Ben Williamson: The camo behind the 60 Minutes Beirut kidnap saga speaks out


There are a lot of a-holes in TV.

Ben Williamson in Afghanistan (image – Crikey)

I’ve met plenty of them, I’ve worked with plenty of them, and I’m sure some people would accuse me of being one of them.

But one bloke I’ve met and worked with during my almost 30 years in the industry is not one of those people. Ben Williamson is one of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet.

That’s why I was really sad to read about his plight on the Crikey website. Insurance giant GIO is refusing to pay him compensation because, they say, Nine has no responsibility for what happened to him in Beirut.

Give me a break.

Anyone who has met this guy knows he goes above-and-beyond for his employer and he would not have been over there if he wasn’t on a job.

Now, I know this is what insurance companies do, but Ben really does deserve better. He was sent on assignment, did his job and was tortured for his troubles.

It’s time to sort this mess out and fix it.

Ben is currently on workers compensation, which is being topped up by Nine, but you can understand the impact it’s having on him and why he wants the whole thing sorted out.

As Nine told Crikey:

“The matter is being dealt with between the insurer and Ben and we are aware of his comments. Ben remains a valued member of the Nine team and is an extremely talented 60 Minutes cameraman.

An investigation of Lebanon, handled independently once all those impacted were back home, included our acknowledgment that Nine staff were exposed to damaging risks and we have since taken steps to address this

I know the people at Nine and I know they would like to see him looked after. If GIO are going to play hardball then the management at Nine needs to step in.

TV Networks expect loyalty from their employees so they should give some back and I know for certain everyone at Nine wants to make sure Ben is ok and looked after.

If there was ever anyone who deserved to be treated well and respected, it’s Ben Williamson.

Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcasts plus host & executive producer of the video streaming show THE ANJ, ROB & ROBBO SHOW.



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