Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio NZ: Sailing on in straitened times

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  • Lucy Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You have Richard Hulse to thank for the quality and smartness of that service. Dude is a hero.

    It's pretty legendary. I am still consistently amazed that I can be on the other side of the world and dial up NatRad in thirty seconds, live and crystal-clear. After the earthquakes, given the general non-accessibility of the TV news, it was a lifeline.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Well, good work Mr Hulse!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    I’ve heard from a few friends at RNZ that the two presenters that receive the largest amount of complaints and negative feedback are/were Plunkett and Wilson. RNZ’s mostly superannuated audience considers them both ‘rude’.

    Meh… I do respect the pair of them, but it’s not particularly useful haranguing subjects who don’t provide the answer you’re fishing for. (Here’s a reality check: If you don’t get what you want the first dozen times you snarl the question, number thirteen probably isn’t going to do the trick.) Also, a statement doesn’t magically becomes a question by tacking a rising inflexion on the end. Wilson’s terrible at that – and you know what? I don’t really give a flying rodent’s rectum what she thinks about anything. If she wants to editorialise, I'd suggest she push the human valium that is Chris Laidlaw down some stairs and take over his job.

    There is actually a line between being a persistent interviewer, and making it more about your ego than eliciting information. Too often, Plunket and Wilson make it all about their rep for being “tough” – though, like Russell, I’ve heard the more civilized working hours at ZB have chilled him out a lot. Which is no bad thing.

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

  • izogi,

    The station no longer has a Maori affairs correspondent or a social issues correspondent. Its overseas travel budget is now down to $30,000 annually -- just a little more than Rodney Hide spent on a single jaunt for himself and his girlfriend.

    If that's the kind of shoe-string RNZ's operating on, it makes me wonder what a single wealthy benefactor with a thing for RNZ could do for journalism in NZ by throwing a spare $100,000 into a trust fund. Not that they should have to.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1141 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    It's not about fiscal restraint, it's about anti-intellectualism masquerading as fiscal restraint.

    How do you know?

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    There is actually a line between being a persistent interviewer, and making it more about your ego than eliciting information. Too often, Plunket and Wilson make it all about their rep for being “tough” – though, like Russell, I’ve heard the more civilized working hours at ZB have chilled him out a lot. Which is no bad thing.

    He had some terrible mornings on Morning Report along with the very good ones. But what Plunket does do well -- and it's a key interviewing skill -- is think past his next question. He's good at structuring an interview to get to a point.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Patrick,

    I listen to Morning Report on the way to work, and Checkpoint on the way home. Like Craig, I wasn't particularly impressed with Sean Plunkett and Mary Wilson's "ask the same question 12 times even when it's obvious the answer will not be forthcoming" style, and Sean Plunkett seemed sometimes to be like Duncan Garner - always looking for a "gotcha" at the expense of actually reporting on something.

    I like Suzie Ferguson - although I note this morning Geoff Robinson was back, so maybe she'll only ever be used as a fill-in. I think Simon Mercep is still trying to interview like he did on Fair Go, still trying to crusade rather than interview. I hate the "coming up" bits, and the spreading of a 5-minute report into 3 or 4 1 minute pieces - we're all grown-ups, we can concentrate on one thing for that long, this isn't TV news. There's probably more, but this'll do for now.

    Rangiora, Te Wai Pounamu • Since Nov 2006 • 261 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You have Richard Hulse to thank for the quality and smartness of that service. Dude is a hero.

    Like

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 317 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He had some terrible mornings on Morning Report along with the very good ones. But what Plunket does do well – and it’s a key interviewing skill – is think past his next question.

    Quite - and I still say the interview that ended David Benson-Pope's ministerial career should be used as a case study in journalism schools of doing the basics right. Plunket was paying attention to what DBP was saying, caught a flash of unintended candour in a load of waffle batter and had a perfectly lethal follow-up ready to go. (Which is harder to do than you might think on live radio.) YMMV, but that was 'Good Sean' at his best. I guess 'Bad Sean' was taking a toilet break. Or getting his caffeine drip changed. :)

    To be fair, I think what I found so infuriating about Plunket was that he could (and can) be so good, his lapses into barking moon-battery are that much less forgiveable. I don't know if either man would welcome the comparison, but I feel much the same about John Campbell.

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

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    You have Richard Hulse to thank for the quality and smartness of that service. Dude is a hero.

    Damn right, he is! And he came to the e-govt unit back in the early 00's to talk about doing it accessibly, when he wasn't required to as an SOE. And he's made sure that open formats are used as well as proprietary ones. Awesome sauce!!

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to nzlemming,

    And he’s made sure that open formats are used as well as proprietary ones. Awesome sauce!!

    He also got it established as policy that Radio NZ would not use DRM or geoblocking, ever. Doing it right.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Richard should be nominated for a top honour, Order of NZ or NZOM.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Bruce Ward,

    Why?
    What on earth has a clunky outdated honours system - belonging to another time & realm- have to do with anything HERE?
    Islander, proud patron of the (A)NZ Republican Movement.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Bevan Shortridge, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Don't know if it is Richard or someone else but thank you to whoever rejigged the grid view of National Radio podcasts in iTunes. I subscribe to a number of them and up until a short while ago grid view had the beginning of the programme title over a nondescript icon, so for National it was always Radio New Zealand and then, say Morning Report or Mediawatch.

    However in grid view it only ever displayed "Radio New Zealand" as the label was too long to include all of it. So I had a lot of podcasts with just "Radio New Zealand" showing. Meant it was guesswork what I was going to get by clicking on one of those labels (Morning Report? Mediawatch?).

    Anyway, someone in the last while has shortened it to RNZ, so it is now "RNZ: Mediawatch", etc, in grid view, short enough for all the programme title to be seen. Maybe only a small change, but it makes it a heck of a lot easier to navigate the podcast view! So thank you very much to whoever improved that functionality. And please don't change it back.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    doing it accessibly

    and produced an example that puts government departments to shame.
    #onya

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    and produced an example that puts government departments to shame.
    #onya

    And it was baked in from the start. I remember before the (proper) site launched going in to visit and Richard showing me how he was using CSS to run a nice contemporary looking site that also worked perfectly for screen readers when you turned off the style sheet. Apart from anything else, it showed how easy it was to do if you really wanted to do it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    So, I think Richard Hulse deserves the kudos from his peers and the gratitude of users...if they care to turn that into something more concrete, up to them.
    I am very sure that knowing about them is a reward sufficient unto itself however-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Just a reminder to watch the documentary on leaky homes tonight. My sister is the producer. It was her idea to document the saga and raise the funds to do so, and she has been working for years getting all the right people in front of the camera and getting it to screen. (It would have been nice to have her on Media7 as producers aren't often in front of the camera, but that's just family loyalty.)

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3226 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    using CSS to run a nice contemporary looking site that also worked perfectly for screen readers when you turned off the style sheet.

    I've often pointed it out as an example of that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Islander,

    a reward sufficient unto itself

    Some people quite like a bit of recognition.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Sacha,

    Granted, Sacha - but "honours"?
    We arnt quite mature & secure in our own nationhood while these gaudies are around.
    And please dont hand me any tripe about Elizabeth Windsor being "Queen of New Zealand."

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    So the leaky homes saga will carry on. The earthquake will take precedence no doubt.
    I had to laugh. "I'm sorry, we don't take interviews from lobbyists"!!!!! What a beaut.

    Lots of duck shoving. Mayoral Chain Clanging. Maurice snivelling amongst the sawdust. And "We are trying to get people off benefits" from the hijacked PM. Real useful for a beneficiary with a leaky home.

    But it did mention the slack standards implementing system that reeks of self interest and the OIA docs relating to Carter Holt pushing for the untreated kiln dried timber.

    And the nats want to deregulate the place even more!!!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Very good it was too.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Ross Mason,

    Well, all we can do is vote the barstards out -by whatever cunning manipulations of MMP (which I sincerely love) we can construe & use-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Pete,

    +1 to Richard Hulse - I always wondered who I had to thank for the open source podcasts

    Since Apr 2008 • 106 posts Report Reply

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