Angela Catterns is so popular as breakfast
presenter at Sydney ABC Radio 702 that in some surveys she runs second
or third to Alan Jones at 2GB. She’s warm, ebullient, giggles, and
doesn’t take a backward step, especially when it comes to handling
stories about her employer.

Take her gutsy comments this
morning, asking why ABC TV failed to give live coverage of the arrival
of the coffins with the nine dead from the Sea King crash. Both Nine
and Seven had live coverage, while the ABC marched on relentlessly with
Play School.

Remarking on this, Angela Catterns said
her team had contacted the head of ABC News and Current Affairs, John
Cameron (who has become something of a stylemaster lately, as readers
of Crikey Daily will know). Cameron declined to do an interview on the
subject, saying the issue was only raised by the ABC’s commercial
rivals and he would not dignify it with a response. Catterns said
Cameron said the ABC would cover events live where their importance
required it.

So what are the criteria for live coverage?
Certainly last Sunday morning ABC TV didn’t have any coverage of the
Sea King tragedy or the Pope’s death until the Insiders program started at 9am.

But
full marks to Angela Catterns for asking her employers to justify
themselves on this story. They still haven’t, and she deserves credit
for having a go.

Peter Fray

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