Parliament House, Melbourne, Victoria

Steve Bracks resigned as Premier today. The news caught most people by surprise. At 9:45am, journalists were told to turn up for an "important" press conference at 10:30am. I'm not sure whether any of them expressed resistance at turning up at such short notice, because at least some of them were told that a previously unscheduled cabinet meeting was underway, and that after that the Premier would "probably" be announcing his retirement.

In the 45 minutes, Newsradio managed to catch the Age's political reporter, Paul Austin as he was driving up to Treasury Place. He knew what was about to happen, and shared the expectation of a resignation.

And a little while after that, (a few minutes later than originally predicted, at around 10:45), the press conference started. So the media had 45-60 minutes notice.

ABC Newsradio carried it live. And I'd expect no less from Newsradio.

But ABC television was either not ready, or not willing to interrupt its scheduled program: "Waterworks - Floating, Sinking and Swimming", an educational documentary that seemed to be about scuba divers swimming around in the sea. The documentary continued without interruption. I'm not sure whether this was because:
  • The ABC TV news team weren't organised with their cameras and live broadcast facilities in time (which is perhaps understandable)?, or
  • Because they can't stand it when teachers complain about interruptions to educational documentaries?, or
  • Did the Sydney Broadcasting Commission decide that political dramas in Melbourne don't need to be carried live?

Channel Nine proved that when it comes to news, they're "the one".  They covered the entire conference. Live. From start to finish. Well done to them.

(There was something a bit funny with their colour. Steve Bracks' face had a strong red tint that had vanished by the time we got to the evening news footage of the press conference.)

Channels Seven and Ten carried bits of it: but (a bit pathetically in the 21st century when covering a press conference at a major press room...) with audio only - in one case it sounded like they were picking up the audio via a standard speaker phone (!)  Seven and Ten at least get some marks for trying.

In the afternoon John Thwaites also resigned from Cabinet and Parliament. Newsradio carried it live, (well done again), but I'm pretty sure it wasn't carried live on the telly. But I'll forgive them that.

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Anthony Holmes July 27th, 2007 11:22:34 PM

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