Lateline Cleared…but the rats keep chewing

June 14, 2008

Lateline was cleared this week by the ABC’s independent complaints review panel over 30 points of complaint regarding their expose of child sexual abuse in remote Aboriginal communities. 

The complaint, all part of an attempt by some with ulterior motives to prevent the reporting of this important issue have not taken their defeat lying down.

Chris Graham, from the National Indigenous Times newspaper, was at it again on this week, suggesting that the ABC independent review panel was not independent at all.

When posters on the site criticised this baseless suggestion, he deomonstrated MacBeth style paranoia and refused to respond to arguments levelled against him. Truly spectacular to see.

In fact, the only complaint upheld was that a piece of footage should have displayed the tag ‘file footage’.   

Quelle surprise indeed!


You’re watching Breakfast, with Virginia Trioli

May 4, 2008

whispers are that Virginia Trioli will host the new ABC Breakfast news programme on ABC2. If she does it will mean saying goodbye to Lateline (NO!) and possibly Sunday Arts (NOOOOO!) …as well as a return to Melbourne, from where the show will be produced.

If anyone can make it a success, VIrginia can. But how will she cope with the early starts?

SHOCK! ABC News unbiased!

May 4, 2008

Well colour me completely unsurprised.

As we all knew, ABC News is NOT biased. The new ‘Director of Editorial Content’ AKA the Chief Censor Paul Chadwick has completed a recent study into the accuracy of three of the ABC’s key news pogrammes: AM, The World Today and PM.

He found that 95.3% of stories were wholly or substantially accurate as to facts, while 97.3% were wholly or substantially accurate as to context.

So there you go.

Meanwhile, we are still waiting for ANY evidence from the ABC detractors (i.e. their chief competitor, News Ltd)  as to the presence of bias. But it seems that this will not be forthcoming. Instead, News Ltd is content to continue their weekly articles simply declaring the existing of bias throughout the organsiation. Interesting form of ‘argument’, isn’t it?

Well Done Ms Jackson!

March 25, 2008

ABC Logo 

Mark Scott, Managing Director of the ABC has announced that ABC Radio journalist Elizabeth Jackson (not to be confused with Liz Jackson) has been awarded the 2008 Donald McDonald ABC Scholarship to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford.

Elizabeth has worked for the ABC for 16 years, and hosts Correspondents Report on Radio National, as well as being the host and Executive Producer of Saturday AM.  

As part of her Oxford studies, Elizabeth will investigate international Freedom of Information legislation as a fundamental part of investigative journalism. Elizabeth will have the opportunity to study the FOI laws in the UK and Europe, and closely analyse the ability for this legislation to allow journalists to break significant national and international stories. 

The award has been given each year since 1999, and was renamed in 2006 in honour of Donald McDonald, the former Chairman of the corporation.

“You’re watching ‘Breakfast’, on ABC2”

March 13, 2008


Not quite, but as part of the previously mentionned ‘Continuous News Centre’, the ABC is planning to launch a breakfast news service on ABC2. This service, which will be quite distinct from ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Today’ will essentially use new means to deliver existing news content to the channel.

An example would be broadcasting an interview whcih aired on ABC Radio’s ‘AM’ programme. This type of delivery will be essential, as the ABC is funding all its new ventures from existing revenue.

Regardless, it will be an interesting development, and could be a stepping stone to a fuller service down the track. 

Channel explosion!

March 12, 2008

ABC Innovation 

The ABC today has begun the process of launching some brand new channels.

First was the launch of ‘ABC playback’. ‘ABC Playback’ allows internet users with fast (ADSL2) download speeds access to tv quality downloads of ABC programmes.

 Second is the ‘ABC Shop Player’, which allows internet users to purchase programmes which are on sale at ABC Shops. This service bridges the gap between the old style of retail, and genuine online trading. This service will expand in time and include many archived programmes.

Finally is ‘ABC Real’, which will allow users to watch the ABC’s huge natural history documentary archives, in all their glory.

A further, and some would argue more interesting development has also come to light – the ABC is launching a 24 hour news service….but only internally. Not in any way a traditional channel, more of a resource, however it lays the groundwork to enable a future news channel to operate. Something which would be most welcome by many people.

In addition, the local radio website relaunches, as mentionned in previous blog posts here has launched today, though with errors on most pages. Working to a deadline for a massive project can do that. No doubt the web development team will be hard at work over the coming weeks fixing the errors. Regardless, it is a fantastic addition to the ABC’s online presence. 

LATELINE…With Tony, Virginia…and Leigh

March 9, 2008


Tony Jones has confirmed he is cutting back to just 2 nights a week on Lateline from June, as he concentrates on his new programme ‘Q&A’. The programme, modelled on the BBC’s highly successful ‘Question Time’ (and hopefully as far removed from ‘Difference of Opinion’ as possible, is expected to have participation not just from a panel, including politicians, but from audiences both at home and in the studio. To avoid the embarrassing hijacking of the audience which occurred during the ‘Great Global Warming Swindle’ programme, where the studio audience was stacked with supporters of certified loon Lyndon LaRouche, audience members will have to apply, and checks will be made to ensure a diversity of views.

Replacing Jones on Lateline will be ABC National Security Correspondent Leigh Sales. This decision comes in some ways as a surprise, as Virginia Trioli is now more available than ever, following her decision to leave 702 ABC Sydney radio last November. Speaking on Lateline at the time of her departure from radio, Virginia said she wanted to ‘concentrate more on this chair’. Seems News bosses don’t agree. This is a pity, as Virginia is a very talented interviewer. However, should Leigh not be available, Virginia is still listed as back up. It just seems odd that a permanent presenter should be the backup for a fill in presenter!