Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: "Creative" and "Flexible"

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  • Christopher Dempsey,

    FIRST! Woohoo.

    I'm struck by the speed with which the FB site achieved 10,000 members.

    It says quite alot about our collective cultural values - Radio NZ is seen by many people as the 'last' cultural bastion where our collective views, voices and sense of us as Kiwis can be heard and explored.

    I don't think that the National Party realise this - I think they just applied their ideological blinkers to RadioNZ - but I would hope that they are taking notice of the passion with which many people are 'defending' RadioNZ.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Much as I cherish Radio New Zealand I'm pretty comfortable with the proposal to shut down Concert FM. I can't see how it serves the public good for the taxpayer to own a classical radio station.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Hmm! I don't want to add any weight to Coleman and English..and most especially Lhaws, with his vile column in the SST yesterday--but I have always had problem with Concert FM being preserved at all costs. Why should one music genre ('Classical', or whatever it might be called these days) be privileged over all other genres? I think it is a cultural hangover from those days when classical music=serious music, and other music was regarded as ephemeral, trivial or merely 'commercial'.
    This is not to say that I sometimes tune into Concert FM, for a bit of background pleasantry.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2505 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Much as I cherish Radio New Zealand I'm pretty comfortable with the proposal to shut down Concert FM. I can't see how it serves the public good for the taxpayer to own a classical radio station.

    I wouldn't go that far, but I wouldn't be terribly uncomfortable with some programme sponsorship.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Cecelia,

    I wouldn't be terribly uncomfortable with some programme sponsorship.

    How would that take shape? I'm fearful.

    Hibiscus Coast • Since Apr 2008 • 559 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Come on guys, were not in a plane crash in the Andes and Concert FM isn't one of the dead. There's no need to cannabalise it just yet.

    What is the cost of running a second station, a few DJs who crossover onto Nat Rad?

    It's a music station for mostly out of copywrite music (there we go again).

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    It's likely that if classical music is left to the private sector we'll get an endless repeat of RNZ's (excellent for their purpose) Saturday Night Requests - with such classics as Flight of the Bumble, Rustle of Spring and maybe the Hallelujah Chorus. You'll probably have to say goodbye to the development of New Zealand composers. Perhaps I'm in the minority - but I would mind. And I pay taxes.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Jolisa,

    How would that take shape? I'm fearful.

    Perhaps as with public radio here in the US: brief announcements at the top of the hour (and sometimes on the half hour), saying "this programme brought to you by..." Mostly harmless, and once you get used to it, you stop hearing it.

    Mind you, it does chop up the airtime into hour-long chunks, which means if you want to play a longer symphony (e.g. Beethoven's 9th, clocking in at 74 minutes, or the maximum length of a CD), you have to get creative.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 1471 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Notwithstanding the dishonest politics Russell describes, I'd be happy to see money redirected to support music about and of this place, not by long-dead white Europeans whose local audience are amongst our most wealthy - and the most accustomed to subsidy it seems.

    That doesn't mean cutting total funding and it doesn't mean ignoring systemic underfunding of the public radio broadcaster function.

    Big congrats to Richard for RNZ's brilliant and accessible site. As I've told him, it has been a great example to show people that genuine fair access can still mean stunning rather than boring. A little extra funding there would help take the site to the next stage as media formats change.

    And big ups to the Cactus posse for Worldsurfer.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19428 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    How would that take shape? I'm fearful.

    During a piece of music, the sound would fade down and a voiceover would say, "Brought to you by Watson's Auto Repairs 1979 Ltd". This would continue every 10 minutes.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    You'll probably have to say goodbye to the development of New Zealand composers.

    Another strong argument in favor of the axe.

    What is the cost of running a second station, a few DJs who crossover onto Nat Rad?

    There are plenty of things the taxpayers could pay for that wouldn't cost too much money: hand out free ice-creams in Twizel, translate Beowulf into Maori, provide subsidised parking for people with no vowels in their name; the real question is why should the taxpayer pay for those things? Why should we fund a classical radio station?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    not by long-dead white Europeans whose local audience are amongst our most wealthy - and the most accustomed to subsidy it seems.

    Actually Sacha, they're not all dead and they don't all come from Europe - and their audience is not all wealthy - but your description could quickly become an accurate prediction if we get Robyn's scenario.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Another strong argument in favor of the axe.

    OK Danyl - let's just listen to your kind of music.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    Has something gone wrong with the edit button, or is PA just overwhelmed with contributors at the moment?

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I can't see how it serves the public good for the taxpayer to own a classical radio station.

    This riles me quite a bit. Wellington has the NZSO. Auckland and Christchurch have philarmonic orchestras. Classical music, plus all the kinds of less than commercial genres supported by the concert programme, is important to a lot of people in a lot of places around the country and you can't just leave it to the market to look after it. Leave Radio New Zealand Concert the hell alone.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    the real question is why should the taxpayer pay for those things? Why should we fund a classical radio station?

    Concert FM exists to fulfill obligations under parts of the RNZ Charter, so you'd have to change the charter and/or find room for more Concert-style programming on RNZ National.

    It costs about $5 million annually, and had a weekly cume (the number of people who listen to it in a given week) of 138,000 in the last survey -- about 5% of the total 15+ radio market. (The previous survey had a cume of 201,000, or 7%.)

    This would make it one of the better-performing stations in a crowded market. With 473,000 listeners, or 17.2% of the total radio market, National vies with Newstalk for the title of most-listened-to radio station in the country.

    All these numbers are available in the report I linked to in the post. When Michael Laws wrote in his wretched column yesterday that audience numbers were kept secret, he was -- surprise! -- lying.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Has something gone wrong with the edit button, or is PA just overwhelmed with contributors at the moment?

    I think I deleted your double-posts while you were trying to edit them ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22293 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    It's a historical bias, sure, but so are our grassed parks and rose gardens.
    It is beautiful, valued by many and will wither without this structure to support it.

    The true talent of this decree is to get the liberal elite to destroy themselves, rather than stand strong and supporting these valued cultural taoanga.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    I think I deleted your double-posts while you were trying to edit them ...

    Thanks - I thought I'd had too much coffee.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    OK Danyl - let's just listen to your kind of music.

    I mostly listen to classical music. I just fail to comprehend why the taxpayer should pay for the broadcasting and performance of it.

    Classical music, plus all the kinds of less than commercial genres supported by the concert programme, is important to a lot of people in a lot of places around the country

    If there were a government owned ice-cream stand giving away free ice-creams in the middle of Twizel then it would (one presumes) be very important to the people of Twizel. But that's not a valid argument. Of course people who like listening to classical music like having their hobby subsidised by the rest of the country.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    As Jolisa suggests, the NPR model from the USA would be perfectly acceptable. It less advertising than sponsorship and programme underwriting.

    It has always interested me that when arts funding is under threat, there is always a rush to defend the high culture sector (ballet, symphony orchestra et al), with the charge often led by freemarketeers--partly because such consumption is central to their cultural capital. But I guess we should never expect consistency nor self-examination from such folk.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2505 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Of course people who like listening to classical music like having their hobby subsidised by the rest of the country.

    Yes, Danyl, because classical music and jazz are exactly the same thing as ice cream. And you're right, so let's go down that road. Why have libraries? Why have literary and artistic prizes and endowments? Why have liberal arts and music taught in universities? These are all hobbies after all, aren't they..

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Jan Farr,

    I mostly listen to classical music. I just fail to comprehend why the taxpayer should pay for the broadcasting and performance of it.

    Because if we don't then it will most likely become a dead, white, European blokes' art form with very little to say to us.

    Carterton • Since Apr 2008 • 395 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Danyl, could you raise your aim above the fallacious ice cream cone.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    It's a historical bias, sure, but so are our grassed parks and rose gardens

    I don't see the connection. In the main, these were paid for and maintained by local citizens, not central government.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2505 posts Report Reply

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