Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Future of the Future

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  • Just thinking,

    Being a devout poor-mans tv viewer (except for sport when I go to the pub - double bonus). I found this evenings viewing a perfect time to sort the collected/rubbish/green/recycling, catch up on a phone call and the dishes. Maori TV had the Circut on, but it looked a bit depressing.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Exemplifies ignorant contempt for their own cultural form

    Yeah ... and they had a Ches & Dale ad on it. Claiming to be from 1969. But in colour. Oh well.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Calder,

    In particular, we assumed the power to ignore advertising by muting it -- and, more recently, pausing and fast-forwarding through programmes on the PVR. And the media industry is still working through the implications of that.

    Ain't that the truth. It amazes me that Nielsen figures take no account of people who do not watch TV in real time (and who are therefore likely to be fast-forwarding through the ads). Why would advertisers not want to know the numbers of people who are actively using technology to avoid their hucksterism? (Or why would TV networks not regard that information as germane? Hmmm. Thinks ...).
    On the very rare occasions that I watch TV, I record it first. Taking an hour to get 40 minutes worth of something done just don't make sense to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 64 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The TVNZ programme really is bloody awful. As I pointed out above, it is more than a little ironic that Prime is screening a 7-part doco series later this month (which TVNZ apparently passed on ), whilst TVNZ serves us up this mess.

    It was achingly bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I just like the fact that it is there if and when you need it, unlike so much else in the world.

    Though I had to smile at reading new producer Phil Collinson's less-than-affectionate nickname around Corrie-fandom is 'The Dalek' -- due to his rapid-fire extermination of around half a dozen characters in a fortnight. :)

    It was achingly bad.

    God, yes -- could you imagine how TVNZ could have marked the anniversary with a little thought and effort? Wouldn't it have been cool if they'd reached into the back catalogue: Tangata Whenua, the still fabulous first episode of Gloss, even doing a deal with ITV to re-screen the first half dozen eps of Corrie.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Running the long history of public broadcasting through a gameshow format hosted by Jason Gunn -- kind of says it all.

    TVNZ always had the default mindset
    of taking broadcasting in light
    to mean light entertainment...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5060 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    even doing a deal with ITV to re-screen the first half dozen eps of Corrie.

    Yeah! It's hard to get a proper sequence of back copies of Coro St. Why haven't they sold it on DVD BTW?

    And Craig, you are extremely good at writing about TV. You would make a better job of TV reviews than Karl de Fresne:) In the Listener.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Sarah Lilburn,

    TV's future? People still watch TV?! What a waste of space in your house when you can watch everything online. The internet is the future - TV is dead.

    South Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Sarah - that assumes that on-line access is affordable. Reminded of that yesterday by a beneficiary friend who cannot afford a computer, let alone a phone line. His access is through internet cafes or the public library - the latter at $6 an hour makes it a luxury item when you have no disposable income.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2099 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Yeah ... and they had a Ches & Dale ad on it. Claiming to be from 1969. But in colour. Oh well.

    Not only did they lie or get it wrong... they supplied the info to prove so earlier in the program when they told us NZ got colour in 1973.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Yeah ... and they had a Ches & Dale ad on it. Claiming to be from 1969. But in colour. Oh well.

    I believe Calvin's dad once explained this

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 457 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    The new Coro title set seems, to me at least, to be getting ready to morph into a coffee ad.

    Also, too many pigeons.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 424 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    That Calvin cartoon reminds me of a picture researcher on a magazine I used to work for, who asked in all seriousness if a Renaissance painting she was sourcing for us was supposed to be in colour or black-and-white.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    With regards to the intellectual activity of engaging in TV; I'd wager most people treat their favourite shows as something they get involved with the analysis of. I don't really hate to say it, although some people might be ashamed of admitting such a thing, but a lot of my best and long-term friendships have sprung entirely from discussing why show X has literary qualities and so forth. I've bonded with so many people over the plot-arc of "Babylon 5" and the arguments as to whether its first season has any merit (I, for one, love "TKO").

    Culture, pop or otherwise, is a touchstone for a lot of people, and people get invested in it. Harking back to the thread on "LOST," people like talking about the items of culture they have in common, which is why FTA TV is so important. I can't afford to go to all that many shows or gigs, but I can watch a bit of TV (and I am very selective in my watching these days (which doesn't mean I only watch quality TV, mind)), which gives me something to talk to others about, in the same way that talking about the weather,m the news, sports and politics allows us to be the social beings we are.

    When you talk about such things, you tend to have opinions, backed by reasons. I don't accept the notion that we merely and passively watch TV. I suspect that is the case in some situations (like the family watching TV together and chatting; the TV part might well be passive) but often we engage in it so we can engage others about it later.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 424 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    That Calvin cartoon reminds me of a picture researcher on a magazine I used to work for, who asked in all seriousness if a Renaissance painting she was sourcing for us was supposed to be in colour or black-and-white.

    There are a number of Renaissance paintings that were destroyed during WWII and survive only as black and white photographs. She meant that, right? Right?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    The newly recorded Coro theme tune I find more melodious and interesting in a musical appreciation sense...

    However, because it is indelibly linked, psychologically, to a TV show that holds no interest for me... I'm never going to sit down and listen to it in that way...

    Also, the big-band brass version of the CHiPs theme tune was much better than the later synthesizer pretend-brass followup.

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    This is a big topic, about which a number of subscribers seem to have very firm opinions. I can't tell what evidence many of these opinions are based on.

    The point of "an argument" - for me - is not at all to win; simply to test my ideas. I go into discussions with a genuine preparedness to have my mind changed, based on verifiable evidence.

    To begin with, I'd refer everyone ot a collection of articles in the Economist about 2 weeks ago. There's clear evidence that many people are watching television: I think that one of the articles produced evidence that more people (in the US, I think) are watching television than getting similar programming by other means.

    "Television" to me is more like "publishing" than like "books". It consists of the equivalent of magazines, novels and newspapers.

    I think most people use free-to-air broadcasting when they want to rest from the cares of their day. They're not looking for education or enlightenment, particularly, but rather for entertainment. The fact that you or I might not be using television in this way might simply mean that we're in a minority ("a" minority rather than "the" minority).

    If the future of television in New Zealand follows that of the US, we'll have many many more channels, each claiming a much smaller portion of the viewing audience than the three free-to-air channels that once monopolised television. Advertising revenue is now split three hundred ways instead of three. This affects the amount per minute that can be spent on programming.

    If a television station/channel is run as a business, then it's obliged to please shareholders. If those shareholders demand increased returns, then even a subscription channel is tempted run advertisements, and move "down-market", where the audiences are larger.

    The future of television, and the future of programming seem to me to be tied but not joined at the hip: other subscribers have already referred to the internet and other means of dissemination.

    Newspapers have shown that there is a "market" for "good" journalism. Book publishers have shown that there is a "market" for "good" literature.

    The present television funding model suits certain sorts of programming - much of which clearly doesn't suit some subscribers here. And I think something like it will continue to exist, 'cos there's money to be made.

    The challenge - whether within "television" or other media - is to find funding models which suit "minority" tastes.

    Since Nov 2006 • 202 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    often we engage in it so we can engage others about it later.

    Well put!

    The internet is the future - TV is dead.

    As Mark Twain famously declared The rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated Personally, I prefer to watch TV in company, to share the laughter and the questions, than staring at a computer screen in a solo fashion.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Claiming to be from 1969. But in colour.

    Very likely shot on colour film, but broadcast at the time, of course, in black and white. Or a TVNZ cock-up :)

    The fabled golden era of targeted and relevant advertising based on your current purchase patterns and life-stage is eons off being realised.

    Tell that to amazon and google. They'll surprise you!

    Niche advertisers rarely have enough dosh to support niche channels, especially when you consider that the cost of making a commercial can be roughly equivalent to the amount these potential advertisers have to spend on their marketing.

    The cost of making a commercial can be almost nothing (nothing if you do it yourself) up to 'the sky's the limit'. That's certainly changed.

    Graeme Turner's new book Ordinary People and The Media: The Demotic Turn. He argues that much of the talk about the democratisation of the media (as 'produsers' or 'prosumers') is rushing far ahead of any convincing evidence of substantial change. He also argues that many of us are colluding in the interests of established media by supplying free content for them...

    I'm not sure what would be convincing. Tech-talkers always tend to rush ahead. But the trend seems evident.
    And... those two arguments rather conflict: 'we' are 'colluding' in supplying free content to established media... but it's insubstantial?
    Corporate players still have a massive role in media creation and distribution. And Google may end up more like Time-Warner than anyone supposes. Not sure I'd bet on it, though.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 1574 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Rob: it is difficult to sum up Turner's argument in a sentence or two but it is a careful and considered caution against being seduced by the rhetoric of yet-unsubstantiated change. It you like, I could loan the book to you in a week or two.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2318 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    Very likely shot on colour film, but broadcast at the time, of course, in black and white. Or a TVNZ cock-up :)

    I'm going for the latter because...
    1) I've also seen B&W Ches-n-Dale adds on history of NZ TV/Cartooning/art programs within the last year or so.
    2) I'm 80% certain I actually saw the add shown last night on TV when it was current.... and I only arrived in NZ in 1981.

    Neither is conclusive, I'll grant you...

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    I think most people use free-to-air broadcasting when they want to rest from the cares of their day. They're not looking for education or enlightenment, particularly, but rather for entertainment

    When did our days become soooo careworn, that "entertainment" became what we craved?
    Or has the human race en masse just given up, and are too timid to ask for more. And instead just whine to those who can do fuck all about it (the people in the room with you at the time).
    Is that why personal interactions are going down the shitter?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1230 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I sort of agree but how many of those low income families pay up to $90 a month to watch Sky TV? We all complained about the licensing fee but are quite willing to pay for Sky.

    These arguments bug me. We shouldn't help foodbanks because they're all buying KFC. We shouldn't pay benefits because it all goes on boy racer cars. We should charge them for free to air TV because they all have sky.

    Those damn poor people aren't actually poor because they do this so we should sting them in this way that works out better for richer people.

    Yeah! It's hard to get a proper sequence of back copies of Coro St. Why haven't they sold it on DVD BTW?

    That's terrifying. 49 years of TV, even at 100 shows per year is about 1250 DVDs. The enormity of the task, and the chances of anyone being able to actually buy them would make the exercise pointless, even if they do have a complete set. It would cost at least $5000 to buy a set.

    Newspapers have shown that there is a "market" for "good" journalism. Book publishers have shown that there is a "market" for "good" literature.

    I think the market for good TV is to break even on the broadcast, and then rake it in on DVD sales. Once the TV show is made, the DVDs will be largely profit.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The enormity of the task,

    "Enormity" wasn't the word you wanted there. Unless you really have some dark feelings about Ken Barlow ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Graeme Turner's new book Ordinary People and The Media: The Demotic Turn. He argues that much of the talk about the democratisation of the media (as 'produsers' or 'prosumers') is rushing far ahead of any convincing evidence of substantial change. He also argues that many of us are colluding in the interests of established media by supplying free content for them...

    The deal cuts both ways, though. Google drops a billion a year running YouTube as a matter of strategy -- and we get a free, easy service that transcodes, formats and distributes our work across a simply amazing global content distribution network. We're also free to find ways of making money out of it ourselves.

    And it's also worth noting that we, the public, are picking up and re-using a hell of established media content for free.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

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