Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Soap Opera

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Morning Report chose instead to give John Key a chance to create a new mini (sterial) scandal.

    FFS, James, do you also blame John Key when it rains? I'm sorry (and I'm sure many will argue the toss), but O'Connor's rather poor judgement that touches on a pportfo racked by(far from trivial)scandals was a perfectly legitimate story - not least because Helen Clark has been quite happy to comment on it, and not only on Morning Report today either.

    I know Key is the anti-Christ and the media are all his tame bitches, but really...

    As for APEC, I'm mildly surprised that anyone bothers sending reporters to an event more tightly stage managed and pre-spun than your average All Blacks presser.

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

  • Che Tibby,

    when anyone has a demonstrable fear of something, sorry Che, but did you read that comment?

    not so sure that i'm afraid of the burbclaves, so much as cynical that whatever they're currently doing or using is completely meaningless to planning for places like tvnz.

    look at the flip-top mobile phone for example, or sliding doors. there's a strong argument that star trek is the origin of these popular technologies.

    but not because the show influenced consumption patterns. it's because the tech-heads who actually design and build these things are trekkies, and they were, undoubtably influenced by the show.

    so if we translate that to tv consumption.

    tech-heads are creating new consumption patterns. such as moving away from pushTV and towards self-programming.

    the question becomes not whether the burbclaves will move away from pushTV. no-one likes ads and being fed bullshit. the question is (IMHO) in what way this same behaviour be exhibited among non-tech consumers?

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    "Possibly, but I still think that it's possible for us to get carried away with the idea that our own little bubble of tech-savvy early adopters is representative."

    Or more to the point, we are already on one side of the digital divide, regular readers of the Guardian online whilst far to many of our fellow citizens are stuck with free to air, which is increasingly the equivalent of a community newspaper in a world of subscription magazines. I

    Actually I play a variety of sports and numerous extra-curricular interests that keep me out of the house five nights out of any given seven; Thats why I want my content to be there when I am enjoying the luxury of a night in. As a person who actually does get out of the house and who likes to think of himself as tech savvy I suppose I am double disqualified to be regarded as representative, but dammit us inner city dwellers with fabulous lifestyles deserve to be catered to as much as any 'burbite!

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

  • James,

    do you also blame John Key when it rains?

    Actually Craig, until you mentioned it, I hadn't thought to blame JK for anything. As a smart politician, he gratefully took the opportunity offered him.

    But now that you have mentioned it, yes, it would been rather prime-minister-in-waiting of him to change the subject back to whether it will ever rain in Australia again, and what his country should be doing about it ...

    New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    This fiasco damaged poor Susan's reputation ... and, I think, was a big part in her sad decision to quit a year later, exhausted and discouraged.

    oh, so it had nothing to do with those OMIGOD!! rumours I heard about her then?

    The likes of John Barnett -- whose company has done incredibly well for TVNZ -- are welcome back in the building, and seem comfortable being there.

    You mean, since Tony Holden left the building? Let us not forget that TVNZ used to own South Pacific Pictures, before selling it to Barnett. Who then JV'ed it with All3Media, presumably recouping his investment. (But let's not deny the huge growth the company delivered since privatisation)

    The wholesale loss of staff from Breakfast to TV3's forthcoming Sunrise has been fairly bizarre, but it would be wise to wait and see whether TV3 can actually turn a dollar out of a shared break TV audience, which was small enough anyway, before declaring a disaster.

    And when are TV3 going to start plugging Sunrise? Do they really think that kiwis are lemmings and will blindly switch on 3 after the RWC is over? I woulda thought the RWC would have been a great time to launch their new breakfast show, not immediately after.

    I've been horrified by news coverage of APEC

    The most insightful coverage I got at the weekend was an accidental viewing of AL Jazerra on Triangle. Amongst other things they had a great graphic highlighting how APEC has never actually acheived anything since its inception. All 'declarations' are non-binding and lo! no-one has actually done what they said they'd do. You have to wonder what's the point of being a member, and whether it's worth the millions to participate.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    I have worked at very high-tech international companies, for 3D, GPS, Graphics Cards, Twin Core, HUD displays, the list goes on, and I'll tell you, though I met and discussed stuff way over my head with Nobel prize winners and serious algorithmic wunderkindes with congenital propeller heads, no-one was a Trekkie and no-one designed for the end user. Sad, frightening, but true.
    And come on you got thing for Teh Burbs, gwan.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    i hates them, precious.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    couldn't quite see it on the fuzzy projector, but it seemed to me that in the survey of internet heavy-users' viewing habits, the answers available to the question "if you're watching less TV now, what are you doing with your time?" only included options such as using the internet, reading and gaming. Nothing that involves, you know, getting out of the house.

    There was also no chance to say that we do the internets at the same time as we watches the TV. Or was this survey deliberately skewed towards boys who can only do one thing at once? Heh.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    Why don't the folks in the TV industry look at the dropping viewers numbers and think for a second
    "maybe we're doing something they don't like"

    You don't have to spend much time at the water cooler to realise everyone (absolutely everyone) hates the overwhelming frequency of ads. And anyone who watches the news is amazed at how shallow it all is.

    I realise you need ads to make money. But I also know you don't have to have ads every 5 minutes of a show (especially when Dr Who is reaching the climactic phases of an episode). That's just greedy and obnoxious and only drives people to watch DVDs.

    As for the NEWS @ 6. Just maybe if they started paying for journalists to develop in depth news rather than getting pretty reporters to ask how everyone feels - they might just discover that people would start watching the NEWS @ 6.

    As it is with 10 minutes of introducing the pretty presenter of the day, 10 minutes of weather, 10 minutes of World Cup waffle and 10 minutes of telling us what they'll tell us after the ad break - that leaves about 2 minutes of actual news (and 18 minutes of ads of course).

    And they wonder why viewer numbers drop.

    I don't have confidence in freeview to change any of that. I believe those in the industry have lost any idea of what TV is able to do for society. TV is still an important media and has the opportunity to inform and educate as well as entertain - I just don't know if there is anyone left in NZ who wants to bother.

    cheers
    Bart

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4460 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Or more to the point, we are already on one side of the digital divide, regular readers of the Guardian online whilst far to many of our fellow citizens are stuck with free to air, which is increasingly the equivalent of a community newspaper in a world of subscription magazines.

    That strikes a chord with me, not that I would want to be seen as elitist ; )
    I don't consider myself an early adaptor by any means but when you have been away from NZ TV for a while (and TV in general for that matter) you find other ways to amuse yourself and you don't want to go back to being spoonfed.
    As far as getting outside and doing actual stuff goes, a real paper copy of the Guardian or a book while sitting in the sun on the beach gets my vote.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Che, maybe some deep Burb immersion at my place, we have 2 sets of ranch sliders, a spa landing area (but no spa) and the obligatory red pavement ringing the cul-de-sac (love that term). We're also getting our own mini mall designed like a Tuscan village. We may all have to wear Tuscan peasant costumes to shop locally.
    I think that's a good thing. Thanks to ARC we're getting a train trial soon (use it or lose it!) so we're can be a real dormitory 'burb, they're the best ones.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    You mean, since Tony Holden left the building?

    Now you mention it, yes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    FFS, James, do you also blame John Key when it rains? I'm sorry (and I'm sure many will argue the toss), but O'Connor's rather poor judgement that touches on a pportfo racked by(far from trivial)scandals was a perfectly legitimate story

    I do think that a stronger minister in a more popular government would probably have shrugged off this story though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22839 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    merc, you need a dose of this prayer against demonic snares

    Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, having struck down the ancient serpent and bound him in Tartarus by bonds of darkness, protect me from his snares.

    Through the prayers of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, of the holy Archangel Michael and all the Heavenly hosts, of the holy Prophet and Baptist John, of the holy Evangelist John the Theologian, of the holy Martyr Cyprian and the Martyr Justinia, of St. Nicholas the wonderworker, of St. Nikita of Novgorod, of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, the wonderworker … and of all the saints, by the power of the life-giving Cross and by the intercession of my Guardian Angel, deliver me from evil spirits, from cunning people, from sorcery, curses, the evil eye, and from any slanders of the enemy.

    By Thine almighty power preserve me from evil, so that I, enlightened by Thy light, may safely reach the quiet anchorage of the Heavenly Kingdom that is called Shortland Street nightly at 7pm and there eternally thank Thee, my Savior, together with Thine unoriginate Father and Thy Most Holy and Life-giving Spirit. Amen.

    less tv will also be good for you.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    But Che, pleased to meet you but don't you know my name?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_%28mythology%29
    I'm a funny TV watcher. At the local vid complex (deep in the Burb) we get 5 for 5.00 for 1 week (not blockbusters!). Also I surf waves, mow lawns (least we be blacklisted) once a week at this time of year with catcher (and that includes mowing the nextdoor strip, community, ya know), do other mysterious pursuits, but TV I love, for reasons I can't go into here.
    However, I still say give you, Keith Ng, RB (who should be head of the new digi TV unit) and Craig and whoever else who isn't evil, a handicam, a credit card and a licence to shoot.
    BTW, our community newspaper gives more news than TVNZ, that's a plug for Nor West News, fan bloody tastic, and the calf prices too.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Kowhai, spoonfed describes it perfectly. Essentially sitting through a 6pm television news hour is an incredibly inefficient and tedious way to get the day's news. Too much filler - soft stories and advertising. The internet is way more productive and the RNZ website is just ace because you can cherry pick items. But I would welcome more international stories and not just ones that are 'localised' eg the APEC nuclear row beat-up. And does anyone get the same sense that 6pm is just too early anyway?

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    I am also with Joanna about the multi-tasking. My flatmates often drag the ol laptop into the living room to do something productive during all of the downtime during the news. I hardly ever watch the news at all.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    However, I still say give you, Keith Ng, RB (who should be head of the new digi TV unit) and Craig and whoever else who isn't evil, a handicam, a credit card and a licence to shoot.

    No no no,... If I was providing content on expenses, I'd be holed up in a suite at the Adlon and stalking Lloud Jones right about now. Sod APEC and the RWC - annoying Booker shortlisted authors is my idea of public service television. :)

    I do think that a stronger minister in a more popular government would probably have shrugged off this story though.

    You're probably right; though, not for the first time, I find myself wondering what the hell has happened to Clark's once-formidable political radar. Putting partisan schadenfreude aside for a nanosecond, I can't understand why the PM bothered giving a one day wonder legs.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I am also with Joanna about the multi-tasking. My flatmates often drag the ol laptop into the living room to do something productive during all of the downtime during the news. I hardly ever watch the news at all.

    OK, am I the only person who does this: Channel surfs between One and Three for the first ten minutes or so, then turns the television off? I don't the platform really matters - like it or not, the days when one television station, one radio station, and one (perhaps two) newspapers were the 'gatekeepers' that defined what all the news that's fit to print for everone are gone. Don't really miss them either. As I said on another thread, recently, I don't actually bother wringing my hands too much over the idea that (if this makes any sense) the balance of media power is shifting. And that includes people just turning off.

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

  • kmont,

    I don't actually bother wringing my hands too much over the idea that (if this makes any sense) the balance of media power is shifting. And that includes people just turning off.

    Fuck yeah.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    I record the news every day, watch the headlines and see if there's anything that interests me, and if there is, I watch that. If I had the same HDDVR as my parents have, I'd watch the news in 1.3x the speed, same with Shortland Street - damn people talking too slowly!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Why don't the folks in the TV industry look at the dropping viewers numbers and think for a second
    "maybe we're doing something they don't like"

    because they're never wrong, it must be the viewers at fault for not wanting to watch what's on.

    Have you ever seen a TV programmer interviewed? WTF would viewers know about TV? Squat.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I find 6pm is the ideal time to cook dinner. If I time it right, it's cooking but not yet ready to be served by sports news time, which is increasingly the only bit worth watching.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I am also with Joanna about the multi-tasking. My flatmates often drag the ol laptop into the living room to do something productive during all of the downtime during the news. I hardly ever watch the news at all.

    I guess I do that quite a lot, but I find it very limiting. Blame it on male inability to multitask if you like, but I find it hard to craft the perfect sentence or analyse complex statistics while the news (or anything else) is blaring away. But then, what I'm usually trying to do on the internet might be quite different from what most people want from it.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I find 6pm is the ideal time to cook dinner.

    It works for me at the moment because of my partner's timetable, but at other times in my life it was way too early. I guess it's one way of enforcing work-life balance: unless you're an early riser, it's hard to do more than 40 hours a week if you have to be home by 6pm every day!

    If I time it right, it's cooking but not yet ready to be served by sports news time, which is increasingly the only bit worth watching.

    Apart from the headlines, it's really only the weather that I hang out for.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1040 posts Report Reply

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