Between June 1999 and December 2002, Jana Wendt could be seen on the Australian 'Dateline' program. Peter Meakin called it, "Her boutique little program". Of appearing on the low-budget multicultural channel, Jana told Sue Williams in 2000, "I quite like less of a profile off mainstream commercial television...I think there's a consciousness that I'm kicking about somewhere. And 'Dateline' has a real following." It was noted with Jana being deployed on 'Dateline', SBS changed the show's time slot, from Saturday nights to Wednesday nights, to give 'Dateline' greater visibility. "People at 'Dateline' are crazy about good stories. They can operate like people obsessed. We all get excited about things that happen half-way around the world." Jana also told Peter Wilmoth in 2003, "The focus on international affairs was something that suited me down to the ground." Mark Davis remembered, "She was good for 'Dateline'. The style of the program was deliberately rough and she certainly provided the smooth." 

Between 1982 and 1992, Jana Wendt was at the forefront of Australian journalism. John Westacott recalled, "I like her as a bloke. And she's an excellent journo." George Negus added, "Jana's not someone who will sit there and just read an auto cue." In July 1998, Jana interviewed 10 people for the 'Uncensored' program including Madeleine Albright, Norman Mailer, Katharine Graham, Frank Gehry, Toni Morrison, Gerry Adams, Germaine Greer and Markus Wolf. Jana had said in 1992, "My concern is that we hold out for really quality talkers...We were very keen to pick people that I had some sort of empathy for or fascination with." 

In 1992, former '60 Minutes' producer Gerald Stone "plucked Stan Grant from obscurity" to take on Jana Wendt at 6:30p.m. Despite "a massive publicity campaign", 'Real Life' was never hugely popular, although it did attract viewers when focused on "women's issues". Stan said in 1994, "Our ratings are very high on cellulite and dieting, even though sometimes you can do too much dieting too. We had a promo on a set of Olympic diets, which wasn't a great success at all." Jana insisted, "Look, I do what I do, and I do it the way I think it should be done. I don't construct anything for television. What I do on television is: No. 1, what is within my capacity and, No. 2, what I think is acceptable to an audience every night at 6:30." The U.S. edition of 'Real Life' "is not a standard newsmagazine program, with the traditional mix of investigative stories and high-profile interviews. Rather, it examines what Jane Pauley calls 'the mundane'. The program focuses on Ms. Pauley's personal fascination with what she calls the changing patterns of American life. She compared the show's technique to the process of archeology, which examines the everyday aspects of a culture to determine how it functions. The process is difficult to translate for television, Ms. Pauley conceded, because everyday people do not have press contacts to help get their stories out," the New York Times reported.

In June 2000, Jana talked to Dr Henry Kissinger on 'Dateline'.

Jana: Dr Kissinger, let me move closer to home, for us at least, to Indonesia. A great deal of head-scratching is going on about Indonesia's President Wahid. You are an adviser to the President - what do you make of the man?

Henry Kissinger: Well, he did me the honor of making me, might I add, an unpaid adviser at his initiative - it wasn't anything I offered him. I think he is a very serious man who is very eager to bring Indonesia into a democratic and humane future. But he has been the spiritual leader of an opposition group all his life, so the day-to-day process of governing is not something in which he has a lot of experience. But I think if the President can get through another year or so, that progress will become evident.

Jana: He does seem to be a conundrum for most observers. He is at the helm of a populous, and therefore very important, nation, but his personal style appears to be quirky and erratic. Do you think he is in control of what is going on in his country?

Henry Kissinger: His personal style is unusual, but so is the situation in Indonesia. My impression is that he thought he needed to establish himself and the position of democratic Indonesia as a different state from the preceding one by making a lot of foreign trips and sort of showing the flag. In the process, he may have been away more than would have been desirable for running the country internally, but my guess is that he has understood this.

Jana: Dr Kissinger, let me take you to China. There have been U.S. intelligence reports recently (in 2000) that have suggested China is preparing to blockade an important Taiwanese port somewhere around September or October (2000). Do you believe there is a real possibility of that happening?

Henry Kissinger: I cannot imagine that would happen in the middle of an American election campaign, and I would be disappointed if China decided to solve the Taiwan problem by military means.

Jana: There is, of course, talk in this country about Australia's defense capacity - in fact, it's debating a reorganization of its defense capacity now - and of course, there I talk about the eventuality of a conflict in the Taiwan Strait. As a solid American ally, do you think Australia would be expected to play a role if any such conflict did arise?

Henry Kissinger: ...I believe a conflict is avoidable, I believe it will be avoided, and I believe it is in everybody's interests - China's, Taiwan's, America's, Australia's - to conduct their diplomacy in such a way that there is no military conflict. And I think that should be the effort - not to speculate who will support whom in a war that would be a misfortune for everybody.

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