Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About Campbell Live

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    getting their mates to shut down the last bastion of hard questions is probably the latest Crosby Textor master plan for mediocrity

    It took about an hour to fill the "Crosby Textor" box on my bingo card, which TBF was about fifty minutes longer than I expected. Well done, PAS.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Serious question: who here regularly watches Campbell Live? And by that, I mean the full episode, live to air. Not occasionally watching a video someone has shared on Facebook.

    But actually it's the wrong question.

    Media today is a mesh of facebook/twitter/instagram and yes the actual show as it airs.

    I do watch the show live about once a week.

    But more importantly I follow its reporters and engage with it on the internet in multiple forms.

    Thinking about TV in the narrow blinkered vision of the live ratings is dinosaur thinking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Serious question: who here regularly watches Campbell Live? And by that, I mean the full episode, live to air. Not occasionally watching a video someone has shared on Facebook.

    Its about the only thing I still watch on broadcast TV (and even then, I kill it if it heads into fluff territory). Once its gone, I might as well simply dispense with the broadcast receiver entirely.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to webweaver,

    And then I read Matthew Hooton's tweet from earlier "I understand that MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon thinks @CampbellLiveNZ & @JohnJCampbell are too anti-government. " and get all depressed again.

    There's No Such Thing as too anti-government for a journalist. Its their job to hold power to account, and Campbell does it regardless of whether that government is red or blue. That's one of the reasons I bother to watch it.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    I watch 2-3 times a week normally on +1 so we watch over dinner. When there is something buzzy i'll watch on demand

    Post Christchurch it was destination TV

    can i ask what's with Greenpeace running a petition site? Isn't it a bit like signing a petition organised by a political party, in that you also advance the other causes/ agenda's of that organisation? Part of what appeals to me about action station is that it's free of all that. maybe a thought for another time

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 527 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    Serious question: who here regularly watches Campbell Live?

    Well, this is the actual question isn’t it? (At least as far as the 'dinosaur thinking' of Mediaworks goes.)

    I have to say that I don’t. My news diet these days is Morning Report, then a flick through the Herald and Stuff websites, then the Guardian and the New York Times… Broadcast TV doesn’t really feature.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • MxDEJ,

    The problem is all in Russell's post: Campbell Live is losing viewers, but it's a hit with the people who'll get behind a hashtag. If you were today's equivalent of John Campbell circa 2003, would the next step of your plan really be 7pm free-to-air TV?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But actually it’s the wrong question.

    Media today is a mesh of facebook/twitter/instagram and yes the actual show as it airs.

    I do watch the show live about once a week.

    But more importantly I follow its reporters and engage with it on the internet in multiple forms.

    Thinking about TV in the narrow blinkered vision of the live ratings is dinosaur thinking.

    Those things are great, but they don't matter. None of those things make any money for TV3 (although the value of your online views may be slightly positive, but negligibly).

    The only thing that matters to TV3 is their ratings. The number of people watching (according to Neilsen) determines the amount they can charge for advertising. If you're not watching the show (with its ads) then your engagement isn't valuable - at least measurably.

    Live ratings may be only a part of the picture, but ultimately they are the only part of the picture that has value on a show like Campbell Live.

    If TV3 thought they could attract higher ratings (thus higher revenue) with some packaged US sitcom (which would cost much less to license that Campbell costs to produce) then it ultimately would be a poor business decision for them not to put it on.

    Obviously they value local content to some extent so the replacement ideas we've heard about are NZ content, but still they will be chose based on a) lower cost and b) higher ratings potential.

    And, of course TV3 also have a daily serial drama (soap) series being commissioned, perhaps they're hoping it may have a shot at the timeslot in the future?

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    Well, this is the actual question isn’t it? (At least as far as the ‘dinosaur thinking’ of Mediaworks goes.)

    The "dinosaur thinking" thing is silly. Viewers are their product. They sell viewers to advertisers - that is their revenue model.

    Saying that ratings aren't important in that context is like saying that sales aren't important to a business... "Sure, people aren't buying your products, but heaps of them come and look at your shop, and they tweet about it, and a photo of your products was on the Reddit front page last week" -- if those things aren't resulting in sales then they aren't much use.

    If Campbell's popularity on social media and among the newsphiles of the country doesn't equate to ratings then it's essentially worthless to TV3.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    Well, this is the actual question isn’t it? (At least as far as the ‘dinosaur thinking’ of Mediaworks goes.)

    The “dinosaur thinking” thing is silly. Viewers are their product. They sell viewers to advertisers – that is their revenue model.

    Yep, I totally get that. The problem to my mind is that we have put ourselves in a place where only $ and hence only ratings count.

    I guess CL is actually being lamented as a (the?) last bastion of high-profile public service television in a country that has largely given up on such an endeavour.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    If Campbell's popularity on social media and among the newsphiles of the country doesn't equate to ratings then it's essentially worthless to TV3.

    It's not worthless, it's evidence that TV3 is not properly deploying a popular and potentially valuable asset. If their response is to drop the popular and potentially valuable asset, rather than questioning how they are using it, then that says that they aren't really interested in the business of broadcasting.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    Yep, I totally get that. The problem to my mind is that we have put ourselves in a place where only $ and hence only ratings count.

    I guess CL is actually being lamented as a (the?) last bastion of high-profile public service television in a country that has largely given up on such an endeavour.

    But MediaWorks (and TVNZ) are wholy commercial. Their job is to make money.

    Making good current affairs TV might be worth something for reputation points, but if that doesn't convert to viewers then it's not worth it for them.

    What we actually need is a proper public broadcaster. Until then it's hardly reasonable to demand that a business make bad commercial decisions just because we like the idea of something.

    Maybe the criticism will change TV3's mind, but then maybe it won't - because if they kill Campbell and put something else on we'll all have forgotten our outrage in 3 months anyway and if they haven't lost overall viewership then it was probably a good decision.

    If Campbell Live does go off air I sincerely hope John gets to ply his craft elsewhere, but the problem is that without that public interest broadcaster there isn't an obviously place to put the show.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    What we actually need is a proper public broadcaster. Until then it’s hardly reasonable to demand that a business make bad commercial decisions just because we like the idea of something.

    If Campbell Live does go off air I sincerely hope John gets to ply his craft elsewhere, but the problem is that without that public interest broadcaster there isn’t an obviously place to put the show.

    Well yes and yes again.

    I think what you're saying is quite true, and as a result I feel that NZ is buggered in this respect.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    A very good summation of the situation. Journalism is also a house with many rooms only one of which - and by no means the largest - is about holding power or governments to account. Sport, horse racing (decreasingly) farming (the Dom's Posts farming pages are almost the best thing in the paper), lifestyle, Hey Martha stories (hey Martha, wtf is this?), family tragedies, crime, lost/cute pets , the weather , book and movie reviews, the ads etc, etc all make up the daily diet of what interests consumers of journalism. If holding Government's to account was of overwhelming interest to the wider world there would be an awful lot more of it on all media outlets and it would make money, as old style magazine TV current affairs shows like the US 60 minutes did for CBS for many years. While I watch Campbell Live I can also see why I am among an increasingly small number of people who do so. It has pretty much one emotional tone and leaves you in no doubt of where it stands, which are also the main reasons why it appeals to a niche audience. That exclusionary and hectoring approach also renders the format wholly unsuitable for a public television channel. Fine for commercial TV not for publicly funded TV.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I can honestly say that Campbell Live is the only thing I would watch at 7pm, live to air. But do I watch it all the time? No. It's usually dinner time with the family.

    Same here, and I see Craig's also said something similar. Sometimes it's that TV1's just on (prefer it because subtitles are handy in a noisy household) and other times there's just to much else going on. I probably watch more Campbell Live through links to reports on TV3's website than actually watching the show as broadcast.

    Is it that the viewers no longer care about having journalism (compared with entertainment) in the 7pm slot, or that viewers no longer care about having quality journalism at all? Would a show like Campbell Live do any better, or at least make a better return, in a different timeslot?

    I'm not convinced many people even care about real news given how the news is repeatedly pushed as entertainment. ("Coming up, [asks a question]? We'll tell you if you watch later!"... compared with a few years ago when a promo would actually state what happened.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    After being part of a high school that got shat on by shonky 'journalism' by Campbell Live I refused to watch another episode. I figured if I (literally) couldn't believe the story about us (for good reason), then I couldn't believe ANY story they did. I saw how they operated trying to run around during the day trying to create a story for ratings that evening. If you can't create a story without crapping on people then don't bother.

    Seriously people. Whatever you watch on TV, even if you think it's good journalism.... walk alongside the cameras, or know something about the story and you'll quickly adjust your opinion.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Without Campbell, who would know about the suffering and the struggles of people in post-eqnz Christchurch?
    How can we quantify what it did for Chch people to be told "We haven't forgotten you"?

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I'd also mention KidsCan and the recent txt-fundraising for Vanuatu. This shit is IMPORTANT.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew R266,

    If TV3 doesn.'t provide good public interest broadcasting/reporting take away its licence to use public broadcast frequencies.

    Same for all other broadcasters.

    But linking responsibilities with private use of public assets is not part of neoliberal politics.

    Since Sep 2014 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I watch Campbell Live most nights but often it is later on +1. Other appointment viewing is Native Affairs, Media Take and Coronation Street, most of which I don't watch live. The programmers hate Coronation Street and have made it harder and harder to watch by mucking up the times and making it later and later, and keeping it two years behind the UK. That's because it appeals to the unvalued demographic of older people.

    I suspect many older people watch Campbell Live because he is an ethical and caring broadcaster from an earlier, more public service era. Yet in a ratings, poll driven era such things as ethics, honesty, compassion and story telling have no value.

    Those wanting to save Campbell Live need to make sure they and their friends and neighbours watch it live as often as possible and buy Mazdas.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    Without Campbell, who would know about the suffering and the struggles of people in post-eqnz Christchurch?
    How can we quantify what it did for Chch people to be told “We haven’t forgotten you”?

    That's probably CL's great example of putting editorial imperatives ahead of market sense. And good on them for that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Dystopiary or hedging our best...
    - I heard news of the impending 'review' of Campbell Live
    and thought - oh no, change for change's sake!
    No thought to the enduring, and endearing, qualities of constancy or benchmarking even.
    It's as if MediaWorks just want one type of customer/viewer - why wouldn't ya wanna mop up the niches as well - speak to everyone! Good for the advertiser, rather than just offering the eyes, minds and wallets of meatheads in a hurry...

    Perhaps if Julie Christie* is seeking currency & relevance rather than the most dollars they could head towards the Jon Stewart /John Oliver models - while still delivering quality information...
    ...rather than blowing about at the whim of facebook winds and twitter trends and turning news into gameshows - and let's face it that is the Christie oeuvre these days.

    I like a few points of difference in my gruel - a raisin d'etre as it were...

    But largely the whole problem is actuarial - NZ doesn't have the numbers for greed to survive, nay, flourish while still delivering a useful product to niche audiences - and looking around at what's happening in NZ these days, I'd say I'm decidedly not mainstream canon fodder.

    Does anyone know what numbers the CL website attracts for fuller interviews, etc? Is there room to change platforms (Confession: to be honest I can't bring myself to engage in the full media-immersive Paul 'Hooray' Henry Experience to know whether it can fly, I suspect it is still a rough-house midway for freaks and players- who wants 'wit-bricks' for breakfast?)

    * <personal problem> I can't see the name Julie Christie without thinking of Fahrenheit 451 (the movie) - this now seems all rather too apt...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    How can a democracy survive if it's public broadcast media is a dumbed down dystopia of reality TV and fact free shock jocks?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Serious question: who here regularly watches Campbell Live?

    I watched during the Dirty Politics book release.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Tom Semmens,


    (NSFW)
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

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