Channel Seven’s stronghold over the Brisbane news market has pulled even further ahead with a convincing win in the latest ratings survey.

Media experts claim Channel Nine’s embarrassing Choppergate scandal has helped boost the popularity of their main rival.

Clare Hunter reports.


A rivalry wrought with more tension than a dinner party with the Capulets and Montagues, the competition between commercial networks has never been a secret.

But this weekend’s ratings have left Nine News reeling after they saw a whopping 100,000 viewer loss to Seven.

Experts say the shift is the result of a loss of trust.

Channel Nine has been struggling to regain credibility in the wake of the Choppergate Scandal, in which the location of two reporters was misrepresented.

Geoff Shearer, Entertainment Editor, The Courier-Mail: “The integrity of the news bulletins we have seen this year, that Seven has kept its socks up and kept its hands clean, Nine has suffered from the chopper scandal at the end of August and that has unsettled things for them.”

The scandal resulted in the producer and two journalists being sacked, as well as the Director of News resigning.

It also left a bad taste in viewers’ mouths.

Susan Hetherington, Lecturer in Journalism QUT: “People wanted action, but they wanted the people who were actually responsible for the problem to take responsibility and not two scapegoats, effectively.”

Rob Raschke, Channel Seven Director of News: “News organisations spend a lot of time and effort telling people why they should be trusted and believed, so I think your actions have got to back up your intention to be a credible news source.”

Channel Nine publicity claim its not all doom and gloom for the station.

In the five-day ratings last year they won once; this year they have won seven out of 32 weeks.

The challenge for Seven is to stay on top and continue to dominate the local news market.

Clare Hunter, QUT News.