The Hack Half Hour

Now this is way cool. ABC2 is bringing its triple j youth forum The Hack Half Hour to television.

Previously airing in 8 minute instalments on radio, now it is opened up for the small screen -and it works a treat.

Hosted by Walkley award‐winning journalist Steve Cannane, the forum consists of about twenty or so (mostly) youth to discuss relevant and contemporary topics in a relaxed atmosphere. Sound like Insight for the Facebook generation? It is. In fact the first topic for discussion is social networking and the benefits and risks of having a Facebook or MySpace profile.

Cannane is joined by bloggers, vloggers and social networkers who have thousands of online friends. Some reveal how they don a liberating persona online, others talk about how it helped them connect with the world during a time of illness, and what happens when they meet in the real world.

There are recruiters who talk about how having a profile page may affect their employment prospects. And then there is the hacker. A professional hacker, no less, who reveals how he was able to glean a myriad of personal ID information from one of the MySpace devotees. Scary stuff.

Cannane holds this forum together with absolute confidence, never pushing too far or speaking down to his audience. Filmed “in the round”, the look of the show resembles a kind of student lounge within a television studio. There is also a sense of deconstruction here with studio crew entirely visible in the background. The language used in the show speaks directly to the audience in sensible, practical terms.

Significantly, the show is produced by youth. The director is 26, and there are producers just 24 and 25 years old.

Further subjects to be tackled by the show include Fight (can you somehow avoid fights without losing face?), House (is the great Australian dream a crock?), Porn (how has technology changed the way we use porn?”), Gambling and Image.

With such limited access of youth on television, let alone intelligent and articulate youth, The Hack Half Hour is totally refreshing television.

The Hack Half Hour premieres 8:30pm Monday September 22 on ABC2.


  1. i tried to record this but unfortunately i discovered that for some reason my set top box swapped channels 21 and 22 around and so i got abc1 on channel 22 and therefore missed this show. i re-scanned and now the set top box is fixed but i was trying to get a hold of this episode, it says it is available on iView but i looked for it there and i can’t find it, does it take a while for shows to become available on there? or better yet are they going to repeat it at all?

  2. Not too sure. I don’t have Pay TV either. Its more than likely ABC will release it on the net via podcast/vodcast, as they have done that in the past with Summer Heights High, The Chaser’s, The Gruen Transfer and other shows.

  3. Lol yup I don’t. I rarely watch TV on FTA channels, the only time I really do is when I eat or when I catch Sunrise or Today in the mornings before school. I download a lot of TV off websites though, I like it more without the ads/shoddy time schedules e.g. LOST/PB airing at 10:30pm. The only show I catch on ABC is The Chaser’s, but that hasn’t been on since last year. I’m also interested in the production side of TV, which I might be studying at uni next year.

  4. RichoTB, you’re interested in TV enough to regularly visit a site like this, but you don’t have a digital box, very decent ones of which can be bought for well under $100 now?

  5. I was interested in this until I saw it was on ABC2. That’s dumb – what about the millions of Aussies who don’t have that channel. Maybe they’ll upload eps on their website or a podcast or something

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.