Hard News by Russell Brown


Media3: Bad News for the Force

As you would expect, Counties-Manukau police get a good rap in the new series of Crime Exposed on TV3. Such is the practuce of reality cop shows. But it can be a different matter when the police aren't in control of their stories.

In this week's Media3 we'll look at how the story of how Ella Mere Eketone's injuries -- allegedly at the hands of a policeman -- started as an angry Facebook post and became headline news. And at the way all hell broke loose on the Counties-Manukau Police Facebook page last Tuesday, when hundreds of comments like these were posted.


The social media wisdom, of course, is that organisations gain stature by leaving critical comments in place -- and that deleting such comments invites an even bigger backlash. But should the police admins have deleted the more threatening comments, sooner? What was the benchmark for keeping the comments up? Was there even a strategy? Shouldn't there have been someone there in the discussions saying -- as callers to the police station were told -- that the victim should make an official complaint as soon as possible?

We'll also look into the cancellation of the Television Awards and how that decision was made -- you might be surprised with what we've found -- and I'll talk to Hugh Sundae about the Moas, the rootsy, good-humoured awards event he staged with Ant Timpson after the film awards bit the dust last year. It was webcast and shown later on Rialto Channel, rather than being ordered to fit a commercial TV schedule -- and it worked. Is the answer for the Television Awards also to return it to the people it's for and forget about it being a glittering showcase for TV?

Media3 has, if you didn't already catch the news, been promoted out of the Saturday morning zone to Wednesday nights, 11.20pm after Nightline, which means that we'll be recording tomorrow evening.

The venue remains the same. We'd love to have you along for the recording and we'll need you to come to the Villa Dalmacija ballroom, 10 New North Road, Auckland, at 5.30pm tomorrow.

PS: There will also be zombies.

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