Friday, November 26, 2010

Problem with ABC's NSW Stateline

A number of people have complained to me about the lack of Northern NSW coverage on the ABC's Stateline program. Every so often you will get a big story such as Newcastle renewal hits the wall, but generally Northern issues are relegated to around the regions snippets.

The difficulty is that Stateline programs are, as the name says, state based programs. Sydney makes up the majority of the viewing audience, while the political stories are also generally Sydney-centric since that is the primary concern of those inhabiting Macquarie Street and the nearby Government offices.

This means that Northern NSW, the broader New England, rarely gets a look-in. Further, those stories that do run are highly localised.

Because I am presently living in Sydney I have some, if often marginal, interest in Sydney stories. However, like those who have complained to me, I get frustrated at the absence of reporting on the areas that I am really interested in.

What really gets up people's noses is that the million and a half or so people living in Northern NSW get only a tiny percentage of the local coverage as compared to, say, Tasmania or South Australia.

I suppose that it's too much to hope that we could get our own Northern NSW Stateline?  


As it happened, Stateline did run a Newcastle story Friday night linked to current Newcastle City Council troubles. It's not on-line yet.

Independents changing the face of politics, 5 November, was actually a New England story, although short on real context. The follow up interview with NSW Nationals leader Andrew Stoner can be found here.

On 1 October, Tillegra Dam under consideration reports on that Hunter project.

When I get a chance, I will work back through the NSW Stateline Archive to check in detail the full range of stories with some link to Northern NSW and the context.



Mark said...

Perhaps the ABC, being a government owned entity could lead the way? Wouldn't be too difficult with there being little ABCs all over our area with a journo or two covering stories and issues in our area?

Greg said...

Mark - the problem is that the ABC is funded by the Commonwealth which is only concerned about state and territory divisions. Internal state matters are not of it's concern.

Our own state would open a whole new world of opportunity.

Jim Belshaw said...

I am sure that that's true, Greg, but ABC could still regionalise more. It already has regional stations and web sites, not just anyhting that sits on top from our viewpoint.

Greg said...

That's true Jim, but it would require a change of thinking and organisation on the part of the ABC which it funded by the Commonwealth but run along state lines. It is hard to see that changing any time soon.

Jim Belshaw said...

It does keep coming back to self-government Greg. 1967 was such a lost opportunity.