Judging by what went to air last evening in Sydney, you'd have to give the ABC top marks for covering the bushfire disaster -- News24 during the afternoon and simulcast on ABC1 from 5pm. Seven and Nine had OK coverage in their late afternoon news, but then their performance fell away as both networks exhibited surprising inflexibility in covering a fast moving news story on their doorstep. At 5pm, Seven went to Deal or No Deal then Million Dollar Minute while the Blue Mountains continued burning, Nine had coverage at 5pm and then went to other news rather than stay with the fire, and then went to Hot Seat at 5.30 pm. Ten started its news in Sydney with solid coverage, then went to other stories, and then returned to the fires later in the bulletin. Why didn't Seven and Nine just continue their late afternoon news bulletins until 6pm, or continue going until 7?
Nine and Seven both went to an hour long news at 6 pm and did OK, but Nine missed a live cross to the NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell and others because they had a sports report (and then tried to make it up with a live cross later). Seven and the ABC had a live cross with the Premier's press conference (which Seven abandoned early). Ten had The Simpsons at 6pm and then The Project from 6.30pm (it's in Melbourne, so that's understandable). Why not continue with Eyewitness News? Seven's 7pm news on 7TWO had good live coverage.