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Speaker: The Public Broadcasting Imperative

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  • Eleisha McNeill,

    I'm a Kiwi working in documentary production in Canada, and this is one of the reasons I am nervous to come home and work in this industry. People care about documentary here, they value it, and the money is available to produce well researched, high quality, far-reaching stories. The CBC, while rapidly losing government funding, still makes and commissions shows that make people think. These shows may not rate, they may not appeal to everyone, but they are important, and they matter. If TVNZ isn't funding these docs, who will?

    Toronto, Ontario, Canada • Since Nov 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    The way to contain the contagion that is now TVNZ is to wait for the TVNZ Christmas party and then nuke the site from orbit.
    It is the only way to be sure.

    About two years ago I was at Russell's friend Andrew Moore's apartment directly across the road from the TVNZ death star. Both of Andrew's boys were playing with toy guns.
    I told Andrew's kids I'd give them $10 "if they put a cap in Paul Holmes' arse".
    We both laughed.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    Even taken as black humour, that's repellent, Tom. Rather worse that the original crack, I think.

    Yeah. Let's be clear: TVNZ still relies on a lot of decent people practising the various screen crafts with a high degree of skill. Fewer of them actually have proper jobs there every year, but let's not be having jokes about killing them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    One thing I have long thought though is that concentrating on things known to have the widest appeal is a bad strategy, in that you lose all the people who had minority tastes that are no longer catered for.

    Free-to-air TV would look really different if it did just concentrate on the things that the most people watched,

    What actually happens is that programs that most efficiently attract the most viewers in the target demographics required by advertisers are prioritised.

    One of the problems with a channel like TVNZ 7 is that it skews older. Older people are more likely to watch public-service TV -- just like they're more likely to vote. Unfortunately, older people are of relatively little value to ad agencies.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Media buyers have a lot of clout.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah. Let’s be clear: TVNZ still relies on a lot of decent people practising the various screen crafts with a high degree of skill. Fewer of them actually have proper jobs there every year, but let’s not be having jokes about killing them.

    And as Michael pointed out with some asperity, it wasn't anyone at TVNZ who asked for the five year terminator clause on 6 and 7's funding. And while there's plenty of bitching to do about TVNZ's news and current affairs, perhaps it would be a little easier to add resources if successive governments weren't issuing dividend demands the Board has no power to refuse.

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    it wasn't anyone at TVNZ who asked for the five year terminator clause on 6 and 7's funding

    However I have seen no evidence that they progressed the sustainability of those channels in any way. Is there some?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker, in reply to David Herkt,

    The only good thing is that we are measured and we vote. Turn off and tell them you are turning off.

    In operation for me at least for the last 10 years and still going strong. Doesn't seem to have had much effect, to be honest.

    I did participate in a Roy Morgan TV ratings survey a few weeks ago and in one exercise they listed loads of programmes organised by channel and asked for viewer attitudes. 'Luckily', there was nothing on TV1 or TV2 that I was remotely interested in watching. There was so much more American crud than I remember when I used to watch those channels, and what little UK programming on offer was dire - I'm trying to think of an example... let's try Goodnight Sweetheart. (Old I know, but it's the sort of dross they'd be showing). There's so much great stuff on the BBC and Channel 4 that they could be screening instead, but don't get me started...

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Pamela Mazoyer,

    At last! Some enlightenment! Hey Kiwis, we can change this. The public service has become bogged down in the user pays mantras of the 90's, far beyond their use-by date. OK a balance was called for - what the public purse should pay for has to be constantly re-evaluated. But as with all major changes in thinking, the new paradigm becomes the new religion, to be accepted without question as god's word! What's needed instead is continuing open debate, right?
    So lets continue to debate and action what Michael has so ably and eloquently initiated. I finally paid for Sky a year ago, just to see what I might have been missing. After 2 months I had seen it all! Now I'm after Freeview, which has the only channels worth watching. The success of NHNZ is testament to how well we can do in little ole NZ. PLEASE let's have access to our own creativity - show NZ made films in NZ for free. Its gotta happen! In a small country like ours, change can happen quickly once folks get the message. That's what happened in the quiet revolutions of the 80's. It would only take a relatively small group of smart and committed people with good communication skills.

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Okay, for ages, I have listened to people whine about how there's nothing on TV. I didn't believe. My PVR was full to the brim - full, I tell you! And I am one of those anal souls that sits down with the Listener and highlights what I want to watch/record for the following week. This morning, like every Friday morning, I did just that. It's official. There really is NOTHING on TV at the moment, aside from Downton Abbey, and couple of reality shows that I record to watch later. Now I am not a fussy viewer, so if I can't find much I like? We. Are. Doomed.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Even Matua Ed is gone from Maori TV.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    It's another part of our fetish for privatising services over the last few decades. You don't pay Sky, you don't even get access to TVNZ heritage programmes that were paid for with public money. Same mindset as selling already-owned electricity networks. Poverty of vision.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Regarding older people and ad agencies: I remember hearing an interviewee on National Radio saying that the main reason that ad agencies don't target older people is because the people that work in the agencies are young, and don't think it's cool to deal with older people. Simple prejudice. I seem to remember this person making a cogent argument for the "older demographic" as a lucrative market.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Ad agencies take a brief from a client, just saying.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    Same mindset as selling already-owned electricity networks. Poverty of vision.

    +1

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish Denston,

    Don't tell Paco Underhill that there's no market for older people! He makes a very pervasive argument in Why We Buy as to what that market is beginning to look like.

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Meanwhile, Stedman gets to man the soapbox on the Granny. And our old friend John Drinnan digs deeper into SKY TV's 'connections' (say it out loud like the Godfather).

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Ross Mason,

    The timing of these gladiatorial brutal boxing/wrestling/kicking "entertainment events" inside the octagon ring is waaaay inside kids programming time.

    If you're talking about MMA it's worth noting that it's considerably less dangerous than boxing. Since 1998 70 people have died in professional boxing matches. From MMA there has been one. The perception that it is more dangerous comes from the bloodsport nature of it, that the fight is not stopped for cuts, and opponents who are knocked down are not given a chance to recover to continue fighting

    Both of these are actually less dangerous. I'm yet to hear of anyone dying from facial cuts sustained in a fight, the deaths are almost always from brain damage. And boxing is all about brain damage. After being knocked down, they are allowed to recover, to continue taking blow after blow to the head. In MMA, when they go down, the other fighter jumps on top to take advantage, and always, if the downed fighter is not resisting the referee drags the other fighter off immediately, interposing their own body to prevent any further blows. Also, in MMA "knockouts" include tapouts, which are often from submission techniques, like arm bars and chokes. The damage sustained from jointlocks is usually nothing at all, if the trapped fighter taps out, and if they do sustain damage, they tap out quick smart then. From chokes, people who don't tap, perhaps because they went out "hard and fast", recover within a minute and typically unaware that anything even happened. The deaths have been when the fighters chose to duke it out standing like boxers.

    The ferocious looking "ground and pound" seldom results in a complete knockout, because fighters on the ground simply can't generate anywhere near the force, and are hampered by the danger of breaking their hands on the floor. Most of the tapouts come from too much pain, and no chance of a reversal due to exhaustion. Indeed, very often a ground and pound sets up a submission move, which leads to a damage-free "knockout".

    Contrast that with a boxer who has sustained dozens of blows to the head from guys who train to do nothing else, groggy and dazed, is knocked down, given a standing eight count, and then promptly knocked unconscious standing, bounces off the ropes for another blow, and then falls head first onto the floor. That's why boxers die. It's only more "civilized" because they don't allow blood. A big part of the reason there is less blood is because they wear padded gloves, which mean, ironically, that the fighters can punch a lot harder, because the danger of damaging their hands is much less. That is why boxing gloves were brought in - crowds found technical knockouts caused by boxers breaking their hands less satisfying than seeing people beaten unconscious over the course of an hour.

    A quick look at motorbike racing deaths in Wikipedia gives over 70 too. Over 50 of those are from the Isle of Mann TT. There also 5 deaths of course officials, bystanders and spectators. But you don't see these people bleed, so it's not seen as "gladiatorial".

    I'm not saying I don't consider MMA savage and dangerous. But the arguments that it's gladiatorial combat aren't really backed up by the numbers. It's bloodsport, and certainly should not be seen by children.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Meanwhile, Stedman gets to man the soapbox on the Granny. And our old friend John Drinnan digs deeper into SKY TV’s ‘connections’ (say it out loud like the Godfather).

    I think it's disappointing that Drinnan couldn't be bothered actually dragging his ass to the Spada conference.

    Stedman's speech galvanised an event that might otherwise have been a bit humdrum. There was a real buzz by the end of the conference -- lots of talk which will hopefully lead to the renewed action and advocacy he called for in the speech.

    The last session on the programme yesterday was our hour-long Media7 special in the TVNZ atrium, which was a real challenge to pull together but seemed to impress people. I interviewed Jonathan Coleman, which went about as you'd expect it to go.

    There are also excepts from Stedman's speech and an interview conducted shortly after he spoke on Thursday.

    It screens at 9.05pm next Thursday.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Unfortunately, older people are of relatively little value to ad agencies.

    But I don't think that is because older people don't buy stuff, its more because they buy what they want rather than get suckerd into the latest fad. Show them a good price on a good product and they will buy, its not how we are advertising, its what we are advertising. An add for a carbon fibre Zimmer Frame with built in GPS would work well in the advertising space in a documentary on osteoporosis and Alzheimer's.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I stopped Coleman on his way out and said, ever so politely but firmly, "You are very, very wrong Mr Coleman". His weasel response was "There will always be differences of opinion". Meanwhile, his minder looked about to pounce on me--maybe a bit het-up by the grilling you had just given his boss.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it’s disappointing that Drinnan couldn’t be bothered actually dragging his ass to the Spada conference.

    Yes, and I once asked Drinnan why the Herald's media columnist apparently found layoffs, budget cuts and industrial action at the dominant player in Auckland's print media market beneath his notice. Shall we just say the response was terse and unfriendly. Oh, and don't even ask the Herald who gets wined, dined and lobbied by APN. Seems corporate transparency and accountability are for other people.

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

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Marcus Turner,

    Simple prejudice. I seem to remember this person making a cogent argument for the “older demographic” as a lucrative market.

    Well, the example I like to keep using is from the Evil Empire of American network television. The West Wing was a pretty expensive hour of television (as shows with large ensemble casts tend to be), and not really big with the so-called 'key demographic' of 18-35 males. So why keep it around? Well, apart from being high profile Emmy bait TWW's audience may have skewed older but also higher income. Or put another way, if you're trying to sell health insurance or the new model family sedan to the Joneses - where do you think the bigger bang for your ad buy bucks will be? West Wing or MTV?

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

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