Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'MTS'

The TVNZ Charter: a toothless tiger out of its misery.

telly-setWe appear to be the only country in the developed world without a public service television channel. By this I mean a channel that is state funded, commercial-free and programmed with the interests of the audience in mind, rather than a commercial imperative.

Now the TVNZ charter is to go, and this will no doubt be the trigger for public outrage and dire warnings. However, before we all start weeping, wailing and gnashing our teeth, we need to look at what we’ve lost.  The Charter was always a paper tiger, so watered down from its original intention of ensuring public service broadcasting, so limp and cautious and ineffectual, that it held the state broadcaster to – well, almost nothing but good intentions.

It came with a very large annual chunk of money for ‘public service broadcasting’, which was accounted for only in retrospect.  That money was spent on a number of projects, some of them very worthwhile.  But it was also spent on programmes that had previously been funded from commercial revenue; it was spent on buying overseas programmes; it was spent on Dancing with the Stars.

The result of the charter disappearing will be that TVNZ no longer has to pretend it is a public service broadcaster, that it no longer has to pay lip service to the needs of the wider public, that it can concentrate on returning a profit to its major shareholder, the Government. I suspect we’ll find that we’ve lost almost nothing but the excuses. Read the rest of this entry »


Lest We Forget.

PoppyOn Anzac Day my parents used to take me to dawn parade.   It was dark, it was cold and it was eerie.  I watched my father, medals on his chest, standing rigidly to attention, and saw him as a stranger. Too young to understand the symbolism, I still shivered at the sound of the Last Post.

In my teenage years they left me in bed, my wails and protests not worth the effort, not worth marring a morning that was always special for my father.  I think it was the only day of the year apart from Christmas that he ever took a drink. Read the rest of this entry »

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