Newsrooms hit by ‘Mad Cow’

Radio newsrooms have carried incorrect reports, claiming the first case of Mad Cow Disease in Australia, quickly followed by tv bulletins.

In a lengthy segment on ABC tv’s ‘Media Watch’, it has been revealed the reports triggered an angry response from the beef industry, which said its future was being jeopardised by the inaccuracies.

It all started when The Royal Melbourne Hospital announced it was contacting 1000 brain or spinal patients as a precautionary measure, after recent confirmation of a case of the rare Creutzfeldt-Jakob brain disease (CJD) at the hospital.

Numerous radio and tv newsrooms mistakenly described CJD as ‘Mad Cow Disease’. To compound the situation, the hospital made several unsuccessful approaches to a number of news organisations to rectify the damaging reports.

The Cattle Council of Australia was furious and put out an angry media release, threatening legal action.

For a full transcript of the Media Watch report, click on the link below.