I'm delighted to say that 95bFM will be live-streaming IRL on Saturday.
Also, Mana magazine editor Leonie Jayden will be DJing.
And we hit our RSVP limit over the weekend, but I've added a few more places. I hope we can fit everyone in ...
The disappointing thing about the performance of Serco is that it is all too similar to the work of the Department of Corrections. They were supposed to be better.
I discussed this with a friend who worked (for a third party organisation) in Mt Eden Corrections Facility and he was of the view that Corrections, while clearly not perfect, did have a better handle on the place than Serco.
He said that Serco's staff did not have the respect of prisoners, which meant small problems escalated far more often. Experienced Corrections staff were more likely to identify and deal with problem situations at a human level, while Serco relied on its systems. These systems – such as the centralised, permission-based door access system – frequently got in the way of establishing order and protecting the vulnerable. "At The Rock (the old Mt Eden jail) every guard has a key," he said.
It also seems pretty clear that Serco is incentivised to under-report problems.
Just FYI, I talked to Michelle Dickinson yesterday and confirmed that while Callaghan pays her for writing the column, it's not directly paying the Herald.
One observation: the Newstalk ZB-TVNZ double act that Hosking has effectively inherited from Holmes is extremely onerous. Coming down from being "on" doesn't leave a lot of time for thinking and researching.
Also, you've got to be pretty weird to even be capable of doing it.
Talk radio itself is the home of, as former Newstalk head Bill Francis readily acknowledged to me, the home of "edge personalities".
Not been watching Mr Henry on morning telly but is it the same mash of radio and tv conventions?
I should check it out more (I do not watch breakfast television) – bits I've seen haven't actually been terrible.
Over on Pundit a little while ago, Tim Watkin was arguing that Hosking, Henry, Espiner, Williams, Garner and Campbell were all ‘talented question-askers’ who have ‘earned it’ with their ‘broadcast skill’. I asked him what exactly Hosking ‘does’ and what his ‘skill’ is. Didn’t get a very convincing answer.
Hosking is actually a very technically-skilled broadcaster and he knows how to ask questions. His management of last year's TV One leaders' debate was pretty good too. But he lacks empathy, self-awareness and insight.
I tried reading his column today. It doesn’t even make sense, nor is it readable.
It occurs to me that he writes for himself to speak. because that’s what he’s used to. That can be a good way to write, but the syntax of commercial talk radio tends to look nonsensical in a newspaper.
To really see how shithouse this internal sharing can be, this week’s column from Barry Soper, on the Herald website:
There was something of a rebellion in the Tory’s ranks over the new law, which flowed on from the poor safety record at the Pike River mine. The law was to give the families of the 29 miners who perished there some peace of mind, that needless work accidents could be prevented.
But it’s come down to the definition of what workplace is high risk, and what isn’t, and that’s lead to howls from the Beehive’s opponents that they’re looking after the rural rump.
Presumably, a sub never even looked at that. Surely.
It thereafter descends into gibberish:
Also in the fraught, high risk category of farming is pig, where a grunt is worse than the bite, goat where billy can be a little gruff at times, and rabbit, which are more dangerous to themselves, particularly when caught in a headlight glare.
And concludes, bizarrely:
But before nanny state Labour crows too much about cock-ups, it should reflect on its final months in office when it came up with new building codes, reducing the water flow of showers and phasing out conventional lights bulbs for energy efficient ones.
Not surprisingly, the Nats sacked the nanny!
And I assure you, this column is not an outlier.
Look, as someone who enjoys well expressed opinion from any part of the left/right continuum, I don’t find any difference whatsoever between Mike Hosking and Dita De Boni. Both appear to express themselves wholly in cliches and are long on unsupported assertion and short on penetrating analysis.
We will have to differ strongly on that then. De Boni can write. Hosking really can’t, and his endless editorials are inevitably full of mistakes and misapprehensions, especially on any economic matter. There’s simply no way they’d be run by the Herald on merit.
Media companies are not so well off, including the radio outlets, that they can afford to take strong political stances irrespective of their commercial underpinnings. If they could make money from a left wing version of Mike Hosking they would so. In fact, long ago and not so far away there was a left wing version of Mike Hosking. Her name was Pam Corkery. Her outlet, Radio Pacific, staffed mostly by hosts in or heading towards their haemorrhoid years and aimed at a comparable audience, was a power in the land.
That’s true, and Radio Live offers some variety of worldview. But I do think subjecting newspapers to the opinion standards of talk radio is dragging them down. Willie Jackson makes me throw things at the radio too.
Dave Armstrong writes an explicitly left wing column in the Dom Post that is entirely readable. His liberal counterpart, former Dominion Editor Karl Du Fresne is also a much better writer than either Hosking or De Boni. Both spend time on the particular before going to the general which gives their writing texture and lowers the ranting ratio in each column. Maybe there is something in the Wellington and Wairarapa water?
Du Fresne is a puzzle. His feature writing is generally excellent. His columns, or worse, his blog posts, are often weird and cranky.
But I did actually very clearly say I didn't think this was some right-wing takeover, but more a reflection of the commercial realities in the current media climate.
Correction: Judith Collins gets paid by the SST, and donates the money to the Totara South Auckland Hospice. Goff hasn’t made a similar declaration for the register of pecuniary interest, but it could be a simple oversight – I’ve asked Jonathan Milne on Twitter.
Happening all over. Tuned into Story for the first time last night only to find a plug for the hideousness that is The Edge (both in terms of music and personality) being given a plug (during radio ratings week, of course), for it’s supremely awful marriage before you meet promotion.
Yes, the apocalypse has begun.