Calls to protect historical TV footage

SES8_1980sAlmost 50 years of local history is feared to be lost as regional TV newsrooms are being shut down and archived material is not being kept.

This is a situation that would be common across most regional areas where TV news production is being centralised and heritage studios are being sold off — but it has been raised in South Australia, where almost five decades of news footage is being left to deteriorate.

WIN, which took over the stations formerly known as SES8 in Mount Gambier and RTS5A in Riverland back in 1999, effectively owns the footage but two former employees are pleading for support for the archive to be digitally restored and accessible by local residents.

The challenge is that much of the footage is in redundant formats and the station no longer has playback equipment that is compatible.

The cost to digitise the collection for future use is estimated to run into the thousands and would be a labour-intensive process. But former local cameramen Darryl ‘Sid’ Hosking, who worked at SES for 44 years, and Robert Tremelling believe that if efforts aren’t taken then 50 years of local history is lost.

win_2008“It’s the history of the south east (South Australia) and south west Victoria over nearly 50 years,” Mr Hosking told ABC. “There’d be hours and hours of footage and tape, it would certainly be a considerable undertaking.”

SES8 began transmission in 1966 and RTS5A in 1976. WIN shut down all local news services from the stations in 2013 — and as WIN is the only commercial TV operator in the region the only local TV news being presented to Mount Gambier and Riverland viewers are brief news updates read from studios in New South Wales.

ABC contacted WIN for comment but did not get a response.

Source: ABC


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    • David on 7 May 2015 at 10:31 AM
    • Reply

    Please could this be saved in years to come we can look back at recorded history don.t let it get it lost on a rubbish tip

    • Andrew V on 7 May 2015 at 10:32 PM
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    I know just the company that is set up to preserve and digitise that type of media, Australian Television Archive:

    1. They are aware of the situation now raised in South Australia

    • Steve Bowman on 8 May 2015 at 6:57 PM
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    National Sound and Film Archive is the right place for these collections.
    They will be protected, stored and made available for future generations.
    Professional staff will collect and digitise – the process moves slowly but
    it is our taxes at work. No cost to the station or the collector who has all those classics under the stairs at home.

    • Neil Forbes on 8 May 2015 at 11:55 PM
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    For starters, WIN should’ve stayed within its designated region, South-East NSW, and NOT expanded outside that area. Stations SES and RTS should’ve been left alone to serve their own regions as only they knew how, and WIN should’ve been told not too politely(not politely at all) to STAY OUT OF OUR REGION, and a lot of other regionals should’ve fought off any attempt by WIN to take them over. Look at Station NBN-Newcastle. This station HAD NOT expanded by trying to take over any regional Queensland stations(notwithstanding the fact that greedy WIN grabbed them instead), but NBN had stayed true to its e4xpanded coverage area(North-Eastern NSW and just over the border into South-east corner of Qld.).

    • Steven Wood on 9 May 2015 at 6:37 PM
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    Go for it Sid – I’m with you all the way with this. We need this rich heritage preserved for the next generation to appreciate, especially the continuity bits from the past as well as the regional news bulletins and other local treasures from Mount Gambier and Loxton too (like the long-running Woman’s World and the local ads). Most importantly, if anyone has actually got VHS-taped copies of any classic SES-RTS stuff from way back prior to the WIN takeover it would be greatly appreciated if they could also contribute to this project. Let’s make it happen!

    • Steven Wood on 9 May 2015 at 6:45 PM
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    P.S. You might also like to try Internet Archive (, who would be very happy to take a project like this on-board as they have an extensive range of classic TV shows and continuity including now some early stuff from Six O’clock Rock and even an IMT episode from the early 60s that recently entered the public domain. Hope this is helpful. Cheers!

    • Neil Forbes on 10 May 2015 at 1:10 AM
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    My last post suffered from the dreaded “keyboard gremlins” What was supposed to be “expanded” ended up as e4xpanded due to an inadvertent keystroke. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

    • Andrew m on 10 May 2015 at 10:18 PM
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    Neil read the article your responding what it says

    • Neil Forbes on 21 May 2015 at 2:12 AM
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    Andrew M. I’m fully aware of the article’s intent. It talks of local historical content which needs to be saved. WIN would not give a damn for any “historical local content” from any of the regional stations it swallows up into its own network. That’s why I said that WIN should have left these other stations alone to serve THEIR local areas as only THEY know how, and with that, preserve THEIR local history by transferring old film and videotape sources into MPEG-2 files to be preserved for posterity. And as for WIN, as I said, they should stay firmly anchored on Wollongong and South-East NSW, AND NOWHERE ELSE!

    • Andrew m on 21 May 2015 at 6:56 PM
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    I think we been through this debate countless times before Neil its best if we move on just enjoy the history of television

      • Neil Forbes on 28 May 2015 at 3:35 AM
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      Andrew M,
      How do you enjoy the history of Aussie TV when outfits like WIN try to wipe it away, or at least make no effort to preserve it?

    • Disgruntled on 2 February 2017 at 7:24 PM
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    Come on WIN, ya idle bastards, help to preserve our bloody history will ya!?

    • George on 7 February 2017 at 7:12 PM
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    Wiah we could go back in time. There would be plenty of people out there that would give free hours to go through hours of footage and go through all those canisters at national archives. Imaginecsll the historical hidden gems. Unfortunately with the copyright laws and labour costs most of them will be left unlooked at for years.

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