Dateline is great TV, just as it is

David Bradbury writes: Re. “Hogan sacked as Ebeid plays down extent of changes to Dateline” (yesterday). It’s beyond disappointing to learn that Allan Hogan has been sacked by a very revengeful management and EP at Dateline simply because he told the truth of what it is like being an insider seeing a wonderful, insightful news and current affairs program of world standard white-anted by “blow-ins” from commercial TV.

I don’t fall for this guff about needing to introduce “light and shade” into the program.

Dateline is a serious news and current affairs program, one of only a handful shown on the box now. It lives up to the charter of SBS of “bringing  the world home to you”. If I want “light and shade”, I’ll switch to commercial TV. But I don’t. I want serious news reporting and analysis that I don’t get from the commercials.

With the suits who now dominate the ABC radically cutting back on foreign bureaux and correspondents to man those bureaux in  Europe, Japan, the Middle East, India and Africa, we desperately need a great program like Dateline, with its VJ’s who can inform us and make sense of the real news behind the headlines. And for a pittance because they work as one-person crew. Mark Scott on $800,000 a year! Poor underpaid fellow.

I wish the Kiwis and Poms who have taken over “our ABC” and commercialised our SBS beyond recognition of its former self would pack up and go home and leave us with our quality journalism, current affairs reportage and great one-off documentaries.

Tony Kent writes: As a non-tweeting, non-Facebooking older SBS viewer this seemed the best way to make a comment. Has anyone else noted the similarities between the (apparent) events at Dateline and those in the studios of TV1 in the latest Borgen series? One can only hope Michael Ebied gets a similar comeuppance to the airhead programming manager in that “factional” public broadcasting network!

What about India’s human rights record?

Wally Reynolds writes: Re. “Host with the most” (yesterday). It was interesting to hear the objections about the Chinese President addressing our Parliament because of China’s “human rights” record.

Yet it was acceptable to have the Indian Prime Minister address our Parliament, despite the fact that every 20 minutes in India a woman is raped or pack raped — it is almost a national pastime, and offenders are seldom  punished. Also it is claimed 14 million people are held slaves in India. When asked why the government doesn’t do something about slavery, the answer was, “Why would the legal authorities punish themselves”.

Peter Fray

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