Archive for February 26th, 2007

ABC’s English Language Standards

I can’t help but get the feeling that the ABC’s title as the master of pronunciation and usage of the English language in Australia is a mere memory. It has been quite obvious over the last couple of years that their pronunciation standards have been slipping to the point where, whilst still perfectly legible, they have no bragging rights over other stations and networks.

Pronunciation is one thing, and we are all human so mistakes should be expected unless you have experts clamouring over every tiny detail, but spelling is another, and last night I was quite dismayed to see ABC Television’s Canberra news use the supposed word “arguement” on a super (aka the story headline graphic thingy next to the newsreader). I’m sure they meant “argument”, and to their credit they pulled it from the screen once the error was noticed, but the mere fact that no form of spell checking system is in use in the ABC newsroom is a worry. If “arguement” happened to be a real, but wrong, word, then I wouldn’t be making any fuss over this, but the fact that it does not appear in any dictionary has me very concerned.

One can only hope that the ABC does not continue to slip, or before we know it they might be fund-raising with a “Quizmania” type of show in place of their current “repeat the night time programs during the day” hour…and that would be a very big shame. I wouldn’t have a problem with a privately funded ABC, but there would be much better ways of fund-raising than loopy 1900 number game shows.

Samuel

7 comments February 26th, 2007 at 09:16am

Radio Review: Mix 106.3

Mix 106.3 were the first station to have a review period, from midday-1pm on Thursday February 22. Here’s what happened:

  • 12:00pm: Sport section of news (includes two seconds of sponsor notice). Seems fairly informative.
  • 12:01pm: Weather (5 seconds of sponsor notice) It’s the weather… (Recorded portion of news bulletin lasted 1:40)
  • 12:02pm: Program intro “Retro Lounge” (three seconds of sponsor). I’m not really sure how many times we need to hear “Retro Lounge” before we know what show it is, but between five and ten seems to work for Mix. After a bit of an intro including a couple events of the year we’re about to name, we head back to 1983 and Billy Idol’s “White Wedding”, the song is OK but it’s very repetitive and very very long (well, it seems long…probably the repetition)…I certainly wouldn’t recommend this song for high rotation, but once in a while is fine.
  • 12:05pm: Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”…now there’s a good song!
  • 12:09pm: Presenter Karina Rappel starts talking and seems to know a little bit about the artists in the songs…research pays off for this presenter, she is proving to be a good tight presenter so far.
  • 12:10pm: Nick Lowe’s 1986 song “I Knew The Bride When She Used To Rock And Roll”. An up-beat song…not quite my cup of tea but certainly seems to put one in a good mood none-the-less…this is one of those songs that would easily drive me nuts and then grow on me.
  • 12:14pm: A station ID and another song…there was a forward announce of the artist earlier, but I don’t remember who…I’m struggling to understand the lyrics of this song…wait, starting to recognise bits of it…still struggling with lyrics…picked up a couple and Google helps me remember the forward announce…it’s Icehouse’s “Don’t Believe Any More”. This is pure junk and certainly doesn’t fit in with the rest of the hour so far…next!
  • 12:19pm: Karina back announces the song, it was from 1984…plugs an interview on “tomorrow’s” breakfast show and stumbles over a sponsor (10 seconds)…at least their live! Song intro starts while Karina plays the secret sound twice and invites callers…and the song is from Billy Joel…and I can work out for myself what song it is if you won’t tell me “Only The Good Die Young”.
  • 12:23pm: Ads…at last! Promo for “Summer Six Pack” program, Easy Rid Pest Control, Harvey Norman Fridges, Cusacks Beds, Go Gecko Property Sales, ActewAGL, Royal Canberra Show. 3:08 in total.
  • 12:26pm: Secret Sound (4 second sponsor), four people all wrong. Minimal interaction with callers, we must have a tightly scheduled hour.
  • 12:27pm: 2 second mention of sponsor, the weather, oh, and that sounds like a song starting, better mention the artist…”Tears for Fears” I think…the song is absolutely dreadful anyway, and for the record it is actually Tears For Fears’ “Head Over Heels”.
  • 12:31pm: ID on top of the intro to a good song…it’s Joe Cocker’s “Feelin’ Alright”.
  • 12:35pm: ID on top of intro again…(we need a back announce and soon) and the song is (apart from really bad) I wouldn’t have a clue, the lyrics are virtually indecipherable except for the chorus…seems to be “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.
  • 12:38pm: Karina is back, and we have a back announce for the last song…some babble about Tom Cruise…forward announce of two artists, live-read promo for their “Workday Rescue” (20 Sec).
  • 12:39pm: (39:50)Ad break: Promo for breakfast show, Fuel Tax Credits, really bad ad for Mayner and Cochrane, the jingles get worse with The Canberra Times Classifieds, Rebel Sport, Dr. Drains, Tuggeranong Hyperdome. 3:46 in total
  • 12:43pm: ID and song: KC & The Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes”. I like this song but it’s a relatively slow and boring song, coming out of a really bad and boring ad break…the next song better be good if they want me to stay interested.
  • 12:45pm: ID and song: ELO’s “It’s A Living Thing”. My prayers have been answered! A brilliant song, it probably should have been first out of the break but it’ll do where it is…it may have just saved the hour.
  • 12:49pm: Karina takes a caller…can’t work out whether or not this is a promo for Powerball, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and say it was an innocent call.
  • 12:50pm: Hmmm, a song…it sounds like Men At Work…and it is, with “Be Good Johnnie”…not their best by a long shot…and for some reason reminds me of “Boris The Spider” by The Who…the whole “be good be good be good be good be good be good” thing is wearing very thin, this better be a short song.
  • 12:53pm: Saved by Karina who starts talking over the end of the song…and announces the end of today’s “Retro Lounge”. (7 second sponsor). Another Powerball mention, seems to have something to do with the breakfast show and one of their sponsors (10 seconds)…quick mention of upcoming news bulletin, next host and another round of the secret sound…and then…
  • 12:53pm: Ad break: Bing Lee (is the voiceover done in an echo chamber?), Sears Morton Furniture, Webster Advertising, Merryville Estate Murrumbateman, AFL NAB Pre-Season Cup, Canberra Airport. 2:59 in total
  • 12:56pm: News (a tad early?). They’re calling it “complete news”…this will be interesting (5 second sponsor). It seems very concise but does have a good local emphasis, bit concerned about the newsworthiness of some stories though. (5 second sport sponsor). The review hour finishes before the sport does. (Recorded segment of news bulletin lasted 3:05).

Statistics
Advertising: 10 minutes and 58 seconds
News: 4 minutes and 45 seconds

Summary
News: Seemed fairly comprehensive and local, would have gotten a four but it lacked any reporters and there were some stories in there which probably shouldn’t have made the news bulletin. It’s a good effort and a three would be too harsh.
Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarEmpty Star (3.5)

Talk: The talk programming isn’t overly relevant on a music station but it does hold the hour together. Karina appeared to have done her research and she started off well, but a lack of proper song “artist and title” announcements, and the second half of the hour feeling very rushed in terms of talk didn’t help. The first twenty minutes got her a five…pity the hour goes for sixty minutes.
Full StarFull StarFull StarEmpty StarEmpty Star (3)

Music: There was some stuff in there that I thought was absolutely atrocious, but there seemed to be a logical format for most of it, and I could put up with the bad stuff knowing that something good was probably just around the corner.
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarEmpty Star (4)

Overall: It wasn’t bad, but overall it did feel like an mp3 player working through the playlist. A couple little fumbles from Karina assured me that it was live, but there wasn’t enough room in that hour for Karina to move…perhaps the time she lost on that strange Powerball caller made all the difference, but it sounded rushed and I did feel like tuning out a couple of times. For what it’s worth, the first twenty to thirty minutes were far better than everything else.
Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarEmpty Star (3.5)

Samuel

13 comments February 26th, 2007 at 06:00am


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