60 Years of QLD TV

Days elapsed since Local Edition's end.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

2021: The Three Stream Dream.

Welcome, to our look at 2021. The title says a lot, but to warm you up for the announcements ahead: let's take a moment to remember that a significant milestone is approaching.

2011 Floods: a flood of memories.

On this day, ten years ago: the first signs of what would become the hardest period for the SE corner so far this century (outside the COVID-19 news story that has dominated almost the entire year of 2020) began. The events that led to the Lockyer Valley/Toowoomba flash flood tragedy on January 10, and the 2011 Brisbane/Ipswich flood that followed, will be guaranteed to be revisited by any news service worth their salt (whether it is print, online, radio or television) in the weeks to come.

As I said in mid-2018:
“We know, in 2021 there will indeed be a flood of memories: much like how 1984, and 1999 were for 1974: but one thing must be remembered. Brisbane is a city built on a floodplain. Flooding is a fact of life, you can try and tame it with dams and levees, but the threat still exists: and hopefully, when the next big flood happens: we hope that the lessons of 2011 have been learned by a river city which can end up in the river, once in a while.”

We know there will be limited attendance at services marking the milestone in Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley due to COVID-19. It will be a fitting reminder for the families of those we lost ten years ago and for flood awareness in general in Queensland, if the following occurred on January 10, 2021.
- Quite simply: A minute’s silence, at 3pm (co-ordinated by radio and television stations).

In addition, there needs to be serious thoughts about Queensland making January 10 each year, a non-public holiday observance for flood and cyclone readiness (or should we say… resilience), akin to how Japan has commemorated the Great Kanto Earthquake on the 1st of September 1923 (which devastated the nation’s capital Tokyo: due to both the earthquake itself, and resulting fires), every year since 1960 as a national disaster awareness day on the 1st of September.

It is indeed fitting, that we in Queensland begin to observe January 10 as the Jordan Rice Day for Flood and Cyclone Resilience: named for 13 year old Jordan Rice, who made a brave decision to insist that his younger brother’s life was rescued over his own on January 10, 2011 in Toowoomba’s raging torrent.

Now, onto 2021.

2021: The year of the spinoff.

People thought, back on the last day of November this year that I was crazy to say the following.

“They said 2020 is the year of the reboot.
I'd say 2021, will be the year of the spinoff.
On XXVI/XII/MMXX, at Kuttsywood's Couch, you'll find out why this will be the case.”

Today, XXVI/XII/MMXX: 26/12/2020, I am proud to unveil a significant strategic shift for our social media: particularly on the Twitter side. This shift has been partly driven by changes in the QLD media, and partly driven by two hashtags that have dominated the single Twitter presence we had.

Those two hashtags are of course the #WheresTheDoco9 push of the last 17 months and our push for real public consultation on the Queensland Olympic bid proposal for 2032: #QLDGamesVote that will lead into a eventual petition.

And thus, the one account tried and failed to be the centrepost, the TV critic (especially in a post-Kuttsy’s Pitch era) and a physical presence for a website: a jack of all trades, yet somehow mastered none, or at the very best: one.

On January 11, 2021: A major Twitter evolution for our brand begins.

For the last 11 years we have had one account but it has been evolving as Twitter has advanced, 240 characters, quote-tweets, threads. 

Yet it hasn’t had the chance to evolve in the way I’ve wanted it to. The loss of local stories, the loss of local talent: It only seems like a few years ago, that TV reviewing in QLD (and for that matter) Australia was a purely local business, not centralized in a “factory”.

At the same time, we diversified onto Facebook (Lost TVQ launched in 2014/a site page launched in 2018) and delivered great content, but haven’t been able to get the cut-through for the site page outside the Billy J Smith obituary in 2019, like we do on Twitter.

However: now it is the right time to evolve our coverage on the platform we work best at. We welcome you to the kwNetwork on Twitter.

The logo that represents the kwNetwork family as a whole.
kwNetwork: Three streams, one dream.

kwNetwork: will be launching two new accounts in addition to the account you’ve seen for years: OneQueensland and Veritas On KW (or Veritas for short) over the course of 2021.

These two new accounts will widen our coverage, into the niche sphere on Twitter, that we view is the next logical step: as people’s habits change. Hence, the niche targets for us, are simply: television (with a QLD focus) and those Queensland stories that will likely fall through the cracks: something we famously looked at right after travel restrictions were lifted in early 2020.

First, let’s introduce you to the second new Twitter account, that will launch mid-year, 2021.

The logo for OneQueensland.

OneQueensland, will be a new vision, on Queensland. The centrepost of conversation, both of life and of politics. One Queensland, doesn’t believe in radical ideas, we believe in ending the see-saw of political discourse. One Queensland is the balance sorely needed. One Queensland, is for upper houses, and people’s houses. For economic solutions, and assisting where problems lie. Not ATM’s of money spent on ideas where the QLD public has no say in how the concept proceeds at all.

There will also be plenty of stories to tell.

OneQueensland, launches in mid 2021, with a OneQueensland take on the Kuttsy’s Pitch format coming to this site (but will not be branded Kuttsy’s Pitch), in October 2021: commemorating the 100th anniversary of Queensland losing it’s upper house.

Now it’s time to introduce you, to the first new Twitter account we will be running: that will be launching in just 16 days time.

The logo for "Veritas on KW"

Veritas: A name famed for many years as a sharp insight on television, is back, and is ready to take back the word the television review columns for twenty years in Brisbane's Sunday Truth: which became the Sunday Sun in 1971, made famous: “Veritas”: that is, Latin for truth.

Remember when I said the following in the DST Guide earlier this year?
“I personally don’t want to extend the ban on Nine’s television assets from this institution into 2022.” 

I may not want to, but what about Veritas’s opinion? 

What will Veritas think of today’s TV fare? Foxtel? Streaming? 

Veritas, will be launching on the 11th of January, 2021: right in time for the new TV season, destined to have the cat thrown amongst the pigeons with the aftereffects of a COVID-19 affected production season that 2020 delivered.

(Also: we are intending to make better use of often ignored local press releases, for Queensland’s television outlets. Swing us a line, at the following address: votvtwitterkw@gmail.com, so we can be on your promo loop!)

In addition, due to the runaway success of Content Survey Live in 2020, it will indeed be back in 2021, and be the Veritas flagship on this site in a expanded format. Will it be two weeks long? Will the day selection process become a event in itself? All will be revealed soon enough.

In addition, Veritas will indeed be a long-term project: with a vision, that if the social presence is good enough to get traction (a project that won't take months: the realistic timeframe in my mind is by this time next year), the potential is endless, including: 
-the possibility of launching an newsletter on the side, that will most likely be on a Sunday: akin to the Veritas’s of the past.
-the possibility of gaining access to wider overnight ratings data for both OzTAM and RegionalTAM (seeking a agreement for aggregated regional QLD ratings figures initally): keeping to publishing restrictions of course, as well as becoming no longer being reliant on other websites to get ratings data for posts and tweets.
-The real long-term possibility with the right partner, to get a syndicated weekly Veritas on TV column launched for the spate of new weekly newspapers in regional QLD. 


The existing account on Twitter will have some cross-promotion of these new accounts as they launch, but, as of today will take up the KWNetwork logo, alongside it’s own: much like what OneQueensland and Veritas will have upon launch.

Our new Twitter header.

This is our roadmap for 2021.
-Now: Boxing Day 2020: the launch of our tri-feed Twitter strategy, which you’ve just seen.

-January 11, 2021: The launch of the “Veritas on KW” Twitter presence.

-(Tentatively) June: Main Line Evolution, and #UntitledSEQuel (held over from 2020).

-(Tentatively) Early June-August: “One Queensland” launches on Twitter.

-(Tentatively) August-September: Provisional time period for Content Survey Live 2021.

-September 26, 2021: DST Guide release (the first time ever, we are revealing our dates ahead of time)

-Late October 2021: “100 Electorates or a 21st century Upper House” (working title).

In addition: due to the pandemic affecting early preparations (which would have happened April/May 2020), #ProjectGordon: a posthumous obituary for Tony Gordon, which would have been released on this site on the Australia Day long weekend in 2021, will now no longer be going ahead, alongside another stillborn piece: Network 2021 concerning the Moreton Bay public transport network at the five year mark since the opening of Moreton Bay Rail.

That's 2021 in a nutshell.

We thank you for the support in 2020, in what became this site's biggest publishing year since 2013.

For those who probably don't remember, or haven't been around the site that long: 2013 ended with the announcement of Kuttsy's Pitch VI being tied in with the 5000 day mark since Local Edition's end on 7 (noteworthy today, as just four days ago we passed the twentieth anniversary of Local Edition's demise: while watching another failure at 5pm: this time being Sydney-based Brisbane news on 10, that is now constantly hovering around the mark that saw LE get the chop all those years ago: how's the chairs Ross, are they comfortable enough?) in addition to the announcement of the launch of Lost TVQ on Facebook: our first venture into a social media-only brand.

That announcement incidentally happened... on Boxing Day.

And, a final footnote.

#WheresTheDoco: Still Lives On.

Who'd have thought, we'd be banging on about Nine Queensland not giving viewers what we were hoping to see in 2019: a on-air celebration of QLD's television history for QTQ's 60th birthday for 500 days, come Monday night (December 28, 2020): a tip to the folks at Nine: especially after the way the swansong at Willoughby was treated in November: which was simply just a 4min piece in the news, that's it: no two hour lookback at the Willoughby vaults, like Bendigo St got ten years ago

Nine: if you want to stop the calls for "Where's The Doco" that I have been making since August last year, you simply have to do one thing. You have to celebrate how far the QLD and Australian television industries have come since 1959 and 1956 respectively in the fashion we have expected for major historical occasions in the life of the industry for many years: (whether it be a major anniversary for the medium or a significant event: much like how GTV-9 leaving Richmond 10 years ago was for many viewers) a well crafted on-air celebration, designed to be a time portal back to simpler times. I personally don't want to see any more two minute pieces at the end of bulletins done in the place of these well crafted on-air celebrations, especially as viewership of free to air continues to decline: because such events like a 2hr walk down a televised version of memory lane, if promoted correctly, can attract viewers back from their Netflix, Stan and Binge habits, at least for one night.

After all: on September 16, 2021: it will mark five years since Nine thought it'd be wise to air nothing but a news story to commemorate the 60th birthday of television in Australia, while Rob McKnight and his team at Studio 10 stepped up to the plate that both 7 and 9 abandoned, and gave viewers a celebration of our industry on it's 60th birthday that did the milestone justice.

The more our television industry values it's heritage and gives viewers actual input in how that heritage is preserved, the more viewers will care about stuff like NFSA's Deadline 2025: the more viewers will care enough to give money to NFSA directly, instead of a bland "Canberra will do it" attitude by Australians towards our audio-visual heritage especially the kind that is on magnetic tape.

God knows how many news stories 9 and 7 ran this year about the NFSA along with it's work, and not once were viewers encouraged to donate directly to such a important public institution.

The same story applies to another project: that Nine themselves made available: the NBN archives, now living at the University of Newcastle. I fear any COVID related budgetary cuts the UoN may end up taking may well end up stalling a project that only just recently started: digitizing NBN's newsfilm stock. I personally applaud the efforts UoN went to prior to the pandemic to help drum up donations, to the backbone of the University's local history efforts: the Vera Deacon Regional History Fund, as seen by the effort to bring in Newcastle's newsreading icon himself, Ray Dinneen to record audio and wraparounds for around 100 early 1970's film news stories off old scripts (that thankfully, NBN retained) just to show students how such stories were presented prior to the adoption of packaged reporting and electronic news gathering that paved the way for how our television news looks today.

News film preservation, if done right can lead to amazing things with today's technology.
Just ask 7 Brisbane's Peter Doherty.


And, it ain't just Newcastle and Mt Coot-tha where archived television is breathing new life. Paul Lyons in Townsville, a former cameraman with QTV, helped preserve the TNQ-7 archive (and won a QLD State Library award in 2019 for it), that would otherwise have been dumped twenty years ago, when Southern Cross closed the original Townsville/Cairns local news service. Today the TNQ archive is in the hands of the Townsville City Council, who earlier this year: partnered with local artists, to gain artistic inspiration from the archive's contents, and put on a exhibition (that ended up being virtual, thanks to COVID-19), entitled: "Reflections: the TNQ7 Film Archive Project" at Townsville's Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, to promote the archive, and it's digitization value for future generations.

These efforts away from locations like NFSA, deserve just as much financial support from both Canberra and the general public as the efforts going on in the NFSA's main facility which is playing a major race against time as it stands.

Maybe we still need to have that 3 day telethon for our audio-visual heritage, that I pitched before COVID became the story of our lives in 2020: that ends up becoming a seed for a fund to help assist both the NFSA and other organizations that have somehow landed with large television archives through chance or fate, to work with each other to make digital dreams reality.

"Maybe, we should be holding a three day telethon (not a three hour affair) littered with the stars of the medium, from the past all uniting for one cause, our audio-visual heritage, interspliced with some of TV’s greatest moments and spots showing viewers how the archival process works: particularly transferring content from magnetic tape to digital, to help viewers realize the gravity of the situation, places like the NFSA are facing as we approach the point where it may indeed be too late to save our TV within a few short years.

This telethon for videotape, would fittingly be called:
“Where’s The Doco: Give, So Our Memories Live.”

excerpt from "#WheresTheDoco Lives On?" at the very beginning of 2020.

The benefits of a national audio-visual preservation fund with a focus on making publicly accessible, wide amounts of television footage and radio recordings, can be a major benefit to our nation. The ultimate goal of such a fund should indeed be to have the preservation fund once digitization is sufficient enough, be used to help subsidize access costs to NFSA and other institutions for the general public, as well as supporting a Trove-style website for digitized audio-visual heritage that can work under a ad-supported model (where "ad breaks" are inserted into the program), offering paid subscriptions (at a nominal charge) for ad-free access or offering both: via a tiered system.

Because if nothing is done relatively soon to address how we are celebrating our television heritage, I fear the further the Australian industry slips away from celebrating our television heritage in the fashion that we did so well in the past: (the focus shifting from less docos that are events in themselves, toward more cheap pieces in the news) the task of asking everyday Australians (not just the big corporate donor) to give generously to causes concerning audio-visual heritage may well just become steeper and steeper: because people simply aren't being reminded that what they are watching on the screen has a history in this country, like they used to be reminded of on significant occasions for the industry.


Thank you, for joining us for this look toward our future. "The Team For The Twenties" that you have seen in this post, incidentally is our brand signature going forward, for at least the next two years. It'll be intially be used for our expansion on Twitter, and be rolled out to this site by year's end in 2021. Who knows how many spinoffs will come, let alone a new hot concept, by the time this site turns fifteen in 2023.

No wonder, today, Boxing Day, is the date... that ticks all the boxes.

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