are combined with additional reporting already being investigated by news staff. The Reserve Bank is due to give out a media release update later today which would have instigated this report.
Johnston, Jane 2013, Media Relations: issues & strategies, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.

 DB Response:

Written by Jessica Myer

Analysis from The Daily Telegraph 3/3/15

Front Cover (First Page)
Title: Person of interest drives past search site for missing toddler crime seen.
This article was written based on a media release sent out by the police media unit. The article is informative and provides information that would only be written on the basis of accuracy and approval from the NSW Police Department.

Third Page
Title: Big Shocks in store as Myer lets the boss go.
This article would have been sourced from a media release produced by the in house public relations team at Myer. Myer would have sent out a media release just prior to this announcement as a means to better manage the dissemination of this controversial and newsworthy information.

Fifth Page:
 Fairfax editor’s sorry effort at mosque media ban.
This article would have been sourced from a media release produced by Fairfax Media themselves. The media release would have been sent out as a means to protect the reputation of Fairfax around this announcement.

All articles analysed above contain various elements of media relations whether it be phone call personal contact, media release, or a combination of all three. Due to the controversial nature of the articles analysed on page 3 and 5, I believe a great deal of PR, specifically ‘media monitoring’ ‘strategic planning and careful research’ would have been implemented in order to ‘control the story’ and preserve the reputation of the client ie Myer & Fairfax (Johnston, 2013).


Johnston, J 2013, Media relations: issues and strategies, Allen & Unwin, NSW, Australia.

Auerbach, T, Minear, T & Sexton, J 2015, The Daily Telegraph, 3 March p. 1-5.



Hi Jessica,

I think you’ve analysed these articles well, and I agree with you about the choices you’ve made. I’ve been quite astounded at how many articles in the paper are so strongly linked to public relations and media releases. It’s something I hadn’t considered before. Your comment about controlling the story was also pertinent and reminds us of the importance of the role played by the ‘fifth estate‘ and in my opinon, it has been mutated to such an extent, we can no longer tell what is factual news and what is spin.


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