It has taken me a few days to calm down to a point where I can make a reasonable post about this, so here goes.
As you would probably be aware, there was another series of bombings in London the other day, luckyily these didn’t explode properly and didn’t cause much damage. Anyway, this happened on Thursday night Canberra time, during Stargate Atlantis, and as such, Channel 7 had to interupt Stargate for a news update. I have no problem with that, I just have a problem with the way they did it, there was no warning whatsoever that this was a news bulletin, instead this is what happened.
Stargate was running as per usual, the show was at a fairly tense point and there was an ad break, so far so good, but then the ad break ended and I found myself staring at a Sky News feed with no explanation or warning. It took about two or three minutes before Sky actually explained this rather cryptic series of pictures and until that time, it felt like Seven had hit the wrong button.
It is something you see all the time on TV, somebody hits the wrong button and you are watching a movie screening in Adelaide for a few seconds. Usually these problems are fixed quickly.
I understand that at 11pm Channel Seven aren’t likely to have somebody in the newsroom, but I would have at the very least expected a “Seven News Update” intro or a message on the screen saying “Breaking News In London” or something like that. If Seven had done that, people would have known what was happening and wouldn’t have been confused, and I wouldn’t have been annoyed.
I’ll repeat, I have no issue with Seven interupting shows for important news stories, I think it is important, but I would like to see them develop a method which doesn’t confuse viewers or look like a mistake.