BATH’S SUN­DAY SPLASH

Sun­day Night is stick­ing to a good thing in 2010. Co- host Chris Bath ex­plained to Guy Davis how the news pro­gram found its winning for­mula.

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fash­ion. So far, Sun­day Night seems to be do­ing pretty well at it – in 2009, it re­ceived two nom­i­na­tions for Walk­ley Awards, the most pres­ti­gious prize in Aus­tralian jour­nal­ism.

Hav­ing five-time Walk­ley win­ner Ross Coulthard aboard as in­ves­tiga­tive re­porter has helped es­tab­lish the show’s bona fides, with Bath cit­ing the jour­nal­ist’s hard-hit­ting and re­veal­ing story about the death of young Aus­tralian trav­eller Britt Lapthorne as one of Sun­day Night’s stand­outs.

“ At the same time, we want to bal­ance that with hu­man in­ter­est sto­ries,” she said. The first episode of 2010 fea­tured a good ex­am­ple of that, with Jamie Durie set­ting off on an In­di­ana Jones-style globe-trot­ting quest in search of the leg­endary Ark of the Covenant.

Bath is only slightly jeal­ous, she laughs. “ I love get­ting out on the road but I get out a lot less than I’d like to,” she said. “ I’m a lit­tle time-poor, un­for­tu­nately.”

In­deed, her work across the board with Seven’s news ser­vice, whether it’s nightly bul­letins or the 6pm news on Satur­day ( not to men­tion co-host­ing Sun­day Night with Mike Munro) means that she’s not al­lowed much time away from the of­fice to re­port on sto­ries.

“ I have that back­ground from re­port­ing on a Seven cur­rent-af­fairs show called Wit­ness, and I man­aged to get away a cou­ple of sto­ries for Sun­day Night last year,” she said.

Still, she ad­mits that sim­ply be­ing part of Sun­day Night is ex­cit­ing enough, es­pe­cially as she feels the show is break­ing some new ground when it comes to the pre­sen­ta­tion of news and cur­rent af­fairs.

“ Sun­day Night is kind of like Christ­mas for broad­cast jour­nal­ists,” she smiled. “ It’s not ev­ery day you get to work on a show that has this kind of bud­get, this kind of scope and this kind of ed­i­to­rial free­dom. Seven has al­lowed us to ex­plore dif­fer­ent ways of pre­sent­ing sto­ries and edit­ing sto­ries. We’ve given some very tal­ented pro­duc­ers and ed­i­tors free rein to try a dif­fer­ent ap­proach and I think be­ing given the means to tackle their job with that kind of in­tel­lec­tual rigour has re­ally paid off.”

In fact, there’s been no need to rein­vent the wheel – Sun­day Night’s for­mat re­mains es­sen­tially un­changed in its sec­ond year. “ You’ve got a re­ally great mix of three or four di­verse sto­ries pre­sented by great re­porters de­liv­er­ing the sto­ries that mat­ter and the mo­ments you’ll re­mem­ber,” she said.

“ And you’re also stuck with me and Mike fronting it!”

News flash: Chris Bath and Mike

Munro host

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