The Chasers Julian Morrow Takes to the stage at the ’09 Andrew Olle Media Lecture

19 11 2009

Taking to the stage last Saturday, Julian Morrow the co-founder of the infamous “The Chaser” delivered the Andrew Olle Media Lecture for 2009. 702 ABC Sydney’s Richard Glover was the MC for the night and set it up to be a night of fun but also with a serious side. Morrow’s main points were fundamentally important media values, self regulation in the media and independence of media organizations. He talked about how The Chaser was started.

He also talked about what he considered the primary and secondary audiences. The primary audience is the audience that the show is meant for; people, who plan to watch a show, listen to a Podcast on the original way it was shown or on the various playback programs offered by television networks. The secondary audience is people who watch snippets of a show on websites like YouTube or hear about it on Twitter. Thanks to these and other social networking sites, the secondary audience has grown a lot. He talked about in the old days, before technology was as advanced as todays, controversial content was obscenely hard to access and even harder to re-access. The secondary audience is often tends to be the very opposite of the primary audience. Morrow went into the extremely unpopular “Make a Realistic Wish Foundation” sketch talking about its impacts on the primary and secondary audience and the outrage it caused.

He also talked about what could be the most dramatic example of outrage in the secondary audience which was a pre-recorded phone prank by two of the most talented British comedians, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, which was aired on BBC Radio 2 on the 18th October 2008. Two complaints had been sent in the next day, but the day after the incident was reported in the British paper, The Mail, there were 1585 complaints sent in to the BBC and after two more days, there were 27,000 complaints. He also talked about complaints on the ABC and I found it interesting that the “Make a Realistic Wish Foundation” sketch generated the many complaints as the axing of George Negus Tonight in late 2005.

His content was a lot more light hearted rather than the dry manner some of the last lecturers like Helen Coonan, John Hartigan and Ray Martin. All in all, Morrow gave a funny yet insightful view into the media world from his view as a media proprietor.

 By Nick







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