Tracy Grimshaw reflects on her 16-year journey on A Current Affair
Every Monday for the last 16 years, Tracy Grimshaw has welcomed viewers to A Current Affair, which has fast become one of the most incisive public affairs shows in Australian television history.
But despite all the accolades and criticism that comes with the job, the host says the first day back is similar to riding a bike - especially after a tumultuous year like 2020.
"Last year it was a sprint every day and the year was a marathon," Grimshaw told 9Now.
"I think particularly at the start of the pandemic, it was a really critical time for journalism. It was an important time for good journalism.
"We had a very tense few months at the start when there was this hunger for information, and we didn't know much about how the virus would pan out.
"But towards the end of the year we did a handful of shows where we didn't mention the virus at all. It becomes really organic."
Grimshaw began presenting A Current Affair in 2006, replacing Ray Martin as anchor after nine years alongside Steve Liebmann, and later Karl Stefanovic, as the co-host of Today.
With the pandemic changing the face of the world in 2020, newsrooms began to switch up their format.
"As it started to take hold in March and April there was this massive thirst for information, and for credible information," says Grimshaw.
"And that became our job, to try and feed that hunger. Knowledge is power and the more you know the more calm you can be, the less frightened you'll be."
A Current Affair is widely known to champion the causes felt by the average Aussie, which is why they were suddenly expected to reveal what is fact and what is fiction when it came to information surrounding the virus.
"I think for all of us, it wasn't just about myth busting, even though that is important. I think it all comes under the banner of reliable information. And what we saw last year was an explosion of unreliable information," Grimshaw says.
"We had people pushing their own agendas, and it was part of our job to try and cut through what felt like an unwieldy amount of information that was coming in from around the world on the virus.
"It was our job to make sure that the people we talked to knew their stuff. That every expert we called literally the best in their field."
While much of the year was spent wading through the best – and mostly the worst – of the pandemic, there was still the magic that makes A Current Affair so riveting: from warring neighbours hosing down reporters to dodgy tradies, it was all there.
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