February 27

A Current Affair

ACM has been asked about a recent segment of the Channel 9 programme “ A Current Affair” which was promoted as being critical of the appearance of members of the Royal Family.

The programme was more about some extremely unpleasant, opportunistic and pompous so-called “Royal Watchers”.

Most viewers would have been rather disgusted by their pretensions and their nastiness.

The producers have compounded their error by putting a number of photographs on their site, at least two showing members of the Royal Family committing the unforgivable sin of having windswept hair.

Given that this programme coincided with the tragedy of the bushfires, in which the Royal Family has been at one with the nation in our moment of great sadness, we really have to wonder about the judgement of the producers.

We have been asked if we are organising a protest. Once upon a time a message to the late Kerry Packer would have had the desired effect; indeed, the programme would probably have been taken off during the transmission.

Channel 9’s decline has made programme producers desperate to increase ratings, and the strong guidance of a man of the calibre of Kerry Packer is sadly absent.

The danger of a protest after the broadcast is that it will only encourage them. Programme such as A Current Affair thrive on controversy. A protest is exactly what they want. They may then be encouraged to show more of the same just to lift ratings.

Better to ignore them and not watch them. Instead we should be encouraging the networks to show programmes about the Royal Family, something which Harold Schmauz has been constantly arguing for, a theme we have also taken up.

That seems to have worked. There have been more positive programmes about the Royal Family on TV than I can remember for many years. You would have to go back before the Keating era to find as many.

We are hoping the networks will show some of the great occasions surrounding our Royal Family , as ironically, some of the German networks do.

These programmes rate well and are inexpensive to buy. Subscription TV shows many of them; over summer the ABC showed four.


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