Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Clare Curran'

TVNZ7: if you want to save it – adopt it out.

Q:        What do you call public service television that almost no-one watches, because almost no-one knows about it?

A:        TVNZ7

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 »

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Why Fair Go must never be afraid to bite the hand that feeds it.

I probably should have commented on this story earlier, but the repossession of Q and Livy’s car, sold to them by an unlicensed dealer on Trade Me with a $7,000 debt owing to Pacific Dawn Finance, rather took precedence over everything else.

But this story is important. It strongly suggests improper editorial interference by TVNZ management in its high-profile consumer protection programme Fair Go.

The issue was brought to light by Labour Broadcasting spokeswoman Clare Curran when TVNZ management appeared before Parliament’s Commerce Committee.

Curran asked: ‘How can you explain reports that TVNZ’s Head of Programming called a meeting of Fair Go staff, including all reporters, together in the last couple of weeks and instructed them not to produce programmes that would upset advertisers?’

TV1 and TV2 head, Jeff Latch, said he had been invited ‘as a guest’ to the meeting. He went on:

‘The key points I made at that meeting were the fact that the heart of Fair Go for the last 20 plus years that it’s been on New Zealand television, is that it represents the underdog and the small guy and stands up for them and that’s what’s made it a special programme for New Zealanders for a large period of time.

‘I also made the observation that we operate in a commercial environment and that Fair Go like all our programs needed to exercise care in terms of the way they handle stories, they need to make sure they’re always balanced because in a commercial environment a story that is not balanced could be something that we would not want to run on this network.”

‘It wasn’t an instruction per se. I asked them to contemplate and think about when you’re looking at stories it’s very important that they’re balanced and we actually show both sides of the story and I think Fair Go does.’

This is a fascinating reply. Read the rest of this entry »

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