Schapelle shines light on media shortcomings


Attacking, humiliating and belittling celebrities has become something of a sport through social media channels of late.

But this practice of farming clicks and likes at their expense is meeting a brick wall, with the celebrities themselves taking a strong stance against it.


Na na na na na na, you can't catch me. Schapelle Corby uses Instagram to giggle at the media
Na na na na na na, you can’t catch me. Schapelle Corby uses Instagram to giggle at the media

Schapelle who? Unless you’ve been living in the wilderness with no access to technology for the last 13 years; Schapelle Corby is an Aussie household name.

Love her or hate her, she has featured on our television screens for more than a decade, and now starts the media circus that has followed her ever since arriving home from Bali.

Opinions are divided over whether she is even a celebrity to begin with (a definition for another blog, perhaps). But it is worth noting how she has chuckled and thumbed her nose at the media while keeping a direct line of communication with her fans through Instagram.


Nice shot, Karl

The Today host has endured a rocky 12 months, with his divorce from ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn played out in public. Through it all, he has retained a steady head and refused to bite back at those who would throw stones.

But last week his silence was shattered, when the Daily Mail unleashed a headline implying he was a drunk and bedding a much younger colleague while on assignment in country NSW.


The offending article, as it was originally published (with the word girlfriend blurred out). Image: Today
The offending article, as it was originally published (with the word girlfriend blurred out). Image: Today

The headline screamed ‘Karl Stefanovic checks into humble caravan park with a colleague and 12 cans of pre-mixed rum, but girlfriend is nowhere to be seen’.

Stefanovic has been happy to weather the public barbs against him, but by roping in the young producer he believed the Daily Mail had crossed a significant line.

“The sleazy suggestion we are checking in somewhere and that I’m ‘settling in for a long night.’ Fact: this was work. We were filming a story about our struggling prawn farmers; they deserve a rum or two. The producer pictured on the website is a committed, talented, hardworking and totally professional young woman and not deserving of this cheap, lazy, sexist online slur,” he said.


Hall of blame

Relationship breakdowns seem to bring the trolls out from under the internet bridge, as highly influential mummy blogger Constance Hall has discovered.

She has become the target of numerous hate groups since her separation from husband Bill Mahon, the most recent when calls came for people to boycott a charity event at Stockland Baldivis.

Hall bit back, hard. She launched a tirade to her audience of over 1 million followers slamming all the media outlets carrying the story.

The post has since been pulled down, most likely for legal reasons.


Rebel with a cause

Aussie actor Rebel Wilson fought hard to create a Hollywood career, one which has reaped rewards in recent years including her role in the hit Pitch Perfect films.

But when articles published by Woman’s Day were released, Wilson returned to Australia to lodge a defamation suit against the publishers.

We won’t list the details here as the trial is ongoing, but this is the strongest example yet of a celebrity fighting back against material published about them.


Rebel Wilson outside of Melbourne's Supreme Court. Image: Herald Sun
Rebel Wilson outside of Melbourne’s Supreme Court. Image: Herald Sun

The morale of the story? Celebrities are not fair game. They are not immune to slings and arrows and they won’t always just let things slide. The temptation to generate content on public figures to reap website traffic can be strong, but the right channels must always be followed.