Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving on

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  • Geoff Lealand,

    Time for another whip-around for PAS, I reckon. How goes the proposal for a mechanism for regular donations, Russell?

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

  • Brent Jackson,

    Really missing TVNZ7 and hope it (or something like it) gets resurrected for public broadcasting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Calcio,

    Thanks for all your work Russell. We recorded (on VHS) each episode and watched it when we could. All the best for your next venture, Jarvie.

    Mt Albert • Since May 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Howard Edwards, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    Maybe I should now take them on trips, to chuck rocks at TV3 and Sky HQs?

    In SKY's case, just post the date,time and location on this forum please (and also whether we should bring our own rocks or not).

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Howard Edwards, in reply to izogi,

    Fortunately there are plenty of more important reasons why NZ trumps Australia for where I want to live, but I already miss the SBS and ABC networks, even despite the lack of on-screen NZ culture, which I seriously missed.

    Amen to that. We lived in OZ for 6 months back in 2009 and apart from sport our telly viewing flicked between the ABC channels and SBS. It took some time to accept (again) that NZ has no public television service other than Maori TV (which does a fantastic job, but is not meant to be a channel for "the public"). RNZ National programme (and BBC world radio) helped us to recover.

    Amen to all the thank yous Russell. Any thoughts about getting involved with RNZ's Mediawatch and joining Colin Peacock?

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I think you’re missing my point. The same Government that decides NZOA remit is worth changing should hopefully decide that TVNZ should be more than just a profit making enterprise.

    If your point is that TVNZ can, with the flick of a legislative switch, be turned back into a PBS, I’m just not convinced. As Keir’s pointed out, it’s been a political football for too long. No-one’s benefited. And a public broadcaster isn’t just a commercial broadcaster with a different remit. It needs a public broadcasting culture, which we’d have to rebuild. My feeling is that TVNZ doesn’t have the morale and ethos for another round of radical change; the management structure isn’t all that healthy, and there’s a bit of- how to put this politely? – corporate bloat which a new entity wouldn’t have to take on.
    But … one of the things that worked pretty well with TVNZ7 was the news and current affairs teams, given a bit more rope. (It also made more use of the studio spaces, a win-win.) There’s neither the will nor the money to duplicate a national news operation – or a grand HQ with large studios. Hence a BBC4 commissioned programme approach seems more achievable.
    And a lot has changed. Distribution isn’t the bottleneck; no need for gatekeepers when there’s no longer a gate :) The cost structures have changed too. Past time for a fresh look at NZOA’s role.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Past time for a fresh look at NZOA’s role

    NZOA – New Zealand Open Access?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    If your point is that TVNZ can, with the flick of a legislative switch, be turned back into a PBS, I’m just not convinced. As Keir’s pointed out, it’s been a political football for too long. No-one’s benefited. And a public broadcaster isn’t just a commercial broadcaster with a different remit. It needs a public broadcasting culture, which we’d have to rebuild.

    I agree. We saw what happened with the TVNZ Charter, and 6 and 7 were always a slightly uncomfortable fit with the rest of the organisation -- although the people we worked with directly (including Oliver, who has posted upthread) were great. A key problem, I think, was that every viewer we lured over to the public broadcasting content was a viewer lost to the commercial channels. There's an innate conflict there.

    I'd be happy with selling the company and using the proceeds to establish a BBC/ABC-type public broadcaster. The problem would be how much it fetched, which might not be a lot. Rights would be interesting too. TVNZ really doesn't want to keep operating the TVNZ Archive, but it sure as hell wants to be able to keep programming the Heartland channel with vintage TV.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22758 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I'd love to see Maori Television given additonal funding and a sustained mandate to run another TV channel dedicated to general public broadcasting alongside their current ones. Selling or closing down TVNZ seems a reasonable price to pay for that. Apparently the deathstar is designed to convert smoothly into a hotel for future owners.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    In this case the monkey is part of the problem (though don’t worry, the organ grinder gets it from me also).

    What I was getting at is that NZOA missed an opportunity to support existing platforms when they had the chance. Stratos/Triangle submitted several applications for funding, one at least I know of from a highly respected mainstream producer, but were repeatedly knocked back because they could not guarantee viewers. I totally understand the rationale to get better ‘bang for buck’ but in the process they lost depth.

    If NZOA had read the situation, seen that TVNZ was becoming fully-commercialised, TV3 was under enormous financial pressure, and informative programmes would one-by-one disappear from the schedules, they might have thought “we need to fund programmes for this fledgling channel (Stratos) so that when shit get’s really tight, we can see more of New Zealand on air”. They missed that chance because of a policy decision, not a statutory requirement.

    In fact the Act repeatedly emphasises diversity of programming (even singling out documentaries to receive funding) and mentions size of audience only as a matter to be taken into account, not a core function or aim. And when I look at the act again (blinking in astonishment) section 36 (1) (e) says funds can be made available for ‘broadcasting’ separate from production of programmes. I’m no lawyer but perhaps NZOA does have the power to fund the establishment of a new channel if they see fit. (How much were TVNZ wanting to keep 7 alive? $16m?)

    I’m not saying NZOA should go out and buy transmission equipment. But they could fund more, better budgeted programmes for the regional channels and any other channels willing to screen funny little shows like Media7 and Back Benches. Of course there’s then the issue of funding shows that only some of NZ can watch. It’s certainly complex but they really missed their chance with Stratos.

    The other point I would make about NZOA is that when Cabinet was deciding how to spend the newly released Charter Funds, the possibility of using it to continue TVNZ 7 was mooted. I’ve been told that NZOA pitched strongly to take it for their Platinum Fund and that was the end of that.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    Just scrap NZOA funding of TV (except Maori TV) and put the funds thereby saved into LIVE theatre ; LIVE music etc.
    We might even save Downstage.

    Who wants to be one degree removed anyway?


    See image 28 - TV sunrise:-

    http://www.leunig.com.au/index.php/cartoons

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Farmer Green,

    See image 28 – TV sunrise:-

    Nice, and ouch, sums up so much of our current existence.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    One of the all time favourites of farmer green , he not having had a TV in the house for nearly 40 years now.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    NZOA missed an opportunity to support existing platforms when they had the chance.

    Yep. Many opportunities :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2092 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Despite some misgivings about some content, I find a home that doesn't have a TV set rather inhospitable. It seems to be a peculiarly NZ trait to get all morally self-righteous about not owning a TV set.

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

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Damian Christie,

    There is a sustainable way of funding public service broadcasting and media - a levy on commercial broadcasters and ISP revenue. It costs the government nothing, isn't prey to changes in government broadcasting policy, can be administered by a fully independent agency (NZOA seems the obvious option but it could be even more independant of government if preferred), and would provide perhaps $60m from just a 1% levy.

    The levy idea is not new. Different types of levies work well in France, Spain, Ireland, Estonia and Australia. In the UK Channel 4 was established with a levy on the ITV network.

    The big stumbling block is the ISPs and broadcasters. My rationale for charging them a levy is that broadcasting and online media plays a special cultural role in society. Sure, it’s a commodity but it’s much more than that. New Zealand's culture(s) and our national pride is strongly affected by our media. The radio spectrum is a public space, as is the online world, just like a street or park. The media who have been given the right or sold the frequency to make money within that space have an obligation to the rest of the users - ie. the New Zealand public.

    They’ll ask “why should the mainstream audiences pay for these high-brow public service media which they won’t use?”

    As mentioned upthread, public service media isn’t just worthy documentaries and current affairs for old people. The BBC demonstrates how gameshows, reality TV and entertainment can fit within a public broadcasting schedule. Does anyone remember 'Eat Carpet' on SBS?

    Our perception of public service is based on the NZ reality where droves of commercial media are already catering to the 18-45 reality TV, light entertainment and easy-news markets – it’s sensible for RNZ (and TVNZ 7 when it existed) to fill the genre gaps.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    On the contrary, the absence of TV has been conducive to real communication, and enabled genuine hospitality to many international guests , who don’t seem to miss it either. Presumably they didn’t come here to Godzone to watch TV.

    Come on in ; the reality is fine.
    Self -righteous? ?? Maybe. Some just find it boring. Each to his own.
    It’s still a free world. Mostly.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Who wants to be one degree removed anyway?

    So long as the musicians grow their own instruments, eh.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Farmer Green,

    real communication

    right, then

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19694 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Sacha,

    Gotcha. 'Nuff said.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I have lots of interesting conversations about television (Breaking Bad, anyone?) and they seem real to me,

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

  • Geoff Lealand,

    ... But our house isn't big enough for a regular influx of international guests. Did once have a Norwegian visit, though.

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

  • Chris Waugh,

    Whether you do or do not have a TV strikes me as being utterly irrelevant. What I saw in the cartoon Farmer Green referred to is a comment on how for so many of us these days nothing is real unless it's filtered through the media.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Farmer Green,

    One of the all time favourites of farmer green , he not having had a TV in the house for nearly 40 years now.

    Yup. Those of us from the agrarian sector in previous lives know the beauty of sunrise on our backs in the east facing cowsheds and the heavy breathing and snuggling warmth of salivating moo cows. The clock is a crock. Sunset means dinner and sleep. Readying the frail body for the morrow.

    How sad not to know how the rest of the world works, looks, lives, loves and exists…….

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1589 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    It seems to be a peculiarly NZ trait to get all morally self-righteous about not owning a TV set.

    I don't know if it's peculiar to us, but it's awfully tiresome.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

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