Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 17 October 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 17 October 1995

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Parliamentary Record 16


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Tuesday 17 October 1995 best television award and a special womens award. The Chief Minister, the Minister for Health Services, the member for Casuarina, the member for Millner, and the Minister for Asian Relations, Trade and Industry attended the awards. They made me well aware of the success of the 7.30 Report in the local media awards. We must bear in mind also the significance of both the news service and the 7.30 Report in relation to national stories. I am informed that an average of 2 stories a week are taken from the 7.30 Report or the news service to be aired nationally. These would not be bizarre items, such as Crocodile Eats Man, but significant stories about mainstream issues that help the nation to appreciate what is happening in the Territory. It is important that that continue. That average of 2 stories a week over the last 9 years has been a significant input to what other Australians have learned about what is occurring in the Territory. If the ABC moves to a weekly local current affairs program, the Australian Correspondent concept, one can imagine what type of stories will appear nationally. It will be the bizarre, such as Crocodile Eats Tourist, the sort of story we do not need. Mr Stirling: Just like the NT News. Mr MANZIE: I suppose the standard there leaves a fair amount to desired. However, that is the type of story that will go to air - Bird Hit By Boomerang. One can imagine the rubbish that will be delivered. Recently, we had a story about salt intrusion of the Mary River wetlands. Members would be well aware of that problem. Our Environment Committee reported on the problem. The 7.30 Report did a story on what was occurring as a result of changes in the waterways caused by buffalo and other interference with the natural processes. It was interesting that that story went national but, beforehand, the local ABC received a call from the Sydney producer, asking what the program was about. The first thing he asked was whether there were plenty of shots of barramundi and crocodiles in the story. They told him not to be stupid, because it is a serious issue, and they explained what it was about. However, in Sydney, they were not particularly interested unless the story involved barramundi or crocodiles. That attitude will prevail if Territory events are reported in the form of snippets perceived to be of interest to people in the south-eastern triangle. The powers that be have decided that 1 December is the day when all this will turn into a pumpkin and our local content on television will reduce to half an hour at 10.30 pm on Fridays. Obviously, most people in the Territory are not watching ABC television on Fridays at 10.30 pm. In fact, on Friday night, the last place you would find the average Territorian is in front of the television set. If anyone wanted to make a local current affairs program as obscure as possible, 10.30 pm on Friday is just the time to do it. That was the case 15 years ago, when Territory Tracks was our only local documentary show. Matt Peacock was the presenter. He went overseas to America and did very well there. That program was screened at 8 pm on Fridays. That timeslot was bad enough, but at least many people would watch it before going out for the evening. The present proposal is far worse. For many years, both Darwins local news and the 7.30 Report have been used as a training ground for journalists. I recall Heather Hewitt, Chris Clarke and Peter Ryan. I think that Clarke is in Europe at present and Heather Hewitt is in America ... 5245

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