Posts by Rob Stowell

  • Hard News: Together Alone, in reply to Alfie,

    I'd have to say that despite the darkness covid is bringing to the world, there's a shared sentiment that when this is over, we can rebuild the world as a better place. This is a giant reset. We all know that we're living through one of history's bigger bits.

    Lovely to read you all :) And thanks, Alfie. Been thinking about this a lot, and I'm half optimistic. How can we keep this in mind, and return to a world altered in kinder, more thoughtful ways? That's worth pondering. (My pessimistic side says there is likely to be a dreadful toll in the developing world - better to be lucky than good, they say :( And that authoritarians might just cement their nasty grip) Finding ourselves watching al jazeera more and more for a bigger (less anglo-centric) picture.
    But. We have a glorious place to self-isolate, small farm in Lyttelton harbour - definitely can't complain. Extra family home, lots to do - it would be perfect but for this 'work from home' thing!

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Splore 2020: The Listening Lounge,

    If God is dead, your time is everything is the best thing I've read for ages on religion, atheism, community, Marx, and value :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem,

    The same newsroom supporting different agendas, schedules, formats, and values is a recipe for disaster, IMO. For it to work, you'd have to build it up slowly from shared values - and that would take time and, IMO, a news service that's not dependent on advertising - or part of an organisation that is. Public service and delivering eyeballs to advertisers are incompatible objectives.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I am still a bit unclear on what the benefit is to RNZ or the RNZ audience by the merger.

    Yes- it looks to me like endangering everything good about RNZ in an effort to solve another problem - the lack of public broadcasting on TV. RNZ have already moved into this space, with video-journalism and live-streams. I'd love to see them push that to a channel on free-to-air - with the addition of factual/public interest programming, a bit like TVNZ7.
    Instead, it seems we're going to get a horrible mash-up. TVNZ, whch costs in the region of $300m a year to run, will continue to chase the $300m a year it currently pulls in in advertising. And because that revenue source is declining - and likely to continue to decline - they'll be increasingly desperate to keep it. They are likely to receive some public money and maybe a remit to do some more 'public service' programming. But that is a daft unwieldy unworkable compromise. We've been there with the charter.
    There's no way RNZ fits neatly into this picture. Combining RNZ and TVNZ newrooms might seem to increase the news resource overall. But it feels like a disaster to me. editors will be unlikely to prioritize radio journalism over the flagship (vital for ratings!) 6 o'clock news. The culture of the newsrooms is quite different and the chance of RNZ culture prevailing is very small. The nature of the journalism they do is different in tone, content, length, breadth, focus - you name it. The chance the 'star' journalists at TV will spend much time or efforts doing radio reports is small.
    We stand to lose the best (IMO) newsrooms in NZ. The journalists will likely remain, at least for a while, pushed into different formats perhaps. But the producers and editors? What is the chance a TV-focused entity will cherish the radio side? What is the chance an organisation still totally dependent on advertising - as has been signaled - will prioritise public service over ratings? What is the chance TVNZ's bosses will embrace a public service ethos, after decades of focus on ratings-driven ad revenue? What and where is the benefit Kris and co see?
    I just wish someone would tell me how it could produce more and better public service broadcasting. I can't see it. It looks like risking everything we have in RNZ in some hope of getting something better on TV. And as someone who has listened to and relied on RNZ most of my life, this fills me with mortal terror.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Rage and change: RNZ's music problem,

    Tautoko Roger and Simon. The only thing to add is that this move to eliminate Concert FM comes in the shadow of what looks like a much larger plan to eliminate RNZ entirely – or rather, to submerge it in a ‘new’ broadcasting entity along with TVNZ. I can’t fully express how misguided I think this is. Risking our only and well-loved public service broadcaster, by throwing it into the snake-pit of commercial TV seems beyond reckless. I’d love to hear someone present a positive picture of how this might improve public service broadcasting in NZ. I just can’t think of an upside that isn’t ridiculously implausible.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The next four years,

    I miss this space. So many options out there, but nothing quite like what public address was.
    (Are we allowed to be nostalgic yet?! :) )

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "OK Boomer" wins Public…, in reply to Bruce Thorpe,

    It is not about age or generational culture. It is about greed and capitalism.

    It's tough to have yr generation (well, mine anyway) tied to a meme about greed and capitalism.
    Sadly, we've earned it.
    I'm assuming most of us here didn't vote for any of the political bs (let's blame the 'great generation!' - anything to avoid the b-b-b- blame!) Many worked against it.
    But we failed.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary, in reply to Craig Young,

    this piece that featured on Spinoff and TVNZ about psychiatrists opposed to liberalisation of cannabis laws.

    You have to read it carefully to realise at no point do the psychiatrists oppose liberalisation or recommend a ‘no’ vote. (I read it a while back, and the headline and carefully worded quotes match up – but not the ‘takeaway’ that liberalisation of the law or legalisation is a ‘bad thing’.)
    All they are saying is we need to be aware of the possible harms, and a reality-based discussion and sensible education are desirable. IMO we’re far more likely to get those things after legalisation – and reading this piece carefully you sense maybe that’s something the ‘experts’ tend to feel too.
    But it’s still used by opponents to paint a dark picture of pot-smoking hordes, widespread psychosis and social disintegration.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Synthetics: We need to stop…,

    Great piece. Really gets my goat this use of the word cannabis. It really does matter.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Drug History: What happened…,

    Great slice of (sad, bad, mad) local history - thanks "Rex" and Russell :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2098 posts Report Reply

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