Cracker by Damian Christie

Mo' Money

She’s been a funny old year.

In January I was in my twenties, working in student radio, and not entirely sure that leaving life as a lawyer behind was the right decision. I had a moustache.

Come December, I’m in my thirties, working for the biggest broadcaster in the land with an exciting new future ahead of me. And, if recent events are anything to go by, a whole lot of room to grow.

Okay, the twenties-thirties thing was going to happen no matter what. Some things, such as getting my eyes lasered, and shaving off the mo’, took seconds to achieve, and left me wondering why I’d left it so long. Others, like getting a column, seemed the pay-off for years of writing for anyone who’d publish me – back before blogging redefined how ‘being a writer’ works.

Tomorrow I finish my first job in television, as a producer on TV2’s Flipside. It’s been a great show to work on, a fantastically talented young crew, led by the Wise Old (comparatively speaking) Owl Jude Anaru. I owe her a lot. And I know Flipside will be missed.

Having said that, I don’t have a lot of time for life’s whingers. And despite ostensibly grand intentions, single-issue blogs such as reinventingtvnz are only ever going to be a haven for that sort of person. The sort of person who, as my father often said ‘would moan if his bum was on fire’. Never quite understood that one. The sort of person who calls TVNZ to complain because Coro’s been moved, or Judy’s talking like a native again and it’s not even Maori language week, or why is Ali off sick, or the old weather symbol they used to have for the sun was a lot clearer than the new one, or why isn’t there more sport/less sport/hamster throwing, or why doesn’t that lovely Sacha freshen up her look with a nice perm…

Piss off.

It has to be a tribute to the power of television that not only does everyone has an opinion on it, everyone thinks they have some ownership of it. Not just TVNZ, because that’s literally true, but all free-to-air telly.

As I mentioned the other week, there are more column inches on TV presenters at the moment than, dare I say it, any real news. When did the newspapers take over from Woman’s Day in this regard? When one TV news leads its broadcast – leads, I tells ya – with news about how much the other’s newsreader is getting paid, isn’t that all just a little silly?

I can’t blame 3 for making a meal of the story – inter-media rivalry is at an all time high. Whether it’s APN going up against Fairfax over the spy story, the Sunday papers trying to outdo each other every weekend, ZB versus Radio Live (pronounce it “liv” I say, that’ll learn ‘em for choosing a dumb name) or the sudden smorgasboard 7pm current affairs.

But what a fantastic time to be working in the industry. While long term, it might not be sustainable to have three Sunday papers, three talk radio stations or three 7pm current affairs shows, right now there’s opportunity aplenty for talented people, or inevitably, those with no talent and a whole lot of drive.

‘Thrusters’, my mate Simon calls them.

As from next week I’ll be posting from the comfort of my lounge sofa. I feel compelled to do some sort of best of times/worst of times final post for the year – please send me your submissions. David Slack promises* to give you an iPod if you do.

*doesn’t promise.