Why Did The Human Rights Commission Back Tabloid TV?

The Human Rights Commission has been pumping up the”race row” in Real Housewives of Auckland. It reminds me of its unorthodox action back in 2012. Then Equal Opportunities Commissioner Judy McGregor, a former tabloid newspaper editor, went undercover as an aged care worker, and publicised how aged workers are underpaid. It was a worthy cause, but an unusual approach

Former EEO Commissioner Judy McGregor went undercover
Former EEO Commissioner Judy McGregor went undercover

I said in the NZ Herald media column:

The former Sunday News editor’s report comes across as a ripping yarn about the life and devotion of staff.

But did anybody else think it was a bit odd for a commissioner to go undercover like this? And would the elderly patients mind if they had known they had been showered by the EEO commissioner.

We asked the former editor and member of the Broadcasting Standards Authority if she had used a false name and whether she had access to personal medical records on her undercover stint. We asked what physical tasks she performed but got no answer.

We also wonder if the Privacy Commissioner was involved. After several attempts to get details of the undercover arrangement, the Human Rights Commission refused to comment.

That was four years ago. There seem to be similarities with Real Housewives of Auckland racial incident wherever Julia Sloane used the N word about Michelle Blanchard, who is black, and who was understandably furious. It seems like the Human Rights Commission was pre-warned by producers and knew there would be a broadcast of a bleeped racial comment. It does not appear to have tried to prevent the show going ahead, Instead it seems to have been taking the producers view that it would be helpful to race relations

 The Human Rights Commission was approached for comment but declined while it was awaiting legal advice.

unknown-54 The Commission was advised by RHOAKL broadcaster Bravo on June 23 about the incident but the Commission chose to say nothing about the broadcast until after it ran last Tuesday. On September 1 the Commission launched “Thats Us”  digital ad campaign against racism and in a tweet Race Relations conciliator Dame Susan Devoy singled out the use of the N word. The theme for Real Housewives is about bitchiness and meanness.

I’m not backing Sloane, whose comment was clearly foolish  and hurtful  to fellow housewife Michelle Blanchard. I question the Commission hyping a tabloid TV and contorted a foolish statement by an individual represents the state of race relations.

Julia Sloane: Screwed up and apologised. But still attacked by Human Rights Commission
Julia Sloane: Screwed up and apologised. But still attacked by Human Rights Commission

Why has a government agency aligned itself with tabloid “reality” TV channel?

Meanwhile, The Spinoff website had been giving extensive publicity to the reality series and heavily supporting Bravo and the RHOAKL production team from NBC Universal. A podcast published on September 21 examines that looks at the episode and makes it clear its supports the decision to highlight the slur and criticises people who do not hold that view. In my opinion More information needs to be made available by the Commission for its approach.   Turning on an individual three months after the event, does not seem to be more about publicity than fighting racism.

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More Taxpayer Cash For Expanding Digital Video Firms Includes Official Release

funding-strategy-for-feedback_final-2

New Zealand On Air has released plans for a big shake-up in the way it hands out public money to producers and it allow digital media a bigger share of the funding pie. The New Zealand Herald media column this morning previewed the proposals which gives expanding digital media firms digital businesses such as  as NZME and The Spinoff. Currently digital video players are at a distinct disadvantage to established broadcasters. Under NZOA proposals the networks will still control big budget projects and allocations more than $500,000. That means the big dramas.  Networks have the ability to deliver on linear TV platforms (the main TV channels) and digitally through On Demand platforms. Combined these two provide big audiences. The focus on the number of bums on seats will also mean that they have big advantages for accessing the next run of allocations for taxpayer allocations of $100,000 to $500,000. The fundamental change to allocations has been inevitable for some time and TV networks have accepted the change. But two TV producers I spoke to were wary. Some believe it will open the door to content with lower production values and said thatNZ ON Air needs to improve its oversight on quality. Others reject that view as self serving and believe change – while substantial – is a stopgap measure, and more expansive change to the role for NZ ON Air will be needed the future. The new proposals are planned to take effect in mid 2017

The Herald media column speculating correctly on changes and is attached below:

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/john-drinnan/news/article.cfm?a_id=324&objectid=11714924,

 

 

 

 

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Real Housewives: Reality TV And Manufacturing Outrage Opinion

Due to a technical glitch: An earlier version of this story was posted in error.

Bravo will be hoping that media coverage over use of the N word on Real Housewives of Auckland will translate into ratings and advertising dollars.

It seems highly unlikely the incident was scripted. Why would anybody want to be shown using such a racist term?

Continue reading Real Housewives: Reality TV And Manufacturing Outrage Opinion

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Media Drags MacGregor Through Mud

Rachel MacGregor is under intense scrutiny as a witness for Jordan Williams in his defamation claim against former Conservative leader Colin Craig. Looking at media coverage you get the impression she has become stuck in the middle of legal battle between the two men. I can understand the way that media have handled this defamation case. Media are limited by the way that evidence is played out in court and the commercial realities. The audience loves the salacious allegations about relationships. MacGregor has a central role in whether the comments by Craig were or were not defamatory. That said it seems like the media coverage of the court case her name has been through the mud.

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Housing Market Is Not Broken – Its “Going Gangbusters”

How do business media report a major problem like housing inflation when it has become a foundation stone for the economy? It turns to the major players in the economy. But sometimes the major players are beneficiaries of the problem. When bank economists talk in the media, they are independent from the people who pay their salaries. In my opinion. they will give a view that reflects the values their sector, and common sense tells you that will be from the perspective of banks. Banks have earned strong profits during the crisis in housing affordability in Auckland.

Continue reading “Housing Market Is Not Broken – Its “Going Gangbusters””

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Will TV Networks Stand Up to The Easily Offended?

CAPTION: Audrey’s hair salon – a hotbed of casual racism?

Media latch onto any story that fills online space and gets clicks – especially when they involve controversy for other media and negative reaction on social media. This item is an example of that. But so too was the row over an allegedly racist comment on a recent episode of Coronation Street screened in Britain, when scriptwriters put words in the mouth of Coro Street’s favourite bottle blonde, Eva Price.

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Julie Christie Is Still The Programming Brains At TV3

CAPTION. Julie Christie will continue to be the programming brains on the MediaWorks Board after McGeoch goes next month

MediaWorks has taken another step away from dysfunction of the Mark Weldon era with the departure of its chairman, Rod McGeoch. His replacement – board member Jack Matthews – will be hard-pressed to bring back the goodwill of the firm pre-receivership. But he will need to try – because the current funk puts it at a disadvantage ,to its competitors. Matthews appears to be well liked by staff and will need to try.

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Labour, ComCom And the Monster Media Mash Up

Unknown-31There is an implausibly little government leadership on how this small country survives in the media revolution. National sees the matter, ignores it and seems to be letting the chips fall where they may.

Labour seems focused on its old touchstones of unions and public service broadcasting advocates. However, it needs to concentrate on the bigger structure of a global battle between NZ companies and international players like Google and Facebook. Labour is at interested in the current media upheavals and the danger for consumers of journalism and local content.

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TVNZ Audience Up, Revenue Down

CAPTION: TVNZ  On Demand is growing but most of its revenue comes from TV One and TV2.

TVNZ took a bigger share of the TV audience for the year to June 30 and increased its share of TV ad revenue from 60.3  to 61.2 per cent during the year to June 30.

Kevin Kenrick
Kevin Kenrick

Chief executive Kevin Kendrick points to TVNZ programming success. But in my opinion, it was partly due to a year of dysfunction at TV3 and its failed focus on realty TV over the latter part of 2015. It is understood Sky TV’s TV  market share was also up slightly.

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Jock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels Chalk and Cheese Council Candidates

Legal eagle journalist Jock Anderson has taken a leaf out of Bill Ralston’s book. He is standing for the Timaru District Council in local body elections. Both are standing on an independent right of centre ticket. Ralston is a media commentator and PR man standing, a former liberal hero, standing for the famously liberal Waitemata ward on Auckland Council. Anderson – who has taken on the mantle of a conservative commentator – and will be be standing in the proudly illiberal capital of South Canterbury. He said that he and his girlfriend Lorraine moved from Auckland at the end of last year. He says he enjoys the area and the opportunities for keeping up his longtime hobby, shooting game.

Bill Ralston
Bill Ralston

Anderson says he stands for innovation, careful planning, community consultation, sustainable development, transparency, encouragement, progress and prudent financial stewardship. All of those things. He writes profiles for the New Zealand Law Society, writes a column for Cameron Slater’s InCite website, makes the occasional appearance on Waatea 5th Estate and is a regular commentator Larry Williams on NewstalkZB and for RNZ’s The Panel. He says he is also about to re-launch his popular CaseLoad website (www.caseload.co.nz) – saying  enigmatically: “It’s time the cat gave the pigeons a hoozle-up.”

 

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