Recent Posts

Friday Music: Out there in the world

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of…

Mediaworks: The only horizon they see

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live…

2015: The Budget of what?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I hear there's some kind of big financial set-piece at Parliament today. What are your reckons, friends?

Auckland Festival of Photography 2015

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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The Auckland Festival of Photography runs 28 May - 20 June. If you have picked up the festival book, you'll be wondering how you could possibly see it all within the allotted time period. There is A LOT on. We're…

Sex, monsters and outrage

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Speaker by Joshua Drummond
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When my wife got home from work a couple of days ago, I said something along the lines of "Did you see that terrible thing that happened with the students who got handed sex-ed literature that basically said women were…

Stand for... Something

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Up Front by Emma Hart
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Recently, I was Pub-Talking to an acquaintance, an American guy who's been living in New Zealand for a few years now. One of the things that really struck him about New Zealand was our lack of patriotism. You see it…

Friday Music: So Rad

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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For the past two or three years She's So Rad have been moving adeptly between two identities: the lush shoegaze outfit and the game console disco version of 'Breakout'. Their long-awaited second album Tango, out today, goes some way towards…

IT'S ALIVE

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Cracker by Damian Christie
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For the past few years, actually, the whole decade I’ve been working in television, the narrative has been the same – traditional media is fucked.  The story has taken different forms over the years.  There’s been seemingly continuous restructuring at organisations…

Disability as a wicked policy problem

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Access by Hilary Stace
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Minister of Finance, Bill English, has hinted that there will be a voucher system for disability support in the Budget on 21 May. This will be the Government’s latest attempt to fix disability policy. However, as various posts on this…

Beyond 'a bad look'

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OnPoint by Keith Ng
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This is adapted from a speech made last Thursday at the Future of Journalism and Our Democracy event hosted by the Centre for NZ Progress and the NZ Fabian Society. Significant changes have been made from Thursday's version a) in…

Friday Music: What Alltracks is actually about

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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The slow, steady shift of audiences to streaming music services has been a mixed blessing for NZ On Air, whose job it is to help us hear more of ourselves wherever. On one hand, it takes music discovery away from…

#GE2015: Proper Mad

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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In a few hours, Britons will vote in a traditional first-past-the-post Westminster system general election. The result will almost certainly be a mess. Driven by pressures within – Scottish nationalism; the unfocused English discontent that inflates UKIP – and the influence of…

Synthetic cannabis: it just keeps coming

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Synthetic cannabinoids are being prepared and sold on the New Zealand black market, more than a year after they were banned from public sale by an amendment to the Psychoactive Substances Act. And a report provided to me by ESR…

The disabled soldier “problem”

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Access by Robyn Hunt
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My visit to the exhibition Road to Recovery: Disabled Soldiers of World War I at Te Papa was almost my only observance of Anzac Day. The exhibition has been there for a while, and certainly wasn’t attracting the crowds that…

The Cry of the Indignados – Forcing Change

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Envirologue by Dave Hansford
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On an April day in 2013, 47 year-old Inocencia Lucha walked into her bank in Almassora, near Valencia. With level gaze and a steady voice she addressed the counter staff: “You have taken everything from me.” Then she poured petrol…

Friday Music: The merry month of May

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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It's several years since New Zealand Music Month shifted from running a centralised, industry-focused event series to acting as an umbrella for anything anyone in the community might care to organise and associate with the concept. It works. Notably this…

Behind Baltimore

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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Away here at the bottom of the world, we have been experiencing this week's tumult in Baltimore, Maryland, in the modern way: through the real-time thrill, outrage and fuzzy context of live tweeting, brutal images and shaky Periscope streams. It…

Will the grown-ups ever arrive home?

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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You can see an extended cut of last night's Media Take discussion with Ali Mau, Gavin Ellis and Andy Pickering here. It covers both the topic we originally conceived – the nature and purpose of the gossip press – and the fiasco…

It’s just a bout of Chronic Sorrow

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Access by Hilary Stace
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I’m usually full of disability positivity but sometimes I have a bout of Chronic Sorrow. Chronic Sorrow is a term named by some wise person for the condition some parents of disabled children have. It can be just below the…

Anzac Day II

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with…

April Come She Will

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Capture by Jackson Perry
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Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass. Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.…

Friday Music: Put the band in a lounge

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Hard News by Russell Brown
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I don't know about you, but some of the "gigs" I've enjoyed most in my life have just been bands playing in the lounge at some party. It's some combination of the lack of separation between band and audience and…