Ray Martin again hits out at the dumbing down of serious current affairs, and blames the ratings system and TV producers.
Martin, whose comments were part of an interview to promote his new book, Ray Martin’s Favourites, says only ABC and Sky News offer serious political interviews or debates.
“There was a time … in which Channel Nine was the network Australians turned to in crisis,” he said.
He blames the advent of minute-by-minute ratings in 1989, when ratings diaries were abandoned, for the state of current affairs shows.
“When minute-by-minute ratings came along, we would find we’d lost 100,000 viewers in Sydney and 90,000 in Melbourne the moment the PM came on, whether it was Keating or Howard,” Martin said. “If you’re only winning by 10,000 against the other mob, you can’t afford to lose 200,000 viewers.”
Former Immigration minister Philip Ruddock saw viewers flee in droves.
He also blames TV and radio executives who sneer at working-class Australians.
“Commercial TV and radio are both guilty of this. It’s the unnamed executive producers at these programs – they call them ‘string-bags’.
“They regard them as fairly stupid, fairly dopey. They’re not. They’re smart. And they’ll go with programs that work and programs that tell them something.”
Source: Sunday Telegraph