Returning: Local and international current affairs with 20/20

The best in local and international current affairs returns to TV2 this week courtesy of 20/20. TV2’s 20/20 has won fans among viewers and the critics by having fun with the current affairs format; presenting serious investigative journalism in a style that keeps people watching – and talking at coffee carts and water coolers throughout the country the next day.

20/20 is presented by Miriama Kamo, with a team of reporters including Pete Cronshaw, Paul Hobbs, and Hadyn Jones. A respected reporter who has worked on 20/20 for the past three years, Kamo enjoys the programme’s trademark mix of investigative journalism, strong local content and entertainment-based stories. It’s a recipe that is having success with both audiences and critics.
20/20’s big stories of 2006 included ‘Peddling in the Park’, the story of a suburban drug ring that landed Hayden Jones the coveted award for best Current Affairs Reporter; the highly controversial Nicky Watson interview; a story that put psychics to the test and was the most watched episode of the year; and ‘Detox Diary’, an investigation into detoxing that was judged the Best Current Affairs Report of 2006.

2007 is already shaping up to be another sensational year for 20/20. The first few weeks of the show feature the real story behind one of New Zealand’s biggest music sensations; an up-and-coming Kiwi fashionista revealing what goes on behind the scenes at New York fashion week; a criminal confronted by his victims; and the 18-year-old in a coma who listened to his doctors and family decide to switch off life support – and lived to tell the tale.

“20/20 knows its audience, we set out to deliver content to that audience, but we also want to challenge them,” says Kamo, adding that 20/20’s popularity extends beyond TV2’s key demographic of 18-39 year olds. “I think we’ve got the mix right, which is wonderful. Viewers of all ages watch it and enjoy it and tell me they wouldn’t miss an episode.”

20/20 finished 2006 on a high after winning Best Current Affairs Report (team) and Best Current Affairs Reporter (Hayden Jones) at the Qantas TV Awards, the Telecom Award for Sports Journalism at the TP McLean Sports Journalism Awards. Kamo says winning the awards was “fantastic” and is a testament to the quality of 20/20’s investigative journalism.

“I was over the moon for our guys who worked so hard on the stories. It was recognition from our peers that we are doing the job and doing it well. We’ve played with the traditional current affairs format and it’s worked. Our content was acknowledged as being of the highest quality.”

20/20 may take current affairs seriously, but Kamo says that fun is one of the secrets of the programme’s success. “The team enjoys working with each other, and I think 20/20 reflects that.”

Kamo looks forward to presenting her colleagues’ work. “I’m really proud to present our reporters’ stories. They work so hard and have told so many great stories. Pete Cronshaw did a piece on a ballet dancer who was trying to get into school in England. It was one of those stories where everything came together – the talent, the pictures, the music, the storytelling – and it was perfect. It was funny, moving, inspiring and motivating. It was the sort of story that defines the spirit of our show.”

20/20 screens Thursday nights on TV2 at 9.30pm.

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