Being a media trainer is a bit like being a singing teacher.You have to have a very good ear. It’s not merely about being able to correct glaring examples of poor pronunciation, diction or tone. John Key’s tendency to insert a ‘sh’ into certain words usually before a ‘t’, producing a somewhat Germanic ‘sch’ sound (Aushtralia), and Helen Clark’s rather mannish tone and overly forceful delivery both invited derision and had the potential to prematurely end their stellar careers.
I once had the opportunity of giving a few pointers to John Key on his interviewee performance. TVNZ had decided to arrange some interview training for its high-profile newsreaders, including Simon Dallow. Each had to arrive with a guest of their own choosing, whom they would interview under the critical eye of Brian Edwards and Judy Callingham. Simon introduced us to his choice of interviewee, a chap called John Key, whom I had not only never met, but never heard of. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are two breast cancer awareness ads – one from New Zealand, one from Scotland.
Which one do you find more compelling?
There have been some rather strange explanations as to why nipples are inappropriate for NZ television viewers. It seems to boil down to time-of-broadcast restrictions, which are in place for several categories of advertisement in New Zealand, including alcohol. This would hardly be a hindrance to the message getting out there, since the target audience for these ads is allowed to stay up past 8:30 or 9:00pm. Thus our children would be protected from being permanently damaged by the sight of an adult female nipple – the only sort of nipple that appears to be a problem.
My question is: are we thelephobic? Or just ridiculously prudish?
On Monday, 4 February 2013, members of the Labour Caucus will take a confidence vote on the leadership of the parliamentary party. This happens in the middle year of each electoral cycle, and generally passes without note. Not so on this occasion. November’s Labour Party Conference put the cat among the pigeons by deciding that this confidence vote would be held under unique conditions.
In past electoral cycles Labour Party rules required the leader to gain a simple majority of the mid-term vote to retain the leadership. That will also be the rule in future. However, this year is a one-off: the leader needs 60% of the vote plus one. That means David Shearer needs 22 of the Caucus of to vote for him on Monday. Should 13 or more of his colleagues vote against him, it will trigger a leadership contest.
Monday’s vote is a secret ballot. There will be independent scrutineers, usually senior members of the Labour Party such as the General Secretary and the President.
Previously the Caucus alone voted on the leadership, but the party wrested that absolute power out of its hands at the last conference. From now on a Labour Party leadership contest will be decided not by Caucus alone, but by an electoral college which includes the party members and its affiliates. Read the rest of this entry »
I don’t look forward to Christmas. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I dread it, but it looms on the horizon like a small malevolence – somewhere between weeding the garden and root canal.
I can’t remember when this antipathy started, but it seems to go back to childhood. I suppose reactions are tempered by early experience – and whether your Christmas presents tended towards new bikes or new knickers.
My British Nana insisted that we ate Christmas lunch dressed in our stiff and formal Sunday best, facing an array of roasts, Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, dried fruit, nuts and mince pies – in Hawke’s Bay heat that could melt the asphalt on the roads. After lunch the men would rush to discard their suits for shorts and singlets and do mysterious things under car bonnets – headless bodies apparently being devoured by engines. The women, having spent the morning preparing lunch, spent a good part of the afternoon washing up and then preparing the leftovers for dinner.
Christmas was about the only time our family ever took a drink. Needless to say, a glass-and-a-half was all it took for euphoria to set in, quickly followed by the revival of decades-old feuds and resentments.
So when I joined the NZBC’s announcing staff in my late teens and discovered that the young and unattached were expected to cover Christmas Day shifts and release the married and encumbered into the bosoms of their families, colleagues got trampled in my rush to volunteer. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight there is a film premiere, so all of us at TVNZ and TV3 got very excited and decided to dress up in inappropriate newsreading gear and get on a plane to Wellington. Except for Simon who got left behind in the studio, LOL.
We’re interviewing everyone we recognise and a whole lot of people we don’t, asking them important questions like how they’re feeling.
We’re shouting the rest of the news over a highly relevant background of screaming movie fans. Here it is: some teachers didn’t get paid today.
Oh – and something happened in Syria.
And now over to Mark/John for another half hour of the same sort of thing…
Q: What do you call public service television that almost no-one watches, because almost no-one knows about it?
Q: Why aren’t the programmes advertised?
A: Because they might attract viewers from the commercial channels run by TVNZ.
It appeared to be an inspired plan, to get our state broadcaster to run the two commercial-free channels TVNZ6 and TVNZ7. TVNZ had the infrastructure, the studios, the staff and the know-how. It also had millions of dollars, kindly donated by the Government, to run the channels.
It was in fact an invitation for TVNZ to shoot itself in the foot.
Our state broadcaster operates with one hand tied behind its back at the best of times. The mixed model that requires it to be mindful of public broadcasting requirements and programming and at the same time be commercially successful and return a healthy profit to the government, is as daft as claiming someone’s a little bit pregnant. You can be a successful public broadcaster; you can be a successful commercial broadcaster. You can’t do both successfully because their aims and objectives are antipathetic.
Every viewer who switches to TVNZ7 is a viewer who isn’t watching TVOne or TV2. Why on earth would TVNZ encourage people to switch to it? That would be commercially irresponsible. It’s also a dilemma the network faces every time it puts a public service programme to air, which is why most of them are broadcast in the dead of night or on Sunday mornings. The programmes that make up good public service broadcasting are in the main programmes that networks believe would spell death to the ratings. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s the tape that’s caused all the fuss. Fairfax has confirmed that it’s the real thing.
After listening to it, you might well decide that it is truly a storm in a teacup. But – it got Winston Peters and his motley crew into Parliament, so the PM may now be wishing he’d released it on the spot!