tip off
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FFS, ABCNews24!

The piece I wrote for the Crikey email this morning was already very long, so I cut out a spray for ABCNews24.

The point of a twenty four hour news channel is just that. And those of us who did not have access to Sky News or the BBC last night have to be grateful that were able to watch the Murdoch interrogation, thanks to Auntie.

But FFS! Early in the evening, in the middle of highly interesting and significant evidence from the senior coppers, ABCNews24 broke to a leisurely news bulletin, including pedestrian colour stories and the bloody weather!

And also promos for how up to the minute the channel was with breaking news. Sheesh. Walk the talk, please!

And before that, there were glitches as promos started to run, only for someone to obviously pull the pin.

Now I understand that regular news bulletins are part of the rationale of the station, but once again ABCNews24 displayed an odd reluctance to throw out the normal operations. Doing so was certainly justified. The Murdoch hearings constitute one of the major political stories of the decade. This is what 24hour news services are FOR!

And, unlike when the Japanese earthquake hit, these events should not have taken the ABC by surprise. ABC people I spoke to mid afternoon already knew that while the Murdochs would be on late, the cops were on earlier. Who decided against continuous rolling coverage?

News bulletins are available on ABC 1, and on radio. Why the slowness in throwing to rolling live coverage of events? I don’t understand it.

Regular readers of this blog will judge the extent of frustration by the fact that it pushed me and Caroline Overington into agreeing about something – the ABC’s performance – on Twitter. Other Twitterati were voicing similar fury.

Having said that, once the news update was out of the way, the rest of the rolling coverage was good, taken from the BBC. Or at least it was until 3.15am, when I fell asleep in my armchair.

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  • 1
    Susie Smith
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    “Or at least it was until 3.15am, when I fell asleep in my armchair.”

    - maybe that caused you to hallucinate that “Murdoch was clearly not faking it when he claimed not to have been told about key moves and revelations in the affair” and that James Murdoch’s performance “proved he can perform under pressure.”

  • 2
    Holden Back
    Posted July 20, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    I bailed in the middle of Yates’ testimony, but it was like the work experience kiddie was on the desk. Station ID kept cutting in and then back out to the hearing a number of times.

  • 3
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 1:54 am | Permalink

    I watched Channel 9, it was uninterrupted and superb.

  • 4
    Adam
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    I actually thought it was pretty disappointing they cut to the whole pre-Murdoch proceedings earlier than the EPG had listed. After hearing about his “performance” at the NPC earlier in the day I was looking forward to seeing the replay of that debate with that Monckton clown making a fool of himself.

  • 5
    BustedPancreas
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Well said Margaret! Not the first time this has happened as you pointed out. Strange how the ABC website streamed the footage uninterrupted which is where I was watching…

  • 6
    pietro
    Posted July 21, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I think ABC News24 has an average rating of 0.6. Hardly surprising. It would have been better left as an HD channel, even if only 720p.

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