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Stateline (1996 - current)

Current affairs program
Weekly x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

A state-based half-hour current affairs program that airs once a week on Fridays in the same timeslot as the daily current affairs program The 7.30 Report (2008). There’s a presenter for each state and reporter-led stories about local affairs, politics and issues.

Curator’s Notes:

When The 7.30 Report (2008) went national in 1995, there was an outcry from the states all around Australia that their equally important regional issues would not be aired. So the idea of Stateline was conceived, offering state-based coverage to be broadcast at 6 pm on Friday nights, not exactly prime time viewing. After much lobbying, the program was moved to 7.30 pm on Fridays at the end of 2001, where it continues to rate well around Australia.

Each state has its own presenter and reporters while most of the stories are filmed in the field, rather than in the studio. In the larger states, the program has its own executive producer, while in the smaller states the local news editor acts as executive producer. One of the advantages of the program is the opportunity it offers for state-based and regional radio reporters to practise their television skills.

One of the best-known Stateline presenters is NSW’s Quentin Dempster. He presented The 7.30 Report (2008) when that program was state-based, firstly in Queensland from 1987, then in NSW from 1990 until mid-1995, when the program became national with single presenter Kerry O’Brien.

Quentin Dempster was the first to expose the institutional corruption in Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland with his documentary The Sunshine System (1986), and he became well known around Australia for his coverage of the Fitzgerald and Wood Royal Commissions as well as for two books, Honest Cops (1992) and Whistleblowers (1997). In 1992, he was awarded an Order of Australia for his services to the media. He was the staff-elected director on the ABC Board from 1992 until 1996.

Titles in this series

Stateline – The Transcontinental Dream 2004

Reporter Mark Bowling travels with the Ghan on its inaugural train journey from Adelaide to Darwin, arriving in its new destination at the Northern Territory on 3 February 2004.