Posts by graeme muir

  • Hard News: Autism and celebrity,

    I accept your points about the tweet and headline online. ABA is not new and it's not a miracle cure. All of which we were careful to point out in the on-air programme but, in this case, our left hand didn't talk to the right hand and I'm sorry we got it wrong. The online headlines have been changed to correct this - so hat tip to you for that.
    I think our reporter Gill Higgins was very careful to present the case for ABA treatment as one that attracts very fervent supporters (i.e mostly those parents of autistic children who've seen improvement in the treatment of negative symptoms through ABA) and its fair share of detractors. It's your prerogative to criticise the cost of the treatment and how a celebrity like Geoff Sewell can obviously afford it (although that was the point of his now sincere - whatever you might think of him and the links on his website - efforts to raise funds and awareness). We didn't shy from highlighting how expensive it is, which is why I think it might have been fair to point to the case of the other boy in our story, Jed, whose parents received 2 years of funding for ABA treatment because they're residents in Britain, where it is funded. (Surely it's not because his parents aren't celebrities, Russell?;). Autism, as I'm sure you don't need me to point out (!), is a hugely complex issue and last night we presented one side of it (and will do more stories in the future - no doubt by the excellent Gill Higgins)
    Editor of Daily Content, TVNZ

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Advocate, in reply to Sacha,

    Hi Sacha
    I'd forgotten how nice and polite PA people are! Just quickly, because I've probably said all that I wanted - I'll leave it to the regulars here - we don't tend to do series (although we often run a story over two nights where we feel it's warranted) because we want to offer our viewers variety - if you're not interested in school lunches for example (good topic though don't get me wrong!) you might not be inclined to want to watch on night 3 or 4.
    And to Russell, I appreciate your point of view.

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Hard News: The Advocate,

    "Close Up’s ratings, while still generally ahead of Campbell’s have been dwindling nearly as much as its sense of purpose.
    On the other hand, Campbell Live has been positively bristling with purpose this year."

    It's entirely your prerogative to prefer one programme over another, but I wonder if you've taken the time lately to properly watch, because the above statement just reads to me like a cute line (recycled tweet to John Campbell n' all).

    You say “in a slot that can easily default to lazy, consumer-PR-driven stories, Campbell Live is flourishing through advocacy journalism.” It’s certainly getting a deserved reputation for it (I’ll come to the ‘flourishing’ bit in a minute) but this advocacy still sits alongside coverage of Chocoade biscuits, new pies at KFC, high jinks at home shows, and a bristling half hour special on Justin Bieber (!). I’m not judging too much (ok, a little) because I know how hard it is to fill half an hour of current affairs 5 days a week however many weeks a year we both do it, in a country our size.

    We don’t always get it right – we’re being axed for a start! – but there are excellent journalists and producers here who’ve worked bloody hard to cover stories and issues that we believe are relevant to our audience. To name a few: minimum pricing on alcohol, the lack of a Meningococcal C vaccination programme, whooping cough, huffing, the proliferation of food waste, the school decile debate and a series on charter schools. And, despite what ratings-charlatans like Mark Jennings would have you believe, many more people choose to watch us and they’re not closing any gap. Despite a comprehensive winning margin over our competitors the programme is being axed because the 7pm slot has been in overall decline for some years. If it’s bad for us, though, things are positively munted over at Flower Street; the 3 audience that you credit Campbell Live with understanding exquisitely (“Campbell typically (and, I suspect, quite consciously) positions itself on the side of people who look like its audience”), are choosing to watch Shortland Street or do almost anything else. It’s a pox on both our houses (we’re just not quite as ravaged).

    On this subject of ratings and ‘flourishing’ (sorry Public Address audience: neither of us broadcast on a public service channel, so we live and die by them) have you ever checked them with anyone other than the TV3 publicity machine? Close Up has twice the audience of Campbell Live, and regularly wins, by some margin, the all-important advertising demographic of 25-54. (To give you an idea: since the last week in April – arbitrary date but it’s when I started here - Close Up has won the 25-54 demo eighty nine times; Campbell Live 16 times – I stopped counting when it was announced the programme would end. Just last night was a disappointing night for Close Up: 17.1 share in 25-54 and Campbell live an 11. Yes, just eleven per cent of the people watching TV at that time in their key advertising market of 25-54, were watching.) So nice line about dwindling numbers and purpose but not backed up by the facts.

    Yes, a show is about more than the ratings – success is measured in other ways, and so it should - but it says something when the 3 News audience just says ‘no thanks’ on a nightly basis.

    I wish them well (through gritted teeth) but if you think they’re not in a perilous position then you didn’t learn much from your half hour interview of John Campbell.

    Graeme, EP Close Up

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Hard News: A thing that rarely ends well,

    Are you warming up for your new programme Russell? "Ideally, in tv bulletins, adjectives should be used sparingly.."

    put many of them together have you?

    i'm lucky if i can afford a dinner up at me local cafe, so Soul would qualify as swanky in my world (although it's not an adjective I'd use without tongue firmly in cheek, admittedly).

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Random Play: The Age of Reason,

    whoops, sorry.. used to know a simon judd.

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Random Play: The Age of Reason,

    Keep watching Kyle, I'm finding that I'm absorbing stuff from context

    Not only are you an elitist bastard Simon, but an incredibly intelligent one!

    What on earth is editorial emotion?

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Random Play: The Age of Reason,

    Fair enough Heather, take your point.

    I don't agree though that newsreaders are "instructing" anyone how to feel; the cocked eyebrows and full-on empathy, etc, are from a gone-by era. I certainly don't think One News' readers are mugging the camera so you might react in a certain way. Yes, they have expression on their face and in their delivery because that's how people tell stories to each other - I for one would hate to see our news programmes be a carbon copy of the 'bland' delivery of BBC World (would love their resources but).

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report

  • Random Play: The Age of Reason,

    We certainly do live in a country that likes to talk big. A quick glance at your own site, elsewhere, shows that – where you too are in breathless mode: “GR is widely regarded as one of NZ’s most versatile journalists, and its most respected music and travel writer.” Er, says who? Does writing it in the 3rd person make it seem like it’s not you writing it?

    I think when you consider that Fiji’s military (whose representatives you think merely ‘allegedly’ gave Ballu Khan such a good kicking) summarily overthrew its democratic institutions (with a fair amount of roughing up) last year, showing scant regard for the due process of law or respect for human rights, then you might understand the reason for not inserting ‘alleged’, when your reporting (i.e researching of the facts) indicates what’s actually happened. The Fijian military didn’t dispute that he received his injuries during his arrest, only the manner in which he received them (in time honoured bullshit speak of military regimes it said that he got them because he “resisted arrest”).

    I’d say someone who’s in hospital, guarded by soldiers controlling who gets to see him, not the medical staff, qualifies as being "in captivity." If it doesn’t, wtf does?

    Barbara Dreaver, however breathless you might think her, is a respected reporter on the Pacific and has witnessed most of the region’s major news events of the past ten years (good and bad). When she says someone’s been bashed, knowing her careful reporting, I tend to believe her.

    So what’s your post really about? People who’ve posted back seem to have noticed, even if you didn’t. What they care about is you quite rightly moaning about fireworks being potentially banned by the kill joys, not some lengthy preamble about how crap tv news is. If you were still being edited (and I think it’s a shame you’re not at times) I think your sub might have pointed that out - although as I write this I’m thinking, hang on, as a former “true renaissance man” at the herald (another gem from elsewhere!) the subs there probably routinely instructed you to have a crack at anything about tv news, never mind the actual topic of your story. Paranoid? Nah, just bored with the predictable, same old shit.

    (Declaration of interest: I produced TVNZ’s breathless coup coverage in Fiji last year Graham. I don’t produce news any longer, but wouldn’t mind being 14 again)

    auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 8 posts Report