British politicians, bankers and company bosses often feel they get a hard time from the media, and 2019 looks set to be a bumpier year than most. However, it’s interesting to note that those on the other side of the world in Australia often appear to get much tougher treatment. In particular it seems to be quite common for those in the news to be chased down the street if they are reluctant to give a response to pertinent questions. So it’s perhaps appropriate that the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has conveniently, in one of its programmes, provided us with some media training tips on what not to do, along the lines of “running from the cameras is not a good media strategy in a crisis”. This is a basic point, but apparently one that still needs to be made. It comes after the latest hearings in a long-running Royal Commission into bad practice among Australia’s big banks, including allegations of bribery, lying to regulators, and charging fees to people who had died. The parade of highly-paid bank bosses wilfully ignoring TV reporters’ questions just made them look even more guilty. Instead, the ABC advises, “simple really; express remorse, mouth a few platitutdes, and walk away” – shame only one of the leading bankers identified was able to do this. The clip is well worth watching, if only for the schadenfreude element; a clear lesson for anyone who may find themselves in the public eye, whether in Australia, the UK or anywhere else.
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