Why is Close Up apologizing for copying US News? They have so many other things to say sorry for first...
Close Up: 'Let's be frank, we let you down'
TVNZ current affairs show Close Up has apologised over an item it copied from a United States network.
ABC started this series of 'Made in America' back in January, and they are still updating the story month by month, they had a piece on it this week. Being the avid international TV jaded News junkie that I am, I immediately wondered how long that would take to wash up on the ill researched stupid shores of our mainstream media and so didn't even blink when it appeared on Close Up.
How funny is that?
I think so little of the mainstream media, I merely pulled that face you get when you pass a nasty fart and went about my day so from that position of cynical Gen X hostility towards mainstream current affairs I ask why on earth is Mark Sainsbury, the Walrus of News apologizing for this when Close Up have so many other things to apologize for?
What about that time they bumped John Key on the very day he was going to justify why he had U-turned on raising GST when he had clearly promised before the election that he would not. Close Up bumped John Key from having to explain himself, for a bloody All Black who wanted to confess that he groped a teenager on a Fijian beach. When are Close Up going to apologize for that cluster fuck?
What about them spending more time last year on the life and death of a psychic octopus than any real scrutiny of Government policy?
What about the live cross to the shed that Shrek the Sheep was butchered in instead of focusing on any number of immense stories from the largest erosion of legal civil liberties ever under taken in this country to the largest expansion of police and state powers this country has ever witnessed?
What about the long slow embraces and gentle snuggling that passes as interviews with Government Ministers?
What about the endless updates about that bloody penguin.
This crap story you ripped off the American networks is what you chose to apologize for? It's like Paul Henry saying sorry for his shit eating grin.
And why the bloody hell did Close Up have to plagiarize something as shit, crappy and safe as bloody ABC News? Why can't they plagiarize something decent like Al Jazeera, sweet Jesus, how about just a basic BBC? Anything would be better than this current embarrassment.
How the hell can we in one of the worst economic moments since the Great Depression, with very few chances of the global economy getting better within a decade, how can we have such defunct current affairs from our former public broadcaster? The light weight advertorial infotainment bullshit they serve up as 'current affairs' deserves all the contempt we can muster
TVNZ is now that old family labrador that's a bit bung, blind in one eye and messes on the carpet by accident that no one wants anymore and is looking to be put down. The debate about the importance of public broadcasting has been so bastardized and damaged that the public will not rally when TVNZ goes on the privatization block which is dangerous as it's most likely Rupert Murdoch who will have the cash to buy TVNZ.
Democracy NEEDS an active media that challenges the powerful for that democracy to be healthy. As David Cunliffe points out in today's interview on Tumeke, "My personal view is that bailing out Canwest and Mediaworks in an election year to the tune of $43 million was exceptionally bad form and they should have been called harder on it by the media, perhaps no surprise that they weren't", with the corporate media paid off, the public broadcaster is all that's left to challenge the Government, but to date they have been asleep at the wheel.
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.
When the media no longer serve the citizens and treat them merely as consumers for ratings fodder, that media lose the respect of those citizens and during a recession this steep, no one can afford to be a consumer any longer.
TVNZ needs to remember what they are to the wider role of the fourth estate in a democracy if they want to have any credibility for the future.