Sky News banned from Melbourne train stations

Victoria’s transport minister, Jacinta Allan, has directed Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) to cease broadcasting Sky News within its railway stations, saying “hatred and racism have no place on our screens or in our community”.

MTM has been instructed to stop broadcasting Sky News on platforms

Its the latest blow for Sky News which continues to suffer in the fall out after inviting right-wing agitator Blair Cottrell – who advocates for immigration based on race and has previously boasted about manipulating women via terror and violence – on air.

Since the interview went to air, brands including American Express have paused their advertising with the broadcaster, saying the content does not align with its values.

Other brands including Huggies, Luxury Escapes and Specsavers have taken similar steps.

Airlines including Virgin Australia and Qantas are also under pressure from consumers on Twitter to mimic MTM’s move and cease broadcasting Sky News in their airport lounges.

Virgin Australia has indicated it is looking into the matter, while Mumbrella understands Qantas does not have plans to change its current arrangement.

Qantas faced similar pressure when senator David Leyonhjelm went onto Sky News’ Outsiders programs and repeated sexist comments he had made in parliament about Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

At the time, a petition was launched calling for Qantas to end its relationship with Sky News.

During the fallout from the Leyonhjelm interview, Mumbrella asked Qantas a number of questions about the channel, which the airline avoided answering directly, simply saying: “We note that Sky has apologised and is investigating”, followed shortly by another response saying: “There’s no change to our arrangement with Sky.”

In the wake of the Cottrell scandal, Sky News says it has taken numerous steps to ensure a similar instance does not happen again.

The broadcaster has now banned Cottrell from the channel and is investigating the editorial processes which enabled it to happen in the first place.

Soon-to-depart CEO Angelos Frangopoulos said Greg Byrnes would be promoted to acting program director and Kaycie Bradford would become acting news director to bolster the broadcaster’s safety net.

The Adam Giles Show – where the interview was broadcast – has been put “in recess” while its production format and structure is reviewed.

Various Sky News on-air personalities have criticised their employer for allowing Cottrell on, while former ALP politician Craig Emerson has ended his relationship with the broadcaster, saying it is normalising racism and bigotry.


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