I frequently refer to Sky News Australia as “News for Parrots” because the focus of every story is Australia—no matter how tenuous, irrelevant or superficial the connection. For example, yesterday their reports that I saw on their channel about the Emmy Awards were only about how Australians did.
The truly annoying thing Sky News Australia does is that they frequently pre-empt world news—or even real news of their own—for fluff. Today was the worst example yet: They interrupted the nightly ABC News (US) for “Breaking News”. They didn’t wait for a commercial break, but instead interrupted right in the middle of an ABC News report.
And what was the earth-shattering, shocking news that required such an abrupt interruption? It’s been ten years since the opening of the Sydney Olympics. Seriously! Some guy talking about how it’s been ten years and reciting a list of commemorative events was so very much more important than ABC News’ reports on how Iraq will fare when they’re fully in charge of security in their country. I swear the folks making their editorial decisions have parrot-sized brains in real life.
Sky News Australia is a pretty amateur news channel, but it’s our only 24-hour local choice (we also have the Fox Propaganda Channel, bland, shallow CNN or BBC World, which while excellent is usually not a straightforward news broadcast). I watch Sky News Australia mostly to see the nightly newscasts from ABC News (US) and/or CBS News.
The reason that I always refer to it as Sky News Australia, even though our screens read “Sky News New Zealand”, is that there’s nothing New Zealand about it, apart from the rare news report and Question Time from Parliament three days a week most weeks. They used to have a weekly “New Zealand News Week” segment, but I don’t know if they do that anymore.
It’s probably just as well. Sky News Australia is focused so thoroughly on superficial fluff from Australia that it’s best we’re not associated with it; we wouldn’t want folks to think that we’re as shallow as they are.