Sky News Australia boss grilled over YouTube suspension at media diversity inquiry

Posted September 6, 2021 by 6 News Staff

The CEO of Sky News Australia, Paul Whittaker, has been grilled at today's media diversity inquiry, saying he "sought explanation" as to why their YouTube Channel was suspended for a week just over a month ago.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young asked what he did when warned by the platform about videos they considered to be 'COVID-19 misinformation.'

"We sought clarification was to what videos, if any, were caught by these guidelines," Whittaker said.

"We did the same when we received the July 29 strike."

A 'strike' on YouTube prevents a channel from uploading for a week & deletes any offending videos.

2 strikes result in a 14-day ban, and a third strike will get the account terminated. Strikes are removed after 90 days.

6 News has had 2 strikes this year, both of which YouTube later admitted were not appropriate. 

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who has called for a Royal Commision into Murdoch Media, also appeared at the Senate Inquiry.

"We have the highest concentration of print ownership for a modern democracy in the world," he said.

Responding to a question from Victorian Senator Kim Carr, Mr. Rudd claimed that Sky News' footprint in Regional Australia was "broadened considerably" this year - but that's not true.

Sky moved to an agreement with Southern Cross Austereo on July 1 after broadcasting via WIN Television since 2018.

As a result, they no longer broadcast in several free-to-air markets, including Regional WA.

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