Tag Archives: Television

ABC Election Coverage

Looks like I was with the crowd last night watching the election coverage on ABC.

More viewers turned to the ABC for Saturday’s election coverage than commercial offerings. ABC1 won the five-way primary share tussle with a 27.0% share ahead of Nine’s 20.3% and Seven’s 16.9%. With its AFL commitments TEN slumped to a lowly 10.5% while SBS ONE’s belated coverage was just 3.3%.

TV Tonight

I did switch over to Seven and Nine but the graphics on Seven were barely legible – with those glittery edges – and Nine had too many panelists to deliver a coherent analysis in my opinion. There is no debating Kerry O’Brien is extremely talented, and I reckon Antony Green must prepare for elections for months.

Dancing with the Stars – Ep.5

Nearly two million Australians (1,906,000) watched Corinne Grant get booted off Dancing with the Stars last night. I do like Corinne but I don’t think she’s a dancer. She gave it a go, so good on her.

The real news is the ratings though. Channel Seven achieved the top five rating programs for Tuesday night. Home and Away (1,409,000), Today Tonight (1,385,000), Seven News (1,367,000) and All Saints (1,306,000), and of course Dancing with the Stars. For a two hour program, DWTS is a huge winner for Channel Seven compared to, for example, half an hour of Kath and Kim.

I was a bit disappointed with the ratings for Heroes on Thursday however (1,223,000) but for 9:30pm I’m sure that’s reasonable. I’m totally a fan of Heroes!

Also while I’m on the topic of television, I’m actually thinking about getting a HD digital set-top box so I can watch the new HD channels by Ten and Seven which are to be launched before the end of the year. From what I’ve read, Seven’s schedule seems to be a bit of a rush job, but Channel Ten’s offering looks quite good.

Side Note: if you like Channel Seven you can subscribe to their Jaiku feed for updates. Jaiku is one of Google’s latest purchases and is now only available to current subscribers. If you’d like to join Jaiku post a comment below (I’m going to be mean and only offer these to people living in Oz – so prove it!).

LG TV’s display a certain distaste for Channel Nine programs…

Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Television manufacturer LG has failed to determine the source of a glitch in some of its televisions, which caused them to freeze when screening Nine Network’s programs, despite being notified of the problem three weeks ago.

The manufacturer said 10 models in its television range were affected, but that as far as it was aware, the problem only occurred in Sydney and Melbourne.

(Several readers – responding to this story – have reported the problem in other cities, including Brisbane and Perth.)

A statement released by LG this morning said “LG has become aware that occasional ‘freezing’ problems were experienced with selected TVs when viewing particular network digital programming in metropolitan Melbourne and Sydney over the weekend”.

But upon further questioning an LG spokeswoman admitted “LG became aware of of the issue three weeks ago, [but] did not have any data streaming recorded and therefore were unable to trace the problem”.

LG is getting some very bad press about this, including these two comments from LG customers:

I too have been affected. Funnily enough I reported the problem to them 6 months ago when I first bought the TV. Pretty crap that they won’t even advise customers directly when it’s fixed.

  • Posted by: Clark Kent at March 19, 2007 10:57 PM


It seems that the problem lies with both channel nine and lg, the problem usually occurs between 4pm and 5pm and on HD 90. Quick recovery is:

1 Unplug the power and coax (antenna) leads.
2. plug the power lead back in only
3. Do a auto search tune.
4. Plug the coax lead back in again
5. Do another auto search tune again.

FIXED, until the next time…:)

  • Posted by: matt at March 20, 2007 12:31 AM

More comments can be found at SMH: Mashup Blog.

Centophobia’s solution to childhood obesity in the western world…

Today the Sydney Morning Herald: Good Weekend magazine reports – Meal or Medicine?

SMH Article - Meal or Medicine?Source: SMH: Good Weekend –
Melissa Sweet, “Meal or Medicine?”, 17 Mar 2007

“Eating fish could prevent heart disease. Then again, it might not. It depends on who you listen to. With the media and marketplace awash with claims and counterclaims about the health benefits of food, it’s never been harder trying to work out what’s best to eat.”

The article suggests that consumers are confused about the health benefits and health risks of food. People have no idea what they should and shouldn’t be eating; what is improving their health and what could be potentially exposing them to disease and obesity. The article warns that this could get worse with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) soon to allow companies to put a greater range of health claims on their products such as “may reduce the risk of bowl cancer” and “helps to prevent osteoporosis”. However other health organisations are worried that adding more health claims to products would further confuse the public and would also reduce the appeal of fresh fruits and vegetables which would be unable to use health claims because they are largely unpackaged

So what is the solution. One might say to increase regulation on health claims; to stop “Brunchtime Bars” from being labeled “high in fibre” or “low GI” or “may help protect against lymphoma”.

SMH - McDonald’s AdvertisementSMH advertisement for McDonald’s new ‘tick approved’ meals
“Tastes good. Better for you. Now you can feel better about enjoying the great taste of McDonald’s when you choose one of our nine Tick Approved Meals.”

I found it interesting that this McDonald’s advertisement was featured in Good Weekend just a few pages after this article. So here is a health claim for you: “Better for you.”. The copy suggests that these ‘tick approved’ meals contain 45% ‘less salt’ and are ‘virtually trans-fat free’. Yay.

Think of the fruit and vegetable section of Woolworths or Coles. The products are generic; you have no idea who grew it, how and where. You can’t choose products from suppliers who don’t use pesticides or from regions that produce superior quality because you have no way of distinguishing between products. What does a consumer know about the products they buy in the fresh fruit and vegetable section of their supermarket? Nothing…

How can mere – trans-fat free, salt free, preservative free, hormone free, vitamin and mineral enriched – fruits and vegetables compete. They don’t have packaging to carry ‘health claims’ nor do they have the marketing budget of McDonald’s to tell people how much “Better for you” they are.

The solution. Brand it all. Put a name on every last apple, orange and kiwifruit and every last pumpkin, onion and leek. Split the produce section of the supermarket up and sell it like shelf space. Consumer would have to choose between producers, and producers would have to advertise and differentiate. We would see advertising on television for this producer and that producer showing images of their farm and their fresher, healthier produce. Truly healthy food would suddenly have a voice in the marketplace. Apples would be marketed to kids as ‘action-packed’ and salad would be advertised to office workers as ‘light, quick and simple’. The sales of fruit and vegetables would rise and people around the country would drop a few kilograms.

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Evidence the media does reflect society…

Two things happened today:

Some mothers do 'ave 'em
Betty and Frank Spencer: Some Mothers do ‘ave ’em.
Courtesy: BBC
1. The doctor on tonight’s episode of Some mothers do ‘ave ’em was smoking a cigarette in the hospital. He was in the waiting room with two nurses, nervously awaiting the arrival of Frank Spencer. Frank and Betty were coming to have their baby. Some mothers do ‘ave ’em aired in the mid 70s in England and I am presuming that since the media reflects society, we still hadn’t made the link between good health and cigarette smoke. It seems crazy that 30 years ago a doctor would be allowed to smoke in a hospital.

2. Also today, my younger sister found a Captain Planet figurine of mine (Wheeler – Fire). It was my favourite show when I was a kid. I couldn’t explain what the show was about, so I download the episode below from YouTube to show her. I never realised how good all the characters were and how they really kept hammering on about the environment and pollution. Find out more about Captain Planet here.

Isn’t it amazing how things have changed in the twenty years between Captain Planet in the mid 1990s and Some mothers do ‘ave em in the mid 70s. And also how vividly, television programs and the media reflect these changes back at society. We can look back at these programs decades later and get an understanding of how society thought and acted, not just about the environment and smoking, but about race, gender, sexuality, age and class.

Tonights episode of Are you being served “The Hand of Fate”, also revealed insights into class, gender and race during the mid 70s.

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Australia Post: Part of Every Day

Best ad of the week …This ad takes the generic Australia Post brand and brings it to life. The advertisement is understated and humorous which appeals to me. It communicates effectively that Australia Post is trustworthy and dependable; exactly what I want in a postal service. In my opinion, it has great production and music. And because the campaign consists of seven advertisements which are played on different days, the campaign has a long-life expectancy.

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Federal Communications Commission investigates PR “news”.

Los Angeles Times: The FCC is investigating reports that a number of television news organisations have aired video press releases without disclosing the source of the stories. Up to 98 video press releases were allegedly broadcast on 77 stations, in 30 American states, without disclosure. The station’s claim that the non-disclosure was accidental but others disagree, suggesting that the large number of ‘accidents’ suggests knowledge of non-disclosure.

To some extent I already had knowledge about PR news and the extent to which news coverage and footage is supplied to news organisations from PR departments and agencies. However I reckon that this broadcast of PR news really points out some negative aspects of the current media situation, including:

The pressure news organisations are under as commercial businesses to increase ratings/circulations and the decreased emphasis on the presentation of accurate and independent news.

That 24/7 news channels (and the increased air time given to news) puts pressure on news organisations and journalists to fill-in their allotted timeslot (isn’t it worrying that every night there is exactly 30 minutes of news and they finish by saying “that’s how it is this Thursday” or “you’re now up-to-date” when surely some nights there are differing amounts of newsworthy information to broadcast.)

I also am concerned that the public are unconcerned about the validity, independence and range of opinions they are being presented with when they watch news, and tend to unquestionably trust news broadcasters and personalities.

Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days: ‘Minimum Wage’

Spurlock and his girlfriend, Alex, spend thirty days living on the minimum wage (around US$7 per hour). Spurlock uses a Temp agency to do a number of jobs, while Alex is employed washing dishes in a cafe. At different times they both have to go to hospital for treatment but find that the free clinic is understaffed with only 20 patients able to be seen after 5:00pm. He talks to people waiting in the line to find that some had been waiting since mid-afternoon. They are forced to go to the hospital and find the bills unaffordable on such a low wage.

Their apartment is unclean and unsafe, they have to rely on public transport to get to work and Spurlock takes on another job to earn more money. Their relationship is tested as Spurlock decides to splurge on his brother’s children who come for the weekend (although due to the editing this seemed a little rehearsed).

According to the documentary the minimum wage in America hasn’t been increased since 1997. The politicians argue that if the minimum wage was increased (even in line with inflation) the business world would cripple and staff would have to be put off. However, wouldn’t increasing the minimum wage allow these ‘working poor’ to actually purchase products and therefore help increase employment. At the moment they rely heavily on donated furniture and basic food supplies.

Last night I watched the Glasshouse and Corrine was saying that because few people in the New Orleans area vote, money isn’t spent on the area and, even in times of disaster, their opinion of the government isn’t really important. How does the American government get away with this, and why does Australia seem to want to follow what is happening in America in terms of economic policies? The government’s IR changes and voluntary voting are currently being discussed in Australia. I don’t believe that Australian politicians should aspire to achieve the American situation. Sure the American’s are economically prosperous but at what cost?