Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Radio Times

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  • Bill Brown,

    do the Nielsen Media ratings include time shifted listening via the web page? I usually look for the summary of the big progs (saturday, sunday, nine-to-noon) once they're on line and listen then.

    Since Apr 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    I have always found the the National Programme afternoon slot, no matter who is in the chair, soporific - sorry Noelle, but you as well.It just meanders all over the place with no purpose. Dull.
    Laidlaw was once described by Braunias as "the most boring man on radio" and I think he got that right.
    But Morning Report is still the best daily news service, and if I'm home nine to noon is usually on somewhere.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 229 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Kathryn Ryan: Consistent but unspectacular, except when it gets to break a story, when it can set an agenda.

    Aww... I tend to be a little kinder to Ryan. Nine to Noon is the kind of format that's like a good lemon meringue pie. (And I'm very picky about my pie, folks.) You're trying to keep a balance between the tart hard news interviews, and prevent the fluffy "lifestyle" features from sounding too much like sickly sweet advertorial. Ryan took a while to settle into it (not helped by the usual National Radio audience who damn hosts until they leave), but I think she's doing a good job. Though I do wish she'd taser both Matthew Hooten and Lila Harre live on air one Monday - just once. :)

    We're informative, warm and casual, and Craig Ranapia is a delight.

    Someone is soooo getting hit up for a raise....

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    But Morning Report is still the best daily news service

    Ah yes, but Sean Plunket is starting to regress a bit into his old 'Too Much Coffee Too Early In The Morning Man' persona, which is a shame. He's one of those guys who can be so bloody good when he chills out, and I'll always say one of the great media moments of recent years was when Plunket was paying attention and caught David Benson Pope in (shall we say) a moment of unplanned candour.

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

  • Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    Call me 23 going on 40, but I think RNZ National is the best thing since sliced bread. I rate the news as the best in any medium, and concur with Russell on the new shows such as 'This Way Up' and old favourites like 'Mediawatch' - they're really very good. I'd add 'At the Movies' at 1.00 p.m. on Sunday - sardonic, in a word.

    I think Sunday Morning is still worth listening to - if only for the nice snippets from Dougal Stevenson (!) and 'Insight'. My only lament is the loss of Tom Frewen and Max Cryer for coverage of Parliament and etymology respectively.

    Right - perhaps you'd better make that 23 going on 80...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    Ah yes, but Sean Plunket is starting to regress a bit into his old 'Too Much Coffee Too Early In The Morning Man' persona, which is a shame.

    Best Plunket moment, circa 2003:

    SEAN: Mr Peters, please answer the question!

    WINSTON: I've just about had enough of you, Plunket! Don't think I don't know things about you, Plunket. Nasty things. Don't think I won't tell...[cut-off]

    SEAN: Looks like Mr Peter had to go...

    Gold. Can't imagine Geoff or Todd Niall doing that. Bring on the espresso, I say.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Checkpoint: Not as compulsory as it used to be, and I'm not sure why, but still the best radio summary of the day's issues and arguments.

    Don't know about you, but I just find Mary Wilson impossible to listen to more often than not. And oddly enough, it's because she is doing the same shit that used to really bug me about Plunket. The leading questions, the editorialising, the feral cluelessness where she doesn't get that barking the same question half-a-dozen times isn't going to elicit a response.

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

  • Mark Thomas,

    i'd be gutted if national cut funding to national radio. I'm a big fan of nine to noon and saturday morning. I can listen morning report for a maximum of about half an hour, before its all too much too early in the day.

    On the other hand, bFM is great in the morning (though i do miss wallace), except when mike havoc is talking to john key and helen clark. Am i the only one who finds his interviews excruciatingly partisan?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    I'm pretty old now but I've been listening to Nat Rad since I was about 27. The bird calls, the absence of slick presenters. No ads. It's a treasure - the way the Listener used to be.

    I can't quite get the kick out of Kim Hill that I used to. I loved her when she was doing the news and political stuff.

    What I do now is pick and choose - I pick the best interviews and listen to them on my computer. Love it. Love to listen to Noelle in the arvos when I'm driving home from work.

    Bill Ralston is lazy I think. He can write well but he's too lazy to do any research or think anything through. What about that lovely interview with Clydesdale? Even he would have liked that!

    And I'll definitely try listen to PA Radio on Saturday if I can.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 523 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    I love Morning Report, sometimes catch the start of Nine to Noon and my enjoyment depends on my interest in the topic at hand.

    Checkpoint with Mary Wilson is increasingly irritating. Her interrogative tone of voice reminds me too much of my mother telling off my father. I just don't need it on my commute home.

    Radio NZ National has my news bulletin of choice, without a doubt.

    And I am YOUNG :o)

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    There is one thing I have always thought about radio as opposed to TV and that is about Loyalty, you seem to get more loyalty to radio stations than TV stations. I've heard it since way back when Pirate radio started in the UK and maybe that is when the loyalty thing began. I think people tend to leave the radio on one station more than they would the TV, that is until you come to the News, there still seems to be loyalty to TV1 news or TV3 news.
    Or is it just me?
    Wadda ya think?
    BTW. I've always thought of Ralston as a cardie wearer.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4879 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    Oh yeah and some of the weekend music shows are terrific. They had such an inspiring review of MIA last August that it actually made me pull over at Real Groovy and buy her album.

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Sue,

    my favourite thing on national radio (after kim hill) is their summer programming
    first is noelle covering interesting things
    then matinee idol

    both are only ever on for the summer :/

    which is probably why i am listening to afternoons at the moment

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 493 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    I'd add 'At the Movies' at 1.00 p.m. on Sunday

    Yes! Simon Morris' combination of boyish enthusiasm and scathing derision is always a treat on Sundays when I otherwise don't catch much radio. Nine to Noon is best when Lynn Freeman's hosting it, she's just more listenable than Kathryn Ryan for me.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Eleanor,

    Perfect description of Simon Morris' style! I can always gauge from his reviews whether a film is worth scoping or not.

    wellington • Since May 2007 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    There's something wonderful about Radio New Zealand. They believe it is their job to get out there and create reliable and informative content, and it shows. They don't always get it right, but they're the best we have.

    The same can also be said for the BBC World Service, RadioNetherlands, RFI and Deutsche Welle, or a number of public service broadcasters.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • David Ritchie,

    If you (heart) Matinee Idle as much as I do, come and join the Facebook group. It's got, um, 11 members. I'd be happy for it to hit 15.

    Wellingtron • Since Nov 2006 • 163 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Ironically, I used to get into nine-to-noon when I was younger (early 20s). I'm not sure if it's a change in presenters, or whether I'm just more news jaded.

    Morning Report is really the only thing to listen to in the morning. Mediawatch is great if I'm awake. Saturday afternoon is good.
    I do find it a bit like Radio 1, in that it's often great, but sometimes you tune in, and it's just not a show that you're interested in.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I've been listening to mostly RNZ for some time and would generally agree with Russell's take on the quality of the schedule.

    But even if the interview style or subject tunes me out for a bit, commercial advertising sends me but to the nation broadcaster every time.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I can always gauge from his reviews whether a film is worth scoping or not.

    Unless it's a PT Anderson movie. During his review of There Will Be Blood I was thinking 'but all the clips you're playing are making me irrationally angry! I can just *tell* how hateable this film is right away! Why are *you* not irrationally angry, Simon?'

    This Way Up rules, though.

    (I can't say I hate Noelle at all, but she drives my mother and husband batty. I'm not sure why...)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Alexa Forbes,

    I want to add my tiny voice to national radio supporters - no, not just supporter - I love national radio. I live in Queenstown and this station is the only way we get a sense of what's going on around the country - not just Auckland! Steve Wilde - our local reporter serves us wonderfully. My partner and i love morning report and listen every work morning often chuckling at Sean Plunket's irrepressible and irreverent demands for 'answers to the question'. We love media watch and the music programmes on Saturday and Sunday arvos. our 10 year old loves this way up and i like the rural programming. I also like the world programming in the evening. Sometimes we hear too much about some issues and we switch off, but never to commercial radio now. itunes and podcasts rule. Commercial radio has become entirely irrelevant to our community - I worked in commercial radio for years when it represented local community - automatic programming to a lowest common denominator has killed that medium for us. Long live national radio!

    Since Nov 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    And oddly enough, it's because she is doing the same shit that used to really bug me about Plunket. The leading questions, the editorialising, the feral cluelessness where she doesn't get that barking the same question half-a-dozen times isn't going to elicit a response.

    That's spot on. Interesting that some of the best interviews on those shows have come from stand in interviewers. Worst is Plunket's "so what you're saying is..." putting words into someone's mouth that were diametrically opposed to what has just been said.

    Russell is right about your Radio spots. It's like a different Craig pops up :-)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1616 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    OK probably closer to cardigain wearing age than most P.A readers, not that I ever have owned one
    So, yes all the house and car radios are tuned to Nat Rad
    Afternoons are a little mixed, love the Panel when the mix is right
    Brian Edwards telling us HK was not spun definitly a classic

    But I hate/dislike the way weekend afternoons are run, the parts are mostly alright it is just the way they are put to-gether or the fact it runs from 12 oclock. It just seems to go on forever

    Actually brings out the one problem of being of "indapendent means" we don't get weekends

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    Hi - long-time listener, first-time caller here....... them's certainly harsh words from Mr Ralston. I've slowly morphed from a bFM to National Programme regular, and enjoy the wide variety of content, presenter style etc because of the excellent balance of news, commentary, specialist programmes on spirituality, disability issues, politics, environment and science. There is also a great balance between the very experienced presenters and journo's with decades of experience, and breathlessly excited kids fresh out of polytech.

    Checkpoint with Mary Wilson is increasingly irritating. Her interrogative tone of voice reminds me too much of my mother telling off my father. I just don't need it on my commute home.

    Too right - when I'm driving home unwinding from a shit day in the office, I want an informed presentation on the day's news, not listen to more shit being ladelled out to Mary's current victim, be they politician, Police District Commander, Fonterra CEO or whoever.....

    My favourite time to listen in is the real Geriatric Hour - Sunday evening with Sounds Historical , followed by the lovely Wayne Mowat and a barrel-full of golden oldies. Now that is vintage wireless....

    sunny Pt Chevalier • Since Mar 2008 • 40 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I loved Noelle McCarthy's restrained piece on Bill Ralston. Ralston is past his use by date. I am sick and tired of grumpy old rogue elephants (Ralston, Deaker, Jim Hopkins, etc etc ) lashing out a herd they no longer understand. They could all do a lot worse that study the good natured acceptance of the onset of dotage by Brian Edwards. I want to grow old like him.

    Morning Report:

    Required listening, although I have personal dislike of interminable business "news".

    Kathryn Ryan: She is OK, and clearly keeps a super soaker handy to keep Matthew Hooten under control. I always thought Havoc would be perfect in nine to noon. And lets not beat around the bush: Leighton Smith is a fascist, and commercial talkback in general is a cesspool of morally bankrupt agent-provocateurs cheerleading an audience of proud ignorance and profound prejudice.

    Midday report appears under-resourced, often just offering re-heated morning report and business news filler. The rural news can be interesting, but it comes to far through the bulletin.

    Noelle McCarthy is a gem, I find Jim Moira insufferably smug and a real turn off. I generally tune in hope into the panel then switch to GeorgeFM when Moira annoys me.

    Checkpoint seems to only get into its stride after 6pm, before that it suffers from the same lack of pace (for want of a better term) as midday report. I quite like Mary Wilson, although sometimes she does get in the way of the story.

    Kim Hill - is getting better with age, I've come back to Saturday morning on National Radio.

    Chris Laidlaw is aging better than Bill Ralston, but that is damning with faint praise I am afraid.


    Funnily, I don't watch television much before 6pm or listen to the radio after 12pm.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

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