Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Future of the Future

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  • 3410,

    TV news' obsession with live crosses is another example.

    I've always considered it a kind of cargo-cultism, where the networks do their best to make the show look like a proper (ie US / UK / Aus.) operation, instead of understanding that the purpose is the transmission of timely and relevant information.

    Of course, those "proper" news organisations do that too, but not, in my experience, quite to the Pythonesque levels that we see.


    Ooh, Curb Your Enthusiasm is on. This week: "Larry is forced to cover his tracks after he accidentally causes the death of a country club member and kills the club's mascot in an act of self defense."

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    the purpose is the transmission of timely and relevant information

    sorry, it's only entertainment to deliver audiences to advertisers

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16431 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    by which criteria, Jason Gunn's lil gameshow was a raging success

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16431 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    the purpose is the transmission of timely and relevant information

    sorry, it's only entertainment to deliver audiences to advertisers

    Ah... actually, you're right. I forget, sometimes. Curse my idealistic nature!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    There was also the pre-Bell Curve IQ Test episode of Good Times.

    Thanks for that Russell (finally got around to watching it). Having never seen anything more than a dy-no-mite from Good Times, it's good to know that - for a while at least - it was a pretty good show.

    And who knew that Black Jesus was on TV 30 years before The Boondocks?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    ... the networks do their best to make the show look like a proper (ie US / UK / Aus.) operation, instead of understanding that the purpose is the transmission of timely and relevant information.

    There are live crosses in US news - I occasionally watch ABC World News - but often what would be a live cross here involves turning to the, say, political editor, who is now sitting in the desk next to them - rather than a live cross to wet, deserted Parliamentary forecourt.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Trivia fans may care to note that, thanks to the impetus of the 1974 Commonwealth Games, New Zealand went colour two years before Australia. I still remember seeing one at the Cantebury A&P show, then the wonder when a boxy Thorn set arrived in our lounge.

    We watched the CWG portion of the 50 years celebration via Ondemand (ta orc*n). My wife bless her, was close to tears at watching Dick Tayler take the 10,000m. On reflection I wonder whether in the future there will ever be room for live FTA broadcast. It would seem a strange life indeed to go without shared cultural moments of this type. FWIW my moment was watching Linford Christie take Gold in Barcelona - I remember sticking my head out of a third floor window and announcing "he's done it...!!" to the bemused street three floors below.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Herald: Viewers pan TVNZ's 50-year celebration:

    But the gameshow format and light style of the Jason Gunn-hosted programme angered some who would have liked to see 50 years' commemorated in weightier style. Media websites and talkback radio ran hot with criticism yesterday.

    "Thanks TVNZ for making a show that is the equivalent of offering some chips and a litre of orange juice at someone's 50th anniversary on the job," said one contributor on the web forum Public Address, adding: "Running the long history of public broadcasting through a gameshow format hosted by Jason Gunn - says it all."

    Descriptions of the show on Kiwiblog included "crap" and "a pile of dog turds"

    Our respective sites do have quite distinct styles, don't they?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18661 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    I spoke with my folks last night who watched the whole TVNZ 50-year celebration thing. They'd also discussed it within their respective work places. General consensus seems to be that everyone thought it was rubbish and painful to watch but held on in there expecting it to get better because they thought the subject deserved better treatment. Viewers felt cheated. This goes a long way in explaining the ridiculous viewing stats, where viewing numbers were sustained and even grew during the show.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    That's what I was thinking the ratings, meant, Wammo. Didn't watch it to be fair - Tues nite's quiz night at the Family and Naval nowadays - and I record Hell's Kitchen....

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Perhaps, but I still have horrible flashbacks to balmy childhood days and the constant drum-beat of "why don't you get your nose out of that book, and do something useful?" :)

    Or the classic "that book is the equivalent of eating icecream, why don't you read something good for you?"

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    When did a desire to be "entertained" become the intellectual equivalent of admitting a fondness for kiddie snuff porn?

    Umm Never?
    But thanks for repaying my bombast with more of the same.

    Or the classic "that book is the equivalent of eating icecream, why don't you read something good for you?"

    I must have lead a sheltered life I've never heard that before. So those Michael Moorcock scifantasy books must have been my hokey-pokey.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1172 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I wonder whether in the future there will ever be room for live FTA broadcast. It would seem a strange life indeed to go without shared cultural moments of this type.

    Will the balance continue to change between television *creating* those moments - with certain expensive programming like big dramas, final episodes and regular local serials like Shortie St - or just *reflecting* external "events" like sporting ones that bring together audiences and a particular time?

    Are such events inextricably intertwined with television now anyway? How much influence does time-shifting have on those common cultural moments?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16431 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Herald: Viewers pan TVNZ's 50-year celebration:

    All this fracas will only serve to increase the post airing views on the TVNZ website. We all love a good train wreck. Especially when we have an accurate body count and hi probability of gore.

    Actually, Marcus Lush would have been a better choice. A journey through our television history, in train spotting styles.

    Oh, and by the way, nice one Geoff.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Apparently "One Turns 40" was a lot better.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4139 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    too many answers were flashed to viewers before they got a chance to participate at home.

    I saw about 20 minutes of it - my partner and I are a fan of quizzes - and this is what annoyed me the most. The question was often about the show or the year of the clip, and the audience got that information put at the bottom of the screen when they showed the clip.

    Surely the entertainment celebrity quiz show format can't be that hard to get right can it?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6157 posts Report Reply

  • samuel walker,

    Our respective sites do have quite distinct styles, don't they?

    RolfArohanui

    Since Nov 2006 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Prolefeed, according to Jane Clifton.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4139 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    What bugs me is the way spectacle parades as information so often on TV these days: the freak-of-the-week documentary, the fat people "factual" show, the way a cooking show can't be a fucking cooking show any more -- it has to be a contest or a mission-doc.

    This was already true when Postman wrote his book. I think it’s interesting to note how much more pervasive this logic has become now that we have the Internet. For instance: there is a webcam at the bottom of the Mexican Gulf that allows you to see the oil spill out (PBS has it, as do these guys - who offer it also as an iPhone app). It started off as something that BP made available to the authorities, but then it became just that, another window you could open onto real-time 24 hour news. But for what purpose? Does being able to tune into that particular channel increase the amount and quality of information available to us?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7347 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    This was already true when Postman wrote his book.

    Already true in the US. I really mean it when I say that in those days our socio/media trends were a decade behind them.

    I'm sure I've mentioned before that the early seasons of the Simpsons were so hilarious here in part because what was, for Americans, social commentary was, for us, effectively prescient.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The customer is always right, problem is that the consumer is no longer the customer, the advertisers are the customer. If the consumer is not happy it is because the delivery service is at fault (Blame the Messenger?).
    So, if we didn't like the last 50 years of TVNZ then it must be sold to a company that "Understands" the market.
    See, it's all a Right Wing Plot.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4635 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Or the classic "that book is the equivalent of eating icecream, why don't you read something good for you?"

    Well, when I was at boarding school a thirteen year old boy reading Anna Karenina was looked on a sign of something unhealthy brewing. Confuse and bewilder 'em early, confuse and bewilder 'em often...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11855 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Sacha -

    I no longer have a TV and have been quietly waiting for a subscriber on demand model that goes beyond the cable style models I have seen in the past. So perhaps my view is quite limited these days.

    Are such events inextricably intertwined with television now anyway? How much influence does time-shifting have on those common cultural moments?

    And yeah these are the pertinent questions - I would accept the idea that that such cultural moments were largely a product of TV and thus a technology fad excepting two issues (vaguely linked).

    i) People have engaged in collective behaviour for longer than TV has been around, TV may have provided a more magnified and widespread medium.

    ii) Time-shifting means I would never hear the collective gasp and roar that is shared when people watch things at the same time. It's possible that this timing effect is important to in some way.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    I ... have been quietly waiting for a subscriber on demand model that goes beyond the cable style models I have seen in the past.

    This is an important issue for many conservatives in the US - they object to the bundling of various cable channels, as this means they can't get the wholesome channels they want without also paying for filth.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2991 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    <chuckle> I never saw the issue in that way - I worry about ads and zombie viewing. Perhaps I am becoming more right wing in my old age.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 719 posts Report Reply

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