Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: TVNZ: Emptied out

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    How much does this have to do with the revelation earlier this year that some staff in the Maori and Pacific unit were doing campaigning for the Labour Party using company resources, on company time?

    Maybe nothing, maybe a lot.

    I'm sure it didn't help -- it was certainly something TVNZ management wanted to go away. But it's not the main driver.

    What that episode did show is the problem with editorial management there. Someone should have picked up that behaviour sooner, and would have if there'd been someone senior walking the floor and talking to people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department

    .... proposed staffing changes were politically charged and being led by the former National MP and Chair of the MTS Board, Georgina Te Heuheu, Co-Vice President of the Maori Party and MTS Board Member, Donna Gardiner, and declared Maori Party supporter and CEO of Maori Television, Mr Maxwell, who might be trying to exert editorial control over both Te Kaea and Native Affairs, to get more favourable treatment of government policies.

    Hone Harawira Friday 24 October 2014

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Russell Brown,

    it was certainly something TVNZ management wanted to go away. But it's not the main driver.

    Indeed but my main point was...

    TVNZ seems to have no problem with National supporters being paid by them to produce actual programs that go to air.

    And as illustrated by my post above compounds the observation that the main driver is, in fact, the national Party for which read John Key, regardless of which hat he may have chosen on that particular day.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    RNZ still appeals

    more broadly than one wee suburb, judging by their limited ratings research

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the problem with editorial management

    you mean that unit was isolated from the rest of the place?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Sam Smith,

    Call me radical, but I genuinely think it is time for a non profit "people" owned national news only broadcaster. Successive Govs under Labour and National have shown no real interest in funding public service content, and have expected TVNZ to return massive dividends to them, while National now pretty much just expect them to operate for profit and nothing else. This is supposed to be our state-owned national broadcaster. As a student studying this area at the moment, I also feel countries overseas have stolen a march on NZ when it comes to the value of their state channels, with many also expanding to use their channels as public diplomacy tools internationally, something to consider as well, because at the moment I don't think we are getting much value out of TVNZ.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2014 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I haven't really understood why TVNZ has not been put up for sale yet. We've had several rounds of sales and it never seems to be seriously discussed, despite clear expectation that it should be commercial.

    If it is all about ideology, why does a state broadcaster get a pass? I would have though on the grounds of privatisation and general dislike of public broadcasters it would have been hocked off a long time ago.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ben Austin,

    Polling must say that older generations who vote have an irrational connection with the old brand.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I would have though on the grounds of privatisation and general dislike of public broadcasters it would have been hocked off a long time ago.

    Ah but traditional National voters really like TVNZ and the Herald, they "tell the truth"
    which is really handy for those that "control" both of those "News" outlets.
    National would be lost without their propaganda distribution networks, sometimes Slater just ain't enough.
    ETA...
    Like what Sacha said.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Older televison sets used to default to TV1 every time you switched them on. Don't know what the excuse has been for the last few decades.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    As for the Harold, maybe fish'n'chip shops have a lot to answer for..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Sacha,

    RNZ still appeals

    more broadly than one wee suburb, judging by their limited ratings research

    Radio NZ's existing survey is far more comprehensive then the commercial radio survey.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    fish'n'chip shops

    Well, when they eventually faze out open fireplaces there will be no need for the herald at all. I think it was a health issue to wrap chips with our most famous tabloid for quite a while.
    Now it is simply a mental health issue.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I haven’t really understood why TVNZ has not been put up for sale yet.

    There’s public perception, which would likely run poorly for the govt selling it. But Myles is also onto it – who’d want to buy it?
    We’ve poured a lot of money into TVNZ. Its paper assets – property and technology – must be a large figure – certainly several hundreds of millions, probably more. A return of $18m (up from $12m and not long ago struggling -) would likely be a pretty poor percentage. (I’m guessing – it’d be interesting to OIA the numbers.)
    It may well be possible for a rapacious cost-cutting buyer to wring out a better return, but equally, revenue has been flat-to-falling for some time, and broadcasting has a fierce reputation as a way to make a small fortune – out of a large one.
    So not easy or popular to sell off. I’d guess we’re stuck with it.*
    *this makes turning it into something useful to the nation more compelling, but no less unlikely under this govt. Somehow I can’t see Maggy doing a makeover :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Myles Thomas, in reply to Ben Austin,

    I haven’t really understood why TVNZ has not been put up for sale yet.

    Selling off a govt owned television broadcaster is a BIG THING. Once sold we lose control of the airwaves. People assume TVNZ wouldn't get much worse than it is already but that really depends on who buys it.

    And you can't easily cut your losses and start up a new channel. It takes GENERATIONS to build the viewership of TVOne. Look at TV3, 25 years and still the little sister despite doing a lot of things better.

    A better solution would be to turn around TVOnes decline - advert-free the whole of Sunday perhaps.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2011 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin, in reply to Myles Thomas,

    You misunderstand my point, I think most people (myself included) here support a proper public broadcaster, but that is not what we have.

    My confusion was more as to why the government hasn't decided to sell their stake in the broadcaster, given it has been fully commercial for sometime, when it has sold other state owned assets.

    I do like the theory that people have loyalty to TV1, that makes some sense.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac,

    And to be really cynical, how many govts around the world don't control a broadcaster - propaganda has to come from somewhere.

    not that I think NZ really aspires to Soviet-era levels of propaganda, but it's still handy to own a broadcaster that's a "trusted news source".

    Back to my original point, is there any govt that anyone can think of that doesn't control a TV network and/or a radio network? Even the US has the PBS. In fact, NZ seems unusual in having a state-owned broadcaster that isn't a "public" broadcaster (not-for-profit, serving various communities).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 701 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Outsourcing, yeah, did Telecom not do this, did other large companies not shift some of their call centres and so off-shore? Maybe we will soon have Tangata Pasifica, Marae and other programs made at the other end of the Pacific, in Manila, or thereabouts?

    That would save a lot of costs, I guess, just let the humble, hard working Filipinos and Filipinas do the shows, there are many desperate workers there, willing to work for a bowl of rice a day, yes with a topping, I guess.

    Steven Joyce is encouraging tertiary education providers to move to Asia, so why not move NZ television production there also?

    I may have just given TVNZ another "great" idea?!

    And TV3 Mediawonks may just follow, and then they only need to step out the door, to interview former, disappointed staff of Dotcom, to interview them on their experiences and perceptions of that man.

    Innovation, innovation, innovation, wonderful it is.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Dan Horne,

    I'm curious to know TVNZ's viewing numbers. I occasionally watch TV3 news, but I watch no other traditional terrestrial TV. I know stations are fighting for a share of the pie, but is the pie getting smaller? My boy's 8 and has zero interest in television at all. Is there a whole generation growing up solely on Youtube and Net-based entertainment? If so, what value could TVNZ ever offer a potential buyer if their audience in 10 years will be limited to those aged 40 and above?

    Since Jan 2010 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ben Austin,

    My confusion was more as to why the government hasn’t decided to sell their stake in the broadcaster, given it has been fully commercial for sometime

    Well y'know it's been a whole quarter-century since TVNZ employees were vandalising the outdoor advertising for the then upstart TV3, with apparent tacit approval from their own top level.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • mpledger, in reply to Dan Horne,

    Yea, my daughter is a little older and I would guess in the last year she has watched less than 10 hours of terrestrial tv - youtube/fan fiction is what she heads for.

    It's quite good in a way because she's avoided a crap load of in-your-face advertising - youtube's ads are not targetted at her and are not too intrusive.

    Since Oct 2012 • 97 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    No need for the OIA, it all gets included in the TVNZ annual report to Parliament. The main 2014 numbers are in a TVNZ press release and the latest annual report on line appears to be the 2013 version http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/about_tvnz/TVNZAR_FY2013_Updated.pdf. It includes fascinating set of ratings and viewer number for their main programming.

    Incidentally, the outsourcing of the Maori and Pacific programming at TVNZ may not be unconnected with the fact that the TVNZ Chair is Wayne Walden the former Chair of the much praised Maori Television Service which relied and relies heavily on the outsourcing model and which has generated a significant collection of independent producers

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to TracyMac,

    Back to my original point, is there any govt that anyone can think of that doesn’t control a TV network and/or a radio network? Even the US has the PBS.

    Sorry for being that guy, Tracy, but PBS and NPR are not owned or controlled by the US Government. (NPR in particularly has to spend way too much time trying, and pretty much failing, to refute the right-wing public tit-sucker myth.)

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

  • Alfie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    ... PBS and NPR are not owned or controlled by the US Government.

    While PBS is not government owned Craig, they do receive $US445m in federal funding annually, although that is often under threat. For example in 2012 Mitt Romney declared that if he was elected he would eliminate all PBS funding. The concept of public broadcasting is not usually attractive to right wing governments.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1434 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    The US fully funded propaganda arms, Voice of America, WorldNet Television etc is funded to the tune of about $US 700 million.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

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