SKY News to cover canonisation of Australia’s first saint

SKY NEWS, SKY Channel 090, will provide unrivalled coverage of the canonisation of Australia’s first saint – Mary MacKillop, this Sunday, 17th October from 6.00pm.

SKY NEWS coverage will be led by SKY’s National Affairs Correspondent Celina Edmonds who is in Rome for the preparations and Sunday’s ceremony. Celina will be speaking to the Sisters of St Joseph, Holy See Ambassador Tim Fischer and some of the thousands of pilgrims who have travelled to Italy to witness the canonisation. Celina Edmonds will report live during First Edition from this Friday.

On Sunday, SKY NEWS will also take you Mary MacKillop’s home town of Penola in South Australia, where Mother Mary began her first school. About 20,000 people are expected in Penola to celebrate Blessed Mary’s canonisation.

SKY NEWS reporter Gemma Veness will be reporting live from Mary MacKillop Chapel at North Sydney where thousands of pilgrims are expected to visit the tomb of Australia’s first saint.

SKY NEWS’ continuous coverage begins at 6.00pm ahead of a service at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney from 7.00pm. At 8.30pm LIVE coverage from the Vatican as the Pope presides over the formal canonisation service.

Guiding us through the canonisation ceremony will be an expert panel; Sister Mary Ellen O’Donoghue from the Sisters of St Joseph, Peta Goldburg, Professor of Religious Education at the Australian Catholic University and Rev Dr Gerard Kelly, President of the Catholic Institute of Sydney.


Bathurst 1000 viewers unhappy on both sides of Tasman

TV networks on both sides of the Tasman have come under fire from viewers of this year’s Bathurst 1000.

In New Zealand, viewers turned to social networking site Twitter to voice their dissatisfaction with coverage of the V8 Supercar race.

Tweets criticised TV3 for breaking away from the race for a shortened 6PM news bulletin, for not showing the post-race presentations and for a high level of advertising.

One tweet aimed at the broadcaster said: “For the 3rd year in a row, TV3 has rooted genuine motorsport fans by stopping for the news. Bet they wont do this for the RWC2011.”

Sports presenter Shaun Summerfield used his Twitter account to respond to viewers complaints.

“You do know that we’re around six minutes ahead of Aussie viewers at the moment? And we’ve shown less ad breaks too!” he said.

Across the Tasman, the Seven Network’s coverage has hit the headlines after it was revealed their live coverage was in fact delayed.

When the race finished, viewers were 20 minutes behind, with some finding out the results online.

The Australian has reported that V8 Supercars have said the decision to delay the coverage is completely that of the Seven Network who has defended their actions.

“The closeness of the race, the reduced number of safety cars in today’s race, advertising commitments and our desire that viewers not miss a single moment of the race led us to time-shift our coverage,” a Seven spokesman said.

Seven also said that it was unable to provide HD coverage as their high definition  cameras being in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games.

– Dan News

Paul Henry: “I have resigned”

Below is a statement from Paul Henry:

I have resigned from TVNZ, effective immediately.

It is no longer practical in the current environment for me to do the job I was employed to do, and have so enjoyed doing. It is also difficult for TVNZ to get on with the business of being a first class broadcaster as long as I remain.

I have apologised twice, and have meant every word. I again apologise to all those who were genuinely hurt by what I said.

However, it is clear that things have now reached a point where my actions will have to speak louder than my words.

I am astonished and dismayed that my comments have created a diplomatic incident. My style is conversational and of course unscripted. I walk the finest of lines and accept that I have inadvertently crossed it from time to time.

But I recognise the realities of the situation.

I do not want to continue to be used as a lightning rod for racial disharmony in this country. Likewise, I certainly do not want to have my elderly mother staked out at her nursing home by tabloid media, as has happened this weekend.

I will miss the professionalism and friendship of the brilliant production team I have worked with, and I will miss the fun and satisfaction of having doubled the audience for Breakfast in the last few years. The programme is great – and I’m sure its success will continue.

To be honest, most of all I’ll miss Pippa.

I am grateful to the many thousands of people who have offered their support to me. I hope they will understand and accept that an extraordinary convergence of circumstances has made this action necessary

I am saddened by this whole episode – sad that I crossed the line in the first place, and sad that an employer I have always served with pride has had to suffer slings and arrows.

To all those who have enjoyed Breakfast – thank you. It has been a privilege to have been part of your mornings for the last seven years.

– Paul Henry

Statement from Rick Ellis, TVNZ CEO

Paul Henry and I met earlier today and Paul offered me his resignation, which I have accepted.

In doing so, I offer my sincere apology on behalf of myself and TVNZ, to all those who have been offended by Paul’s inappropriate on-air comments.

I will be apologising in person to the Governor General.

I also apologise to the Indian community, both here and in India.

Paul has many loyal supporters and there will be those who question whether his resignation was the right outcome.

I believe Paul has done the right thing.

The reality is that his comments have split the community and damaged New Zealand’s international relationships, and there is no going back from that.

We will all be aware of other broadcasters and public figures who have said or done things to cause controversy, without such a serious outcome.

Paul is not the first broadcaster to step over the line, and I expect he won’t be the last – but there are factors at play here that have taken things to a unique level.

I commend him for his decision.

As an organisation committed to the principals of free speech it is our job to steer a course between the sometimes conflicting demands of freedom of opinion and respect for others.

This is not always easy. However what is clear as an outcome of this episode is that any suggestion of racism, whether intended or not, is unacceptable. We are quite clear about that.

I would like to acknowledge the thousands of Paul’s supporters who have contacted us and who will be disappointed at this outcome. I have a stack of emails on my desk fully 20cms high.

To those people, I would ask you to consider the consequences to Paul and to the country of continuing a situation that has generated a divisive debate and continuing hurt for others.

As Chief Executive and Editor-In-Chief I need to assure New Zealanders that the necessary steps are being taken to avoid this happening again.

As in other media organisations, there’s a fine balancing act between giving people freedom to express their opinion – which is critical in a democracy – and causing offence.

Last week I asked News and Current Affairs management to begin reviewing the company’s editorial policies and presenter code of conduct, and in particular, practices around live broadcasts.

TVNZ News and Current Affairs produces hundreds of hours a year of live programmes and the guidelines have generally stood our operations in good stead. It is timely to review them.

I very much hope that Paul’s resignation will demonstrate his profound regret and offer an opportunity for healing.