Timing the key for ABC News

2013-03-14_0133Updated: Timing is everything in news and as The Age reports today ABC News  Victoria was recently able to tell viewers Victorian premier Ted Baillieu had resigned at the end of their 7pm bulletin.

Confirmation of Baillieu’s resignation came through while Paul Higgins was presenting the weather, but as the cameraman at Spring Street was covering the action in the party room, they were unable to get a live link. Finally, reporter Frances Bell telephoned with the news.

Presenter Ian Henderson says viewers respect the bulletin.

”I’d like to think it’s because we deliver a no-nonsense, no-frills news service that doesn’t insult people’s intelligence and keeps bringing them back,” he says.

”We reckon our audience is a pretty sophisticated and well-educated lot who have a well-formed world view. We don’t try to change that. We just give them straight, undiluted information that allows them to add to that.”

ABC’s timing over its Free to Air rivals in the Baillieu resignation is in contrast to an editorial in the Herald Sun which claimed the broadcaster was effectively asleep at the wheel.

In this article on Monday, it wrote:

By 7.15pm there was confirmation that Baillieu had bailed. The Herald Sun’s website ran regular updates, radio stations interrupted normal programming and social media was abuzz with the news, but where was the ABC?

The resignation barely rated a mention on the main channel and on ABC24, the dedicated 24-hour news channel, they were discussing sport as Baillieu’s historic press conference was taking place.

In fact the first TV reporting of the resignation came via SKY News when Ahron Young and David Speers broke the information just after 7pm. The Project also reported it before 7:30pm.


  1. Secret Squirrel

    @jonno – “Why would you pay for rubbish when you can get Quality news for free.”
    You and I wouldn’t but some people would rather have their world-view continually affirmed rather than be presented with inconvenient things like facts, or heaven forbid, balanced opinion. News Ltd have made it their business to do just that.

  2. The ABC piece never claimed that the ABC scooped anybody. It just goes how they tacked a brief piece after the weather in their scheduled news bulletin. Apparently deviating from the run down is novel and exciting for the ABC. Their news channel didn’t ditch non-live scheduled programming to cover the press conference.

    Other media will ditch what they are doing and cover live stories at the drop of the hat, that is how they compete in the 20 minute news cycle. Channel 9 interrupted their new bulletin to show police handcuffing an unknown petty criminal who committed an unknown crime in the South Western Suburbs of Sydney the other day.

    Who cares, barring life threatening events in my area, I would rather accurate news than fast news any day.

  3. Also channel seven cut mid scene into home and away to report that ted had resigned. Not sure what time it was as I had recorded home and away and was watching it a while later.

  4. By the sounds of it , The Herald Sun seems threatened by the ABC. The Herald Sun and all newspapers are a dying breed, they cannot make money online as if they try to get people to pay for it, the people will only go to the ABC and get it for free. Why would you pay for rubbish when you can get Quality news for free.

  5. The News Limited article critical of the ABC has to be taken with a big grain of salt. News Limited is the 50% stakeholder in Sky News Australia.

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