Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Changing the News

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  • Pete Sime,

    I noticed the other night the 6 o'clock news on TV1 screened rowing footage sourced from the internet. It's quality was totally unacceptable - artifacting made it incredibly blurry and the sound was very tinny. It wasn't amateur footage, either. it had a network logo in the corner (from CNN or ESPN or something) so surely they could have got it at an appropriate quality. Copyright law allows them to screen this stuff, but are they getting too tight to license quality footage?

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I've noticed that a couple of times recently Pete, can't remember which channel, but I think it was sports news as well.

    It looked like they'd downloaded it from youtube or similar.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I've noticed that a couple of times recently Pete, can't remember which channel, but I think it was sports news as well.

    It looked like they'd downloaded it from youtube or similar.

    The way local TV news captures YouTube video seems suboptimal -- ie, it's captured from the screen, rather than downloaded.

    With the right tools, it's easy enough to see (and download) the underlying files on YouTube -- there's generally a 480p MP4 available, and sometimes 720p and even 1080p versions.

    It always amuses me when I'm compiling video that's at a higher resolution than the TV channel our show goes out on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Academia, or as I like to call it "the land that wit forgot"

    Too harsh, Giovanni! We enjoy a joke* as much as the next bloke/blokess--and we do have the advantage of captive audiences!

    * but the joke about Catholic priests and cheerios on 7 Days last week did border on the marginal!

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    What is the 6 pm news for?

    For anyone connected to the internet we can and do get better pictures faster than TVNZ does. They really don't do in depth studies. So is the only purpose of the 6 pm news to provide news and pictures to those without internet?

    If that's the case than the academic joke is a simple truth. The audience is old folks who can't or won't get connected. That's a sizable audience but it is also a dying audience. It's also a conservative audience and that would argue that the 6 pm news will become focussed on law and order and babies.

    It really does seem to me that TVNZ hasn't figured out what an appropriate role is for broadcast TV given an audience that is connected by phone and computer. If they don't figure out a role then maybe cutting more staff is appropriate.

    And having seen "the media" turn up to our street every night for a week to present the crime scene, it's hard to take any live cross seriously.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I watch the TV news so I know what spin others are being subjected to. Certainly not to understand what's going on in the world.

    Be interesting to see if the faster feedback loops in online channels affect corrections as stories evolve during the day. Radio NZ seem to handle that building of a story really well, even during the course of Morning Report as later interviews are weaved in.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    What Bart said.

    Also, just speculating here -- people increasingly watch things on their own schedule, whether via DVD, PVR, local file, or streamed off the internet. The only reasons for anyone to check in with the broadcast media are 1) they're showing something unobtainable elsewhere 2) they're showing something that has value for being live 3) they're showing something where I want the experience of debriefing with my social circle the next day.

    Hence the proliferation of live crosses and the fake drama that surrounds them. Broadcast news groping for that sense of exclusiveness and immediacy that would justify you dropping everything for the news, instead of dipping into the media stream at a time of your choosing. The days of the family gathered around the set together to watch the news are going as fast as reading the morning newspaper over breakfast, and for much the same reasons.

    And as far as broadcasts go, the more frequent broadcasts and "updates" are, paradoxically the less reason I have to tune into any particular scheduled show. I won't miss anything important.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    That was extremely lucid, Stephen.

    Not that I'm surprised. Just sayin'.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Due to other commitments, we have a routine of watching the news at 7pm on MySky. The lead story can take up to the first ad break, and once you realise you have been reading about it online, hearing it on the Radio, or discussing it at work or play all day, you can fast forward to other items that haven't yet reached you.

    Then you get to skip the finance part, having seen the dollar, roll your eyes as the ASB talking head goes past at 30X, and before you know it it's Sports, What's Toni wearing, and some banter (which was particularly funny last night) about John's career as an actor.

    "Come over here". He gets all the best lines.

    Yeah, watching the News is no longer very news related in our household.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    I hope the news folk who are left are able to give us a good lead on the six phantom boats that are alleged to have headed for NZ in the past year.

    This has to be the second most disgusting piece of politics I have read about this and both Labour and National are now guilty.

    And this from JK??

    He said New Zealand "actively sent a deterrent" to one ship that was heading here from Indonesia.

    What?

    Does anyone remember the phantom boat "just passing Vanuatu" and "on the way here"? And lo, over the next few days special legislation was enacted to nail them when they beached here.

    What? Oh thats right...they didn't exist.

    Watch for the next piece to turn up on the parlaimentary agenda.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    PS That post from stinking hot Croatia!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    That was extremely lucid, Stephen.

    Thank you. I figured that after Dave Ferguson's observation on our contemptuous attitude, and Damien's perpetual lament at how we always rag on his avocation, that for once I could lay off my usual comment on how crap the TV news is and apply some brainpower to looking for structural reasons for the crapness.

    I feel another extended comment on the news considered as a serial drama (you know, recurring characters, narrative arcs, that sorta thing) coming on though...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    I feel another extended comment on the news considered as a serial drama (you know, recurring characters, narrative arcs, that sorta thing) coming on though...

    That's why the tv media love doing crime stories. It's the same set narrative. You get some offence, film the victims (shadowed out with altered voices if it's a sex crime) or their neighbours/customers etc. Then there's the police hunt - the victims or a serious looking police officer may make a public appeal. The Sensible Sentencing Trust puts their two pennyworth in. The Police Association is asked for comment. The capture of the villain. The first glimpse of him at the courthouse - probably with a blanket or a jersey over his head (it's almost always a guy). If the network is lucky, they'll shove away the camera. Then there's the whole trial, which offers its own theatre. If it's controversial like Bain or Ellis it can be milked for years. They may try to expand out on issues arising from a single offence - should we license air rifles? Are there enough cops in South Auckland? How could people do that to their kids? Are you safe in your own house? The politicians get involved and have their say and muddy the waters in their own unique manner too.

    It's the same lazy narrative all the time.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    putting the sad in sadistic...
    and news staff aren't getting out much it seems...

    I heard some reporter on One News tonight, talking about the "masochistic organisers" of an extreme sports event in the US, a kiwi team was training for...

    ...and what is the preoccupation with Mel Gibson, so an actor (and director) is a complete tosser – gosh that sure is big international news, while this boring stuff here, here and here is best ignored, right?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Good Media 7 last night. I am organising another road trip with my students, to join the audience for the August 18 taping.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2559 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    and Damien's perpetual lament at how we always rag on his avocation

    It'd probably help if you spelled his name right. Sayin'.

    ;-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Good Media 7 last night. I am organising another road trip with my students, to join the audience for the August 18 taping

    Excellent. Lacey will sort you out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Seka,

    Personally, my issue is with the Journalists / presenters.

    Investigative journalist's in New Zealand seldom comes to conclusions via scientific means, they regularly state opinion as fact and, the amount of times I've seen a misleading headline or printed misinformation (which never gets rectified) is quite horrifying.

    I think journo's and presenters need to be kept under strict watch because they are in a position of great power and influence.

    Most reporters seem to lack the ability to investigate things adequately, I'm not sure why it's called investigative journalism.

    Another problem for me is, TVNZ's website only allows comments on selected stories and not others. They should allow comments on all of their stories as the comments section is the only place an unknowing individual can scroll through to try and get an idea of how truthful the stories are.

    Also, it's quite obvious that every single television reporter is from the same socio-economic background. And we all know that birds of a feather flock together.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Seka,

    Also, someone mentioned the sensible sentencing trust above. Don't even get me started on them... they're the least sensible people I've ever come into contact with and I believe their agenda is in line with that of upper class business men.

    I recently emailed them after seeing them commit defamation against a young 17 year old and his friends on their website... the particular link was removed after I pointed out that they were committing defamation. However, I'm sure they knew that to begin with and really it should never have been their in the first place.

    Sorry for going off topic, I'll refrain in future.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2010 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Personally, my issue is with the Journalists / presenters.

    To be honest, I have sympathy for a lot (but not all) of them. They're the public face of some pretty tight constraints imposed by management. Which in turn relates to the way in which media is regulated (or not) in New Zealand.

    I think it's pretty much impossible to change that policy environment now unfortunately. At least not without a groundswell of public opinion or a particularly popular government with guts and a backbone. The hysterical reaction we'd see from the media and National would be overwhelming.

    Also, it's quite obvious that every single television reporter is from the same socio-economic background. And we all know that birds of a feather flock together.

    That's pretty much true, on the other hand. You'll almost never see a person with a low income (almost half of NZers) on non-fiction television, unless they're pulled over on the side of the road without a warrant. Perhaps the exclusion of poor Kiwis is a subject for a Media 7 discussion?

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    (Old klutz me posted in wrong thread. Move along.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    @Ross M:

    I hope the news folk who are left are able to give us a good lead on the six phantom boats that are alleged to have headed for NZ in the past year.

    This has to be the second most disgusting piece of politics I have read about this and both Labour and National are now guilty.

    And this from JK??

    Children Overboard, anyone?

    @Seka: if it's on Webarchive.org, we can still expose their hypocrisy.

    @George D: a case of the law not catching up with media ownership structures. Something has to be done, but how? How have other countries dealt with the issue

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    @George D: a case of the law not catching up with media ownership structures. Something has to be done, but how? How have other countries dealt with the issue?

    NZ moved faster to deregulation than almost anywhere in the world. It's produced an amazing and vibrant radio sector in Auckland, but in other media and locations the results haven't been so stellar. Nevertheless, I'm frequently surprised in Australia by restrictions on media that seem to inhibit the creation and operation of media outlets, particularly in radio.

    It may be time for an enquiry to sit down and work out what expectations New Zealand has of existing and new media. Or perhaps just as likely the internet will have changed things so sufficiently within the next decade that an rather different approach will be needed, and waiting a few years turns out to be not such a bad thing.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Also, it's quite obvious that every single television reporter is from the same socio-economic background. And we all know that birds of a feather flock together.

    It would seem,not just reporters
    Hey, I had nowhere else to put it. :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    We need more. I think it's best not to be specific about this policy.

    At last, truth in politics.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

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