Press release from ABC

Media Watch returns for its 21st season of essential viewing on Monday, February 7th at 9.20pm on ABC1 (and iview).

Jonathan Holmes will be back in the chair for a fourth year.

Holmes thanks Paul Barry “for holding the fort” while Holmes was on long service leave late last year.

“After 6 months away from the media, and three away from Australia, I’m feeling refreshed and invigorated,” Holmes says.

“I’m ready to scoff and ridicule, excoriate and tut-tut, deprecate and fulminate, investigate, second-guess and humiliate more smugly and smirkily than ever – but, of course, fairly and accurately too!”

As always, the program’s main focus will be what the blogosphere calls the MSM – the mainstream media, on TV, radio, print or online. But Media Watch will be keeping an eye on the new media too – at the bloggers and tweeters, the vid-posters and webzine writers.

Cheats, deceits, and plain bad reporting will cop a serve, wherever they happen.

As in previous years, in the occasional special edition through the year, Jonathan Holmes will go head to head with the movers and shakers of the media industry. And in a first, Media Watch will offer viewers an opportunity to suggest questions they’d like answered.

2011 is going to be yet another year of radical change for the industry.

Will News Ltd newspapers go behind a paywall, and if so, how high and impenetrable will it be?

Will Minister Conroy finally decide who can watch what sport on which channel – and what will that mean for Pay TV?

Will the Ten Network’s radical two and a half hours of news per night work, for it and its viewers? How long will its new owners – especially James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch – support the experiment?

But Media Watch’s main job will be what it’s always been: to hold the media to account. “Everyone loves it, until they’re on it.”