Dateline (Australian TV program)

Dateline is an Australian television public affairs program broadcast on SBS. Since its debut at 8:00 pm on Friday 19 October 1984, it has focused largely on international events, often in developing or warring nations. Since 2000, Dateline reporters have travelled by themselves without a camera crew or sound engineers. It remains the longest-running international current affairs program in Australia.

Also known asDateline World (1984-1985)
GenreCurrent affairs
Country of originAustralia
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons30
Running time30 minutes
Original networkSBS
Picture format576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release19 October 1984 
Related showsInsight
External links


Dateline has been involved in many major events around the world, including releasing a story on 20 February 2002, on suspected treason perpetrated by Morgan Tsvangirai in Zimbabwe.[1] He was later acquitted by the High Court of Zimbabwe, but brought a lawsuit against Dateline for alleged defamation.[2]

Since its conception, the media program has covered areas of international current affairs, such as environmental policies, technological innovations' political impacts (such as electric cars in the US), and general political events such as the Iraq War and violence in East Timor (2006).

The long-running current affairs program has also accumulated many awards over its lifetime, including Walkley Awards, Logie Awards, and UN Media Peace Awards, which is awarded by the United Nations Association, an organization not affiliated with the United Nations Organization. This has been a result of high-quality reporting from journalists such as Mark Davis, David O'Shea and previously, Matthew Carney, who is now with ABC.

In 2003, the program had a focus on the Pacific island nations, which the incoming SBS Head of Television Shaun Brown then broadened to be more globally inclusive.[3] He also made the program less focused on armed conflict.

In August, 2007, during the Mohammed Haneef saga over alleged links with the plotters of the Glasgow airport attack, Dateline correspondent David O'Shea reported that the Indian doctor was investigated by Indian authorities. A dossier compiled by Indian police, alleged Haneef had suspected ties to Al-Qaeda, though there appeared to be no evidence to back up the dossier, compiled after Haneef was arrested in Australia.[4][5][6]


Dateline uses a blend of investigative stories from reporters all over the world and interview segments in the studio (where the program is filmed) directed by the host and often using satellite linkups to communicate with guests.

George Negus hosted the program from 2005 until 2010, replacing journalist Mark Davis, who in his period between 2003–04 gained several nominations for the Walkley Awards. Davis still serves the programme as video journalist, dealing primarily with South Pacific affairs. He was preceded in the host's chair by Jana Wendt and Pria Viswalingam.[7] Negus was replaced by his predecessor Mark Davis and Yalda Hakim, another Dateline journalist.[8]

Helen Vatsikopoulos also spent time as host.

In December 2012, Hakim resigned from Dateline to join BBC World News.

Yalda was replaced by former CNN presenter Anjali Rao in February 2013.

In 2015 the show moved towards a 30-minute documentary-style, presenter-less program.

See also


  1. TV program stands by decision to screen Tsvangirai 'murder-plot' video Fairfax Digital
  2. Dateline Archives Dateline SBS
  3. The Future Direction of SBS ABC Radio National
  4. AFP following Haneef money trail ABC News
  5. Haneef's dossier revealed Archived 5 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine SBS News
  6. Indian police file on Haneef The Australian
  7. "Negus confirms he will take 6pm job at Ten". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 9 October 2010. Archived from the original on 12 October 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  8. "Davis and Hakim to front Dateline". The Spy Report. Media Spy. 20 October 2010. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 20 October 2010.
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