I had hoped to be posting lighter Merry Christmas fare, but the government keeps rolling out its agenda under the cover of Christmas consumerism.
So it is that we have TV6 to lose its commercial-free status, and our large amount of quality pre-school and family programming will be gone. Instead we have 2 hours of pre-school programming wedged into TV7. A helpful service to many young families is lost; no more safe cartoons and shows without constant peppering to purchase products.
Of course it was already a shame that they hadn’t been able to keep up with their original intent and have their general family tv a little earlier and the wonderful showcase in the evening for quality viewing – it was a bit pointless having family viewing late at night. But I guess we don’t see quality programming as a priority (witness TVNZ’s main channels obsession with “reality TV” – not like any reality I know…).
I don’t hold out much hope for quality in the new youf channel to replace it either. With TVNZ’s quote on the new direction being: “MTV has closed its New Zealand operations and C4 is changing to an older skewed channel so there is an audience and advertisers who want to talk with them”, it seems more a revenue gathering exercise rather than for the benefit of our young. They are after all consumers first and foremost in the National mindset, not emerging adults who should be nurtured and grown to their potential.
TV7 will become a bit of a muddle as it loses its focus and tries to do too much, and its funding is still not sorted beyond March 2012. It is currently the best of our public broadcasting and must not be allowed to be run down and lost.
I wish for the day that we have a government that understands the importance of an educated, informed populace, and the role public broadcasting plays in that. Maybe then we could get a broadcaster with a chartered mission statement as that of the BBC and PBS: Inform, Educate, Entertain.