We don't have Texaco in New Zealand; it has been Caltex since the early 1940s. It is not really advertising if you cannot buy the product. Even BBC Radio 3 re-broadcasts Live from the Met.
Apologies if this has already come up in this thread, but let's not forget that Radio NZ's situation is not unique. Similar funding pressure is being applied throughout the Public Service.
Changes to RNZ would likely be apparent, but a lot of the services under threat are things that you mightn't miss until they're not there. And once they're gone, they'll be difficult to get back.
I wonder whether campaigning for RNZ in isolation is overlooking the larger-scale pattern?
In context, I know this is a ghastly thing to say but I wish a couple of dozen fuck-wit looky-loos had been killed yesterday -- but I guess then it would have all been the Gummints fault. I can understand why John Carter is rather pissed off... David and I have elderly friends (one with advanced MS) who live on Lyall Parade -- if they could see a tsunami front out their front window, they're dead. That simple.
I was kind of plugging for minor but undeniable property damage. Mind you, there are many, many natural disasters that we could do with minor but disturbing verions of to give people a wake-up call. Tsunamis are just the ones in the news lately.
This week John Drinnan delivers just a few modest questions regarding the RNZ debate:
* Have any of the passionate advocates for National Radio listened to Chris Laidlaw on a Sunday morning, an important timeslot for public radio? It should be called the Death Warmed Up show.
* Is Radio New Zealand offering such good public radio that it could be harmed by considering a few new ideas?
* Do the broadcasters at Radio New Zealand think that it has been well managed?
* Why do most campaigners ignore the underfunding of RNZ under Labour?
* How come Radio New Zealand is based in Wellington but has no relationship or rapport with successive Governments?
* Some on the right want to tear Radio New Zealand down. What happened to the middle ground in the debate about the future of RNZ?
I had a go:
1. This is often commented on even by RNZ fans. But by all means let's start talking about changing and improving RNZ's offerings rather than starving it to death?
2. "Do the same or more, with less" is not really a cogent 'new idea' for improving RNZ's public radio service - and most of the ideas already floated do involve some harm to quality in some sense (reduced overnight service, some loss of FM broadcasting, etc). But the government thinks this is drama queen stuff. So where to from here?
3. Probably. Certainly KPMG did, in basically concluding that the station was being as well managed as possible given roughly 25% underfunding. If RNZ bosses do another round of self-examination and the answer is still "yes we're doing what we can", will Drinnan accept this or will he just keep on making jibes about Wellington Civil Servant Labour Voter Radio?
4. It's a widely accepted concept in political activism that you lobby the people who are in power now, not (for instance) another bunch that were voted out a year and a half ago. And even so, what about Labour treating RNZ badly makes it beyond questioning for National to treat it even worse?
5. This may come down to that pesky thing of being a non-political independent public broadcaster. Funny, Drinnan decided last week that there was some basis in calling RNZ "Radio Labour", and that this was a bad thing, and now 'rapport' with government is something that RNZ should have been aiming for? Beats me too.
6. It's still out there, but its natural flora has been heavily colonised by the hardy crossbreed language of 'rationalisation' and privatisation, which is choking out the language of public service broadcasting which was previously native to discussion about... a public service broadcaster. I wonder who, given their regular opportunity to comment on the matter in the print media, might have some minor culpability in this?