Journalist turned media trainer Allison Webber began in television at a time when women were more likely to be making the tea than making programmes. After working alongside presenters like Brian Edwards and Ian Johnstone, she became part of a new generation of women producers and directors who changed the shape of what went on air — especially via her ground-breaking documentary series Expressions of Sexuality.
In this ScreenTalk, Webber talks about:
- The excitement of working as a researcher on 90 minute live show Edwards on Saturday
- The show's "hugely creative" presenter Brian Edwards
- Sneaking around apartheid-era South Africa, arranging secret interviews with legends like Donald Woods
- An unforgettable encounter with Steve Biko
- How journalists find courage under pressure, but sometimes lack gratitude for opportunities given
- Working with masterful presenter Ian Johnstone, a man who got just as excited interviewing a possum farmer as a president
- Becoming a producer, at a time when women were starting to move up the ladder
- Making ground-breaking series Expressions of Sexuality, and arranging special training so that those being interviewed were treated respectfully
- How TVNZ, "scared and challenged by the content of the show", sat on it for more than 18 months before putting it on air
- How the rise of women into positions of power helped drive change in the kind of material that went on screen
was first uploaded on 8 October 2013, and
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Interview and Editing – Ian Pryor. Camera – Jess Charlton
...having women that were conscious and were part of the feminist movement helped drive change — not only in content, but in the kind of jobs that we would go on to do . . . . so we weren't just stuck with a glass ceiling around being researchers.
– Allison Webber on women working in New Zealand television moving on up, into directing and producing roles