Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Mathematics

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  • Caleb D'Anvers, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    You really believe [speaking truth to power] is in any way the role of the Herald (or any other NZ newspaper)?

    They *are* the 'power'. The newspapers support the government, the government supports the newspapers.

    Exactly. It's a form of patronage. The ideal of an independent and impartial fourth estate seems very quaint at this historical juncture. Do many journalists in the privately owned media actually believe this is their role? I've always assumed they didn't, simply because the day-to-day nature of their jobs would disabuse them of any notions pretty quickly, but I'd be interested to know.

    East Greenwich • Since Mar 2008 • 414 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to DeepRed,

    And the latest from John Drinnan on TVNZ7

    I'm not totally disinterested here, given Drinnan's inexplicable (and one-sided) feud with our host and my friend, but it would be wise to take everything he says with a grain of salt and added tequila to taste.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to James W,

    And to think that Currie just got promoted.

    Personally, I wouldn’t promote someone who was (I suspect) forced by APN’s laywers to sign his name to this.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, the then-editor of the Herald on Sunday admitted running a story with fabricated direct quotes. Call me old fashioned, but I rather like direct, attributed quotes to have been demonstrably said by the person they’re attributed to.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan,

    Question to the Minster of broadcasting: Does he stand by the 207,000 weekly viewing figure for TVNZ 7 that his predecessor used to justify the de-funding of the channel. if so why so?

    yo.. opposition parties..to the clerks office with this…hop to!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to DeepRed,

    the latest from John Drinnan

    And some more detail further down under the heading "CHURCH AND STATE" about NZ on Air's involvement in political documentaries.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tristan,

    if so why so?

    question for parliamentary junkies: why do Questions always say "if not, why not" rather than this positive construction?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Briefly (and somehow appropriately) interrupting my design of a drainage system to say what a *great* piece this is, Russell. Bloody outstanding work, dude.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 953 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to David Haywood,

    design of a drainage system

    Because working with drainage made you think of The Herald?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss,

    Briefly (and somehow appropriately) interrupting my design of a drainage system to say what a *great* piece this is, Russell. Bloody outstanding work, dude.

    Seconded here, and so was the tv show. Just imagine, you've got an issue about statistics, and one of your guests is ...a statistician.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    Seconded here, and so was the tv show. Just imagine, you’ve got an issue about statistics, and one of your guests is …a statistician.

    And an informed commentator about television. Now that right there is some top panel talent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Reeves, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    That probably just counts as being pedantic.

    Near Donny Park, Hamilton… • Since Apr 2007 • 94 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Whether there has been any political interference is neither here nor there.

    The question is whether a politically appointed funding agency should be involved in documentaries.

    Oh, sod off Drinnan – So, political interference is “neither here nor there” but you’ll keep implying it regardless? The real question is whether Drinnan, and his employer, really have much moral high ground to posture on here. It’s not as if The Herald’s effective monopoly in the Auckland newspaper market has had a great track record of elevating political discourse.

    ETA: To be fair, Drinnan and The Herald have long had an ideological hard on against public funding of broadcasting - and it's not hard to see why APN isn't exactly disinterested when it comes to chipping at direct competition for viewers and advertising in a tight marketplace. But wouldn't it be nice if they'd just come out and spare us all the passive-aggressive concern trolling.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll, in reply to Sacha,

    question for parliamentary junkies: why do Questions always say “if not, why not” rather than this positive construction?

    Because otherwise they could just say "no" and have answered the question adequately?

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Tristan, in reply to Ben McNicoll,

    Not sure why were hear if not more than if so but yes they want a wider answer than yes or no otherwise they will have to waste one of their supplementaries asking why

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 193 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Whether there has been any political interference is neither here nor there.

    The question is whether a politically appointed funding agency should be involved in documentaries.

    Oh, sod off Drinnan – So, political interference is “neither here nor there” but you’ll keep implying it regardless?

    Jesus, would it have killed Drinnan to acknowledge Tom Frewen's work in single-handedly breaking these stories?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll,

    We hear "if not" more, because most questions are asking if the minister agrees/supports a previous position that the questioner believes is false, with the intention of getting the minister to admit they were previously wrong/lying. The "if not, why?" invites them to dig their hole a little deeper.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • James Blackman,

    As you are aware Russell - I have been really anal about the use of Cumes for a long time now. Cumes have been bandied around willy nilly by some ( usually smaller ) channels and or producers without a real understanding of what they are or what they really mean. I even heard the media commentator on Nat. Rad just recently using them in the wrong context! I really don't think you can blame Coleman for his interpretation of the figures because even if he DID calculate them incorrectly, the industry people quoting these figs should have known that Nielsens ( to the best of my knowledge) only produce monthlies!

    New Zealand • Since Nov 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to Sacha,

    question for parliamentary junkies: why do Questions always say “if not, why not” rather than this positive construction?

    Framing advantage. Propose a positive -- preferably something no reasonable person could disagree with -- and then ask your foes to explain why they didn't do it (no matter how impossible or unreasonable or ridiculous the proposition actually is). It forces your opponent into a defensive discourse, arguing on negative grounds generally not of their own choosing.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 105 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Jesus, would it have killed Drinnan to acknowledge Tom Frewen’s work in single-handedly breaking these stories?

    Yes? I'll own that the way Drinnan's treated you is a biasing factor, but he's chronically careless with facts and has a nasty habit of cherry-picking other people's work without attribution or credit. But, hell, why should he have to try harder - and do better - when he has zero competition?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    The question is whether a politically appointed funding agency should be involved in documentaries.

    I confused. Isn't one answer to the present concerns about the disappearance of public broadcasting that NZ on Air funding is available to make public interest programmes? and aren't documentaries kinda at the core of that description?

    and I may be a misinformed member of the general public, but the notion of NZ on Air as a politically coloured entity of any kind is a pretty new one, brought about by recent actions by its members.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Ben McNicoll,

    Oh, and I’ll chime in with the “great panel & show” crowd, Russell.

    I thought you handled the dual role of moderator/interested party incredibly well – especially when you volunteered information about the listings issue.

    It just made me realise how pissed off I am with the whole host-as-every-man-stand-in-for-uninformed-audience approach in current affairs shows, as exemplified by (but not restricted to) “Walrus” Sainsbury on Closeup.

    When did it become so unusual for a host to demonstrate knowledge/research of the subject in an interview? I feel like we’re frogs that have been sitting in a pot of slowly boiling cluelessness.

    I blame 60 Minutes et al.

    Grey Lynn • Since May 2007 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    and I may be a misinformed member of the general public, but the notion of NZ on Air as a politically coloured entity of any kind is a pretty new one, brought about by recent actions by its members.

    The board of New Zealand on Air have always been "political appointments" in the sense that it is a government funding agency with a responsible minister. "Political interference" is a very different -and extremely serious - beast, and if Drinnan doesn't know that he shouldn't be writing about the media. It's certainly not good enough for him to say it doesn't really matter, while implying exactly that.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Eric Crampton, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    The decision might not hinge on the data, but the political sale-job will. Govt decides to do X for whatever reason. Nobody's paying attention. Announces X along with some bogus stat that justifies the decision. Minor perking up of ears, bogus stat seems to make sense, everybody goes back to X-factor. Bogus stats are the bane of this country: serious thin-market problems.

    University of Canterbury • Since Nov 2009 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Thanks. Imagine the influence on parliamentary discourse if everyone had to ask only "if yes, why yes" questions.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Eric Crampton,

    Bogus stats are the bane of this country: serious thin-market problems.

    Bogus media is part of the problem too.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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