Brian Edwards Media

TVNZ presents non-news – with live cross!

Here is the news.  Someone was in court today.  No name, no occupation, no age, no address, no specific charges. As is traditional, the Family Court suppressed details. 

And you’re telling us this because…?  Less a case of breaking news than a bad case of frustration and petulance, methinks.

However,  TVNZ presents this as a news item!

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16 Comments:

  1. OOps. TVNZ no longer has the link. Possible trouble for publishing?

  2. This does seem to happen quite frequently on Television (in particular) here in NZ. Why might that be? Can you imagine a newspaper cover story that simply read “Something happened in a closed court session today, no details known”?

    On Television however we can have a live cross, someone standing “at the scene”, perhaps even some subtle innuendo or signals (music? setting? facial expressions? tone?) that hype it up and make it mysterious and interesting.

    And even more evidence of tabloidism, the very story acts as a teaser to “tune in later” to see what the story is really about!

    • This does seem to happen quite frequently on Television (in particular) here in NZ. Why might that be?
      I suspect it has to do with making news look “newsier”. If you have a live cross, even if the action took place hours earlier, they seem to think this gives a sense of immediacy. All it does in fact is lead to messy, ad libbed reports and journalists and crews suffering unnecessary discomfort. Somehow it seems sillier in winter when it’s dark. You know darn well everyone involved went home hours ago! I’d much rather have a well-compiled report introduced by the newsreader.

  3. Glad you brought that up, hard to believe that was the second item but seems to reflect TV1 news being the crime show.
    Further to the item, do we really need the entrails of someone’s divorce being tv news. From what little has been covered, a lady has asked for a restraining order in the family court. Distasteful as all this maybe in a ‘he said, she said’ sort of a way, there are no criminal charges. Also if your parents are going through a divorce do the children really need to go through the voyeurism as well?
    Rubbish journalists without the wit or intelligence to run proper stories, there was a reason the Judge’s gagging order was comprehensive, you silly little jouno waving it around.

    • seems to reflect TV1 news being the crime show.

      The “crime” here, in the eyes of the journalist at least, appeared to be the judge’s suppression orders! That’s what her story was about.

  4. Look, Judy, I don’t like you criticising live crosses.
    Now, something happened here today and if I wasn’t here to tell you that, look, you wouldn’t know anything.
    Now, it was quite exciting, in a look, look at me, Now, kind of way.
    Look, John/Simon/Alison, if you were here, you would see nothing at all. But because I’m here, you know, something happening this way was.

  5. Whoever it is at One News that thinks viewers get turned on by live crosses needs to have a rethink.Its got so ridiculous at times with the screen full of shivering reporters in their little boxes waiting for their “but first lets cross to bimbo A standing outside a hospital…” that I am reminded of the opening sequence of The Brady Bunch”
    Now can i let you all into a secret I have just been told.One News has a website!!!.Keep it to yourself though as i am sure they dont want too many people to know

  6. “This does seem to happen quite frequently on Television (in particular) here in NZ. Why might that be? Can you imagine a newspaper cover story that simply read “Something happened in a closed court session today, no details known”?”

    Well, Stuff had it as a prominent story on their website at 5.34 that evening. And, given the name and position of the person involved, then I think it is not beyond the realms of good journalism to mark the court appearance with a brief live cross.

    • given the name and position of the person involved, then I think it is not beyond the realms of good journalism to mark the court appearance with a brief live cross.
      Since TVNZ never told us the name, position or anything else about the person involved, other than that he was ‘prominent’, and the court sitting had been hours before the live cross, I simply can’t see the relevance of having a live report – or indeed any report.

      Just a case of “no news is good news”.

  7. Don’t see where “petulance” comes into it. But no sympathy from me: here we have a very middle-aged TV journo about to marry a girl whom my daughter knows. And we have a magazine rushing to pay thousands $s for the right to publish the wedding pics. And I’m willing to bet that it’ll be you lot, clamouring to buy that magazine when it hits the newsstands.

    When we have TV presenters and journos, being treated as celebs, you just know the Vapidity quotient registers very high on the Good Taste-O-Meter, when it comes to meaningful news.

  8. Really, I was impressed! This was a moment in history, surely one of the purest examples of publicly recorded media dysfunction. Wow!
    Hopefully, Madison only universalizes from sheer frustration: “And I’m willing to bet that it’ll be you lot, clamouring to buy that magazine when it hits the newsstands…”
    Nope, on the GIGO principle (Garbage In/Garbage Out)I don’t read THOSE magazines. Anyway, why fritter away good money when you can absorb your Garbage for free from TV News?

    • Don’t knock “those magazines”, Little Toot. Nothing else could get me through the dreadful waiting time at the dentist’s. The sheer amazement that people read (and possibly believe) such rubbish makes me forget future pain. And once a year is quite enough!

  9. I think I was spoiled by growing up in an era (and a country) where The News (it was even pronounced in capitals) was important and far too important to be entrusted to young wans. In Ireland in the 1970s (a godawful, bleak monochrome decade) we did have the advantage of having professional actors (usually form the Gate Theatre) reading the news. Live crosses were only considered during epochal events such as moon landings, papal visits and De Valera’s funeral. The “live cross to nowhere” demeans it for me and makes me ache for the comforting tones of Maurice O’Doherty or Charles Mitchel telling us that while mayhem might be unfolding, it was unfolding elsewhere and there were no pictures.

    • I understand your nostalgia, Don, but it’s not all bad. The BBC, CNN and even SBS manage to give viewers the advantages of technology without the hype of tabloid news. When they cross live, it’s because their reporter has something relevant to show us and tell us, it’s not just “make news” coverage. It’s not that hard to do, if a network applies a little restraint.