Posted by BE on June 25th, 2015
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 »
Posted by BE on June 22nd, 2015
[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 »
Posted by BE on June 18th, 2015
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.
Posted by BE on June 15th, 2015
Over the past three or four months I’ve made several appearances on The Paul Henry Show, theoretically in the role of informed media commentator. If you type ‘Paul Henry’ into the search box at the top of this page, you’ll find a number of seemingly contradictory posts on the controversial Mr Henry. They range from enthusiastic approval of his jbroadcasting skill to a call for his immediate sacking in the aftermath of ‘moustache-gate’, his mirth at the name of New Dehli’s Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, his description of Susan Boyle as ‘retarded’ and his offensive question to John Key as to whether the next Governor General after Anand Satyanand would look a bit more like a New Zealander.
I was right on both counts. Henry is a brilliant broadcaster who is never far from and occasionally crosses the line of acceptable broadcasting standards. I know I will regret having said this, but he’s also extremely bright.
Henry and I are of course politically poles apart. I stood as a Labour candidate in Miramar in 1972; he stood for National in the Wairarapa in 1999. And Judy and I were media advisors to Helen Clark for well over a decade. So there’s a bit of generally good-natured sparring between us on the morning show. A month ago, after he had described something I’d said about him as ‘vile’, I responded, ‘I like you Paul – when I am world dictator your death will be swift and painless.’ (I stole the line from one of my stepson’s T-shirts!)
This morning I told Paul that my appearances on his show were costing me my friends and cited an entirely fictional email from Helen Clark in New York warning me against any continued association with him. This gave Paul a wonderful opening to get stuck into the bullying, humourless bloody left. In response I felt obliged to withdraw my compliment of the previous month and inform him that I’d never actually liked him, though I very much liked his mother. Was he sure that this lovely woman really was his mother? It’s quite a fun exchange. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by BE on June 1st, 2015
The video below was sent to me by the cameraperson who shot the film for the animal protection organisation SAFE. He/she quite reasonably prefers to remain anonymous. The men in this video are not nice people. They are all guilty of animal cruelty and, in a just society, would be in prison. Those who attended, watched and enjoyed this spectacle are equally reprehensible.
This brutality occurred at several rodeos. What you see here, the cameraperson informs me, was only the tip of the iceberg. The bull was shocked much more frequently than is seen in the video. Such cruelty is common in rodeos across the country:
“I have been to other rodeos and can say this is not isolated, it is systemic. At that one event I witnessed shocking, anal interference, rope burning a cowering bull’s neck for several minutes, severe tail twisting and this was all done in front of children and their parents.”
This is entertainment only in the sense that what happened at the Colosseum in Rome was entertainment. It is the uncivilised and brutal torture of animals for sport and it should have no place in New Zealand society. It should and must be banned. NOW!