Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Soap Opera

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  • Grant McDougall,

    But to give praise where praise is due, WTF is Sean Plunkett on and where can I get some? I don't know if he's switched to decaf or what, but over the last couple of months I've been able to turn on Morning Report without an instant migraine. He is more pleasant to listen to - and a damn sight more effective - now that lunging for the jugular isn't his default interview technique; Kathryn Ryan is much more cconfident with the more 'lifestyle' elements of Nine to Noon. and if Mary Wilson can just chill out a wee bit, I'll have no reason to turn on TV news ever again.

    There's a good interview with Plunket (__one__ 't' by the way) in the Sept 8 Listener in which he touches on this.
    He says: "I listen back to tapes of me and I sound completely different, I'm not actually pushing as hard and I don't sound stressed out. I've learnt to sit back and let it shake down a bit."

    So the implication is that he's just mellowed out somewhat, at last.

    I agree about Ryan but not Wilson, I love it that she's just so direct. She's much better at asking hard questions, putting people on the spot thasn a lot of other journalists.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Okay - we heard much from the TVNZ guy at TGB about their close (and expensive) relationship with Disney/ABC - why, when they took over this relationship from TV3 did they choose to drop World News Tonight - which TV3 played mid-nightish?

    So it doesn't have Peter Jennings any more, but nightly broadcast news from the US always seemed so good. I want to want to watch broadcast news - like a good album, I think news benefits from coherent producing.

    And in half an hour too.

    Sport is rarely, if ever, news. World cup final - news. World cup anything else - not news. Hurricane - news. Weather tomorrow - not news. Paris murdered - news. Paris imprisoned - not news.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3212 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    (one 't' by the way)

    Noted - I hate having my name futzed, and do try to repay the courtesy. And thanks for the pointer - no wonder the poor bugger sounded rather cross. Sleep apnoea is a shit of a thing to deal with at the best of times, and losing your father, having a marriage go to pieces while trying to maintain a functional relationship with your son, and being in a workplace that could most politely be described as not entirely functional is far from 'the best of times'.

    I agree about Ryan but not Wilson, I love it that she's just so direct.

    I like it too, and that's probably all you need on talkback radio or one of those US screaming skull panel shows. But being a good interviewer is like being a good singer - you've got to have the skill, and the instincts,to blow the roof off the joint and play it cool. Whatever the song needs. The Listener story, in a sidebar, notes a classic case of when playing it cool gets results - when David Benson-Pope pretty much committed career suicide live on Morning Report. Don't think Plunket would have caught the significance of B-P saying "it turned out that the rumour we'd heard was true", and followed it up to lethal effect, if he was half way down Benson-Pope's throat.

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

  • Stephen Judd,

    The thing that drives me batshitinsane listening to Wilson is her habit of phrasing questions as direct statements, with only a rising intonation and a prosecutor's pause to tip you off. This:
    - closes the question off because it's really only answerable by yes or no
    - puts words in the subject's mouth
    - sometimes actually puts the subject into stunned silence as they try to figure out whether they were asked something or not.

    I live for the day when I'm interviewed on Checkpoint. I intend to wait until she's forced to repeat herself, and then say "I'm sorry, was that a question?" until she breaks and asks questions like any other English speaker.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Stephen, totally agree. Be human, simple; if your job requires you to approximate human behaviour, get another one.

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    the breakfast jocks on The Rock were slagging it off as a news story. Gotta say, if even breakfast Rock jocks are criticising a story's newsworthiness...

    heh heh

    and worser still: The Rock is owned by the same company that owns TV3!!

    There was a clunker on Breakfast on TV1 this morninng with a reporter repeatedly saying Hubbard (not Banks) had announced last night that if elected Mayor he would not spend ratepayers money on an Eden Park upgrade. But it was Banks who actually said it

    BTW - written before the stabbing death in 'Auckland's upmarket' Herne Bay was this interview with Young Sid, published in the Sunday Star Times last Sunday.

    "My solo album is a window onto my community. I just talk about what I've seen in South Auckland. Growing up, my mother was an alcoholic, my father was a drug dealer. We went through some hard shit.

    "As for the violence, I report on it rather than glorify it. A lot of young people feel safer if they carry weapons where I'm from. People go to a party, a fight starts and suddenly those weapons come out. Back in the day, people used their hands, one-on-one, and you might walk away with just a black eye. Nowadays, it might end up with somebody stabbed to death."

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Another vote for Mary Wilson. She does have some annoying ticks, but she's usually sharp and incisive.
    And I think TVNZ also ran the Hilton story in the first break (from T(can't spell it!) Tiffen) in their 10:30 bulletin. And it was just as stupid on TVNZ, for what it's worth- (they took much the same angle).
    What does it mean that a big sector of our young adults think PH is teh beez kneez?

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    Yeah, I came in on the back of that TV1 story and thought "Omigod, not them too?" but since I didn't see the whole thing I was loathe to comment. I did wonder tho' whether it was the story they ran in the 6pm bulletin (which I didn't see - I was watching 3) or whether they re-jigged that story in light of the story TV3 ran in their 6pm bulletin.

    And if they both ran it then I'm guessing both reporters (Tsei included) fell victim (to put it charitably) to the PR dept of the World Cocktail Championship who flew in these 'friends of Paris'.

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Noted - I hate having my name futzed, and do try to repay the courtesy. And thanks for the pointer - no wonder the poor bugger sounded rather cross.

    Illuminating. I agree wholeheartedly about his new style. He's shown he can conduct a searching and useful interview whilst still letting his subject finish a sentence. I've been enjoying it.

    Small point of interest: back when we did Off The Wire on the radio, we'd have guest panelists. Some of them (including my least favourite National MP) turned out to be terrible talent, but Sean was very sharp indeed and probably the best guest we had, with the possible exception of Jemaine from the Conchords, who just deadpan burgled it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Tsehai Tiffin.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Thanks 3410. You get the spelling and "had teh courtesy to look it up" prizes.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,


    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • merc,


    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,





    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    One News started tonight thus:

    "Parents, sit up and take notice!"

    I trust you all did as you were told, otherwise you are going to be in big, big trouble.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1330 posts Report Reply

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