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Brian Edwards and Judy Callingham offer professional and effective media training for people in both the private and public sectors.
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Good news from MediaWorks. Story!

heather-du-plessis-allan-duncan-garner

Good news from MediaWorks – their new current affairs programme at 7pm, Monday to Thursday, is to be hosted by Duncan Garner and Heather du Plessis-Allan.

It’s good news because these are, in my estimation, two of the most professional and accomplished reporter/interviewers in the county. And, if we have to make the comparison, both could hold their own anywhere in the broadcasting world.

So what could possibly go wrong?

Well, there are some hints in MediaWorks’ news release about the new show:

First the title: Story. Well yes, journalists do refer to items as ‘news stories‘ and maybe I’m being picky. But when you take the word by itself, it does rather suggest that 7pm Monday to Thursday on TV3 will be story-telling time. Are we all sitting comfortably?    Read the rest of this entry »

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Sh*t happens, but what the f*ck!

 Alex

[As predicted, the National Business Review did not republish this post. Entirely their prerogative of course. And they were kind enough to promote the post on Twitter.]

Here’s a question: when you read the title of this post, did the fact that the “i” in the first word and the “u” in the last word had been replaced with an asterisk mean that you had no idea what either word meant or referred to, or that you did know what the words meant but, thanks to the asterisks, weren’t offended by them?

I would be astonished if anyone over the age of 10, and quite probably many under that age, could honestly answer “yes” to either part of that question. What will come into the minds of the vast majority of English speaking people when they see “sh*t” or “f*ck” in print are the words “shit” and “fuck” and the sound and meaning of those words.

So if I’m right and the absence of these letters makes absolutely no difference to a reader’s understanding of what the words refer to and no difference at all to their feelings about those words, then what is the earthly point in removing the letters at all? I’m b*ggered if I can see any.

Now if these words really are offensive to a majority of the readers of a publication intended primarily for adult readers, then the most sensible thing to do would be not to print them at all. That definition would presumably include every newspaper and most magazines available and on display in New Zealand. Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s always more room at the bottom of the barrel.

Rachel-Glucina

The departure of “gossip columnist” Rachel Glucina from the pages of the New Zealand Herald will be warmly greeted by lovers of quality journalism across the country. Had Glucina’s role been restricted to showbiz gossip and the back pages of the paper, traditionally reserved for this sort of material, her influence on the general tone of the Herald might have been less malign. But the volume, scope and placement of her material over the past year or so have led to an exponential increase in that influence. Glucina has been a major player in the “tabloidisaton” of the Herald.

Her departure to join the ranks of MediaWorks, whose stable includes TV3, TV4 and a raft of radio stations across the country, was announced by Glucina herself on Twitter:

“I’ve resigned.  MediaWorks has headhunted me for a joint-venture partnership to create, run and co-own a new digital entertainment platform.”

Mediaworks CEO Mark Weldon, helpfully explained:

“Digital entertainment brands featuring snackable, shareable content [especially video] are the fastest growing part of the media landscape, and there is a gap in the New Zealand market in this area.”

“Snackable, shareable content” – interesting! A quarter of a century ago media guru Dr Joe Atkinson coined the term “morselisation” to describe what was happening in the field of television news and current affairs in New Zealand. The term referred to the view of television executives at the time (and ever since) that the viewing public was not interested in watching lengthy news or current affairs items or interviews. They wanted their information served up in “bite-sized chunks”. He could equally have said, “snackable, shareable content”.

I rang my friend Joe this morning to inform him of Glucina’s departure from the Herald.

“The trouble with this,” he said, “is that these people don’t realise that there’s no room left for them at the bottom of the barrel. TVNZ’s already taken the entire space!”

My personal view is that, with determined digging, New Zealand television executives will always be able to find more room at the bottom of the barrel.

Watch this space.

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