EXCLUSIVE: If you’re watching a News Update at 8:30 or 9:30pm is it acceptable if the news was pre-recorded earlier in the evening?
That’s the question some TV Tonight readers were pondering yesterday after Seven News Melbourne presenter Peter Mitchell was telling viewers at 8:30pm the ClickFrenzy sale was underway online. Huh? Hadn’t he noticed the sale crashed upon launch at 7pm? It was all over news websites and social media.
Another crawler just before 8:30pm had told viewers of local breaking news in which a murder suspect had appeared in a late out-of-court session. But Mitchell shortly reappeared to only advise the man had been arrested by police (the same info as in the 6pm bulletin). It wasn’t until around 9:40pm that Seven reporter Brendan Roberts appeared on location to detail the court session.
By contrast Peter Hitchener on Nine News advised of the court session at 8:30pm with reporter Laura Turner at St Kilda Police Headquarters at 9pm. Both were pre-recorded minutes before airing.
A Seven spokesperson told TV Tonight it takes a fluid approach to the presenter remaining on site depending on the day’s big stories. On Tuesday night, Peter Mitchell recorded his update in the hour after the main bulletin finished.
“All the networks are in the same boat,” they said. “(The) Newsreader records an update after the bulletin, time varying pending the news, then there are in-program crawls and live updates from the scene if the story warrants it. Last night, as with other networks, Brendan Roberts provided an update from the out-of-court court session with the latest news.”
Yesterday Nine News Melbourne director Hugh Nailon told TV Tonight, both Peter Hitchener and weekend presenter Alicia Loxley stay back to record newsbreaks, often as late as 10pm.
“The point is news is always happening and changing. At Nine, a dedicated producer/editor and newsreader stay back to record news breaks and update any developments on stories or to break news. Usually they are recorded about ten minutes before they go to air.
“This enables us to be first to report breaking or unfolding stories.
“Last night was a great example, in our 8.30 newsbreak, we were able to report that Steven Hunter had been charged in an out of sessions hearing. Then at 9pm Hitch was able to throw to a summary of the court hearing from reporter Laura Turner.
“Already this year, Hitch has been in the chair for some of our biggest stories that happened beyond 6 including Jill Meagher’s arrest, the Keilor siege and Prince Charles’ 10pm arrival. Not to mention being able to report countless results from the AFL tribunal.”
Seven also advised Peter Mitchell stayed on site for newsbreaks on the Jill Meagher story.
A TEN News spokesperson indicated it also uses pre-recorded Updates but could draw upon its Sydney-based Late News team for developing stories.
While we have two 24 hour news channels, radio, online news and social media tools, the game is on to provide viewers with up to date information.
Nine’s attention to detail could explain part of the reason why it is thumping its rival in the fickle Melbourne market, sometimes 100,000 in front of Seven.
Buoyed by its current success, Nine has just signed Peter Hitchener to another three years, ahead of his 40th year with the network next year.