background briefing 3 ..................8
Friends of the ABC Australia
Chasing midnight around the globe
The BBC will be broadcasting a live program non-stop for 27 hours from 10am on 31 December which will cover millennium celebrations worldwide, and has been working with the Cabinet Office emergency planning committee to organise a system of broadcasting information in the event of a millennium crisis. This could include outbreaks of violence as well as computer meltdown. There will be 1500 outside broadcasters on duty in contact with the emergency services, as well as the thousands of broadcasters presenting the celebrations.
The cost to the BBC will be £25m and there will be link-ups with 58 international broadcasters, including the ABC. It will begin with the first dawn in the Pacific and close with the dying minutes of the previous millennium in the Aleutian Islands.
The religious program Compass has an Australia-wide audience of over 500,000 a week, more than Better Homes and Gardens or The Great Outdoors.
From the papers
Donald McDonald argues that the 'appointment of ABC Board members who have credibility with the government of the day would ... appear to be to the ABC's benefit.'
Letters, The Australian, 22/7/99
In the wake of the John Laws fiasco and an unprecedented scrutiny of media ethics, has the Chairman still learnt nothing about the absolute need for an independent ABC? Greg Bowyer,
Letters ,The Australian, 23/7/99
The marching bands fiasco has finally confirmed my suspicion that the ABC's The Games is actually a documentary. F Shelly,
Letters to the SMH, 4/8/99
Richard Ackland of Media Watch revealed his first foray into journalism was as a junior on the Daily Telegraph when it was owned by the late Frank Packer. He was required by the closed shop rule of the day to join the Australian Journalists Association and duly sent in his application and subscription, but heard nothing.
'Apparently the paperwork had been lost by the union.' Ackland recalls. 'So you can imagine my surprise and terror when, one day, Sir Frank came wheezing into the newsroom and bellowed: 'Who's this Ackland. Stand up Ackland, so we can all get a look at you - look at him. The only man I've got here with the courage not to join the union. Well done!" '
The Australian, 23/8/99