Killing off TVNZ 7 isn't 'nice to have'
Axe falls on last public service channel
Television New Zealand's foray into non-commercial public service channels is being canned by the Government with the closing of TVNZ7 when its funding dries up in June next year. Dr Coleman said the Government had no new money, and a channel that pulled in about 207,000 viewers a week - compared to the 600,000 people who tune in nightly to One News - was not a high priority.
"I think the public get that there are a whole lot of 'nice to haves' which the country can no longer afford."
'Nice to haves' is the National Party euphemism for 'pinko shit the free market should pay for'
I dont understand why the most vulnerable in society have to do with less because of a global economic meltdown none of them had any hand in making. How can their welfare be reduced to 'nice to have'?
I'll tell you what is 'nice to have'. $1.7 Billion to Mr Magoo at South Canterbury Finance was 'nice to have', the $30million to the private education industry was 'nice to have'. The $15million to Warners for their manufactured crises at The Hobbit was 'nice to have'. Those 34 luxury BMWs were real bloody 'nice to have'
A democracy is only as good as the media debate allows for. Without public broadcasting our quality of information declines, the function of the media is to hold the powerful to account. If TVNZ7 is debased to simple corporate profits and ratings driven entertainment, we are diminished as a culture.
Public Broadcasting isn't a 'nice to have', it's a necessity for our democracy.
Before National cripple the Welfare State, they want to cripple public broadcasting, who is going to ask hard questions when all the media have to do is entertain and make money?
If National win 2011, they will sell TVNZ to Sky, it's as simple as that.
There is effectively no Public Broadcasting on television in NZ any longer, TVNZ has increasingly seen their news audience as consumers rather than citizens, and when a broadcaster see their audience as consumers and not citizens then a 'downmarket' content formula is adopted by the broadcaster to select stories based on their ratings shock value over the fourth estate function of a critical media holding the powerful to account.
This 'disneyization' to make news entertainment is what we the viewer sees at the front of the house, while a management style of 'McDonaldization' out the back of the house has stripped down the Journalistic mechanics for speedy pap production.
In 1984, 40% of the news on TVNZ was politics, after the viewer as consumer restructuring, that had fallen by 1996 to only 20%, with the other 20% now crime stories. If it bleeds, it leads because shock stories about crime gain ratings.
Sadly the introduction of Freeview in 2008 hasn't seemed to have stopped this trend, in fact it seems to have been a greenlight for TVNZ to push these viewer as consumer buttons much deeper into the 6pm News hour. Two years before Freeview became available on both terrestrial and digital frequencies, in March 2006, crime made up 22% of the news and was featured 29% in the headlines, yet 2 years after Freeview crime stories in March 2010 on the 6pm News made up only 14% of the stories in that month, yet was represented a staggering 35% of the time in the headlines.
Even though news stories as a whole had slumped to 14% in March 2010 on the 6pm One News, it was represented 35% of the time in the headlines. The impact is that the shock value of crime is vastly over represented in the news headlines so the impression left with viewers is one of a mad max post apocalyptic nightmare requiring Dirty Harry to sort out.
Interesting to note that the misrepresentation of crime in the News coincided with the rise of the Sensible Sentencing Trust.
Post 2011, National intend to privatize TVNZ, sadly the poor job being done by TVNZ of being seen as a national broadcasting treasure means few will weep when it's finally whored off to Murdoch or one of his ilk. The impact of that will have even deeper cultural and political ramifications, but they won't be seen until it's too late.
Fascinating that the Government had $43 million to loan to Mediaworks, but no extra funding for public broadcasting.
How's that 'change' feeling NZ?