Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Changing the News

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  • Luke Williamson,

    I sincerely hope that TVNZ goes for improved quality. While on holiday last week, we were in a bach that only received TV1 and TV2 so I had to watch TVNZ news. I had forgotten how appalling it is. Way too many meaningless crap stories and way too many self-promoting stories, e.g. new revelations (yawn) about Robin Bain that will be featured in the Sainsbury programme up next. Then reporting on those revelations in the news again the next day and promoting Sainsbury again. Hideous. And the NZ Herald style of starting stories with "As reported by TVNZ last week . . ." or "As revealed by TVNZ yesterday . . ." Piss off! Hope I never have to watch their stupid news programme again.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Clarke,

    TVNZ do news? I thought they simply regurgitated press releases from the Police.

    There have been recent days (prior to the World Cup, I admit) when you can get to the first ad break in the 6pm TV One bulletin without seeing a single story that came from anywhere other than the Police's PR department.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 85 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    If TV news competing for speed leads to news 'updates' all evening that aren't the same as the six o'clock headlines, that'll be a bonus.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • JoJo,

    @Luke [and off topic] ... much like TV3 news last night reporting on the return of Outrageous Fortune.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Galloway,

    Radio NZ does indeed do very well. The sign of the cut backs is the increased and increasing number of interviews with people via the phone. Maybe it helps with mobility but it sounds terrible and often inaudible.

    Since Jul 2010 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    There's always been the gripe from down south that stories are cut and sent up to Auckland, then slowly shuffled down, and finally out of, the bulletin.
    This gets everyone grumpy- and has led to some people not being willing to particiapte. Why interupt your schedule for a TV interview when the last two never made it to air?
    Be good to think more stories- and some longer cuts of backgrounders and breaking news than the 90 second rule for 6 o'clock allows- will make the website.
    But... no points for originality. TV3 have been doing this for years (remember the uncut footage of the 'terror' raid in The Terrace- up very soon after it happened?) And they've had journos and camerapeople editing on laptops for at least as long.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2091 posts Report Reply

  • Jarrod Baker,

    I can't wait until next year, when TVNZ will no doubt announce that they'll be saving money on netbooks, cameras, camera operators and editors by giving all of their journalists iPhones with iMovie on them.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    On a slightly related note, I just noticed that nzherald.co.nz has a whole "Sexual assualt headlines" section. That's kind of creepy, right?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 746 posts Report Reply

  • Luke Williamson,

    @Jojo
    Exactly! TV3 also guilty but not quite as bad in my experience. Making yourself the news is not a good look.

    Warkworth • Since Oct 2007 • 297 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    If TV news competing for speed leads to news 'updates' all evening that aren't the same as the six o'clock headlines, that'll be a bonus.

    Oh god that really, really irritates me too! On the 6pm'news "a massive fire has broken out in a Penrose factory, and thirteen fire engines are struggling to control the blaze"... to say the same thing again at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm etc is not an update. Once upon a time journalists were wordsmiths who knew the meaning of words and how to use them correctly - an update is when the fire is under control, or extinguished, or spread to two more buildings..... something has to have changed from the last bulletin.

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

  • Ian Dalziel,

    and we all have their Live Crosses to bear...
    Can we finally see a stop to the ludicrous
    waste of fuel and personnel power of the
    unnecessary Live Cross!
    People standing around in the dark at places
    where nothing is happening, what do they think
    this achieves - it infuriates me...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    People standing around in the dark at places

    a Live Cross?

    In Mississippi in the 60s, that used to mean lots of light didn't it? Plus some cruxiform timber and accelerant?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • ChrisW,

    Not sure whether I should care about TVNZ News one way or another, it doesn’t affect me personally. I was watching in December 2001, when they quoted (with a totally straight face) a Pentagon spokesperson on behalf of the US hailing the installation of the Karzai administration in Afghanistan as the first peaceful change of government there for over 20 years. This after 2 months of intensive aerial bombardment and thousands of troops fighting on the ground to displace the Taliban from Kabul and Kandahar.

    It was a Sunday. I thought maybe TVNZ had only a skeleton staff on, that is only empty skulls were on the job that day. Maybe there was a subtle wink in the delivery that I missed. But on the Monday, the same line was presented as objective fact, no need to attribute it to a source. Never been back.

    Gisborne • Since Apr 2009 • 851 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh dear.They were deadlined, and now they're deadlined five times a day, and to edit and produce the story, all with the same resources.

    and we all have their Live Crosses to bear...

    Give us this day our daily news, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive TVNZ that sins against us.

    I'm not one for utopian tendencies, but this is far from a kingdom of heaven.

    In Mississippi in the 60s, that used to mean lots of light didn't it? Plus some cruxiform timber and accelerant?

    Heat and light.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Heat and light.

    and sheets, lots of sheets...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    of paper with nothing pertinent written on 'em-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I think I'm actually over "News" I mean, unless it's going to affect you or yours, It's just so much gossip and advertising. And don't get me started on the ads. I am so glad I have a functional ad blocker on my P.V.R.
    Last night I watched Generation Kill, not to everybody's taste I know but damned good production values all the same, same chaps as The Wire apparently. But the ad breaks, sure the P.V.R. cuts out the ads but you still notice the frequency. At one point I thought there was something wrong with my set-up but when I checked, I found there were 5 minutes of ads every 5 minutes in the last half of the program. How people manage to watch a show like that I will never, luckily, know. Oh well, that's what you get when your "Public" broadcaster has to run at a profit for the MP's to live on the pigs back I guess.
    C**ts

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ethan Tucker,

    In Mississippi in the 60s, that used to mean lots of light didn't it? Plus some cruxiform timber and accelerant?

    Don't forget it's a problem on the Kapiti Coast too:

    Wellington • Since Apr 2008 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    and sheets, lots of sheets...

    We don't get sheet lightning so much in New Zealand. Just short sharp flashes of brilliance, and the occasional thunderstorm.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    To be honest, I think this could be a good thing. But to reiterate my original point, if journalists are being asked to do more with less, then the results are almost certain to be less than stellar.

    And if you're being asked to do more with your day (as it appears), then your likelihood of leaving the profession for better paid or less demanding work increases.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    I have to say that I think RNZ do a very poor job craft-wise in regards to their news programmes. Most have absolutely no natural field sound, no sound -ups, just phone i/v after phone i/v. The stories that tend to stand out are on Worldwatch and are foreign television stories from CNN. Despite being made for TV, they have an abundance of natural sound that helps to tell the aural story. I understand that RNZ journalists are so short staffed that they simply don't have the time to get out in the field much any more, but are tied to their desks cranking out endless updates to fill the next bulletin. If TVNZ are going for this model, then I think it's a big mistake.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    I thought TV news was just there as a vehicle for the PM's BIRG-ing (Basking in Reflected Glory).

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    In some academic circles, they do not refer to it as The News but rather as The Olds as the majority of content in evening television news bulletin follows a pre-determined pattern around a rigid set of 'news values', and even more it is borrowed from other sources (such as the morning newspaper).

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    But, despite the loss of about 15 jobs, I don't think that's necessarily the right way to look at it. The news business is changing – most obviously in that it has come loose from some long-term structural assumptions.

    Adapting to changes in your industry is an on-going obligation anyway though, isn't it? That it should be accompanied by another 7% cut in staff is not a given. All the talk of the "introduction of new technology, training to make staff multi-skilled and a reorganisation of news and current affairs gathering processes and practices" just strikes me as an open-faced news sandwich.

    Really, I struggle to see the recent massive nose-dive in ad revenue and the above plan for "annual savings of between $3 million and $3.3 million" as mere coincidence, and I guess TVNZ's current and recent approach to news quality just doesn't give me a lot of confidence.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    In some academic circles, they do not refer to it as The News but rather as The Olds

    Academia, or as I like to call it "the land that wit forgot".

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

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