Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: The Future of the Future

324 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 13 Newer→ Last

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    here's an interesting article about business models, news providers and Google

    It always struck me that newspapers were in a much more precarious position than TV news:

    Newspapers need to make money. But TV News doesn't need to make money, TV networks do. Newspapers would be in a much better position if all that needed to happen was the printers/publishers needed to make a profit, so that newspapers could be support by books and magazines, etc., as TV news is supported by reality TV and comedy.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3198 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    I've said this before somewhere. Unlike Radio, TV has little loyalty.
    People will tune in to a radio station and stick with it a lot of the time, not so with TV, sure you have your favourite programmes but they aren't all on the same channel I suspect. Like a lot of media outlets the number of TV stations has grown over the years driven by the mighty advertising dollar and to populate that space there has been an explosion in content and a lot of that content has been rubbish.
    I have a full set of "The Ascent of Man",Jacob Bronowski 1973, a ground breaking series at the time. I tried to watch it the other night but kept being interrupted by people saying it was boring. This gave me cause to think about how the style of presentation has changed over the years. In the presentation there were long segments of Dr. Bronowski talking direct to camera with little or no cutaways or illustrative overlays, no snap pans to "Interesting" background action, nothing but information. There was certainly no repetition or deliberate "Ad Slots" as we see these days but then "Ascent of Man" was a BBC production and the BBC did not rely on Advertising.
    The question has been asked about who will do the News reporting when all the outlets are aggregators?, why will anybody bother to report unpopular and unproductive News? Will they just aggregate press releases and leave the hard news untold?.
    I think we have an answer right here. If there are people with a Passion for truth and Justice and those that care enough to listen then who needs those big corporate bastards anyway.
    So. what to do? Government funding for TV News? Now there's a can of worms.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    Fascinating discussion. I actually wrote a bit last night but deleted it all; I realise now that television is emotion, we get tied up in it to a degree that perhaps Martians from Mars would be mystified by. Television is emotional, and it is hard to write about emotions in this format (web notes appended to a blog post).

    We all could reel off a list of programs that we liked at different times of our lives; the time when friends and I would gather (ironically) religiously, at someones place to watch Queer as Folk (There's now't so queer as folk). We gathered around to watch Princess Diana's funeral, and told each other about amazing programs, like Six Feet Under, Angels in America, or The Sopranos (all made by HBO, note). It's a cultural thing, a shared cultural thing. The best programs reflect culture back to us, so we watch, spellbound and fascinated, and the rest is annoying fluff and dross.

    TV is one of a range of sources we go to for our emotional satisfaction. Some get it from art galleries, others find it in the pub listening to poetry or an Irish jig. Albeit, TV has been the dominant place and source, so easy! Just turn it on and watch. That dominance, as many note, is waning, and it's not hard to understand why.

    When things decompose, they fracture into lots of smaller bits; targeted channels, Youtube, Freeview etc. The problem is the space into which they fracture remains the same - 24hours/7 days.

    Which explains why, not having experienced Sky to any great degree, that when I was able to while babysitting over winter several years ago, disappointingly I found that the History and Documentary channels repeated their episodes and often. I felt somewhat cheated, a channel is supposed to offer up a never ending cornucopia of new stuff, new images, new storylines. These channels couldn't for whatever reason. They couldn't fill that space that was previously occupied by TV1, which aggregated and compiled lots of bits together to fill that space.

    Anyway, there's heaps to say, and undoubtedly many here will contribute their bit, which I look forward to seeing.

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

  • Jackie Clark,

    Imagine your brain if you watched this shit?

    Mine's fine thanks. I even watch Charm School <gasp>.

    Telelvision - both highbrow and trashy - gets me googling, sends me off to the library, gets me outside.

    I'm always getting up to google who's doing what and how, and where are they now?

    Most people don't watch TV like we do.

    You're a smart man. That statement was not smart.
    As someone said earlier, different people watch tv for different reasons. For example, my husband is somewhat of an invalid. He does not work and is incapable of a lot of physical activity. He reads, carves, and watches TV alot. Our time together is about watching movies on Sky, maybe once a week. It's pretty much the only thing we can do together. And I also don't like watching TV on the computer. Not comfortable if you don't have wireless and a large laptop.
    I hope, in the future, that we have more choice on our televisions, for those of us who enjoy lying down and not thinking, or those of us who enjoy programmes that make you think, or those of us who find what we watch enlightening.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    @Graeme: One of the things that interested me in the Atlantic article was the point you made; i.e. that the news in newspapers (just as on TV) doesn't make money, but is subsidised by other content. The "unbundling" of news from the other parts of newspapers has exposed this. I'm very (vitally, I guess) interested in where news - on TV or anywhere else - goes from here.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Newspapers need to make money. But TV News doesn't need to make money, TV networks do. Newspapers would be in a much better position if all that needed to happen was the printers/publishers needed to make a profit, so that newspapers could be support by books and magazines, etc., as TV news is supported by reality TV and comedy.

    I don't want to discount your argument, because I think it's an interesting one. But I think that to an extent this already happens. Newspapers have traditionally run sections that cost more to make than they bring in from advertising. Without these and the cachet of being a 'newspaper' they bring, they wouldn't be able to sell their real estate and other profitable sections.

    Edit: what Marcus said above.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And another thing...
    Why is the majority of programming on the History channel all about Hitler??? is it just that the rights are in the public domain and the History channel folks are just cheap bastards?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Why is the majority of programming on the History channel all about Hitler??? is it just that the rights are in the public domain and the History channel folks are just cheap bastards?.

    Sharks and Nazis!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Cheers for 50 Years was the highest rating non-news programme of the year to date. We are doomed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    "A shark would have found Anne Frank, like *that*

    rofflenui

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19594 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Cheers for 50 Years was the highest rating non-news programme of the year to date. We are doomed.

    Okay, I'll finally own up to having watched, and mostly enjoyed, the whole thing.

    I quite liked that it carried the history of television in New Zealand - which is what the anniversary is, rather than the history of New Zealand television. Not terribly important fluff from the US, Britain and even Australia was as important to people in the past as it is now.

    But it is interesting how different the programme marking 50 years of television was from the programme marking 5 years - viewable through nzonscreen.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3198 posts Report Reply

  • Wammo,

    Cheers for 50 Years was the highest rating non-news programme of the year to date. We are doomed.

    This also highlights another point. Broadcasters have been tricking advertisers for years by tauting overblown stats that are said to represent the TV viewing public based on highly floored sampling methods. I have no doubt that '50 Years' was the highest rating show of the year based on a cumulative figure from folks with the set top rating boxes. What the broadcaster won't or can't say is anything about the quality of the view. Did the viewer merely tune in for a few minutes and cross the minimum time threshold to be counted (if indeed there is a minimum) then tune out in disgust without even viewing an advert?

    Advertisers should be demanding true accountability for the ads and sponsorships they place. This is an area that net based content excels in. It's much more difficult to conduct a game of smoke and mirrors based on hard data generated by real viewers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 42 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    @Steve: I think the key concept is "icons". I've heard it said, for example, that much of the audience of History Channel is not particularly knowlegeable about history, but they do recognise icons, such as Hitler, pyramids etc. These "icons" attract viewers to a show because they're a "known quantity". Others - elsewhere on TV - include orangutans, sharks, mummies and UFOs. (This is all associated, I think, with what someone wrote earlier about emotional responses.)

    @Wammo: I don't know much about the details of what's available from NZ ratings agencies, but I do know that it's possible to get very detailed information from surveys in the US, including age-ranges, gender and changes every 15 minutes, at least. This information is for sale. I guess it would be up to the purchaser of advertising to insist that (1) they're getting the audience they want and (2) they can be shown to have received that. I think that in cases where the promised "eyeballs" haven't been delivered, the channel provides them by "giving" more advertising elsewhere in the schedule. I'd suspect that advertisers do demand the accountability you suggest, since they're obliged to justify their budgets, too.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And we emerge blinking into the daylight from our telly caves, those driven to anger by teh mindless fodder are sectioned off from those who were sedated by the diet of drivel.

    Yeah, yeah, "wake up, sheeple!" I watched ten straight years of Jerry Springer; my brain, like Jackie's, is fine. Dandy, even. Honestly, it's so tiresome to be pigeonholed as a brainwashed moron for watching certain shows.

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

  • recordari,

    I love house programmes. Location Location Location, A Place in the Sun, Grand Designs in particular, but in terms of achieving a suitably vegetative state, home buying and renovation TV is perfect.

    When's the next My House, My Castle gonna be on?

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Regan at Throng has helpfully confirmed that Cheers to 50 Years didn't just hold its audience, it built it as it went on.

    Started with a 19.0, built to 19.1, 19.1 and ended on 19.5. Peoplemeter people clearly love that stuff.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22584 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Location Location Location

    Phil Spencer went broke don't you know.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    Honestly, it's so tiresome to be pigeonholed as a brainwashed moron for watching certain shows.

    I have certainly been guilty of that in the past (as you noticed with my Coronation Street comment). Today I'm a bit more relaxed, but I can still not understand why people would want to watch, say, Jerry Springer.

    But hey, each to their own.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    AC Nielsen provides ratings for every 15 minute slot. due to the small number of people-meters around, for small niche channels the margin of error is enormous as to render a lot of figures completely useless to make decisions on scheduling or programme commissioning. Ratings are only good for mass channels who need to "prove" that they rate higher than their competing mass channel. Whether they tell the truth is unknowable and statistically questionable. Perhaps it's a cahoot between broadcasters, advertising agencies and ratings agencies to jack up the figures so they can charge everybody (especially the advertising companies) more.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    If a television station/channel is run as a business, then it's obliged to please shareholders. If those shareholders demand increased returns, then even a subscription channel is tempted run advertisements, and move "down-market", where the audiences are larger.

    Depends if you can sell your shareholders on the idea that a percentage of your programming should be a long-term profit model (same as some speculative R&D in certain companies may only pay off long-term).

    Circling back to 'the wire': the show finished two years ago, having run for five seasons. But the word-of-mouth is still building the following for it. I've had two people in my office come up to me recently and ask if I've seen this great US cop drama called 'the wire' which they've just started watching.

    So sure, 'dancing with the changing room stars of Coronation Street while finding a place in the sun' can pay for your daily runing costs, but maybe the should be a slice of the pie for speculative stuff that might pay off only in the longer view, too.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Turner,

    @Rich: I think your point is well made. That long-term/short-term thing is central to so much in business and politics. Shareholders, directors, chairpeople, politicians and voters each have their own opinion about this and act/vote according to how they see the relative importance of long- and short-term gains/values/goals.

    Since Nov 2006 • 212 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    So sure, 'dancing with the changing room stars of Coronation Street while finding a place in the sun' can pay for your daily runing costs, but maybe the should be a slice of the pie for speculative stuff that might pay off only in the longer view, too.

    I'm quite happy if dancing with whatever and pop whatever is on tv and makes good money, as long as the channels still put the occasional good movie, documentary and tv series on. If the former helps pay for the latter, even better.

    Occasionally I'll even watch one of the 'trashy' shows. Happily sit down in front of survivor for an hour and that Bret Michaels and the Bimbettes show is good stupid fun.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    it's so tiresome to be pigeonholed

    But if they can pigeonhole you then they don't have to treat your opinions as if they were from a real person.

    As for paying for single episodes. That will depend on a change in bandwidth most likely, that really is all that is needed all the other technology around security of payment already exists. As soon as bandwidth gets big enough to allow a quality episode to be delivered it will happen.

    The alternative method is also fairly easy as more people use a set top box (freeview or sky) to view TV. Those boxes could easily only decode if you have a key code that you pay for in the spot.

    What I think is interesting is what that would do to the market model. Essentially instead of TV Zektivs deciding what is or is not valuable, value would simply depend on sales. "broadcasters" would become more like book publishers. Entry cost would still be the limiting factor but as web shows are demonstrating entry cost can be very low.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4432 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Phil Spencer went broke don't you know.

    With appropriate emphasis to indicate the gaining of knowledge... 'No, I did not know that!' Apparently these programmes are also partly responsible for the property bubble, and subsequent demise. The power of television aye? Or not.

    Occasionally I'll even watch one of the 'trashy' shows. Happily sit down in front of survivor for an hour and that Bret Michaels and the Bimbettes show is good stupid fun.

    Page 6. Here it comes. 'One person's trash is another person's treasure'... etc ad nauseum.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    Apparently these programmes are also partly responsible for the property bubble and subsequent demise. The power of television aye?

    Wasn't there a similar brouhaha over dear aunty Antiques Roadshow spiking antiques prices?

    I bet dear old Henry Sandon MBE never went broke though.

    Just by the way, I intensely envy Henry Sandon. He doesn't do what he does for wealth (although I would guess he is well off enough nowadays), he does it because he loves it. He is possibly the happiest man I've ever seen on telly.

    Lessons for our Phil and Kirsty there methinks.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 5 6 7 8 9 13 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.