RNZ: From Red Radio To Celebrity Radio Spinoff

All Media have gone a little haywire since the advent of Jacindamania, with a leftward slide that reflects the more liberal mood under a Labour government. Mainstream media are catering to the new mood. but RNZ is leading the pack.

Third wave feminist activism is in fashion and we older men who purportedly run the world are ruling it as well,  even if the main critics are are just younger pale folk from well-heeled suburbs.

Under head of content Carol Hirschfeld RNZ has assembled a team of “stars” led by John Campbell. with Jesse Mulligan and to a lesser extent Guyon Espiner and Susie Ferguson.

A public broadcaster needs to think about reflecting a range of views, some of which will not be shared at journalist get togethers at nice city restaurants or dinner parties in Grey Lynn and Parnell.

I sense this a phase we are going through – this madness of activist led media and twitter virtue signalling each day – it Is inevitable after nine years of a conservative government with knives out for media.

While the new Government settles in and we wait for somebody to take charge. – we are living in a nether world of twitter storms and Facebook outages. Remember the election campaign:



Young idealistic journalists wrote fawning interviews of new politicians like Golriz Ghahraman and Chloe Swarbrick. Less glamorous, but more proven, a  new politicians like Tauranga woman’s refuge founder Annie Warren Clark. Not young enough for media , of course.

J11ohn and Carol. Campbell brought 178,000 followers to RNZ – many of them on the Left.

If this liberal focus is just a temporary aberration overall, the change appears to be more fundamental at RNZ. Tired of its old image as fuddy duddy old Lefties, and public servants.

RNZ sees its future as being hip young urban liberals with an ideology set and policed by the media,

Nowadays. RNZ sees itself as a bigger player in social media.  I am told that one of the big plea of hiring John Campbell was that he bought with him 180,000 twitter followers,

Many of them will be from the Left. So you could argue, that Campbell brought a political shift to public radio in his own right.

I always rejected the notion from Tories that RNZ was pushing an agenda.

But now I am willing to accept that  – outside news at least – a Left bias is emerging at RNZ.

Campbell’s former TV3 colleague Carol Hirschfeld is head of news. Hirschfeld has led a push celebrification of herself, Jesse Campbell, Mulligan and even Morning Report presenters. This week she tweeted a picture of her mother, suggesting that she would-be mighty proud of RNZ for its approach to Maori language. I dare any other public servant to take this approach to promoting their state agency,

Some Left folk I know see this transition to a more Lefty RNZ as valid and a counter to the Right wing commentary from commercial radio networks Newstalk ZB. There is a case of this argument.

I’d argue that a public-funded network like should be straight otherwise it gets lost it will get lost in the ideological swamp

A lot of us would be happy to have more te reo on RNZ.

We just don’t to hear about Guyon’s personal mission to learn the language, fully endorsed by his wife.

Under National, the RNZ board of governors, worked hard to remove what the National Party complained was a bias toward Labour.

Once it was called Radio Helengrad, and Red Radio Labour.

Now with the Green tinge in government, it is being called Radio Spinoff and Radio SJW.

A few years ago, the government appointed a board of governors to make RNZ more objective.

Ironically – with a Left victory and some radical Green polices – Radio New Zealand has drifted further Left than it ever was in the past.

It’s true voices from the right, such as lobbyists and PR like Matthew Hooton make an appearance on RNZ shows.   But RNZ management need a new face to remind them of the value of the brand.

After years when it was beaten up by National, RNZ deserves to have more confidence in the future. But it my opinion the RNZ board needs to get a grip on the broadcaster and  why it has has developed a sense of hubris.

Without National.holding a stick over its head. RNZ has become more enamoured with Labour values.

That is especially the case while Labour holds the carrot of  $38 million funding boost.

× Featured

Paddy Is Leaving The Room. How Many Days To Go?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *