Category: Uncategorized

A Dollar Short and Six Months Late

I’m betwixt and between over Wikileaks and its involvement in the US election. Nobody doubts the emails through her campaign manager John Podesta are real.

Late campaign risks a Trump victory
Late campaign risks a Trump victory

But very of the revelations s0 far have been surprising. They underline manipulation of media that applies to all politicians. The one exception is highlighted in an interview of Julian Assange by John Pilger. It points US friends Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar funding Isis, which is conducting crimes against humanity, and which the US claims to be dead against.

 

Like many liberal armchair foreign relations students, I am supporter of Wikileaks. That goes back to the famous indictment on war called Collateral Murder. I can understand the Wikileaks logic that it should get out all the information it has as at a time when it is relevant, right before an election. But I wonder about a poorly explained association with the Russian government. And I wonder about the lack of any useful information about the dangers of Trump. Nowadays, we see Right wing nutcases praising Wikileaks for its anti Clinton campaign. Last week Wikileaks retweeting items from Fox News. It’s a “World Gone Mad”as they say.

Clinton
Clinton

It seems to me that anything it does to undermine Clinton will help Trump to be president – and that will lead to more suffering. Assange insists that the “Establishment” – which almost wholly backs Clinton would “not allow” a Trump victory. Which may or may not be true. I don’t think Wikileaks should base the future of the world on one of Julian Assange’s reckons.images-23

This campaign against Clinton would have been better released six months ago when Bernie Sanders was fighting for the Democratic nomination. As it stands the Wikileaks campaign looks like Assange’s hubris against Clinton. Below is an example where Wikileaks showed the horrors of war, and did not choose goodies and baddies,

 

 

 

 

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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,

 

 

 

 

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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.

Continue reading “Media Drags MacGregor Through Mud”

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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””

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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.

Continue reading “Julie Christie Is Still The Programming Brains At TV3”

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

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.

Continue reading “TVNZ Audience Up, Revenue Down”

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Slums ‘R’ Us: The Guardian And Kiwi Poverty Porn

CAPTION: South Auckland is a slum in “an increasingly chaotic megacity.” 

An article in the Guardian website recently reported on “New Zealand’s Shameful Secret” and the growing problems of poverty and homelessness in a country held up as the land of milk and honey. It was an important and timely article. But parts of read like Poverty Porn.

“Catch a bus or two from Britomart in central Auckland, and after an hour and a half and you will arrive in the urban slum of South Auckland. Here, houses are wooden, damp and mouldy and often hold in excess of 10 people. Young children walk the streets in mid-winter with no shoes and gummy eyes. Looming over polluted streams and rubbish-strewn parks is the vast Double Brown Beer Brewery. 

Elsewhere.

The (Auckland City) mission is located in busy central Auckland but the most deprived regions of this increasingly chaotic mega-city are in South Auckland, in the ghettoised suburbs of Otara, Papatoetoe and East Tamaki.

A slum. A ghetto.
A slum. A ghetto.

The theme of the article was strong.  It exposes a hardening of attitudes and darkening prospects for the poor. The Guardian’s Dunedin-based reporter Eleanor Ainge Roy has a good turn of phrase that makes for very readable copy. But the story was over-egged. South Auckland is not an urban slum. Otara, Papatoetoe and East Tamaki do have a lot of poor people and problems associated with low incomes. But they are not “ghettoised.”

Most South Auckland residents are proud of their homes and communities. They enjoy lives they have created there, and many have no wish to live in Ponsonby. They well be surprised to find they live in a ghetto or a slum.

A Guardian reader.
A Guardian reader.

Its one of the tendencies for middle class media that are discovering poverty in their midst. Papatoetoe is Port au Prince. Favona is a Favela. Back in May we had a similar instance when Heather du Plessis-Allan described Ngaruawahia as “rotting”. The dismissive annoyed local people and leading to du Plessis Allan to an embarrassing back down.

Ngaruawahia "rotting"
Ngaruawahia “rotting”

Poverty is a story that media like. But it betrays the middle class background to the majority of journalists that see hardscrabble places as foreign and unsightly. I wonder if local truck stops even offer eggs benedict.

I can remember, as a young reporter at the Waikato Times doing describing singer Maria Dallas returning to Morrinsville, which I described as a simple “cow town” – a term that could be used for a lot of places in the dairying province. My chief sub-editor at the time chided me. Sure, he said, Morrinsville might not have the thrills and spills of Hamilton’s Garden Place on a Friday night. But people had chosen to live their lives in Morrinsville. It was more than a cow town. It was a community. South Auckland people don’t believe they are living in a slum or ghetto  – even if Guardian readers do.

 

 

 

 

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Street Nutters Will Always Be With Us

CAPTION: Verity Johnson is talented. 

I quite like Verity Johnson as a writer and as a social media “guru” on the Paul Henry’s show. She is entertaining and her opinions are seldom inflected with ideology and cant. I’m not in her demographic. But she has chiseled out a place in the commercial media world, and that is no easy task. A recent  item on the Henry show show Johnson is in tune with the way that media works nowadays.

Johnson told how  she had been verbally attacked on Auckland’s Karangahape Road. A middle-aged woman approached her in the street called her a “hooker” and a slut in what is called “slut shaming.” The woman apparently mistook her for a prostitute, solely because she was wearing torn jeans and boots.

imagesIt’s a big leap in logic, but that is Mad people for you. Johnson produced a video commentary for Facebook and that ended up the Henry show. Johnson pointed out in the video that the woman’s comments were mean. They were hurtful and would have been hurtful to an actual prostitute, who did not deserve to be treated that way. My first thought was that this middle-aged woman sounded unhinged, Why would anyone attack a stranger, let alone based on their wearing torn jeans and boots.
Johnson could have told her to mind her own business and keep her warped thoughts to herself. Instead she responded on video and nationwide TV. “There is no reason to say those things even if that person had been a sex worker or a journalist who just happened to be buying earrings, like me, she said,”Next time, just think before you do it because the person you’re doing it to might just happen to be journalist and TV presenter who happens to make a video about it.” she said in the video.

 

Another approach to unwanted curbside advice ...
Another approach to unwanted curbside advice …

My point – and I do have one – is that this type celebrity, and social media commentary have become a big part of the media diet. We are constantly being told us what crosses media people’s minds on twitter and Facebook, how they felt happy or proud, and how their feelings were hurt Initially public emoting was on in twitter and Facebook. Now its mainstream.  If this mad middle aged woman watches the Paul Henry Show – which is entirely feasible – she might have been chastened by Johnson’s request that she should not be a dick. If so service would have been done for other pedestrians on K Road.

I’m tempted to write an item explaining how recently a bunch of hoons driving past me on Carlton Gore Road. yelled abuse, saying I was a ‘ f.cking ugly prick”/ They laughed uproariously, and drove off into the Mean streets of Newmarket. It was embarrassing, and certainly annoying. Stop being dicks. I’m a journalist. I’m not on TV. But you might end up being mentioned on my website.

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

China Film Zooms In On Money-for-Access Deal

CAPTION: “Beast of Burden” is a 3D animated NZ China co-production, one of 18 China projects involving North Auckland based Huhu Animation studios

The NZ Film Commission is pushing ahead with promotion of film and TV co-productions between kiwi and Chinese film companies. Chief executive Dave Gibson confirmed yesterday that representatives from the China Film Group and its subsidiaries were coming to New Zealand next month to develop projects with New Zealand filmmakers. The chinese influx follows  NZFC trips with government officials to China last year that promoted more use of the co-production deal. The co-production deal allows China to access generous NZ film incentives, and allows NZ film makers access to the China market where foreign film is otherwise heavily restricted.

Continue reading “China Film Zooms In On Money-for-Access Deal”

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Matthews Tipped To Replace McGeoch Soon

CONFIRMED. UPDATED AUGUST 30: JULIE CHRISTIE STILL THE BRAIN ON THE MEDIAWORKS BOARD.

An announcement is expected soon that MediaWorks board member Jack Matthews is to be appointed chair of the company. Matthews – who has a strong association with New Zealand media – has long been tipped to take over from chairman Rod McGeoch. The changeover is said to have been waiting for the appointment of Aussie Michael Anderson effective at the end of this month. Before joining the MediaWorks board, Matthews worked for several years in Australia where he is said to have been a friend of Michael Anderson. The chair and chief executive look set to have a good working relationship. Meanwhile, there has been another unnoticed spin of the revolving door at MediaWorks. MediaWorks Chief commercial officer Mark David also ended his job after just

Mark David - in and out in six months.
Mark David – in and out in six months.

six months. David is said to have had a blunt approach in dealing with that was similar to Mark Weldon’s. David’s role was in overseeing revenue, but who had experience in Britain developing a pay TV distribution platform.

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ