Thursday, 26 April 2007

The ABC responds to Dikkii

Here's the response I got back from the ABC:

Dear Dikkii

Thank you for your email regarding Psychic Investigators. I apologise for the delay in responding to you.

The ABC regrets that you are unhappy about the decision to broadcast this series. Psychic Investigators is a series in which police involved in investigating crimes, in the absence of evidence indicating the guilt of a particular perpetrator, have called upon the services of psychics as a possible way of achieving a breakthrough in a case. These are actual documented police investigations and the police involved are interviewed in the series, along with the psychic employed. Many of the police involved state that they were initially sceptical that a psychic would be of any help and that they were astounded by the information they learned. The cases covered in the series took place in the UK and North America and cover a range of crimes.

As the national broadcaster, the ABC has an obligation to appeal to a diverse range of tastes. Nonetheless, your comments about this series are noted and have been conveyed to ABC Television.

I have noted and forwarded your comments about the way that people are attributed on Catalyst programs. I noticed in the transcripts for Catalyst programs that people appear to be referred to by first name then surname. If they are a Doctor, they are referred to as Dr. first name then surname.

Thank you for taking the time to contact the ABC.

Yours sincerely

Laura Whelan
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

As far as I'm concerned, Whelan didn't give me a good reason to not complain to the Minister. All of this reads as PR from the programme with none of it factual. However, I notice that they're not showing this programme at the moment, so I'll hold off complaining.

Regarding the other part, it's now been a while since I received this response, and I still have no response from the Catalyst production team as to why they persist with this elitist claptrap, so it looks like I'll be escalating this one. Back to the ABC it will go.

And if I get nothing then, it'll be on to Media Watch.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Where Dikkii complains to the ABC

For those of you who read Dikkii's Diatribe, you'll know that I have a real problem with woo. I also have a bit of a problem with academic snobbery.

Here's a little email I punched off to Auntie not so long ago:

G'day all you good folk at the ABC.

Love your work, mostly. And lots too.

I have two questions for you:

1. Whenever you put the names of people up with PhDs on Catalyst, you put their names as Dr XXX, but when you put people on without PhDs, you don't put their names as Mr/Ms YYY, you just put YYY. This is normally considered either inconsistent or incorrect. Possibly even academically snobby, although I wouldn't go that far. What's the ABC's style guide say about this?

2. I've seen some rubbish on the commercial channels in my life, but most of them would have the good sense to steer well clear of a show called "Psychic Investigators". Can you provide one good reason why I shouldn't complain to the federal communications minister about this brain shrinking waste of taxpayers money?

Cheers, Dikkii.

On the subject of what I would consider "academically snobby", I certainly would consider the ABC's use of the "Dr" honorific to be both that and an appeal to authority. I just wanted to get it in there for them to see.

Psychic Investigators on the other hand, don't get me started.

I did get a response back.