It was terrific tonight to watch Ben Knight’s report from the Middle East on the 7.30 Report, ah 7.30. I have a bit of a soft spot for Ben: I remember when he came in to the ABC in Mildura about twenty years ago, first as a work experience student, then as a producer, and then as a presenter. Since then, he’s gone off and got married and had children, and works as an ABC foreign correspondent.
The same is true of Zoe Daniel. Zoe was my producer many years ago on Statewide Drive. She then got a job as a Rural Reporter on the North Coast, worked as a Current Affairs Reporter in Melbourne, got married to a terrific bloke, had some kids, and works now as the ABC’s Correspondent in South East Asia.
Although I don’t know Sally Sara as well, she and I have some connections too. In the late 80s, I worked at 2WEB in Bourke. Sally started work there soon after I left to take up a job at the ABC in Renmark. Soon after I left Renmark to take up a job in Wagga Wagga, Sally followed me from Bourke to Renmark. When they write the history of 2WEB, I suspect she’ll be the station’s most famous former worker.
And then there’s Brigid Glanville. I remember Brigid as a fresh-faced Rural Reporter working for the ABC in Tamworth, and who I met for the first time at The Cattleman’s Bar at the Royal Easter Show.
As I watched television tonight and saw Ben report from the Middle East, I reflected for a moment on the wonderful, talented broadcasters and journalists like Ben, Zoe, Sally and Brigid (and loads of others) who I’ve seen come up through the ranks.
They’re all journos who have done far more “riskier” things than me. I’ve gone down a different, “safer” path in my career. Still hard work. Still challenging, but different. And I’ve never had to put my life on the line :) I admire them all for the personal and professional risks they’ve taken.
And when I see them on television at night reporting from different “hot spots” I am reminded of them as young journalists, and feel proud that I’ve been around long enough to know them when they were young and up and coming.
They stand in stark contrast to what I call the “cut and paste generation”. And by that, I mean the journalists who don’t think there’s a story until there’s a “media release” or it appears in a newspaper. And those people who call themselves journalists, but who really should call themselves comedy writers.
These guys are the real deal.