15 October 2008

Change in the air for Radio National?

Today Paul Collins on Crikey reports about changes proposed for ABC Radio National. Extract:

Several specialist programs are being taken off-air including the Religion Report, the Media Report and Radio Eye. The Reports are flagship programs that deal with issues central to current culture. Apparently they are being replaced by a movie show and something about the future. Specialist broadcasters will spend more time responding to opinionated bloggers rather than making programs. God help us!

Let's be clear what ABC Radio management is up to: it is a case of the bland leading the bland. Specialisation is out. Nowadays the belief is that any old (or, more likely, young) "interdisciplinary" journalist can deal with any topic. Well, I've been interviewed literally hundreds of times on ABC radio and TV. My experience is that while most journalists make a reasonable go of it, they just don't know the detail and often have to be led to the key questions.

An ABC spokeswoman has replied. Extract:

"A number of line-up changes are planned for ABC Radio National next year, these are currently being finalised and will be announced shortly. They do include a number of programs being moved, changed or ended.

"These changes are in part a response to the move in ABC Radio National's audience growth, particularly online. This necessitates a shift in resources - in some cases from on air to online. There will be no job losses."

I shall wait to see what happens. I listen regularly to The Media Report (which is usually of very high quality) and occasionally to The Religion Report and Radio Eye (which often have items which interest me). I'm not necessarily averse to increasing online content (including transcripts) to supplement the material which goes to air: this is already happening with some programs eg Hindsight .

06 October 2008

Crime in the neighborhood

Today was a public holiday here. Unfortunately its tranquility was disturbed by a stabbing near where I live and whose aftermath I witnessed.

Here is
The Advertiser/ Adelaide Now report and accompanying photograph.


A bloodied man who staggered into a Norwood bottle shop after being stabbed eight times in the chest and stomach remains in hospital in a critical condition.

About 2.50pm today, the 34-year-old stumbled into the Norwood Hotel drive-through bottleshop – covered in blood and begging for help.

He was then rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

More than a dozen police cars arrived at the scene within minutes. A Kensington Gardens man, 38, was arrested in relation to the alleged attack.

Police also spoke at length to two women before taking them away without arrest.

It is understood the two men were travelling together in a Mitsubishi Verada when they were involved in an argument.

The victim then got out of the car and began walking along The Parade. He was allegedly then repeatedly stabbed with a knife in a second altercation with the same man outside the Norwood Hotel.

Hotel management declined to comment this afternoon.

"We just came down here for a quiet coffee and didn't expect to see anything like this,'' bystander Jessica Matern said.

"It's pretty scary for something like this to happen in an area like this."

Detective Chief Inspector John Gerlach said police would continue to investigate the incident to determine the motive and if other people were involved.

"It's a very serious incident and would have been terrifying for the people involved," he said.

"At the moment I'm not sure how many individual persons were connected other than the four allegedly involved, if anyone else was involved it certainly is serious and would have been terrible."

The stabbing, which occurred in broad daylight on what should have been a sleepy public holiday, follows a shooting on Sunday morning in Gouger St.

In that attack, a man was wounded in the leg and a bystander injured by shattering glass.

The ABC reported the story more briefly though the 7pm TV News did lead with it.