Muse by Craig Ranapia


The Good Word, Bad Numbers and The Fake-Fact That Won't Die

The New Zealand Herald, like a good dose of the clap, is the gift that never stops giving no matter how much you want it to. 

The final series of local book program The Good Word started last night on TVNZ 7 (and can be seen on demand here), and The Good Word Jr. begins today (Saturday, March 3).  So, cheers for it getting a nice valedictory write up in the Weekend Herald today - though it would be nice if Rebecca Barry Hill got a well-earned by-line in the on-line version.

But I can't help but share Russell's partially caps-locked exasperation at Barry Hill cut-and-pasting the TVNZ 7-related fake-fact that just won't die:

But stymied by our small population, the channel was considered too costly to run at $15 million a year; the expense was not considered justifiable for its 207,000 weekly viewers.

How often - and thoroughly - does this number have to be fisked, discredited and shown to be utter bilge before The Herald just stops using it?

The story ends with this heart-breaking appeal for crowd-sourced wisdom and free copy:

What do you think of the impending lack of television coverage of the arts and books in New Zealand? Should TVNZ and TV3 take up the responsibility? Let us know via and we'll print your views in the arts pages next week.

Since you asked, Linda, I think media coverage of the arts should remember that everyone is entitled to their own opinion - and it's been hard to miss that the NZH has never been editorial supportive on TVNZ 7 --, but nobody is entitled to their own facts.   The Herald's arts editor needs to take up the responsibility of not spreading misleading and inaccurate figures about cultural institutions because the paper's editorial writers and media columnist don't seem to care.

(The Good Word, TVNZ7, Fridays at 9.05pm; replays Saturdays at 9.05am and 1.05pm; Tuesdays, 9.30pm; Wednesdays, 9.30am and 1.30pm.

The Good Word Jr, TVNZ7, Saturdays at 7.05pm; replays Sundays, 4.05pm, Wednesdays at 6.30pm; Thursdays at 12.30pm.)

UPDATE:  From Russell in comments:

Just to note that Linda Herrick called while I was out and is keen to make a correction. So that’s good.

Bloody oath is it, and credit where due etc.  Could that please become a feature not a bug of the Herald's editorial OS?  Please.

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