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National’s plan for TVNZ

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, July 14th, 2008 - 22 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

22 comments on “National’s plan for TVNZ ”

  1. ants 1

    What would be far more apt is for a picture of SP pushing a strawman off a cliff.

  2. Oh ants – you’re so cute when you try to be clever…

  3. If TVNZ is broken why should the taxpayer bear the cost of fixing it ? Sell it now.

    Controlling the mass media ( like controlling transport) does seem to be part of the socialist mindset. TV is even less relevant in 21st century New Zealand than the railways. Sell TVNZ and put the money into ITC infrastructure in schools.

  4. I have to say that is probably one of Moreu’s best yet.

    Bryan – TVNZ isn’t broken. Its simply another case of “smoke without fire”.

  5. Tane 5

    Bryan. You’re taking the cartoon too literally. TVNZ is not broken, it’s profitable. The problem is it’s not fulfilling its public service broadcasting requirements properly. National’s solution is to ditch the requirements altogether – to throw them off the cliff, if you will.

  6. What’s the problem with that?

  7. Tane 7

    Well, it depends on whether you see any merit in public broadcasting. I happen to think it’s a vital part of democracy.

    Labour’s record on TVNZ has been pretty sorry; National’s solution appears to be to just give up.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    National’s solution appears to be to just give up.

    Not very ambitious is it, Tane?

  9. “I happen to think it’s a vital part of democracy.”

    Is it any more “a vital part of democracy” than newspapers, magazines or websites ? All of these are in private hands. Are you suggesting we should have a state funded newspaper ?

  10. “Bryan Spondre
    Controlling the mass media ( like controlling transport) does seem to be part of the socialist mindset”

    Another example of its ok for business but not ok for government?

  11. “Are you suggesting we should have a state funded newspaper ?”

    Again, why the need for change? Except for your ideological purposes, of course? The state-funded broadcaster model works well.

    If government held trading organisations are run well, and make a profit for the taxpayer, why should the government sell? So it can lose out on a good deal for the taxpayer?

    Secondly, if these trading organisations are not making a profit, or not being run well, who in the private sector would want them?

  12. Tane 12

    “Are you suggesting we should have a state funded newspaper ?’

    Well, with the increasingly run down state of NZ’s newspapers (APN outsourcing, NZPA job cuts, Fairfax sub rationalisation) I don’t think it’d be a bad idea. Though I don’t know whether it’d be politically viable and, in any case, it’s not relevant to this debate.

    As for your comment:

    Controlling the mass media ( like controlling transport) does seem to be part of the socialist mindset.

    I suggest you read up about what public service broadcasting actually is. It’s not about government control – public service media is operationally independent from the state – it’s about freeing journalists from commercial pressures so they are properly resourced to do their job and are free to serve the public interest rather than profits.

    You don’t actually believe Helen Clark controls what goes on Morning Report, do you?

  13. Rex Widerstrom 13

    Sadly I suspect that privatisation of TVNZ will be a popular option, because people see it as it is now, without realising what it could be under a proper public broadcasting charter. Perhaps someone needs to rent a channel on one of the set top boxes and feed NZ the ABC for a while so people can see what a proper charter can do. It’s one of the things I’ll miss most when/if I return to NZ.

    In actual fact the lowest common denominator mindset is now so ingrained throughout TVNZ that I suspect it may be broken beyond repair. It’s about more than a lofty set of principles – it’s about management and staff who believe in them.

    I worked for Radio NZ during the time many felt it lost its way. I can remember Jim Healy storming out of one meeting saying “radio is about more than making noise come out of a box. A parrot can do that”. It’s a principle I think applies also to TV, and which I regularly recall and measure anything I’m producing against.

    The answer there was in fact to privatise the commercial parts and concentrate on the public broadcasting parts.

    But since there are no public broadcasting functions left at TVNZ, perhaps Key is half right – it’s time for a sell-off.

    But with the proviso that the proceeds – and more if necessary – be used to establish one decent public broadcast channel with a solid charter and a staff who believe in it.

  14. Daveski 14

    Happy to see genuine public broadcasting but TV2 doesn’t fit into that model.

    Given that Outrageous Fortune is on TV3 and the Conchords were turned down by TVNZ, publically funded TV isn’t the only answer.

    If TV2 was flogged off, then TV1 could focus on charter activities.

    Tane – your point is a little contradictory – if TVNZ did try to achieve its charter objectives, it is highly likely not to be as profitable.

  15. Tane 15

    Daveski – TVNZ receives funding for the Charter, it just misspends it. If being a proper public service provider required TVNZ to reduce its profits then I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Ideally TV1 would be properly funded and wouldn’t have to worry about the dual mandate at all.

    Of course, if you were to turn TV1 into a fully commercial-free public service broadcaster then it might pay to keep TV2 around on a fully commercial basis to help pay for it. I mean, if TV2 is profitable then why would you sell it?

  16. Daveski 16

    I think the performance of TVNZ – and particularly its cultural issues – shows the problems of being “half pregnant”.

    For starters, the cult of personality (anyone remember Living Color :)) shows that commercial and public service don’t mix.

    Keeping TV2 simply muddies the situation.

  17. Policy Parrot: “Secondly, if these trading organisations are not making a profit, or not being run well, who in the private sector would want them?” Warren Buffet has become the worlds richest person by doing just that: buying up under performing /under valued assets and improving their value.

  18. Tane 18

    Yeah, as I say I agree there’s an issue with the dual mandate. I just don’t see what’s wrong with having TV1 fully public service, subsidised by a fully commercial TV2. For each channel its mandate is perfectly clear.

  19. santi 19

    “Well, it depends on whether you see any merit in public broadcasting. I happen to think it’s a vital part of democracy.”

    I disagree with you Tane. I think TVNZ does not add any special value whatsoever to our country. Its functions can be taken over by a commercial enterprise.

  20. Tane 20

    Santi, as it’s currently operated, I’d largely agree. The answer is to improve it so that it lives up to its objectives, not to abandon the objectives altogether.

  21. Daveski 21

    This is a concern – I think I agreed with SP on an issue last week and now Tane and I largely agree.

    I need to be banned before it gets REALLY out of control 🙂

    [lprent: I don’t think that pleading to be banned counts as grounds to be banned]

  22. randal 22

    bsically the problem of tvnz is that those in charge either dont know how to use it properly or they are really stupid. somehow or another it has become sclerotic and very limited in outlook. Whatever model it uses to justify its existence somehow always gets swallowed up by a cadre of pompus do nothings abound in endless mediocrity. I have a few ideas of my own on how to turn this around but in the meantime the balance between gurnateed ‘stardom’ . social status, income and true creativty is never addressed properly and money shovelled into this bottomless pit of inanity. okey dokey?

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