Tune into any evening news bulletin on either commercial TV or the ABC or SBS and you’ll soon realise how the various stations prioritise their news. A major incident like a terrorist attack in London will nearly always be the opening story but on a quiet news day the different stations reveal their true agendas. Take Channel 7 for instance who seem to devote an inordinate amount of space to the Royal Family. When Harry announced he was getting hitched their opening item on the gushing couple ran for what seemed like an eternity in the usual 15 to 20 second slabs of evening news.
Over on the ABC and SBS there is more of a focus on ‘serious’ news, with both a national and global perspective. However one rather unfortunate attribute that is common to all stations is the regurgitation of the same old stories year after year. These are the ‘stocking fillers’ of the evening news broadcast, the Groundhog Day of daily news and it’s about time they were purged. Here’s just a few glaring examples of items that need to be culled.
Anything to do with the British Royals: Wishful thinking indeed as 2018 promises an avalanche of regal weddings, babies and hopefully even a death or two. Let’s not be disturbed by vision of the Rohingya refugee camps when all the focus is on a $75,000 wedding dress and another heart-warming display of pomp and pageantry.
The Elvis Train to Parkes: It’s a great bit of escapism for all Elvis fans but we have seen it all before as predominantly porky Elvis impersonators ham it up before the train pulls out of Central, often with a bubbling news reporter on board.
The Start of the City To Surf: Sorry this one has to go as well as the sight of thousands of people bounding up William Street is pure cliché as is the segue shot of those doing it tough on Heartbreak Hill.
Any Newborn Animal at Taronga Park: It’s always great for the Taronga turnstiles when a baby elephant or hippo joins their menagerie. It’s a feel good story but maybe we would be better highlighting the desperate plight of much of our local fauna due to loss of habitat and the impact of feral imports.
Melbourne Cup Day at Royal Randwick: All the real interest is at Flemington so why are we regularly treated to vision of a largely inebriated crowd of job truants and suited yobs at Randwick watching the famous race on a big screen?
The Summer Nats in Canberra: Seen one donut, seen them all! Watching a set of tyres disintegrate in front of an army of self-confessed bogans is about exciting as removing chewing gum from the sole of your shoe.
Easter and Christmas at the Sydney Fish Markets: Guess what, people buy a lot of fish and prawns at the Fish Markets just prior to the year’s two most important religious holidays. The ABC in particular seems obsessed with crossing to the venue at the drop of a lobster to interview some exuberant fishmonger telling us all that demand has never been bigger. Spare a thought for those of us who don’t eat fish.
The Boxing Day Sales: It’s often hard to find a good news story on Boxing Day but as sure as the sun rises a camera crew will be on hand in the Pitt Street Mall to film the somewhat indecent charge of cashed up bargain seekers as the doors are thrown open at the major department stores. Unless somebody is actually trampled to death this news item does not rate.
The New Year’s Eve Fireworks: Why waste money on sending an entire crew out to capture the ‘excitement’ of NYE cracker night when the display is essentially the same every year. Just screen last year’s multimillion dollar extravaganza and nobody will know the difference.