Brian Edwards Media

Bouquets and Brickbats (An Occasional Series)

 

 

 

 

 

Reporters I like (not a complete list):

Jane Luscombe – 3 News: strong English accent,  highly  professional

Kim Chisnall – 3 News Europe correspondent: good voice, highly professional

Simon Shepherd – 3 News: professional low-key reporter; good newsreader

Hilary Barry & Mike McRoberts – 3 News: best in the business

Vicki Wilkinson Baker – One News Christchurch reporter: the consummate professional

Tsehai Tiffin – One News Queenstown reporter: good voice, highly professional

Lorelei Mason One News Health reporter: simply brilliant. She should be paid heaps.

Barbara Dreaver – One News Pacific reporter: See Lorelei Mason

Donna Marie Lever – One News reporter: Good voice, highly professional

And Programmes, People and Practices I like (not a complete list):

The Gruen Transfer – Comedy Central: Amusing and informative Australian programme on advertising.

Reel Late with Kate – TV3’s new movie show with Kate Rodger. Despite the sponsor promotion and the giveaways, a really welcome addition to our screens. And Kate Rodger is just great. (But see below)

Thank God You’re Here TV2 – Aussie theatre-sports-style show: Very clever and great fun.

Nurse Jackie – TV3 after Outrageous Fortune: Drug-dependant hospital nurse having affair with hospital pharmacist. The distaff answer to House. Wonderful

Mike Hosking fronting Close Up

[Brickbats follow] 

 

 

 

 

Reporters I’m not so keen on (not a complete list):

Rebecca Wright – 3 News Political reporter: Unpleasant nasal twang and strange shoulder-back posture.

Catherine Wedd – One News: good reporter, but the voice, Catherine, the voice!

Amanda Gillies – 3 News Australian correspondent: nothing wrong with her reports, but must she hold that beaming smile through the most serious or saddest story?

[Ok, I know, I’m preoccupied with bad voices. But it’s a broadcast medium and the networks and the reporters really should be interested in sounding better. It’s not all that difficult.]

And Programmes, People and Practices I’m not so keen on (not a complete list):

Kate Rodger – TV3 movie reviewer: yes, the same one getting the bouquet above. But, oh dear, that voice – you could cut concrete with it – nasal and rasping. Listen to yourself on voiceovers, Kate. You sound fine. Why can’t you do that to camera?

John Campbell – TV3 frontman; For telling us over and over again that the programme has had ‘an extraordinary feedback bag’, ‘unprecedented number of emails and texts’, ‘amazing response to our request for comment’, ‘your emails are pouring in’ etc. etc. etc. OK, John, it’s going well!

One News – Three weather forecasts in one bulletin, two of them really just teasers; promoting your own programmes in your bulletins (it’s dishonest); and now telling us how many minutes we have to wait for items in the next part of the bulletin. You’re ahead in the ratings. Why so desperate?

Target – TV3. Item on pet insurance. ‘Dachshund’ is pronounced Daks-hoont’ not Dash-hoond’. 

Journalists who say someone’s contribution/courage/appeal whatever, ‘cannot be underestimated’, when what they mean is ‘cannot be overestimated’. ‘Willie Apiata’s courage cannot be underestimated’ is actually a pretty insulting thing to say and Willie may pay you a visit.

Whoever the illiterates are who write the news on both channels. The verb in a sentence should agree with the subject of the sentence, not with whatever happens to be the nearest word to the verb. Example – Wendy Petrie told us last night, ‘Your chances of being rescued in Auckland by helicopter has doubled.’ It’s the ‘chances’ which have doubled, not the helicopter. The grammatically correct version should of course be, ‘Your chances of being rescued in Auckland by helicopter have doubled.’ It would be pedantic of me to mention this if it only happened occasionally. But it happens almost every night on both channels.

More Bouquets and Brickbats soon. Let’s have yours as well please.

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47 Comments:

  1. Lorelei Mason does have a live cross fetish. Health stories that are not breaking news in the slightest do not require her standing in the dark outside some building at 6:15 pm!

    • Lorelei Mason does have a live cross fetish. Health stories that are not breaking news in the slightest do not require her standing in the dark outside some building at 6:15 pm!

      Are there two Lorelei Masons? The one I know is usually reporting from a laboratory of hospital, completely appropriate locations. And it won’t be the reporter who decides on the live cross, but the producer or director.

  2. I’m not sure Amanda’s Gillies pieces justify her being in Australia. They’re inevitably items repackaged from the other channels.

    Compare to Rebecca Wright who actually goes out and interviews people.

  3. Catherine Wed – Every item she presents is a melodrama. I know reporters want viewers to make an emotional attachment to a news item these days, but please, the voice intonations make me cringe.

  4. Re nasal twangs,Tamati Coffey on Breakfast seems to have permanently blocked sinuses.It is very annoying and distracting.

    Mark Sainsbury bellows “look” at the start of every sentence and “I mean” when he isn’t saying “look”.Mike Hosking should host Close Up.Or Paul Henry.

    I agree with you regarding John Campbell’s effusiveness,however I find him quite endearing in his enthusiasm.

    Hayden Jones also merits a mention for his Southern Man rolling of rrrrr’s and peculiar downward inflection when speaking.I was watching him on Good Morning when ill recently,and he (the new arrival) seems to think it is really the Hayden Jones Show – now there is a man who has never had a moment of self doubt.He probably could carry it on his own ,but likely sees the three hours of dross as not more than a brief interlude in his brilliant career.

    Paul Henry has the same self regard as Hayden Jones,but the big difference here is talent.Paul is a brilliant broadcaster,is equally at home behind the mic and is wasted on Breakfast – although he is the reason that I watch it from time to time.

    Finally,and at the risk of sucking up,Brian Edwards was bloody brilliant on Top of the Morning,and I still wish he was on air.There.

    • Re nasal twangs,Tamati Coffey on Breakfast seems to have permanently blocked sinuses.It is very annoying and distracting.

      Judy is the real expert on voice production, but I think I’m right in saying that this has very little to do with blocked noses, though that is how it sounds. This ‘nasal ring’ has becoome part of the way we speak in New Zealand. And it’s much more common among young women. Most, sad to say, of the female reporters on both major channels have really awful ‘sounds as though they’re talking through their voices’ voices. Their employers don’t seem to care and it will soon be the rule. But notice how it’s worst when they’re reporting to camera. When they’re doing voice-over their voices sound much better. Trouble is, most of them seem to have forgotten that they’ve got microphones. They all shout at the camera.

  5. May I give a bouquet to Tony Ryall for taking the trouble to visit hospital emergency departments and talk to those waiting. He did something that every boss should be doing. Even if you dislike the National Party it was a brilliant piece of PR.

    A brickbat to the Labour Party for their sour response and calling it underhand. How can it be underhand? He introduced himself and did not put on a false beard to disguise himself.

    • May I give a bouquet to Tony Ryall for taking the trouble to visit hospital emergency departments and talk to those waiting. He did something that every boss should be doing.

      You may, but, as I supect you really know, these are media bouquets and brickbats for programmes and performers. Tony Ryall isn’t a performer. Though, come to think of it…

  6. ” but, as I supect you really know, these are media bouquets ”

    You are quite right but I find the NZ media so boring that they are worthy of neither bouquet or brickbat.

  7. Don’t usually post, but my pet-gripe has driven me out of my blog inertia.

    I find it ridiculously annoying when Miriama Kamo responds to every item with an exaggerated, almost pantomimed, facial expression of her feelings about it.

    Why the editorialising mime? Is she trying to provide’kiwi angle’ to the many US clips she presents?

    An occasional accidental lapse would be okay, in response to extremely distressing material, but Kamo seems to emote quite deliberately.

    Don’t know why it annoys me so much.

  8. We are amused by how many of TV3’s reporters have unusual and silly names like Ingrid Hipkiss and Cliff Joiner. Oh and there’s that awkward double barrel one, what’s her name?

    Love it, keep it up.

  9. I think Seven Days should be given a bouquet.Not strictly a news programme. Im more inclined to watch this for my news than the network variety.Favourite guest star”Chopper”.

    • I think Seven Days should be given a bouquet.

      Absolutely. It’s had a bouquet before. And Chopper was funny if somewhat scary.

  10. Generally, I am more interested in the continuous application of what journalists regard as
    news values’ than minor complaints about grammar or voices eg the excessive volume of coverage devoted to the recent death of a NZ soldier in Afganistan. Yes, it was sad but it was bound to happen one day. Australia has had 18 soldiers die in the same region, and there have been 1000s of American deaths–not forgetting the many thousands of locals who have died.

    But if I can forgiven a minor complaint, I am pleased that TV journalists seem to have dropped the very irritating mannerism of prefacing every sentence with “now”. But the hideous puns persist!

    • Generally, I am more interested in the continuous application of what journalists regard asnews values’ than minor complaints about grammar or voices

      Room for both, I think. I agree about ‘now’ and what seems to be the sine qua non of writing for television news – the tedious punning to which you refer. All part of treating news as just another form of entertainment.

  11. BE: Catherine Wedd – One News: good reporter, but the voice, Catherine, the voice!

    Please! When, reporters are as purty as Catherine, they can speak whichever they want. Hell — she, Katie and ‘Becks’, can have the nasally “twang” that would cause a moonshine-making, in-bred Tennessean hillbilly to cringe. Don’t bother me, none. For all I care, they can strangle the syntax, mouth malapropisms, grind out god-awful grammar etc, etc. I don’t care. When they are that purty — we not only give them latitude, but plenty of longitude as well.

    Remember, they have Vigour, Vitality, Vibrancy, Vivaciousness, Verve, and are Very nice-looking, too. We, on the downward slope to Nowhere, can only be envious. Let’s be grateful as to what we can see as opposed to what we hear. They don’t appear on our screens to instantiate stuffy English grammarians by way of cultured mellifluous timbre. They are there to outshine our rooms’ interior lighting by their translucent “prettiness”. We want them looking like Kelly Bundy rather than Roseanne Barr. Please!

    Brickbats: Desperate Housewives. Awful, awful, awful. The cloying syncopated glockenspiel
    jingle, drives me spare. But I have to endure it.

    Bouquets: Maori TV, Sunday Night foreign movies. And uninterrupted, too.

  12. What makes me grind my teeth is the intrusive R between the end of a word and the beginning of the next one.
    Mark Sainsbury and Mike McRoberts both suffer badly from this affliction, and I have heard it from reporters too and even weatherguys Mike and Jim on occasion.

    New Zealand men seem to have great difficulty enunciating a final W with any precision.
    Such-and-such is “now Ravailable…” or “now Ronly…”. And so forth. Even “HowRever” puts in an appearance.

    With such an inability to pucker up, they must offer their partners very slobbery kisses.

    • What makes me grind my teeth is the intrusive R between the end of a word and the beginning of the next one.

      I’ve been noticing this more lately as well. It’s something children often do, but they generally grow out of it.

      I’d suggest it was a fairly recent phenomenon, but Prof. Elizabeth Gordon says it takes up to 30 years for a sound change to be noticed by the general public, so it may have been happening longer than we realise. The only thing I’d note is that broadcasters are (or at least, were) more careful in their speech, so if it’s creeping onto the telly, it’s probably been round a good while. I bet you don’t hear it on Radio New Zealand news!

  13. McRoberts and Sainsbury both say howreva

    • McRoberts and Sainsbury both say howreva

      Interesting, but few of us are unaffected by the speech patterns of our countrymen/women. I was sacked from a job teaching English to German secretaries many years ago because they complained about my pronunciation. I said ‘filum’ for ‘film’ and ‘thee-ay-ter’ for theatre. It’s not a crime.

  14. Oh dear Merv, you are so very 70’s, I bet you have a gold dangler. Or was that sarcasm dressed as wit?

    I am right over show pony presenters (if you want to go long distance riding, don’t buy a show pony).

    For me, the ultimate in cringe is a middle-aged man with a gorgeous young female side-kick … it smacks of the Hollywood casting couch mentality.

    I like presenters to look like a representative of the real world, with the only exceptions being their acute intelligence and interview/analytical skills. Rather like BBC News ‘readers’, they swing around for on the spot interviews as well, they are engaged with their subjects, intelligent, dignified.

    A BIG Bouquet to Maori TV, what a cracker! Great films and Doco’s too.

    Brickbats:
    – In the rural sector many of us are insulted by TV1 weather segments. Personally, I think it would be nice to have a broader picture and interpretation of weather patterns around NZ.
    – All TV news sux. Low quality sensationalised material: Mt Hutt in lock down! Wow! (okay so far) Let’s go look at the empty room everyone slept in … let’s interview the chef … let’s ask that fencepost how it feels! Kind of pathetic really, when you think of the poor folk in Pakistan and China battling to survive; when you consider that in NZ 10 people a week take their lives …

    Wishlist:
    – Mike Hosking hosting Q&A
    – Mark Sainsbury front a quality lifestyle or morning chat show, or maybe Fair Go when Kevin eventually goes …
    – Close Up ? Don’t know,it’s usually such a shallow program. Paul Henry is too cynical and his tongue is faster than his brain. He’s a recidivist biter.
    – Paul Holmes would retire gracefully. If he’s desperate for money, he could host a show targetting current issues for older people (Grey Power type of thing). He’s too theatrical, patronising, and entrenched for my tastes.

  15. It’s a brickbat to so much National- but Auckland based- radio and television. Its the daily treatment of news as an Auckland regional event-with the assumption that the audience lives in Auckland.
    ‘..and down in the South Island….
    We of the South are over there somewhere.. and who cares of the exactly where.
    It may be difficult to hear this observation from the North, but trying imagining on the evening News;
    ‘and up in the North Island…
    Oh for the good ole days of regional tele breakouts for all New Zealand. After all 75% of us are missing out..

    • Regional breakouts! Weren’t they great? If you live in Auckland you forget how neglected the rest of the country is.

  16. What about Suzi and Eric on Prime?

  17. Why do all the presenters have to say the greeting “kia ora”? We speak the Queen’s English not maori. and Jim Hickey’s attempt at pronouncing maori place names, like Taupo and Rotorua makes him seem like he’s mocking the speaking of the natives’ language. He sounds like a right real twit.

  18. constant references to the lower South Island as the ‘Deep South’make me want to throw things at the telly. When are they going to even things up and refer to the ‘Shallow North”???

  19. @Pammy: When are they going to even things up and refer to the ‘Shallow North”???

    It’s kinda hard for the presenters to say, that — straight faced — especially, when the deep “arts and culture” reservoirs are located up here in Metro Auckland (with a half-filled one in Wellington). And even, moreso, when your Southern Man’s yardstick for “cultural enrichment”, extends no further than a fridgeful of Speights.

    I trust, you surround yourself with soft toys, when watching the telly.

  20. The best howler was Jack Tame the other night referring to “Hayden’s Symphony” I know he will have a lot of contmporaries named Hayden, but the Composer was Haydn and it is not pronounced the same!

  21. Surprising Merv that Auckland allows you to be their spokesperson. But there you go.

    Of course there are ‘arts and culture’ reservoirs of all sorts in Auckland. Same in Christchurch where I live. Its just that you don’t know about them because your insights emanate from your city. I know. We get them too. You buggers run all the ‘Arts and Culture’ media and travel costs are most often outside of the budget.

    Could it be that the recent assessment of where ‘arts and culture’ resides was carried out by the North for the comfort of the North? Of course in so doing extending a perceived observation of Auckland’s self interest.

    It could be interesting to note in such a debate that Auckland’s library patronage is about half of Christchurch’s. Maybe its the traffic.

  22. I noticed that the reporters on TV1 you praised most, although blonde, were women of more *cough* mature years. (Allusion to Janet Wilson’s recent blog there.)

    I remember Wilkinson-Baker before the double barrels, and Tiffin when my youngest (now 27) was a toddler, and I seem to recall Mason in a hospital corridor with cameraman in tow when my oldest was undergoing surgery in 1989.

    Honestly, how have they survived so long?

    None of the three has a ‘look at me, look at me, I’m on TV’ manner.

  23. Great to see a sudden outbreak of inter-regional warfare on this site. As a loyal Wellingtonian I’m always up for a spot of Auckland-baiting.

    And I can only endorse the idea that we’re currently stuck with ‘TV Auckland’. How many times have we seen Simon Dallow or Hilary Barry announcing a fatal car crash (or indeed any other news event) “just north of Wellington” – only to be told in the very next breath that it occurred in Otaki/Levin/Foxton (2 hours !!! north of the Capital).

    I mean what’s the likelihood of a news event near Cambridge or Huntly being described as “just south of Auckland”?

  24. ” I said ‘filum’ for ‘film’ and ‘thee-ay-ter’ for theatre. It’s not a crime.” Im guessing that Kim Hill went to the same pronunciation school.

  25. Some of the Irish nuns who taught me used to say ‘fillum’, too. I used to say it to my kids as an affectation when they were small. They used to think it was funny. I could amuse them effortlessly, then.

  26. @ Paul Corrigan: I can tell you this, right now, all Fijians — whether they’re native, Indians or Chinese — they all say ‘fillum’.

    And for the garden hose, it’s referred to as “the hose pipe”. (Note the, “the”). Man, but if you’re a “nako”, really unpolished (usually from the bush), it’s a whole different dialect, again. I go to Fiji, heaps, and I can pass myself off as a Villager. I’m that friggin’ accustomed to their speech, and ways.

  27. TV3’s late news had me wringing my hands in despair the other night with a story about Michael Laws interviewing Joe Karam on his Radio Live show. Talk about mindless product placement . . .

  28. How come you only like two male reporters?

    • How come you only like two male reporters?

      Well, of course I don’t only like two male reporters. The vast majoriity of field reporters in television news in New Zealand are female, so that probably explains the disproportion. And I did say it wasn’t a complete list. Incidentally, give my regards to Sean Brown who used to be my producer on a programme calle Fair Go.

  29. BE you’re not saying Jane Luscombe has a good voice? It reminds me of nails down a blackboard

    • BE you’re not saying Jane Luscombe has a good voice? It reminds me of nails down a blackboard

      Chacun a son gout!

  30. Mon Dieu!

  31. Karen Gregory-Hunt on Radio NZ is the worst for the constantly indescribably annoying waving/modulating something or other of her voice. I anticipate it now that it has been pointed out to me by someone else who finds it irritating, and she never fails to deliver!

    • Karen Gregory-Hunt on Radio NZ is the worst for the constantly indescribably annoying waving/modulating something or other of her voice.

      I don’t know this lady, but I’ll attempt to listen.

  32. While you’re at it Brian, listen to Brent Edwards.
    You will weep!

  33. I completely agree with the comment about Karen Gregory-Hunt’s infuriating voice. Can’t the producer send her away for some normalising training? She is abominably affected, and her sign-off reeks of pomposity too, with its “Kaaaaahren”. And thanks, BE, for condemning the nasal twang of so many female reporters. It is hideous, as are their mangled vowels. In fact, I’m pretty closely in agreement with you about most reporters you like or dislike, and Lorelei Mason is a peach in my opinion.

  34. The original posting was entertaining.
    The comments are AWESOME.
    I’m literally sitting at my computer with tears rolling down my face -Brilliant!
    I think most of this issues I have with pronunciation (and if you pronounce it Pro-noun-see-aye-shun get out of this discussion now please) is not the kiwi dialect, but actual words being misused.
    Silly things like saying “womAN” for “women” irritates me to the point of teeth grinding.
    But the kiwi dialect, as awful as it is, one of the few uniting features of NZ.
    If I meet a kiwi overseas I sometimes say Kia-Ora, but more often it is “Hey bro. Choice, you’re a kiwi! Can ya handle the jandle?.” An overflow of stupid kiwi-isms to draw a smile to the face and a bond to two people. Gone are the days of the BBC plummy-ness, and I rejoice!