Updated: 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.