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The Newsreader: behind the scenes

Producer Joanna Werner talks about 80s styles, shoulder pads and the challenges bringing the new dramatic ABC series The Newsreader to the screen.

Long before she produced the hugely successful Dance Academy, Joanna Werner reveals that she longed for a career in news and current affairs.

“My dream when I was younger was to be a producer on 60 Minutes,” recalls Werner. “I didn’t want to necessarily be on camera, although I did want to be a foreign correspondent, but I wanted to be a news producer.”

As fortune had it, writer Michael Lucas was working on an idea set in a 1980s newsroom and brought it to Werner for her thoughts. She immediately responded to his strong script and set to work on bringing The Newsreader to the screen.

In this behind-the-scenes video, Werner discusses the challenges attracting overseas investors to the project, the team’s commitment to representing an authentic visual aesthetic and the horrors they learned about real newsroom workplaces whilst conducting their research.

The Newsreader airs on ABC TV on Sunday nights from 15 August 2021, with catch-up episodes on ABC iview.