Category: Free To Air TV

Let’s keep an eye on the new State TV channel

CAPTION . Can Broadcasting minister Clare Curran ensure that the new RNZ TV is independent?

channel

Call me a doubting Thomas, but I’m wary about government plans to establish a new TV channel with public broadcasting values. The National Party neglected broadcasting for nine years, and punished Radio New Zealand by starving it of funding. However,  I worry that Labour will be too hands on.

I can understand that RNZ is grateful that Labour is promising expansion with a new TV channel to run in tandem with its radio and digital arm.

But politicians have a love affair with TV, and the public should maintain a sceptical eye on how Labour runs its new low budget TV channel. Labour needs to spell out again how the new channel will be independent and non- partisan.

John Campbell will likely be a star of RNZ TV

Labour has promised  it will be independent. But we need some more details before its plans for a new public media commission are pushed into place. The surprising Labour manifesto item developed late in the piece turned swiftly into policy,  and now it has turned into action. When the policy was announced two weeks before the election, few thought Labour would win.

Labour discussions included the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and academics including Dr Peter Thompson, a media lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.. I guess that other cultural folk and individual broadcasters would have been asked. But RNZ itself was not consulted, nor were Fairfax and MediaWorks, which have complained that the creation of another state TV channel  will make it hard for commercial channels to achieve scale.

Private sector objections are no a reason to scuttle the plan. The New Zealand public has been diddled for decdes with NZ On Air commercial TV shows ignoring the need for genuine public interest media. And journalism is in trouble. We need to be careful the government profiles a solution and does not make the problems worse. 

 

Kim Hill has TV experience.

Curran said that Labour had set aside $38 million had been set aside for the new channel in the upcoming budget. It s a very small amount given the costs associated with starting a TV channel. Curran has talked encouragingly about setting up a public media funding committee for RNZ +, distinct from NZ on Air,  to allocate funding for projects. The Ministers office says that the appointees to that Commission will decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The makeup of the Commission – and the definition on what RNZ + will show, will decide the integrity of RNZ +.

it is essential that Labour and RNZ take a wide interpretation of pubic broadcasting and serves the wider audience – including working class people. Curran insists that the Public Media Commission will be apolitical and independent. But the public need to be sure that RNZ + does not solely become a vehicle for identity and interest groups,  and the ideological liberal view of the world that has dominated at RNZ.

New Zealand media is at a pivotal point and Labour is enjoying an extended honeymoon with the media. Globally there are big changes afoot with the growth of big social campaigns.  We need to ensure that RNZ + stands apart from ideological fashion – it remains objective and sceptical in the tradition of public broadcasting, dealing with different points of view.

Will Wallace Chapman get a TV show?

The NZ Herald reported yesterday that RNZ is already facing big challenges, in part over the costs for its existing focus on televising existing radio shows, such as Checkpoint. There have been question marks over the potential for a pro- Left bias in the RNZ digital product.

Clare Curran and Labour may do a fabulous job  creating a new  public broadcasting service, however, in my opinion,  there is good reason for the public to keep an eye on how RNZ+ develops. 

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UPDATED: Opinion is entrenched in the state TV newsroom TVNZ HAS NO EXPLICIT WRITTEN POLICY ON ITS JOURNALISTS WRITiNG OUTSIDE COMMENTARY

UPDATE, Sometime TVNZ 1 news presenter Miriama Kamo wrote an article of The Spinoff, 

TVNZ News managers said through a spokeswoman: “A number of our journalists and presenters contribute to other media outlets –  be it as radio hosts, as print columnists or panel guests. Some of these roles require personal opinions to be offered.

“We’re realistic about the fact that our journalists and presenters are people who hold personal viewpoints and there are occasions where these can be expressed and healthy debate can be engaged in.  While we don’t have an explicit written policy for our people taking on these roles, additional media responsibilities are assessed in a case by case basis to ensure the editorial strength of our newsroom, said spokeswoman Rachel Howard.

Do you remember the days we did not know the personal politics and opinions of newseaders?

Today in “The Spinoff” the sometimes TVNZ One News newsreader, Marae and Sunday host opined that people were wrong to comment about there being less animosity at Waitangi.

“Why do we praise ‘peaceful’ Waitangi Day celebrations? It suggests that agitators behaved, that they weren’t naughty, that they towed the line to allow everyone to have a ‘nice’ day.” she asked.

I tend to agree with her. But I was surprised to see that a high-profile and ostensibly independent newsreader and current affairs like Kamo presenting her personal views on politics. 

I imagine Kamo views her role as an interviewer on the current affairs programmes Marae and Sunday as justification for her taking a position. But I think news reading is special and there has never been a time when neutrality is more important. Its an old-fashioned view but her opinions in Spinoff queer the pitch for her newsreader role, in my opinion. Maybe its a one off But it’s a worrying trend at TVNZ and state broadcasting in general,

Kamo said in Spinoff

I find praise of a peaceful Waitangi Day jarring. The absence of protest is not the indicator of a successful Waitangi Day. Whether protest occurs or does not occur is not the measure of anything other than the mood of the marginalised. And if it is the measure, then it is for Māori to decide whether Waitangi celebrations were ‘successful’…. Every year, Waitangi Day is approached with trepidation – how much protest will there be, what form will it take? National leader Bill English was spooked by it, suggesting to RNZ that his decision not to attend Waitangi last year saw marae trustees organise themselves this year to see ‘dignity restored to that event’ – read, no protest. In his view, this is why the new government received a warm reception.

… the onus is not on Māori to smooth the path for others to come into their home; a home that has been, figuratively and literally, systematically dismantled and destroyed over decades. Labour too has a lot of ground to make up, so it’s good that Jacinda Ardern spoke with verve and hope for a more equitable partnership. Her warm reception reflects the historic grassroots support by many Māori for the party, the ongoing excitement around the prime minister’s leadership, but also her pregnancy.

It was a strong articulate opinion. But if she continues to be a pundit it queers the pitch for her reading the new.  I’m hoping this is not a sign of things to come. 

Hosking was never sold as being neutral – Kamo is.

Kamo objected to Mike Hosking over his arrogant utterances about the former mayor of New Plymouth Andrews Judd, It was a low point for Seven Sharp, in my opinion. TVNZ producers became too loose handling Hosking’s opinions. In some ways Hosking was less problematical. Seven Sharp was not a bulletin and there was no pretence that he was neutral, 

The state broadcaster hired Hosking to rark with a right wing viewpoints that he had promoted in other media for ages.. admittedly, she did not express her views on TVNZ. If TVNZ really valued her opinion, its surprising they don’t appear to have run them on TVNZ.co.nz website.

I’d argue that the neutrality is more important now than it has ever been

TVNZ would’ve had to give Kamo the go-ahead. I asked spokeswoman Rachel Howard about the approach. She  said that presenters giving their personal opinions has been around for years.

That is true. Paul Henry was very opinionated on Breakfast. TVNZ did not mind that while ratings kept up. Hilary Barry has liked to promote her feminist sensibilities to the world.

Now Hilary has been moved from Breakfast to Seven-Sharp, she is being replaced by Hayley Holt, the former Green Party candidate, though TVNZ says she knows her politics can’t intrude on the show,

Kamo has some strong and well- articulated views.

But I am pleased that Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie keep their opinions to themselves, as do Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts on Newsbub.

It would-be worrying in the current environment if TVNZ decides that newsreaders don’t need to be neutral. 

 

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What about a simulcast Mike for TVNZ Brekkie? Just An Idea

Caption. TVNZ breakfast was relaunched last year, but it has not lived up to hype and generous budgets, in my opinion.

OPINION

Some Leftie critics of Mike Hosking are ecstatic with TVNZ’s announcing yesterday he and Toni Street will not be on “Seven Sharp” next year. But some are making assumptions that Hosking will be gone from TVNZ altogether. That seems unlikely to me. 

I’ve never been a fan of Hosking on the prime time show. His skills honing in on issues are evident on his Newstalk ZB breakfast show, but they were never never utilised on Seven Sharp, where he played the flippant conservative grump.  There have been signs this year that his persona is old fashioned compared with Three’s “The Project”. Even Hosking’s co-host Toni and acting co-host Carolyn Robinson, have even alluded to it on air. TV One needs to attract younger viewers in prime time. Robinson and Pippa Wetzell have been better at countering Hosking’s dominanc  on-air than Toni has, in my opinion.

Let’s not forget that in 2014 Hosking and Toni Street created a lite but more newsy approach that saved Seven Sharp in the ratings, after the aborted 2013 format that tried to replicate The Project in Australia. It was a disaster. And the reversion to a more traditional format, saved the how, Greatly that he restored ratings, TVNZ gave Hosking more influence over the show.  It worked for awhile, but clearly Seven Sharp needs to freshen up.  But In my opinion TVNZ will not abandon him now.  But both TVNZ and MediaWorks faces a dramatic need to increase audiences and advertising revenue. TVNZ has plenty of taleny, I needs to cut cost. 

More to the point. I think TVNZ needs to do something wth its big budget, Breakfast show, which was launched last year with a bizarre level of media hype for Hillary Barry and  Jack Tame. Tame has held his ground. Barry had formerly been agood newsreader for Paul Henry and 3 News. But in my opinion she does n to have universal appeal a Breakfast TV host.  Despite a hit budget and promotion, Breakfast has not really delivered for TVNZ. in my view.

Duncan Garner was Paddy’s mentor – but he was never such a caricature,

Meantime, Duncan Garner an the team at Three’s AM shows, has been making progress in the winning the breakfast TV ratings. TVNZ has actively considered weatherman Sam Wallace forSeven Sharp, but that seems less likely with Toni Street departing . They are a team of NZME’s The Hit.

Toni Street and Sam Wallace are old together on the Hit, but Toni is leading Seven Sharp.

In my opinion, TVNZ could do worse than incorporating aspects of the Hosking radio show on Newstalk ZB into TVNZ Breakfast. Maybe as some form of simulcast If NZME and TVNZ coild find some wayto make it work. It might reduce the costs for Breakfast.

Next year, Hosking’s wife, Kate Hawkesby, will be taking over the early morning shift vacated by Rachel Smalley. I have no inside knowledge, but if there were attempt to merge the shows recreation of the Breakfast dream team of Hosking and Hawkesby in 2002 and  2003 that was a success on TVNZ. TVNZ could find a newsreader role for Barry. 

Jack Tame might be good for a new look Seven Sharp.

It’s just an idea. 

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Choice Show On Netflix

CAPTION: Hamish Dodd and his wife Anita.

Millions of TV viewers worldwide are watching a new TV series Kiwi bach, under a deal with Netflix.

The 100 Day Bach’ features TV designer Hamish Dodd and his wife Anita, building their dream bach in Kuratau, on the western side of Lake Taupo.

The series was created and produced by Auckland-based media company Stripe Media. Managing Director Alex Breingan has successfully negotiated the screening rights with Netflix in the UK, USA, Canada, Ireland, Africa and India.Since the series began airing on Netflix, its Facebook page has received messages and comments from all corners of the globe.

The show is not being shown on Netflix in New Zealand because Choice has the rights through till the end of the year.

Breignan said the Netflix screenings had been a boost for the company and he was currently in talks with a broadcasters in. Australia and the UK and has suited two proposals for Netflix original content

He said that Stripe Media had approached Netflix about making content, and it skedaddles what else it had made.

“They liked what they saw and next thing we were updating it and removing the ad breaks.”

The 8-part series first aired on Choice TV in September 2015. A second series is now in development.

Alex Breingan is also Executive Producer of Three’s morning show The Café, and Co-Founder of Choice TV. The series was directed by Marcus Clayton.

Hamish Dodd is a Designer and TV presenter, and previously worked on eight seasons of the ‘My House My Castle’ series.

 

 

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Red Faces Over Blackface at Maori TV

The Maori TV board of directors has intervened to kill the satirical comedy show Jonah of Tonga, which was due to start this week. It’s not clear whether viewers would have hated or loved the show. Amidst complaints from community leaders and politicians, the board is not letting viewers decide.

Black facing on white actors has been controversial a long time.

The title character Jonah of Tonga is a troublesome potty-mouthed Tongan student. played by the white Australian actor Chris Lilley. He wears blackface, and his depiction has raised heckles in the past with some viewing him as a stereotypical Pacific
Island youth. The fact he is white, adds insult to injury for some.

The character has appeared on TV One with little uproar, but there has been criticism of the Jonah of Tonga character overseas. Was it a smart decision the decision of management to run the show when the use of white people in blackface was always going to upset someone. Were Maori TV staff looking for trouble? Or is the board timid current fear of offending?

Alfred Ngaro was critical of Jonah of Tonga

Secondly, how can the politically appointed board in reversing the staff decision when it is expressly prevented from doing so. In the past, the Maori TV board has been criticised for lack of support for the staff of the current affairs show Native Affairs, kowtowing to Maori Establishment figures. Has it happened again?

Mihi Forbes

 

Radio New Zealand’s Mihi Forbes reported:

“An email document obtained by RNZ has revealed high-level board concerns about the show, where a white Australian comedian dresses up as a Tongan student.

The draft document, which has been shared between Māori Television’s current board members, says they “regret not being made aware in time to prevent the first programme from going to air”.

It said Māori would “feel insulted if non-Māori painted their face and proceeded to belittle our people”.

“We unequivocally apologise to our Tongan whanau,” said the document, which added that the broadcaster would never play the show again.”

The email also discussed concern over politicians questioning “our processes and judgement”, and suggested moving quickly.

Pacific Island politicians have expressed their concern over the screening of the show, with Minister for Pacific Peoples Alfred Ngaro saying it perpetuated negative stereotypes of Pacific people.”  the RNZ report said.

 

It may be significant that the controversy has coincided departure of controverss=sial CEO part way through his contract.He resigned on May 8. Maxwell had been set to stay on until August. It is understood he has now left the Maori TV studios.

 

 

 

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TVNZ’s Ed Kindred: The Aussie Gent Behind Duke

CAPTION: Ed Kindred used to programme UKTV and BBC World channels for New Zealand.

 

Ed Kindred arrived in New Zealand last May with a nuanced understanding of the local TV market. Plenty of Australian media folk jump across the ditch, but Kindred was better prepared than most.The young Sydneysider is programming manager for Duke, a free-to-air channel that has a solid start in a slowed ad market.

How many times can you watch Seinfeld reruns? A few more times on TVNZ’s Duke.

As Sydney-based BBC Worldwide programmer for New Zealand, he was drawn to the idea of having his own free-to-air channel and being able to commission content. Duke has had a good start. One year after its March 20, 2016 launch Duke is distinguished as the only channel on Freeview with a majority male audience. Its audience is 64% male compared to the average 42%.

When it startedDuke was positioned somewhere between male-skewed 7mate in Australia and the similar Dave channel in the UK.

 

For full story: http://www.mediaweek.com.au/mediaweek-nz-profile-ed-kindred/

 

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