Historic News Events

I was at work on that day and I remember we were crowded into one of the meeting rooms that had a TV and we were watching Ten.


The coverage also notable for familiarising Australians with Bobbie Battista (who died last year):


I don’t recall what I was doing on that day but I do remember consuming a lot of the coverage by channel surfing across all channels.

The CNN coverage was by far the most compelling. Peter Arnett’s reports were gripping so Kerry Packer was right to be furious about Ten having the advantage of exclusive access to CNN and Seven surely regretted letting their access slip away after they’d exposed Australian audiences to the CNN style of reporting during the News Overnight years.

Arthur Kent, a Canadian working for NBC News who gained the nickname “The Scud Stud”, was another standout reporter I enjoyed watching.


The Granville train disaster happened today in 1977.

This is how I heard the news as I was listening to Ian MacRae on 2SM that morning.


Does anybody remember if the ABC had the rolling coverage 24 hours as well? I’d imagine that would have caused some concern from those trying to avoid the coverage or with small children etc… Now it’s easy with all the networks having multiple channels to keep alternative programming on or children’s programming but I know for us back then we only had ABC and Southern Cross and Play School should not have been stopped for anything!

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21 January 2017

Also see.


January 29 - Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after blast off from the Kennedy Space Center. How did Australian networks cover this. From my research I’m aware that TODAY broke into programming and aired President Reagan’s address. But that is all that I’ve found. My interest in this disaster since I went to the Space Centre in Houston before COVID led me to think how did Australia cover it.

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The Power House Museum had an exhibition on the 1980s about 10 years ago, and had a small section on news events of the decade. I recall Richard Palfreyman’s report being projected on one of the screens - I think he was one of the ABC’s US correspondents in 1986? Not sure if they did anything in the way of breaking news as it would have been quite early the morning of the 29th, right?

I don’t recall any live coverage as such, just coverage in news breaks throughout the day.

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There was no live coverage. That was left to the major news bulletins that night. There were late night extra news bulletins. As seen in Brisbane:


Kuwait City was liberated 28 Feb / 27 Feb US time - 30 years ago.

Interesting clip from 40 years ago today. SBS (0/28) World News coverage of the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Clip starts with a countdown clock to news at 7.30pm. Newsreader is George Donikian

YouTube: Malcolm Farnsworth


It looks like Malcolm has uploaded multiple networks’ coverage of the Reagan assassination attempt for the 40th anniversary.





You can see why Brian Naylor was so popular. His pattern of speech demands your attention and he oozes authority. Too many newsreaders today seem to have a slow and deliberate rhythm they stick to no matter the urgency of the information being delivered.


it was unfortunate that while he was taping Channel Nine that he couldn’t tape Channel Seven at the same time. Would have liked to see Seven’s coverage as that was our usual TV news choice at the time.

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Peter Overton seems to exhibit quite a bit of this from what I’ve seen of him.

Peter Hitchener’s style on the other hand is very similar to Naylor’s style.

To a certain extent I’d probably say Peter Overton’s newsreading style is inspired by that of his mentor and Sydney’s most iconic ever TV newsreader - Brian Henderson.


Yes. However, Brian Henderson couldn’t ad-lib and needed to read the prepared script. Overton can anchor without a script.


Also great to see some vintage Jana Wendt in that 10 clip - brilliant anchoring with DJ.


He uttered some pretty funny quips at times when things went wrong and when crossing back and forth to Gibbo and Kenny. I agree he wouldn’t have been adept at providing information off the cuff or filling time during rolling news coverage in the way today’s news presenters are expected to.

I miss Jana. It’s a crying shame she never anchored a flagship news bulletin after her time at ATV. A few typos with names in the Ten report. It’s Hinckley, not Hinkley and a reporter was credited as Ken Body when his surname is Bodie. Nice cross promotion for GMA shoe horned in there, also.