Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio New Zealand: changing the channel

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  • Jonathan King,

    "Radio New Zealand is radio-centric ..." Hmm.

    Since Sep 2010 • 185 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    How does setting up separate management streams for radio and online services ensure better convergence and efficient use of content across all channels?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    This government hates public radio and has frozen its budget forever. It’s hatchet man CEO Paul Thompson says the future is online and (on thin evidence) declares broadcast radio dying.

    The end game is obvious. Sell off the frequencies, and all of RNZ will become an internet only shell. It’ll be the converged digital revolution, just not the way anyone expected.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    If they follow this government's approach to television when it handed Heartland to Sky, RNZ may become a news-gathering shop providing free content to private broadcasters.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Alan Perrott,

    no time to think about this, busy reeling from the loss of Radio Sport's FM frequency. although I spose AM will lend a little nostalgic static to Wads's cricket commentary.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 438 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Jonathan King,

    Well, quite. And I assume they are not funded to produce a text news website, which isn't (like a newspaper) a question of delivering text you were already writing in a different form.

    It does interest me the difference in scale between an alternative broadcaster like Active or bFM (two or three paid employees, generally in ad sales, right) and a public broadcaster. The BBC probably peaked in the 1970s when a friend of mine was employed as a new grad to maintain the "birthday book", which was a list of notable peoples birthdays.

    (Such that the poptastic DJ could announce:

    and Elvis Costello is 26 today. Twice the age of my girlfriend. Oh, oops

    ).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    The need for Radio New Zealand to increase both the size and diversity of its audience is emphasised throughout the material distributed to staff.

    Hope that doesn't mean that news programs like Morning Report slip into frothy stuff to appeal to frothy people who love to hear about the Royal family doings and what celebrities eat, in order to widen the audience. National Radio has a wide range of topics now, like Rural Report, World News, Nine to Noon, The Panel, Morning Report etc. Pretty diverse.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Bill Bennett,

    "General Manager of Content"

    After years of working in the media, I hear alarm bells whenever a manager uses the word 'content' instead of news, reporting, journalism or whatever. Remember advertising, editorial and propaganda are also all 'content'.

    There seems to be a direct correlation between the use of this term - in this context - and a drop in standards. I first heard it used by a media exec when I was in Australia working for Fairfax and Fred Hilmer - a man who hated news - used the term to describe journalists. Actually he said something to the effect that "journalists are only content providers' as if we were just shovelling words into the spaces between advertising.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2012 • 11 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    On the other hand, most of what’s on the Radio New Zealand website is repurposed radio content. So what could be a substantial story today on the leak of a memo on what looks like a developing debacle around the new Crown Company Health Benefits Limited is sold short online with not much more than a newsbrief.

    On the Granny web front page as of typing this, though you have to scroll down to find it. By comparison, the top-of-the-page stories are mostly crime-related. And not everyone has the attention span that we do.

    Govt health initiative slammed in leaked memo

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Jonathan King,

    "Radio New Zealand is radio-centric ..."
    Hmm.

    +1,
    with knobs on!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ianmac,

    Hope that doesn't mean that news programs like Morning Report slip into frothy stuff to appeal to frothy people who love to hear about the Royal family doings and what celebrities eat, in order to widen the audience.

    That's just ever so slightly condescending there, Ianmac. For one, I didn't exactly notice National Radio going light on Willkat (and George too!) stories and I really hope whoever ends up running the show (and regardless of the job title on their cards) thinks a little harder and deeper about who they're meant to serve. The British Broadcasting Corporation, for all its flaws, manages to turn out plenty of not-at-all-dumbed down content (YES! I used the other c-word, deal with it) that is aimed at a slightly broader audience than upper-middle class middle-aged white people. And I've got absolutely no problems with Wallace Chapman not following Chris Laidlaw's determination to turn Sunday morning into aural ketamine.

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

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bill Bennett,

    ...as if we were just shovelling words into
    the spaces between advertising.

    Damn!
    Rotters!
    There goes my secret ComPost start up idea...
    a big jumble of information,
    dry and wet, prodded
    and turned till eventually
    it becomes the 'good dirt'

    Haven't thought it
    through fully as yet...

    Decomposition is merely
    a drawn-out breakdown
    on the thin line between
    humorous and humus

    feed the earth...

    oops. that reminds me,
    it's bin day, I'd better go...

    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • paddy free, in reply to Bill Bennett,

    I hate the term "content" too. For me, it's one of the other two "C-words"... "Content" and "Client".

    piha • Since Dec 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That’s just ever so slightly condescending there, Ianmac.

    Not meant to be Craig. Great believer in freedom of choice. Just hope that programs such as Morning Report does not sacrifice content in order to make it more popular.

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    with the herald going behind a paywall soon (ill believe it when i see it) a second news website with the kind of independence I can rely on would actually be pretty cool. At least we could skip those awfull pop ads and preroll adverts on video content

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 221 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    I don't much care how the news arrives as long as it is accurate which is I think the first requirement for taxpayer funded news radio. That doesn't mean they have to get it right first time every time but when they do screw up it should 1. bother them and 2. they should make attempts to fix it. That has mostly been the RNZ culture so far whereas most of the others news organisations have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the lawyers/press council/broadcasting standards. I do however get tired of their over emphasis on politics. To me that reflects their resource allocation with a big political team and not much else. Some non-politics reporters really know their stuff - Lois Williams in Northland, their Education reporter and so on.....I trust what they say. On the other hand they have not had a Maori Affairs Reporter worthy of the name since Chris Wikaira left the premises well over a decade ago, which is pretty damn hopeless when you think about it. It makes them Radio New Zea....... not Radio New Zealand. Maybe someone from Te Manu Korihi will eventually take over. If the new structure can maintain their news values and change some of the resource allocations it will be a success in my view.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tinakori,

    Some non-politics reporters really know their stuff – Lois Williams in Northland, their Education reporter and so on…..

    Todd Niall in Auckland is also a welcome source of measured, knowledgeable reporting. If I recall rightly, the special correspondents system was set up by Al Morrison and it's been a real treasure. Fortunately, it looks like they're not going to mess with it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tinakori,

    over emphasis on politics. To me that reflects their resource allocation with a big political team and not much else.

    To me it reflects them still being too much a creature of Wellington..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Wish this made me feel enthusiasm for what could be, rather than fear for the loss of what we have.
    On the one hand, there's plenty of vacant space in the public broadcasting/news-covering sphere.
    On the other, doing more with less is music to managers. But it can be a manic march to the funeral pyre for organisations. A frozen- hence sinking- budget is the stark reality.
    That's how much the 'shareholder' values RNZ.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    If I recall rightly, the special correspondents system was set up by Al Morrison and it's been a real treasure. Fortunately, it looks like they're not going to mess with it.

    Good - because if we're going to get into managerialspeak "authoritative" is exactly the box a sound news and current affairs brand should most emphatically tick. Of course, every newsroom should have sound general reporters up the wazoo. But the specialists that really know their round, have strong contacts with all the players, and a depth of knowledge to see the scoops that set the agenda instead of following it? That's value you can't reduce to a line item on a spreadsheet.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    But the specialists that really know their round, have strong contacts with all the players, and a depth of knowledge to see the scoops that set the agenda instead of following it? That’s value you can’t reduce to a line item on a spreadsheet.

    When we first started Media7, we had then-Education correspondent Gael Woods on to talk about reporting of the Avondale school stabbing incident, and I was so impressed with the way she knew the story every whichway, including things I hadn't thought of. Really brought home to me what those roles are about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Which reminds me, Russell, how are things going with MediaMatters? I am looking to Semester B teaching and it would good to be able to take students on field trips again.

    RNZ has gone rather dullish in the weekday afternoons. I think it needs new voices.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Which reminds me, Russell, how are things going with MediaMatters? I am looking to Semester B teaching and it would good to be able to take students on field trips again.

    It’s Media Take and it launches on July 1!

    Let us settle into recordings-- which will be at the building site formerly known at TVNZ, we'll work out how we do it and, yeah, we'd be delighted to host your students again.

    RNZ has gone rather dullish in the weekday afternoons. I think it needs new voices.

    Relevant comparison: Radio NZ’s music-related programming on Saturday afternoons. It’s obviously more niche than weekdays could be, but it’s been consistently good for a long time and it has evolved over that time.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    which will be at the building site formerly known at TVNZ

    without an audience?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    without an audience?

    With audience. Not sure where to tell people to assemble etc. It's quite difficult there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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