Barbara Alysen's 'The Electronic Reporter' told readers "Broadcast news stories are short, produced at high speed and often formulaic. (Current affairs) spend longer on stories and report in more depth and at greater length...Its purpose was to give background and context to the stories in the news and to offer in-depth analysis of current issues."
Jana Wendt had been known to grill politicians on 'A Current Affair' "as ruthlessly as a Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei) interrogator." Although "unlike many little children, she didn't actually ask many questions when she was growing up." Jana had said, "I don't regard myself as tough; I would say I am one of the biggest, bloody weeping softies around." However "our ('60 Minutes') dials are so tuned into extraordinary people and happenings that we are intolerant of ordinary people. I don’t know whether that makes you hard: it certainly makes you super-sensitive to extraordinary things. You turn off to a point where only the most extreme 'extras' slip through the net, the sanitary cordon. Fortunately or unfortunately, you let that happen."
Jana was said to be "the face that rates". She made the comment in 2010, "In order to break through those glass ceilings, women have to have a strong professional identity. And because women in (those) positions will be kind of guns for hire who will be an entertainer one day and a hard-news reporter - supposedly - the next, it makes it awkward."
"In those early days" on '60 Minutes' (1982-87), Jana recounted, "It certainly was blokey, there's no doubt about that but I'm in some ways quite blokey myself. I quite enjoyed at that time the kind of banter and camaradarie and I enjoyed those days where, unlike these days (in 2007), people would have robust fights over issues - editorial issues or anything else. And people didn't go up to some office with a human relations officer to discuss their disputes and have it resolved in an adult fashion. They didn't, they verbally punched one another!"
In October 1984, Jana interviewed the Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke on '60 Minutes'. To help understand, "In 1982 Bob Hawke's 'Three Rs' (Recovery, Reconstruction and Reconciliation) brilliantly captured the mood of an electorate struggling with the effects of recession and anxious for the sort of national consensus which Hawke promised. If there is any hypothesis arising out of Australia's post-war experience, it is that Australians seem to be very reluctant to toss out Governments unless the other side has demonstrated it represents real leadership and a clear alternative. The lesson for Oppositions is clear: No Opposition can sit back and hope government just falls into its lap."
Jana: Mr Hawke, right now (in 1984) you are very clearly the ALP's (Australian Labor Party) biggest electoral asset. There was a time when Neville Wran (the Premier of the state of New South Wales 1976-86) shared that distinction. These days (in 1984) it seems that Neville Wran has turned into an electoral liability. Are you happy to fight an election shoulder to shoulder with Neville Wran?
PM: I have made clear right throughout this year (1984) that I stand by Neville Wran and whether it is Neville Wran or anyone else, my stance in public life has been crystal clear…
Jana: Do you support him 110%.
PM: Of course I do…
Jana: Is that blind loyalty or political pragmatism?
PM: It is human decency…
Jana: I guess it boils down to the fact where people ask themselves why should a rising star like Bob Hawke…
PM: I am still rising, am I?
Jana: Perhaps you are there, perhaps you have risen. Why should a risen star like Bob Hawke be seen shoulder to shoulder with a fading star like Neville Wran?
PM: Well, you may say they are grasping that but again make the point that the Australian electorate, the ordinary people out there in viewing land, are much more intelligent than you give them credit for. They happen to know the simple fact that Neville Wran is the National President of my Party. I am the Prime Minister of this country and the Leader of that Party and they understand that we have stood together, and they understand my nature. And I have explained that in earlier questions. I do not walk away from friends and colleagues because they have been subject to McCarthyist smears and innuendoes.
Jana: You have refused to appear on this program ('60 Minutes') in a debate with Mr (Andrew) Peacock and you have even appeared to be coy about a public debate with him. Isn't he good enough to debate with?
PM: I debate with him frequently in the Parliament. And the runs are on the board, if I can put it there. Everyone knows what the score is in those debates. So it is a nonsense to suggest that I'm worried about debating with Mr Peacock. I have simply said that given the way in which I think he has demeaned the position by the sort of tactics he adopted we just have to address our minds to whether we in the course of the campaign have a debate, or something equivalent to a debate. We will address our minds to that at the appropriate time.
When asked in 2005 "What is a good interview, and how is it achieved?", Jana replied, "The optimum achievement is where you reveal something new, or something that the person has not publicly revealed about themselves. That’s not just words, either; there can be revelations in gesture or in look or expression that speak volumes. These days politicians and others are so well managed and coached, that it's really difficult to get a genuinely revealing 'something'. Paul Keating was of an ilk of politician – and let's face it, there's not many left – who have a naughty side and are prepared to reveal it. That naughty side being a kind of a danger about them, a lack of fear (in answering questions)."