Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: About Campbell Live

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Keir Leslie,

    Wouldn’t it be almost certainly more cost-effective to turn TVNZ into a proper public service broadcaster?

    Certainly. But then you get Hosking not Campbell

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Campbell used to actually get complaints about doing so much on Christchurch.

    Sure, but in the history of journalism it’s funny how many of the great stories outlets dine out on for years – if not decades – were initially greeting with “Oh, by Perry White’s salty chocolate balls, enough already , move on!”

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    I suspect that at this rate you'd have the choice between buying Hosking or Henry!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    This is getting off the topic but if Campbell Live is to go …

    John Campbell is an intellectual but he fronts a programme that is a mixture of advocacy journalism, lots of human interest fluff and some political interviews. I don’t think his abilities are being used to their full extent.

    I have a lot of respect for him and like his team but wonder if there would be a better slot for John Campbell. Remember when we used to have interview programmes during the week about current issues and politics? In Auckland alone people are buzzing with huge issues affecting the city where they might get five minutes in the news but could be explored in greater depth in decent current events shows.

    I used to watch Campbell Live but now I get most of my TV through streaming. There’s so much brilliant TV out there on Netflix (USA), Amazon Prime and Hulu Free that why would I bother watching TVNZ and TV3? Apart from The Nation and Q&A there’s nothing of any depth. News can be heard on RNZ or read and watched online.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers,

    A good insightful post from Russell but it has got me wondering whether the commenters on PA are really the best people to be commenting on why Campbell Live is facing the axe.

    John Campbell has become a bit of a lefty icon while Mike Hosking is the dark side of Dirty Politics. You'd think from reading the comments on PA that everyone in NZ believes Dirty Politics, no one votes National and everyone watches Campbell Live. Sadly, reality has shown that isn't the way the world works. I've heard there are even people out there who don't listen to National Radio.

    People obviously watch Seven Sharp and lots of them. But who are they? There must be some out there or does no one want to admit it?

    However, I've not sure that Campbell Live is the problem. Looking at TV ratings (http://www.throng.co.nz/2015/04/tv-ratings-8-april-2015/), I'm surprised that after 25 years 3 News still hasn't made a larger dent in the ratings of TV1. It has got to be depressing to create a decent news show and get less than half the viewers of the other other channel.

    And if you don't get people watching your news broadcast, they're not going to stick around for the info- and/or -tainment show that follows.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to philipmatthews,

    From the days of Ralston and Nightline on, 3 News always felt like the underdog and I think a lot of loyal people are feeling betrayed.

    The turning point was likely when CanWest sold out to Aussie private equity.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    killer bite...

    Like cutting costs and improving efficiencies in your floppy disc manufacturing plant.

    Zing! Go Bart!
    This is a fine update of the 'rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic' trope.
    superseding the also excellent 'buggy-whip manufacturer' allusion KevinM made a day or so ago...
    evolution is a fine thing - or is that 'Darwinning the thread'?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I am a great fan of Ali Ikram. He does thoughtful quirky little person-centred pieces. He also writes occasionally in the Dom Post weekender and one of his recent pieces (a goldfish moment) was about ethical journalism and its costs.

    At a recent Wellington protest about National Library cuts in services to schools it was great to see Whena Owen from Campbell Live turn up. She asked serious questions and tried to get multiple perspectives of the issue. These are vital services which will have a significant effect on children’s learning in schools throughout NZ. So of course it was hard to get media attention. But not sure whether that piece was ever shown.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    People obviously watch Seven Sharp and lots of them. But who are they? There must be some out there or does no one want to admit it?

    The problem is we have now so completely destroyed public service broadcasting and serious news and current affairs that we don't even know anymore what it should look like, does look like or might look like. We have to accept that we literally have to start from nothing in rebuilding public service broadcasting in New Zealand.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Cecelia,

    John Campbell is an intellectual but he fronts a programme that is a mixture of advocacy journalism, lots of human interest fluff and some political interviews. I don’t think his abilities are being used to their full extent.

    I don't disagree with your larger point (I think John Campbell would be really great at a long-form interview show) but context matters and Campbell Live is a general interest, prime time five-nights-a-week, forty-weeks-of-the-year current affairs show. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with "human interest fluff" as part of a well-balanced diet. After all, plenty of the stories coming out of Christchurch could be characterized as HIF, and that's a legit part of the story too.

    And one thing I like about Campbell is he has the kind of temperament where he can do the warm, empathic HIF and the stern brow-crinkle at the not-so-great and not-at-all good equally well. That's a lot rarer than you might think.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    You’d think from reading the comments on PA that everyone in NZ believes Dirty Politics, no one votes National and everyone watches Campbell Live.

    There are days (and most of a decade - don't ask) when I don't know why the hell I bother hauling my bloated carcass out of bed...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    And one thing I like about Campbell is he has the kind of temperament where he can do the warm, empathic HIF and the stern brow-crinkle at the not-so-great and not-at-all good equally well. That’s a lot rarer than you might think.

    You are right. And also about HIF and real issues intersecting in the case of Christchurch. I loved what he did for the children who needed orthodontic treatment.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    t would make more sense to sell TVNZ and use the money to set up a new public television service connected to Radio New Zealand.

    Then again, who’d want to buy TVNZ in the current economic climate?

    Keir:

    Wouldn’t it be almost certainly more cost-effective to turn TVNZ into a proper public service broadcaster? We turned it into a commercial one, no reason you couldn’t do the reverse, surely?

    Either it’s too far down the commercial path to fix, as opposed to starting from scratch. Or maybe because the Clark Govt was too timid to properly reform TVNZ – possibly a casualty of the business community’s “winter of discontent” in Clark’s 1st term – instead trying out a pale imitation of the UK Channel 4 approach.

    Maybe the whole issue needs to go to a Royal Commission.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5416 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    How TV news used to be. Imagine sticking an ad break or sponsor’s message into this. 10 April 1968 storm and the day after.
    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/nzbc-classics---wahine-disaster-1968

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3196 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    How TV news used to be. Imagine sticking an ad break or sponsor’s message into this. From the day after the 10 April 1968 storm.

    Let's be fair here. When the February earthquake struck, TV3's decision to just broadcast Hamish Clark unedited as he did the journalistic basics amid the shock and chaos was extraordinary – and Clark thoroughly deserved the Canon Media Award he won for his work that day.

    By contrast, TVNZ decided to send down young, inexperienced "stars" who were completely overwhelmed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Either it’s too far down the commercial path to fix, as opposed to starting from scratch.

    Huge parts of that organisation are irrelevant to public broadcasting. Sell it, start from scratch.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22749 posts Report Reply

  • Gerard Smyth,

    Not sure if these questions have been answered;
    Is it public information as to where in NZ ratings are sourced from? Given that most of us live outside of auckland, are most viewers habits sourced from 'the regions'. Heard a few years back that there were only 2 set top boxes in Dunedin.

    Most evenings i watch Campbell Live on demand. Is my habit taken into calculation?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2011 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    Back to quality Campbell, remember that brilliant interview he did with John Key after the election? We all liked Key for a minute or two there.And Campbell brought that side of him out.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Except that the same forces at work here were / are keen on closing down RNZ I thought?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Francis Ritchie,

    If Campbell Live goes, snapping John up for a current affairs show founded on investigative journalism would be a good thing to place back to back with Media Take on what has become our public broadcast channel. As has been said elsewhere, putting John back together with Mihingarangi Forbes would be a win. http://www.pmc.aut.ac.nz/articles/m-ori-television-nzs-real-public-broadcaster-speaking-nationhood

    Since Apr 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Sell it, start from scratch.

    How would you handle the fact that it is called “TVNZ”, and “Television One”? As you’ve noted, TVNZ Channel One by dint of viewer habit can command half a million viewers at 7pm even if they just showed for half an hour a paddock full of retired donkeys peacefully going about their business.

    So really, it is the brand that is worth the most money. I guess we still have the BNZ and Air New Zealand, but I am not sure if they are good examples to follow from a sovereignty perspective.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2212 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks Russell – so there are 3 indicators that count.

    Nielsen measures live viewing (with a sample of 600 Peoplemeter households) and also time-shifted viewing, via a smaller panel.

    On-demand viewing over the internet is measured separately by the broadcasters and third-party companies. But it’s still typically a fraction of the broadcast audience.

    How then does one get to be on a people meter panel? One commenter (Alfie) mentioned their parents were on one for 8 years. That doesn’t sound very efficient.

    I also recall some mention of viewer engagement which alludes to media buzz on social channels. And what about the brand value angle noted by Bart Janssen?

    Am I correct in noting that TV3 news ratings are down because it doesn’t have a soap before it to get viewers. That must have a flow on effect to CL as well- surely.

    I wonder if CL would be better in a different time slot and in my view better would be more hard hitting stories. I have watched less of CL lately because unless a politician is getting roasted or there is a meaningful topic I won’t stay for the whole programme.

    I think that the days of live broadcast TV are definitely numbered although that could change if global mode gets turned off.

    At present 90% of viewing in our household is online via AppleTV. I get most of my news via twitter and some from radio (but only while driving.) NZ TV news from any channel is not a patch on Al Jazeera.

    CL is pretty much the only show on mainstream TV that I still watch but only if the topic suits. I suspect that the fluff stories on CL are an attempt to prop up numbers and be more like 7sharp which I have never watched.

    If MediaWorks wants to get to a younger demographic they need to be on YouTube or another streaming channel because that is what the kids watch now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 364 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It would make more sense to sell TVNZ and use the money to set up a new public television service connected to Radio New Zealand.

    ...and then continue to fund it's operation from levies imposed on the broadcasting license of commercial broadcasters.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • Dylan Reeve, in reply to Cecelia,

    There’s so much brilliant TV out there on Netflix (USA), Amazon Prime and Hulu Free that why would I bother watching TVNZ and TV3? Apart from The Nation and Q&A there’s nothing of any depth. News can be heard on RNZ or read and watched online.

    And that's part of the bigger issue that broadcasters are facing now. People are choosing different ways to consume content.

    It's not a new problem, just look at how the internet fundamentally changed newspapers - content was online for free, and classifieds (a mainstay of newspaper revenue) dried up.

    Broadcast TV remains the most popular option for NZ (and worldwide) but that's changing fast and making the future very uncertain for an industry that is largely based on selling eyeballs to advertisers.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2008 • 311 posts Report Reply

  • James George,

    I cannot understand what all the fuss is about - talk about do as I say not as I do. The very same media peeps n hangers-on who coagulate in spots like this spent most of september 2014 chasing down stories about dotcom minutiae - the sleazier the better.
    No mention of state house sales or any other of the issues about keycorp's corrupt government and their policies.
    As a result the cronies won and like all crooked bullies they intend to use their power to ensure there won't be any future resistance.

    Those in the media who held their noses and did the dirty to keep their jobs 'for the sake of their families' or whatever other selfish bulldust they rationalised at the time, are now learning that neoliberalism doesn't respect selfish hypocrisy unless it's the bosses who are the selfish hypocrites.

    One thing worth pointing out is that when Greece was bludgeoned and blackmailed into accepting the German austerity plan, one of the first things to go was public service broadcasting. It didn't get sold or privatised because no one wanted to buy a media outlet in a collapsing economy.

    So the left managed to take over much of the at the time 'useless' infrastructure. This how Syriza won an election, they weren't dependent on the usual neoliberal mouthpieces to filter their messages.

    Aotearoa can only get rid of the crooks if something similar happens here.
    In other words we're gonna be stuck with KeyCorp and/or the equally corrupt and self serving LittleLibLite for the foreseeable future because most of the types who could help to turn the joint around are too busy stabbing each other in the back, playing musical chairs for an ever decreasing number of well paid gigs.
    This is what happens when ideology is regarded as old fashioned and boring.
    Everyone is out for themselves racing to kick the hindmost.

    Since Sep 2007 • 95 posts Report Reply

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