Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our ABC

Since I spend so much time listening and watching what comes from our ABC, I feel somewhat proprietorial about it and think it is fair that have can have a good whinge about it at times.

Some time ago I wrote a post called Time to go Macca. It recently received a new comment. Letters have been flowing into the The Age Green Guide (tv/radio guide) on a regular basis complaining about or defending Macca. Let me make this clear as people are accusing us Macca dislikers as inner city latte sipping country people haters. People who complain about Macca obviously listen to him. I am among them. People, myself included, like hearing about lives in the bush and regional cities and towns. We like to hear about our country's animals and flora. What we don't like is the non professional presenter with his opinions that were set back in the 1950s. How on earth ABC management allowed him in front of a mike in the first place, I don't know. Surely being able to string a sentence together is a requisite for a radio broadcaster. I know there would be howls of protests from his core of devoted and vocal listeners if he was replaced by management, so I suggest he does the honourable thing and retire.

I often listen to the radio on the computer, especially if Household Management is still asleep. I have just listened to the ABC radio's major news bulletin today on my computer. I didn't recognise the newsreader's voice. A car crash in the Blue Mountains? Sure enough, ABC Sydney news. The 9.00 AM news better damn well come from Melbourne. I want to hear about a car crash in the Dandenong Ranges. (R was up by 9 and I missed it)

I don't have a big issue with national news broadcasts for the minor bulletins at weekends, used no doubt for reasons of economy, but if it is national, it should not have a Sydney bias. Some years ago I recall a Sunday 6.00 pm supposedly national news broadcast that was absolutely chockers with local Sydney stories. No wonder people sometimes refer to our Australian Broadcasting Corporation as the Sydney Broadcasting Corporation.

Last night when we were having dinner with friends, someone mentioned about a female commercial tv station newsreader who had a bout of the hiccups while presenting. She read the whole bulletin punctuated by hiccups. I should You Tube it. I just did. Boring. I recall an ABC radio news broadcaster struggling with his on air broadcast. Once again it was a national broadcast, coming from Sydney on a Sunday afternoon I think. I was sitting in the car at Monash Uni. I think we were going to a concert. R was there, but not in the car. The news reader was one of the old school very professional ABC newsreaders but he was clearly having trouble with something. The problem was getting worse. Eventually he said, I'm sorry, I can't go on, and I suppose we were switched to soothing music. Over subsequent years I often thought of this mysterious news bulletin. When I reached a certain age and I had to hold what I was reading so far away until I needed longer arms, I realised what went wrong. He had forgotten his reading glasses. Now that would be a much more interesting You Tube clip.

Oh dear,wallowing in nostalgia again. Let me get more modern. My portable digital radio is marvellous. I spend a bit of time in our crisis ridden days listening to ABC News Radio but mostly listen to ABC Melbourne. Across the screen is scrolling information. abc.net.au/melbourne How many times have I typed that. I don't need it to scroll on my radio. The programme I am listening to and the next one is useful perhaps, but next programme showing is often the one that is now on. Let me look now......ah Sydney Broadcasting Corporation strikes again, next up is James O'Loghlin. Nah, in Melbourne it is Alan Brough. Then there is the weather, surely useful. Well, not so useful at 10.00pm when it is still showing today's weather forecast. By a certain time during the day, you want to know tomorrow's forecast and believe me, by 10.00pm you are not interested in today's forecast. You have already lived it. Surely within the complexities of digital radio broadcasting, the scrolling text must be the easiest aspect of it.

Staying with the scrolling text, very admirably our ABC set digital broadcast channels for the Queensland floods and the Victorian floods, possibly the Qld cyclone too. First class effort, but how do you know they are there if you don't scroll through your channels? I first heard of the Qld floods channel because it was mentioned on the radio. I recall checking if there was a channel for the Victorian floods, but there wasn't. I checked the next day and there was. This information is the kind of thing that needs to scroll across the screen.

I suppose it is pointless to ask for no sports news to scroll, but I have just realised something. After the initial novelty wore off, I no longer watch my radio, which is as radio should be.

11 comments:

  1. Out of context, that 'I no longer watch my radio' statement might sound a little odd ...

    A few years ago, I was given Maccas 'Why I live where I live' - it's a fascinating book! But that's because people other than M are telling the stories...

    Wonder how many of those who dote on him actually like him - and not the content that's actually provided by other people??

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  2. The two times I've heard Trevor Chappell present Australia All Over (during Macca's hols) I was blown away by the massive difference made by both the professional approach and the amount of info the interviewee was able to impart to listeners without the presenter barging in with opinons.
    Love listening to Trevor Chappell on the Overnighters but he brings such a fresh approach to the Sunday morning show it was fabulous.

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  3. Red, it is a bit like a phrase that has only been heard in the last twenty years, 'I'm on a train/tram/bus'. I heard a couple of the Coodabeens host the programme, perhaps a couple of years ago and they were first class.

    Trevor is good Jayne, but I was busy when he was relieving for Macca and so did not pay attention. I'll endorse him because you say so.

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  4. National news from Sydney is a joke, often words fail to describe how parochial it is.

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  5. Ben, imagine what it is like for those who live in the BAPH cities.

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  6. Hey what's all this Sydney bashing!? Don't we all think those things when we hear other cities' broadcasts?

    I watched my digital radio too when I first purchased it but was soon bored with the scrolling messages that told me nothing interesting. Worse still I disliked the strange alignment of letters like 'g' on my set - yes I know I am very anal about these things - and now take no notice whatsoever of the scrolling text.

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  7. Now now Victor. Save your outrage for when I really blast the sex ridden, drug taking, money obsessed stinking filth hole. This time it is the SBC I am having a go at, not Sydney.

    Indeed, watching the screen is boring. I know what you mean about the g. If offends me too. There is no room below for a proper g. Using upper case would have solved the matter.

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  8. '..the sex ridden, drug taking, money obsessed stinking filth hole..'

    For a moment I thought you were referring to me....

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  9. Victor, we all know you are a paragon of virtue.

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  10. I love TC and I try to send in sms's to his overnights show when I can't sleep on my days off. I've had quite a few read out. Macca however is revolting. He makes me wanna throw the radio out.

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  11. Fen, I don't know much about him because of the time he is on. I have heard him occasionally in the last half hour of his show.

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