Posts by Russell Brown

  • Hard News: Public Address and PressPatron, in reply to Kevin McCready,

    Questions of transparency, paygrades, profits and superprofits are still open. And I know these, especially the later, may not apply to Public Address.

    As I said, I'll publish the monthly income. Questions about profits would be a wonderful problem to have, but if we got to $2000 income a month I'd be delighted. The trickier problem for me is how to share revenue within Public Address. Given the likely cost of a site revamp (even at the very kind rates the wonderful people at CactusLab charge me), I can't commit to paying per post. But I think having a budget to provide a modest return for special projects is do-able.

    In a more perfect world it would be nice to see them handled in a public funding model.

    Yeah, but we can't sit around waiting for that. NZ On Air's budget has been frozen for nine years, remember. And news media commissioning budgets seem to be slashed every few months. If this can provide some income for me to do real journalism on the site, that'd be great.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Public Address and PressPatron, in reply to Brent Jackson,

    Made a one-off contribution, and was surprised that my credit card number was stored. There is no option to clear the credit card number. Nor is there any “contact us” information or “home” button on the accounts page.

    Noted.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Little Things, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I’m pretty sure our Min learned his ‘lounging around between the keyboard and monitor’ trick from your Colin.

    DO NOT let the cats use the internet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Little Things,

    Attachment

    Even mature cats do odd things. Here's Colin sitting in the cubbyhole by our new Ikea shelves last week.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: The Little Things,

    To be fair, I have slept with people with less respect for my boundaries.

    Hahaha.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Broadcasting and the Public Interest, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I often thought the solution would be to keep TV2 as it is, and make TV1 the ‘public broadcaster’. It has a huge audience from the get-go, and you could even *possibly* keep it commercial, on the understanding that revenue (and therefore ratings) aren’t the driving motivation on that channel. Hire a CEO, senior management, commissioners and programmers on the basis of vision and commitment to high quality programming, not just in news and current affairs but also drama and the like.

    That makes sense. You couldn't get there with existing management hired to do very different tings.

    I think these days you could ditch the Freeview infrastructure required for TVNZ6 and 7 with an online-only offering, but one that has mandatory promotion in places where people will find out about it, i.e. 1, 2, one news website etc.. I found out myself the hard way about what happens to an online-only show at TVNZ when they don’t bother promoting it (it dies a death).

    But the Freeview slots are there – they're just being used for +1 channels and Duke. I'd argue better uses could be found. Although to really reach a mainstream audience you need to be on Sky as well. Which is where a Must-carry-must-pay rule as seen in other countries could come into it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: I tried Sativex: it was no…, in reply to william blake,

    My GP was recommending anti epilepsy drugs for nerve pain when I decided to quit the repurposed anti depressant that were clogging my brain for little relief. From what you report Sativex might be just as bad.

    Definitely not "just as bad", but I didn't find having a large dose of one cannabinoid and a large dose of another cannabinoid that partially suppressed the first one at all congenial.

    A fellow sufferer told me recently that “bud was best” but only once you had “punched through the paranoia” perhaps longer term use of Sativex would provide the benefits of pain reduction without the acute effects of being drug fucked

    Yes – typically new patients start low and work up the dose as they get used to the effects. My friend also takes her big dose at night, as Shane suggests.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Broadcasting and the Public Interest,

    And in a nice bit of timing, The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting and Media launched this morning. It’s backed by ActionStation and the Coalition for Better Broadcasting.

    The panel appointed is quite impressive.

    And there will be pubic workshops around the country.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Broadcasting and the Public Interest,

    Good point, Dylan. But having been in the building (well, at least once a week) at the time ...

    How well the Charter worked can be debated, but it generally struck a reasonable balance between commercial operations and public service objectives.

    There was strong cultural resistance to it within TVNZ management though – and Charter programming was often ghettoised in the schedule.

    Additionally, one or more purely public interest channels should be established. This is basically what we used to have with TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7. Channels where the objectives are different. Where programming can be more niche and specialist. Where there are no concerns about advertiser conflicts of interest or commercial ratings.

    By the end of the whole saga my feeling was that public service channels didn't sit well within a commercial operation. There were simply too many interests and objectives in conflict. Every viewer who watched TVNZ 6 or 7 was a viewer lost to commercial television – which is why you literally never saw a promo for a 6 or 7 programme on TV One or TV2. They couldn't afford for their public service programming to do too well.

    Similarly, TVNZ’s non-commercial channels TVNZ 6 and TVNZ 7 never managed to attract significantly large audiences.

    If part of the goal of public service broadcasting is to reach a wide audience then it makes sense to go where that audience is – and luckily for us, we already own the channels that attract the biggest audiences!

    Heh. TVNZ 7's audience by the end was, of course, a matter of great debate and considerable misinformation – but in December 2011, Nielsen assessed a monthly cume of 1.47 million, which isn't bad.

    But, as noted above, 6 and 7 benefited from the skills and infrastructure of the mothership, but never actually got to leverage the reach of One and 2, because they were never exposed on those channels.

    I would have TVNZ stop returning a dividend to the government. Instead all commercial profits would be used to fund the public interest operations.

    This would get around the key problem of the Charter era – the dual remit imposed on TVNZ by the government: make money for us and do good things.

    Public service broadcasting would be funded by all commercial broadcasters. Mediaworks, NZME, Sky and others would all be charged some form of license fee or operational levy for the right to broadcast commercially in NZ. That revenue would form a fund for all public broadcasting: Radio NZ, TVNZ’s public service operations and Maori TV.

    They would doubtless argue that they already do pay such levies, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars for spectrum licences. And then they'd go to freaking war :-)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: I tried Sativex: it was no…, in reply to Kay,

    For future reference- none of the epilepsy drugs give a buzz, even the ones on the market 30 years ago. Ask anyone who has to take them.

    That one experience has stayed with me, believe me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21726 posts Report Reply

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