What happened to 60 Minutes? 420



View Profile

There been two strikes against 60 Minutes in two weeks – have they got another one left in your eyes? Over dinner last night the conversation was heated about how 60 Minutes has over-sensationalised significant stories in the last two weeks. It had many at the table declaring they would never watch it again.

We know 60 Minutes for its high integrity, hard hitting or heartwarming stories and just once a week there is usually enough fodder in the news cycle to ensure they have something special to talk about. But what is going on in their newsroom this month has even me questioning where the brand of this once authentic, empathetic and intelligent show is going.

The debate lies after two significant stories that drove public disgust in their conversation. A week ago they allegedly paid $45,000 to disgraced health and wellbeing figure Belle Gibson, and berated her on air. Many questioned why the show bothered grubbying itself with someone who was so clearly deluded about their situation. Tara Reid tried to go for the jugular so many times only to be exhausting in her pursuit of a woman without remorse. It came off as a heartless and cheesy chase of ratings.

And just the other day, 60 Minutes aired what could have been a heartwarming story of survival and bravery – young Alex McKinnon fights against the odds after becoming paralysed in a tragic footy incident.

Instead, the focus was more on captain Cameron Smith’s initial comments to the accident. McKinnon was hurt and “f**king disgusted” by Smith’s conduct (he implied that McKinnion brought the situation upon himself), and whether that was a fair call or not is yet to be seen.

Now, the public has cried out about McKinnon and 60 Minutes not giving Smith the chance to even say sorry or explain himself. He’s been silenced so that the more controversial story could draw viewers. But could it have done the opposite?

What wasn’t revealed was that Smith was the person who started the Stand For Alex campaign, and raised over $20,000 for Alex and his family. He tried several times to contact the family, but was turned away.

60 Minutes executive producer Tom Malone told The Daily Telegraph that the decision not to approach Smith was made out of respect to McKinnon and his family who were telling their story publicly for the first time.

“60 Minutes chose not to contact Cameron Smith before our story went to air, because this was Alex’s story, told by Alex and his family and friends.

“The facts of the story are not in dispute, and the opinions expressed are those honestly held by Alex and his family”, he said.

In contrast, many on this site have said that their rather watch Sunday Night, which often has heartwarming stories and focuses on positives rather than sensationalism.


So we want to know today, will you be tuning in to 60 Minutes again or is it yet another show that will be turned off? 

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. stopped watching it ages ago they only let you know what they want you to know over rated

  2. I didn’t watch it all but the stories are getting worse. Where’s the hard hitting factual stories of 10 years ago.

  3. They pay their guests to appear on their show so you are only ever going to get one side of the story. I don’t watch it for that reason. If you want to watch a better show, tune into Four Corners on the ABC.

  4. Yes I also stopped watching years ago,its nearly as bad as reality tv!!.My husband did watch last Sundays show though.

  5. I stopped watching 60 Minutes some time ago because I felt their stories were often ‘one sided’. I also stopped watching ‘A Current Affair’ for similar reasons. The days of good, responsible journalism are long gone!

    13 REPLY
    • So true Sue, I remember in the 80’s if you hadn’t watched 60 minutes on Sunday night you were well and truly out of the school gate conversation . Oh the good old days of investigative journalism!

    • Yes, Toni – although by the 80’s I was visiting school gates with my kids! But watching 60 Minutes on a Sunday night was a ‘must see’. Jana Wendt was my favourite. Back then good journalism had the opportunity to shine. Now we are innundated with ‘sensationalistic crap’ almost every minute of the day!

    • Current Affair is a real worry – how many price comparison can one have? Humm, I could go on…

    • And how many attacks on programmes from other channels? I haven’t watched 60 Minutes for a very long time – probably since Liz Hayes and the other blonde looked natural!!

    • Very true, not worth watching once I realised so many current affairs shows now are more about the reporter/journalist hamming it up for the camera rather than concentrating on a professional impartial report on the topic or subject. Same can be said for news reporters as well.

      1 REPLY
      • Very true Rohani Sharif, we are bombarded with second rate news/current affairs programs every hour of every day. So tired of watching the same stories on every channel each one trying to outdo the other. To much news not enough decent programs. I too have given up on Sunday night television full stop.

    • I stopped watching when the very nasty Tara Brown interviewed Pauline Hanson, while I was not really a fan of Pauline I thought that Brown was just a very rude nasty little journo who had no dignity and was just after dirt, my opinion of her and these shows hasn’t wavered since. I rarely watch news programs because we are never told the full story and it leaves too much for people to work out what’s going on, the media in this country have a lot to answer for, the woman’s mags are full of untruths and the only mags I buy now are the crossword ones, at least they have something to entertain me.

    • Totally agree, I no longer trust headlines because I think I learn more from reading and dissecting the comments made

    • Definitely agree. Haven’t watched either 60 Minutes or Current Affair since cheque book journalism and biased stories took precedence over decency and honesty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *