Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Soap Opera

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  • Joanna,

    If I time it right, it's cooking but not yet ready to be served by sports news time, which is increasingly the only bit worth watching.

    Meanwhile, if I'm watching the news live, I get up at 6.30 when the sports comes on to go cook dinner.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Does anyone know how to indent this? HOw come everyone else can do this? Anyway, from Craig's post:

    "I don't actually bother wringing my hands too much over the idea that (if this makes any sense) the balance of media power is shifting. And that includes people just turning off."

    BRING IT ON, I SAY!

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I find 6pm is the ideal time to cook dinner. If I time it right, it's cooking but not yet ready to be served by sports news time, which is increasingly the only bit worth watching.

    A bit tragic that , but yeah. I sometimes arrange the cooking so I can sit down for the sports news and don't watch of the rest. With the 7pm current affairs shows, I'm almost always time-shifting -- either with the PVR or later on the respective websites -- because a certain member of the household has to watch Shortie.

    One of the things that annoyed me about Ralston's column was its focus on personality and celebrity. That's a scenario of TVNZ's own making -- it was a deliberate ploy when TV3 launched to remake presenters as personalities -- and one that it can perhaps unmake. A TVNZ executive actually told me this year that the focus in news was shifting to facts, rather than the person delivering them. Hey, that just might be crazy enough to work ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Does anyone know how to indent this? HOw come everyone else can do this? Anyway, from Craig's post:

    See in the little instructions in grey to the left of the box you're typing in? Where it says "Quote:". Type that formatting and put your text where it says "text".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    when you have been away from NZ TV for a while (and TV in general for that matter) you find other ways to amuse yourself and you don't want to go back to being spoonfed.

    Hell yes. I think I posted a while back on my mate JFB's PhD thesis, which concluded that tv news is essentially a soap opera, which explains how once you've missed a chunk, you need to work on getting back into it, otherwise it loses its appeal.

    What killed my TV habit stone dead was a 6 month stint in the UK several years ago, working hard, with crummy reception. Never got into UK TV as a result, and when I got back to NZ, I had lost the taste.

    I would say I'm down to a couple of hours a week now, and most of that's because I'm in the same room while my partner's watching. A lot of it is so actively irritating that I leave the room to go do something else. The only things I've made an effort to watch this year are Extras, Ugly Betty, and Phoenix Nights. I couldn't give a toss for allegedly informational programming - I'm just so much better served, and my sanity is a lot safer, with other media.

    And yes: 6 - 7:30 is peak kitchen time for me too.

    Charles: look to the left of the posting box. There are instructions there. What you want to do is "quote".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    BRING IT ON, I SAY!

    OTOH, there's the likes of Damian Christie's intelligent and informative (that's a pinot gris, thanks Damian) take on the PC's 'Asian Angst' decision. TV reporting can be good, it just quite often isn't. I like to think Damian's stuff is a bit different because he haz teh blog knowledge ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    The ones who bring great change are generally the ones who have nothing to lose.

    Which is essentially the situation with the emerging businesses at TVNZ. They know hardly anyone's going to see the Freeview channels for a while, which has rather liberated the thinking.

    That's because they aren't the ones getting fired at the moment. As a chinless HR manager said to a bunch of my mates in News and Current Affairs as he was firing them, "it's not about content, it's about delivery".

    They worked for a programme that rated 2 points above the TV1 average for that time slot.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • kmont,

    Well when I first went to J-land I didn't consume any news at all bar the odd bit of BBC/CNN. No newspaper, no net (except the odd trip to an internet cafe to listen to the B and get weepy) and only a smattering of mad mad Japanese TV.
    I compared it at the time to living in a very noisey soundproof room. Then I went to the opposite extreme and gorged myself on news. I have never had the kind of routine life that involved regular 6 oclock news viewing but now I am even further away from it than ever. I do see the odd good bit of TV current affairs on the web. After the fact.
    If it has been recommended by someone.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 485 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    No no no,... If I was providing content on expenses, I'd be holed up in a suite at the Adlon and stalking Lloud Jones right about now. Sod APEC and the RWC - annoying Booker shortlisted authors is my idea of public service television. :)

    Craig, you will be happy to know that the reason TVNZ had a phone interview with Lloyd Jones, and not an on-camera interview, was because they tracked him down at dinner in London, where he was a little tired and emotional (understandably), and all TVNZ's camera's were all in France covering the RWC. Nice.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    OK, am I the only person who does this: Channel surfs between One and Three for the first ten minutes or so, then turns the television off?

    Well, I never quite turned it off, but with PIP (Picture-in-picture) I would watch the news, skipping between channels as the stories that interested me came up. I can't fathom why some ppl hate PIP - it's a great way to NOT sit thru ads. You can switch over to C4 and watch a clip, while the ads are on, and then return to your show. Mind you, all channels now seem to have synchronised ad breaks now, which cancels that out. Which is why I got a ...

    I had the same HDDVR as my parents have, I'd watch the news in 1.3x the speed

    Yup. Record the news and start watching when you like (even while still recording!) and skip past all the inane stuff. Means you can watch 40 minutes of news (who cares about sport and weather?) in 20 minutes. Watching at 1.3 speed is fun for a while, but then it gets a bit much. Probably good for elderly parents who need to keep their faculties in shape : )

    Essentially sitting through a 6pm television news hour is an incredibly inefficient and tedious way to get the day's news. Too much filler - soft stories and advertising.

    Yup - see above.

    A TVNZ executive actually told me this year that the focus in news was shifting to facts, rather than the person delivering them.

    Which explains why the 6pm newsreaders won't be reading the new 4.30pm half-hour bulletin? Seriously? Or is it because Dallow & Petrie saw no reason (contractually) to do 'extra' duties.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Charles Mabbett,

    Thanks Stephen and Russell for quote advice.

    Respect to many TV journalists - many of whom I know personally - for the quality they bring to their respective programmes. Damien is an evident example. My criticisms are directed at the constraints they have to work under and the editorial decision making and assumptions made as to whom the audience is and what they will want to watch.

    The revolution will definitely not be televised.

    Since Nov 2006 • 236 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'm definitely one of those who spends more time on the Internet than watching TV these days. In spite of being stuck with a fast dialup plan, which at least has no plastic spaghetti to wade through.

    Tom - is Telstra cable unavailable in your area, just like mine? I found out the hard way that it's unavailable in a lot of apartments and townhouse clusters.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Personally, I'd rather watch Classic Millionaire and Ask the Aunties than the news. Far too depressing. I read the Herald online every morning when I get up and I watch some news bits online during the evening.

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

  • Ben Austin,

    Russell, didn't you run a survey on this topic of how people consume TV or media a whiles back? Are you (or have you?) going to publish the results soon?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    Now I have to choice of buying the DVD or downloading the torrent I watch what I want when I want to and ad free.

    Ditto. The only thing I do broadcast any more is the nightly news, and occasionally Parliament when I have to be away from the computer. And as a bonus, I don't have to watch crap knock-offs of bad reality TV.

    The only way broadcast TV can compete with this is by having good content that I want to watch. And the sooner they figure that out, the better.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1716 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I find 6pm is the ideal time to cook dinner...

    I grew up with dinner served 5pm sharp. I still secretly really like to eat at 5pm, all this 7-8pm high falutin' city sophistication eating times is fun and all, but my Mum taught me you eat your breakfast at 7am, lunch at 12pm and dinner at 5pm sharp with a cup of tea and a piece of fruit cake at 8.30pm.

    Anything else is louche decadence.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Fitzgerald,

    There are little oasis out there in TV land - Native Affairs is doing it good again

    Since May 2007 • 631 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Tom - is Telstra cable unavailable in your area, just like mine? I found out the hard way that it's unavailable in a lot of apartments and townhouse clusters.

    it's certainly unavailable in mine.

    i can see the citylink cable from my window. but absolutely no-one will link our building to it without half the residents signing contracts in blood.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    i can see the citylink cable from my window. but absolutely no-one will link our building to it

    Luxury! The only way I can see the citylink cable is by driving for 7 hours...

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 900 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    metaphorically speaking, we're equally far aware.

    my distance is more of a torment though.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    *away

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Personally, I'd rather watch Classic Millionaire and Ask the Aunties than the news.

    Personally, I'd rather watch The Tudors (pouting eye candy! Sam Neil... more eye candy shagging!) or read The Oresteia again, than dedicate any more meat RAM to TVNZ and their corporate dysfunction.

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

  • daleaway,

    Eye candy shagging!

    Lord love ya, Craig, you've just defined programme standards and content for a whole new generation of TVNZ administrators.

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Michael Tomasky has a North American take on broadcast television versus the emerging interactive technologies in his review of Al Gore's 'The Assault on Reason' for the New York review of Books at:
    http://www.nybooks.com/

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

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