Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio being made

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  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    because Keith Quinn's clipboard fell off his knee at the crucial moment.

    you what? more details please

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    The presenter or journo says "police officer" or "rain" or "DHB" and we see footage of cops, rain and hospitals: usually generic

    just wait until personalised media uses your very own sensory associations.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    you what? more details please

    Okay, not his clipboard, but the piece of paper with his pre-prepared note of what he was going to say when Lomu scored a try:

    Of course many New Zealander now associate the TV commentary on that game with an 'infamous' verbal stumble I made. Even in 2015 I had to repeat the story on the TV1 news to 'explain' once more how the most-played broadcast I ever did happened.

    As I recall the story goes like this; Somehow in the lead up to that semi-final I had an inner inkling that Jonah would score an impressive try somewhere in the game. I therefore pre-planned to be ready with an appropriate ‘headline’ piece of commentary to cover the scoring of such a try.

    Plenty of broadcasters use this visualistation technique. For me, I saw what I thought was a pertinent verbal premonition when I jotted down the expression ‘all muscle and pump’ from an American magazine I had been reading. Another writer’s description of a big American basketball player was therefore filed into my mental ‘system’ for use when Lomu’s moment would come. I even tore off a small piece of paper, wrote the quote on it, and attached it to my match notes via a paper clip.

    But the greatest of the four Lomu tries in that game took me completely by surprise. I suppose I expected to glance at my great quote sometime in the middle of the game, or at the end. Whatever, I did not expect Lomu to go crashing for the line, brushing over the top of several feeble English defenders in just the third moment of action. When the giant set off carrying the ball in his famous run, I glanced at my notes. But the pre-prepared clipping was not there! It had fallen somewhere. So, distracted, I could only utter “Lomu…oh…oh…’ on the sound track as he scored.

    I was initially wild with myself at the cockup but as it has become my trademark piece of commentary in the 20 years since I have come to love it actually. So what the heck I’ll claim it as one of my best moments at the microphone!

    Just keep it quiet folks, that it came from a complete stuff-up.

    The irony is that Quinn would habitually regurgitate this stuff he'd prepared earlier and it often sounded weird and didn't work.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it often sounded weird and didn’t work

    and let's face it, "all muscle and pump" is decidedly in that category.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Rae Sott,

    I am getting fonder of radio by the day, I can keep up with stuff and do other stuff at the same time. TV beginning to become a thing of the past for me.

    Hamilton • Since Apr 2015 • 21 posts Report

  • Hamish.MacEwan, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Nice to see this, and hopefully replay is available immediately and forever. Unlike the one hour you have to hear the last hours audio news. What's the point of that I wonder.

    Doesn't seem to have the Livestream capability to start playback from the beginning before the end of the show.

    It's radio, the non-jealous companion and while a few pictures is cheap and good with Internet services like Skype et al, I'd be disappointed if it tried to go "show" over "tell." That's not why they joined and its not core aptitude.

    If the flourishing of channels has taught us anything (and it possibly hasn't, more generational and individual idiosyncrasy than that) it is to do what you know how.

    The Checkpoint logo is a better cutaway than cycled web pages, but best would be a faux "second screen" experience for radio.

    It's definitely its own thing and my heartstrings have remained fortunately unplucked, nonetheless I enjoy it immensely, even if timing means watching/listening isn't an easy option. RNZ has really got to get over whatever legacy horror of replay it has exhibited since the onset of easy record/replay.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 14 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen,

    Hooked the laptop up to the screen and had the radio with pictures playing while the BBQ heated up and we had a cider on the deck (tough life I know).

    The big advantage over the TV news is that RNZ assumes you don't have a picture to look at, so if you're tending the BBQ or chopping veges for dinner and are looking at the knife rather than the TV you still get a complete story.

    And then you have the added bonus of a talented news team as opposed to an entertainment team - that difference is marked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • Richard Hulse, in reply to Hamish.MacEwan,

    Doesn't seem to have the Livestream capability to start playback from the beginning before the end of the show.

    It should do, and we had it during testing. I'll look into it.

    The Checkpoint logo is a better cutaway than cycled web pages, but best would be a faux "second screen" experience for radio.

    We are working on a replacement for that, optimised for 'TV'.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2011 • 4 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Or the genius that is the BBCs Test Match Special - I fondly remember a 2 hour drive out of London listening to the commentary, not on a game in progress, but on the efforts of the Bajan ground staff to dry out the Kensington Oval: "and they're bringing up the small medium roller now. A good move, do you think, Richie?"

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Gareth, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Indeed. I well recall seeing cars pulled in to the side of the M25, their drivers incapable of proceeding, whilst listening to Brian Johnstone and Jonathon Agnew fail to sum up the day's play:

    Bucolic in the backblocks… • Since Jan 2008 • 269 posts Report

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    not on a game in progress,

    Hah! kinda like the cricket commentary. (I'm not an avid fan...but domestic harmony dictates we listen) Those guys take in- fill chatter to a whole new level. Partner listens to every single ball....every single ball. Me ? Very much a peripheral listener, but after doing a piss- take the other day about said commentary it appears I had not only absorbed the names of the commentary team but also a few of their stock phrases. Completely subliminally.

    The only telly commentary for cricket I remember is this guy

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1346 posts Report

  • Gabor Toth, in reply to BlairMacca,

    i've done a few retunes of both my freeview (satellite) decoders and can only pick up the radio (without pictures)

    Yes; RNZ's PR machine doesn't appear to realise that their Checkpoint radio-with-pictures TV simulcast is only on Freeview UHF / terrestrial.
    Freeview Satellite users miss-out (partly because Sky TV has snaffled so much of the Optus D1 satellite's bandwidth); something RNZ could be doing a better job of making people aware of.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 137 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Gabor Toth,

    One peripheral benefit of the Youtube broadcast, at least, is that it makes it easy to ChromeCast it to the TV if you wanted a picture there. (Chromecast thingamajig, HDMI port in TV, home wireless network and compatible broadcasting device required, though.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Euan Mason,

    I enjoyed watching it, and I agree that the news content is vastly better than TV news, as usual, but the images are not as good. Seeing great professional broadcasters with bad hair awkwardly make their way on screen was a bit like reality TV radio, and entertaining in its own right. Expect to see more external clips, better done, and yes, better sound as they refine this. I think it will surpass TV news in all respects eventually, not just in news value.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Euan Mason,

    Seeing great professional broadcasters with bad hair awkwardly make their way on screen was a bit like reality TV radio, and entertaining in its own right.

    I also found it great with the casual nature of those on camera, though seeing Katrina Batten duck out of the studio behind John Campbell while he’s busy talking about his next piece was distracting. What’s the point of a back-drop if she can’t be given an exit which doesn’t involve walking in front of it?

    It also crossed my mind that at least some of the people who see Radio New Zealand as a haven for the long-haired commune-habitating woollen-jersey-wearing tax-spending socialists are likely to find the casual visual nature as completely justifying of their pre-existing views. :)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Marc C,

    Having waited for months, as it was planned to be started already late last year, I finally managed to listen to, and watch, the launch of Checkpoint with John Campbell on Monday this week. I agree that it is ok, but it still needs some improvements, like ideally more live streamed (Skype type) interviews than just some phone interviews with no faces.

    It reminds me a bit of good old community broadcasting, the more natural way of presenting news and also some other info of interest, and it shows how distant and alienated our main channel TV broadcast news have become from “natural” reporting, or more traditional, fact focused reporting.

    Sadly the effects of pictures and live casts have led to it, plus ruthless competition with the more commercially run stations, that is in the case of TVNZ, which are little different from TV3 now.

    One thing worries me, the preference by John Campbell to personalise news stories, and to chat about them. It appeals to some, of course, but I like facts, with little fluff, and little dressing up and without too much emotive reporting.

    So in a way I miss the hard reporting that Checkpoint used to deliver.

    But as it is all an evolving process, this radio with pictures kind of program, I may yet be more pleasantly surprised. I will keep following the program, as RNZ is almost the only NZ broadcaster I now rely on. Please do not fall in the trappings of trying to “compete” with the “mainstream”, that is those making the program.

    It is a program with potential to improve and become a news program leader in its own right.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Marc C,

    it is all an evolving process

    It does seem that way. It doesn't feel like Campbell's chatty bits are there to compete with anything, rather they are his natural mode coming out.

    Personally I don't mind it, providing there is time for the hard data when data is needed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4461 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Personally I don’t mind it, providing there is time for the hard data when data is needed.

    This seems to be one of the things that really irritates many of the Campbell haters out there.

    His chatty bits, and tendency to go on crusades from time to time, can distract from the reporting and be thrown around to justify allegations of bias. That said, allegations of bias against many journos these days are probably also often a product of the isolated silos and confirmation bias fostered by the internet & social media.

    I'm not sure exactly where the line is, though. A journalist who's not allowed to take stances based on what they see and interpret wouldn't be much of a journalist.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Hebe,

    Night 1: Family huddled around the PC big screen and watched every word. Campbell is back!!

    Night 2: Sat the laptop on top of the granny oven and cooked dinner while watching some parts and listening quietly to others.

    Night 3: Listened in the car while waiting for beloved doing a hospital visit, then drove to the CBD, reaching The Square and the broken Cathedral as John Campbell and lawyer Grant Cameron revealed the insurer’s coincidental hurry-up on building those poor people’s house. That was synchronistic.

    Night 4 and 5: Two nights of not listening live but catching up online later.

    I like it. I can read the local and international news online, and at 5-6.30pm, when I’m rarely at a sitting-watching-telly time of the evening, I can take an intelligent current events show with me pretty much whatever I am doing. I could even hook in the iPod (but probably won’t).

    The difference with this show is, of course, Campbell himself and the acute editorial nose of EP Pip Keane: the JC name is already giving it audience heft that no pure radio show can reach. I like the way the show is starting to roll: concentrated hard-core news for 15 minutes, a bit of this, another topic, looping back to another angle on the original. It will take a while to refine the show’s voice, like any new journalism project. I don’t expect a repetition of CLive though: it had far more visual, staffing and financial resources, which Checkpoint clearly does not possess..

    I don’t mind the home-brand vibe of the visuals. It’s very like a 5pm newsroom: a bit rumpled, winding up to the telling part of the day - getting it out there. I suspect my watching hours will be far outweighed by listening, with perhaps returning to watch interesting videos later online. The Twitter and Facebook posts are an important part of that, and for drawing in those who missed the live feeds.

    I felt I was watching not so much a new format but a synthesis of new tech and established journalists that could profoundly change the way journalism works in New Zealand. In that sense it breaks new ground: TV3’s 6pm news seems like it is a goner.

    To those disliking the personal tale-telling: that’s a question of personal style and taste. But surely that is what the basis of journalism has always been about: finding the stories outside the front door and telling them as the reporter sees it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2899 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    They just need to add a ‘print’ component for a ‘full house’ on media delivery…
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • chris, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic,

    "Radio With Pictures" looks like it's off to a good start so far. If RNZ was properly resourced and branched out to a full-on TV channel, would it be called something like RNZ Visual or RNZ-TV? In any case it might just recapture the spirit of TVNZ7 or NZBC.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • izogi,

    I've found it introspectively interesting that I've tended to go back to just listening to the audio of Checkpoint from 5pm. I normally stream it. Occasionally they make a reference to something visual, and I'll switch on the video stream which usually has just enough lag for me to hear (and see) them say the same thing all over again.

    Another thing I've noticed is that, up against the major TV new channels, it's easier within this household to get Checkpoint on TV in the evenings from 6pm onwards. I definitely prefer the Radio NZ news over typical television news, with its short and concise bulletins that get straight to the point within the first few minutes, followed by more in-depth analysis where it's useful. My wife's commented that she finds it easier to listen to people when she can see them speaking. She's never been much of a radio listener.

    If Radio NZ is going to take advantage of its visual output in future then subtitles, or at least some form of text news ticker or annotation, would be nice. I'm not hearing impaired, but sometimes I appreciate subtitles just so I don't have to hear over everything else in an often noisy environment.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    If Radio NZ is going to take advantage of its visual output in future then subtitles, or at least some form of text news ticker or annotation, would be nice.

    Adding subtitles to a live stream is problematic. No matter how good the typist, the subtitles would always be out of sync and the opportunity for errors is huge.

    Like Izogi, I also prefer the RNZ news over TV offerings. It covers more real news, less celeb and entertainment garbage, and I still like Campbell's approach. I tend to run Checkpoint on a 2nd monitor so I can listen to the radio and tune in when there's pix to watch. It's a good way of taking in news.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

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