Sometimes
you have to wonder if Nine’s Business Sunday
is a business show or just going through the motions. Although it’s
good at times, it can also resemble an advertising platform for the
struggling Bulletin magazine. Ali Moore remains a
skilled host and interviewer, though can occasionally be somewhat over dramatic.

But
every now and then an edition resembles the Today show in its approach to
business, dumbed down for punters and showing a total lack of understanding of business among
its producers and the laziness of one or two staff. Take
this Sunday’s program, which included a chat with a senior executive of
Japanese car maker Nissan. In a voice-over, Business Sunday reporter, Karen Tso described Nissan as Japan’s
biggest car maker.

Hasn’t
she or the program’s producers heard of Toyota? Which is the Number one in Japan
and probably the world’s biggest car maker by profit (and growth). To make such
an elementary howler like this reveals a program and a production staff
with no business knowledge whatsoever.


In
contrast, the ABC’s Inside Business went down the path
of treating business
seriously, with an interview with Finance Minister Nick Minchin about
Telstra, an interview with the Tax Commissioner about the latest
tax raids and investigations, and something on Vizard and ASIC – all
news stories.

Even
though Inside Business is not helped by a dumb timeslot that only the ABC could
devise, it has a better appreciation of the importance of business coverage at
times than the more established Business Sunday.

Business
Sunday
had a soft, curious Vizard story by Adam Shand that looked at what a
couple of his referees said, and a promotion for a cover story in The Bulletin
this week about ASIC chairman Jeff Lucy rejecting the criticism of
the organisation’s Vizard dealings: obviously done before he went to Europe on holidays.

The
Vizard story seems to have been the off-cuts of a longer story Shand did on
Sunday, which was more developed and more to the point. The viewers of both
programs, but especially Business Sunday, were not well served by this sharing of resources, which seems to be common on Nine programs.

What would have made a better story is just how easy it is to be an insider trader – offshore trading,
blind trading trusts and companies, and the role of lawyers and accountants.

Peter Fray

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