Hard News by Russell Brown


Screen Wars

The least appealing aspect of the television business is always the politics, as this week's flap over the unscreened footage of the Qantas Film and Television Awards amply demonstrates.

TV3, it would appear, is being petty in refusing TVNZ access to the parts of the awards it left out of its coverage – which, of course, largely consist of news and current affairs awards won by TVNZ.

On the other hand, it was TVNZ's year to be the awards broadcaster, and take the commercial blow of screening a programme that isn't exactly a ratings winner. It didn't, so TV3 stepped in.

Now might be a good time for both parties to remember that they are both stakeholders in the Television Broadcasters' Council, which runs the awards, and whose very reason for being is to facilitate co-operation between free-to-air broadcasters.


Nearly everyone likes District 9, right? Can you think of who might really, really not like it?

Yes, the Nigerians, for reasons which will be understandable to anyone who's seen the film.

This should not, of course, be construed as simple racism. As I understand the situation in South Africa, Nigerian immigrants don't tend to be flavour of the month with locals of any hue -- some of them are major players in organised crime in the republic. Still, giving the gang leader the same name as a former Nigerian president would seem to have been a step too far.

Meanwhile, it looks like the success of the film has taken its owners by surprise. It didn't get the near-simultaneous release accorded to marquee films, and would-be moviegoers in slowcoach territories are pirating it in very large numbers, especially since the so-called R5 release (Region 5, taking in Russia and other high-piracy countries, tends to get DVD releases sooner than others) hit the wires. My advice? Stump up and see it at the cinema if you haven't already


And so to this week's Media7, which will unfold thus:

The media and science: featuring a panel of the Prime Minister's chief science advisor Peter Gluckman, Science Media Centre manager Peter Griffin (whose new SciBlogs platform is eagerly awaited) and the Herald's Chris Barton.

The Google Books wrangle: with digital-savvy publisher Martin Taylor and authors Lynley Hood and David Slack.

And a catch-up with Carol Hirschfeld, as she looks forward to her new job at Maori Television.

If you'd like to join us for tomorrow's recording, we'd need you at TVNZ from 5pm. Just hit "Reply" and let me know. (To anyone who asked to come along last week and got no reply – sorry, the messages were lost because of a technical fault with the back end of the site.)

PS: We've part of a little ffunnell campaign for Freeview, which will involve some diary-writing by DVR (that's "digital video recorder") newbies. Three people will get -- to keep! -- different models of Freeview DVR to see what they make of it and share their experiences. Hit reply and tell me why it should be you.

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