60 Years of QLD TV

Days elapsed since Local Edition's end.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Content Survey Live 2021 Night 1: 10 News First Sydney: Brisbane Edition

Welcome, to the first part of ten spectacular days: Five days of looking at 10 News Last, First as it looks post-centralization, and five days looking into the lexicon that is Seven's Brisbane news service... as it airs in regional Queensland. Let us begin again, by reminding you of the ground rules for the first week:

The Ground Rules

Our focus, in Content Survey Live (particularly in it's first week), will be monitoring Ten’s five capital city news services (a benefit of technological change, now allowing us to watch interstate bulletins on delay), in order of their ratings position within the network (with each market covered once) over a week, using the same criteria we used in the “Great Local News Study” from Kuttsy's Pitch XI in August, 2019.

-Locally sourced stories: that is stories reported by local journos. Really big local market stories with national impacts, also fit here. Voiced over local stories are counted separately.
-Live crosses: stuff that is used to embellish a story.
-Weather is not counted.
-Sport is not counted if it’s done by obviously freelance journos, or voiced over pieces: you gotta have dedicated reporters there, with their mug on air reporting a sports story for it to count.

And finally: Ten Brisbane will have it’s Gold Coast content tracked again during it’s night: especially important, as last year we literally got on the night TVQ's news was surveyed a bulletin where no GC content aired at all.

10 Week:

It is fitting, that this adventure, kicks off with a look at the city and state that was worst affected by the combined effects of the cuts by 10 last year, and the shift back to Southern Cross for 10 in July.

Where else, but Queensland?

Brisbane's bulletin was a unexpected first cab off the rank, because the last night of survey (mid-June/July lockdown) delivered the highest results for TVQ's news since centralization in September last year. It was all set to have Sydney as #1 until the last couple of nights of the ratings/seeding survey, hence the title: "10 News First Sydney: Brisbane Edition."

Now, we kick off the first set of content surveys of the season.

We kick off the Brisbane survey with, the first window of a ninety minute long bulletin being dedicated to local news (that is, around eighteen minutes), which we actually watched live on a television set (opposed to going to 10Play and watching it on demand).
Every locally sourced story (five of them: two COVID related: (the announcement of no jab-no entry at the QLD border, as well as border queues on the southern Gold Coast (a 2min GC piece), a missing person piece at RBH, a court story and the Toutai Kefu home attack) as well as a solitary live cross (a sharp drop from 2020's five, and a solitary anchor voiced-over piece relevant to the QLD market (on Road Safety Week) all aired between 5pm and 5:18pm.

Bar the reruns of the QLD COVID story and the Toutai Kefu home attack pieces in the 6pm window, there was a distinctly Sydney flavour to what is promoted as a "Queensland" news bulletin.
Titans and Lions couldn't get a look-in during sport (which is effectively a Brisbane/Sydney shared window since the NRL shifted the season to Queensland), while Swans and the Giants got top billing when it came to the AFL.

The utter stupidity of having "traffic updates" for Brisbane freeways beaming out to regional QLD needs to be seriously pointed out. Southern Cross could have replaced these with some sensibly placed news updates produced from Hobart (although, these "products" are poorly done and poorly located: especially as primetime ratings have fallen for 10's main channel in regional QLD since the switch to SCA in July, from solid 8-9% (with WIN News leading into 10's schedule in 5/7 QLD regional markets) to hovering around 7% (with all regional QLD viewers wanting to watch 10 now exposed to the entirety of 10's news for the first time since the network moved to 90min news in 2020).
And, this is just based on the data we can access publicly via RegionalTAM's website.

Overall, 10 News First Brisbane (now with very little to offer regional QLD viewers, who'd rather be watching Broughy anyway): the Sydney-produced version, is trying to be the jack of all trades, and yet on this night: was the master of none.

Metro viewers may feel differently: but after affiliation changes, the views of those north of  Gympie and southwest and west of Ipswich need to have just as much weight when allocating stories and budgeting news bureaus as the south-east corner: purely because Queensland is such a decentralized state, and stories like border issues on the southern Gold Coast (standard fare for QLD television news services since the start of the pandemic last year), likely mean very little to those in Cairns, 1600km to the north, or other key NSW/QLD border centres, such as those in the Southern Downs and 
Goondiwindi local government areas.

 These LGA's have some of our busiest heavy vehicle crossings into NSW, due to being gateways to major freight corridors in NSW: the New England Highway (the inland alternate to the Pacific Highway, runs through the heart of Wallangarra) and the Newell Highway (the midsection of the Brisbane-Melbourne freight corridor, of which the town of Goondiwindi itself is the northern endpoint of the Newell).

The stories people in Goondiwindi and Wallangarra can tell about border closures affecting their local economies, can make a stark difference to the "let's get a camera to Griffith Street, Coolangatta to shoot footage of cars getting stopped" attitude the Brisbane commercials have concerning covering the NSW/QLD border. The Gold Coast urban border crossings makes up only 8km, of a over 1000km state border between NSW and Queensland, yet has become a constant image in news bulletins for eighteen months. Change people's opinions on the border, by broadening your horizons beyond the Tugun Bypass and Griffith Street.

That comment concerning how our border is covered, is something not just aimed at 10 mind you, but the entire commercial pack in Brisbane in general.

However, 10's Brisbane bulletin last night absolutely deserves the ranking we are giving it, because it shouldn't have been shipped south in September last year with budgets cut even further, when it could have done things a lot better if it stood alone and had more investment.
In 2020, Brisbane got a 4.75/10.
In 2021: Brisbane got a pitiful 2.25/10.

That result is deserved, because 10's QLD news service is about as relevant to those outside the SE corner on this particular night, as a print Courier-Mail with a token two pages of local news from newsrooms that once pumped out local newspapers six days a week.

RATINGS FOR MONDAY NIGHT: (BRISBANE METRO MARKET) 73,000 viewers: much like it was last year with local presentation, well behind the gameshow competition at 5pm, and the ABC's locally produced 1/2hr bulletin at 7pm.

Tomorrow, it will feel like Groundhog Day... as we go to Sydney: and their edition of 10 News First Sydney...

Someone say Groundhog Day?

10 Late News, Groundhog Day 2010 from austvpres on Youtube

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