End of TV's era of ideas 26 July 2000

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Friends of the ABC : One Thread

In a letter to the Australian (26 July) former ABC executive Peter Manning writes:

"The demise of ABC-TVs Lateline as a current affairs program is a major loss. It is not measured by the size of the audience but by the contribution it made to the ideas debate in Australia.

Contrary to Errol Simper's report (22-23/7) the program was not started by my good friend Paul Williams but by me when head of news and current affairs. Its first executive was Ian Carroll and its first presenter Kerry O'Brien. Paul and the excellent Maxine McKew came later.

The rationale of the program was (1) balance the (then) state-based 7.30 Report on national issues; (2) concentrate on policy debates (3) provide a news update window different to the commercials; and (4)do ideas in depth, with the world's best experts on the air.

It was an experiment in something many said couldn't be done in this country: ideas on television. It was an attempt to do what similar late-night programs were doing in the US (Koppel's Nightline) and Britain (various).

A decade is not a bad innings but its end seems yet another signal of the three-monkeys know-nothing era we seem to have entered."

Peter Manning Neutral Bay, NSW

-- Anonymous, July 26, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ