Some things about radio news will never change | radioinfo

Some things about radio news will never change

Wednesday 18 January, 2017
Kim Napier

The Future of News in Radio was placed under the spotlight last year at the National Radio Conference in Melbourne.

And while news in the digital age and how different radio formats are approaching it was debated, one thing was agreed on.

News is in our DNA.

ABC Radio's Jeremy Miller was part of the panel who argued, “Getting back to reliable dependable news is a good thing."

Jeremy was referring to Nova Network News Director Michelle Stephenson's account of how the network, known in Michelle's own words as "news between credits", handled the Sydney siege.

“When we had the Sydney Siege, there was a moment I remember looking up when the flag went up and I knew something different was going on, I went straight to my programming director and he said, ‘right we’re cutting into programming’.
“We were on every 15 minutes, I was giving a news update, we pulled in all of our journalists and we went 24 hours. From a commercial perspective we went from doing one news bulletin on the top of the hour to it just being about news, that is indicative of how great radio news is.”

As a radio journalist, the adrenaline that pumps through you at that moment as you work to get the correct and latest information to your listeners is palpable.

In 1996 I reported on the Port Arthur massacre in which gunman Martin Bryant shot dead 35 people, 40 minutes from Tasmania's capital, Hobart.

From all the news bulletins I have read, I will never forget the moment I broke into programming to give our listeners detail on the tragedy that was unfolding so close to home. I can even remember the chair I was sitting in.

It was on this day, January 18th, 1977  a bridge collapsed on a train at Granville.

2UE’s coverage began at 8:12 am when a young Paul Makin (these days a reporter at Channel 7) arrives at the scene soon after.

That was 40 years ago and yes, as we debate the future of news, breaking news at its core transcends the digital age.

Grab the detail, make sure it's correct and get the information to the listeners. Stuff format, programming and especially, credits.

         Kim Napier


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