Our Newsreaders “Love You, Queensland”, Please Reciprocate

Curator's Note

This promo is the Seven Network’s love-note to the state of Queensland, and one which has roots stretching back 25 years. Foreigners and other non-locals would not realise it, but everyone in this current iteration is actually a member of Seven’s local news team. The weekend weather presenter goes for a hot air balloon ride; the chief weather reporter greets schoolkids after landing in the station helicopter; the sports reporters get up to some hi jinks on a golf course; two female newsreaders walk casually along a Redcliffe beach; a spandex-clad current affairs presenter walks beside the Brisbane River; and an older male newsreader is heading for a surf at Coolangatta. In many respects this promo captures a significant trend in contemporary television news and current affairs: that journalists and newsreaders increasingly need to be seen as ordinary people with much in common with the average viewer. This logic takes shape here by presenting these people as citizens who love the state in which they live. Rather than knowing only a geographically dislocated, well-dressed “talking head”, here viewers can localise the news presenters, demonstrating that they do actually exist outside the confines of the program on which they appear each night. One particular aspect of this promo that has particularly puzzled me is the appearance of anchorman Rod Young in a wetsuit, inviting the imagined viewer for a spot of surfing. Why would he be presented in this way? Personalising someone in the hope that viewers might develop some sort of bond with them is of course nothing new – think, for example, about the importance of “trust” surrounding a figure like Walter Cronkite. Showing a news presenter undertaking an activity which has nothing to do with his profession, however, represents a very different (affective) approach. Simply because he “loves” Queensland (its residents and its beaches), perhaps the hope is that we will reciprocate by becoming or remaining dedicated, loving, Seven News viewers.


Great clip - one intriguing aspect is the very traditional gendering of the news team members. Many of the men appear (however unconvincingly) to be engaged in overtly sporty activities involving specialist equipment of some kind. But the women seem to be enjoying fairly casual pursuits and are perhaps presented as less active. The shots of the women also seem particularly scenic – the woman the hot air balloon is fascinating – she’s clearly trying to compete with the landscape!

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