February 5

Royal ratings soar…and the Nine Network wins the evening

Royal Ratings Soar

The interest in matters in our Royal Family is truly extraordinary.  And after years of republican  propoganda.

The evidence is in the ratings last night. ‘A Year with the Royal Family’ attracted 1.33 million viewers across the nation.

This led the more serious programmes, ‘Borderline’ with 0.989 viewers, ‘Top Gear’ with 0.799 and the return of Kerry O’ Brien to the ‘7.30 Report’, with 0.657 viewers.   

Only the light entertainment on 10, ‘So You Think you Can Dance’, attracted more, 1.616 million.

Perhaps the republicans could counter this with some riveting series, say,  about Australia becoming a repubic.What a pity this is the  subject about which Malcolm Turnbull indicated in 1999 is of absolutely no interest.

The programme showed something which probably hundreds of thousands have experienced, a conversation with The Queen.

The film with Helen Mirren, The Queen, had already revealed an aspect of Her Majesty which some did not know, and too many had forgotten –that sense of duty which is the principle upon which she tries to lead her life.

This episode confirmed that.  I predict that it will eventually be accepted, more and more, that if Prince Charles has inherited anything from his mother and father, it is precisely that same sense of duty.

Using Cate Blanchet as the narrator was a clever move by the Nine Network. She was just right, and not at all intrusive. Nine has been wise to buy this series for it clearly answers a strong interest.

Nine incidentally won the overall ratings last night. The Nine Network had earlier indicated that it would use this series to spearhead its return.  

Good Royal programmes do rate well.

.…the ABC’s manifest destiny…

We have been pointing out for some time that good programmes about Royalty rate well and are inexpensive to show. But in the Keating years a foolish decision was taken in the media not to report on matters relating to the Crown.

That is one way I suppose of shooting yourself in the foot.

This is particularly so when you are the national broadcaster.

The ABC should recall what happened when one party decided, rightly or wrongly, they were not being fairly treated in the election debates. They lost this to a commercial network which then proclaimed itself to be "the national network."

If the ABC continues to ignore its manifest destiny to be the electronic national journal of record, the ABC will be the loser. 

The ABC, especially ABCTV, should ignore those within who are trying to run a republican agenda.  The ABC should have no agenda other than the charter.

…gratuitously insulting review…how to drive away your readers

And as to some of our newspapers, why or why when they are  reviewing programmes such as this, do they choose a reviewer who obviously despises the subject of the programme?

People reading reviews want to know more about the programme, not a cursory and nasty dismissal.

Such was the TV review in The Guide from Sydney Morning Herald for 4 February, 2008. It is not the first time I have read a nasty review about a programme on royalty.  

One reader, contrasted the graciousness of  “all the Americans” to the Queen's visit portrayed in the programme with the “gutter-level” and “ gratuitously insulting” review by Tim Elliott.

 “It made my skin crawl,” he said.

Another reader said he would like to write to cancel his subscription. He can’t because he reads it on the web.

Now  I know people who have actually cancelled their subscriptions for similar reasons. A frequent reason I hear is about the quality of the letters for publication, or rather the lack of their quality.

Newspapers are in bigger trouble than they admit.

Go to the airports and hotels and see the piles of free newspapers. Are they included in the circulation figures?

Many newspapers have in the past ridiculed monarchists on the ground of their alleged age.

Doing that, they ridicule their own subscribers– not a wise thing to do when you have a dwindling subscription base as a proportion of the population.

It reminds me of a photograph of a meeting of republicans I saw not so long ago.

It was an attempt to bring together supporters of the different models.

It was certainly not a meeting of youngsters, of the middle aged or even of the early retired. 

And that is not a criticism of these good people.  

Just a reminder to some republicans in the media. Be professional.



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