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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Country Calendar still hits the mark

Country Calendar must be one of the few New Zealand media institutions that truly count as 'iconic'. The weekly programme, which casts light on NZ farming, hasn't looked back since its launch in 1966 and the current theme tune must be one of the most readily identifiable sounds for any Kiwi.

This clip gives a glimpse of what the programme used to look, and sound, like.

It's gone on to become one of the longest-running TV programmes anywhere in the world and still ranks in the top 10 for viewing figures each week, according to the TVNZ website, with those viewers being both urban and rural and numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

That's no mean feat. Someone somewhere must be doing something right.

So I'm looking forward to meeting Frank Torley, the show's executive producer. He's been involved with Country Calendar in one way or another almost since the beginning and he's our guest speaker at Wintec's Media Bites lunch in Hamilton next week.

Media Bites is a series of lunch/lectures hosted by the Editor in Residence (that's me) with the idea of bringing together journalism students with tutors, journalists working in the Waikato and people in business with an interest in the media.

Past speakers have included Dominion Post editor Tim Pankhurst, TV3 news chief Mark Jennings, John Campbell, former Al-Jazeera bureau chief Trish Carter and Morning Report's Sean Plunket. Earlier this year we heard from Sam Farrow.

I'm hoping to bail Frank up and ask him for a few top tips on storytelling and staying on top. What would you ask Frank if you had the chance?

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