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The TV3 boycott

Written By: - Date published: 8:06 am, June 13th, 2015 - 121 comments
Categories: activism, boycott, capitalism - Tags: , ,

Since the inexcusable axing of Campbell Live (and reinforced by the circumstances in which Mihingarangi Forbes left Maori TV) there has been lots of talk of boycotting TV3 – see for example the energetic Mr Bradbury at TDB.

The anger at TV3 is understandable, but like most angry campaigns it has in some ways gone too far – blaming poor Guy Williams for the demise of Campbell Live is obviously daft. This kind of overreaction, and perhaps the overuse of calls to boycott, has led to a bit of a backlash. Imperator Fish has a go in Please join my boycott, and The Herald’s Karl Puschmann in Why it’s nuts to think of boycotting the news.

The unsubtle subtext in Puschmann’s piece is that is that a successful news boycott would cost journalists (workers!) jobs and thus weaken the media. 3 News producer Angus Gyles makes the case against boycott straight up:

So there’s a dilemma.

Boycotts can work, they can change behaviour, they have: “a long and noble history of contributing to progressive social change”. Combined with social media as an organising tool they offer a powerful way for we the people to express our displeasure. In a capitalist world that reduces us all to the role of a “consumer” the right wing should have no complaint about boycotts – it’s just market forces – it’s the only power we have.

But boycotts are a two-edged sword. As well as sending a message to those in power they can also damage the innocent workers. Boycotts are on a spectrum that ends in “internet lynch mobs”.

Summing up. I think the boycott is a valid tool in general, though it is more effective if used sparingly, and the anger shouldn’t go too far. On the specific case of the TV3 boycott, the Mediaworks owners certainly deserve it, the news workers left behind trying to do a good job do not. I’m conflicted – typical dithering leftie.

121 comments on “The TV3 boycott ”

  1. Ad 1

    Your logic of “don’t act because there is collateral damage” applies to every civic action.

    Consumer boycott has the power of a strike.

    If journalists are having the conversation you describe, imagine the conversations the Board members are having.

    And, if TV3 fails again, perhaps out of it will come a different kind of investigative media hybrid altogether.

    • Colonial Rawshark 1.1

      Your logic of “don’t act because there is collateral damage” applies to every civic action.

      Correct. The staff and management of TV3 News should have backed Campbell to the hilt and taken action accordingly. Perhaps a few did as individuals, voicing quiet support. But that’s not enough. Even in terms of enlightened self interest, they should have known that losing Campbell to Road Cops was going to damage their own numbers considerably, for a start.

    • Tracey 1.2

      IF all staff on tv3 news and CL had refused to work on a single story unless CL remained… would they all have been terminated? Obviously MediaWorks eecs would try to divide and rule by offering some big pay increases to break the resolve etc…

      BUT if journo’s wont fight for each other why should *I* fight for them? To put it bluntly

    • Anno1701 1.3

      “don’t act because there is collateral damage”

      a simple cliche applies here I feel

      and that is that you “cant make an omelet without breaking a few eggs”

  2. philj 2

    I have gangrene on my leg. Do I take antibiotic or amputate? Hobsons choice is, increasingly, the world we inhabit. Student loan no job, or debt free and no job.

  3. Apartheid South Africa ?

    • Robert – that thought crossed my mind as well.

      Note Robins’ comment here;

      But boycotts are a two-edged sword. As well as sending a message to those in power they can also damage the innocent workers.

      That has usually been the response from the Right on boycotts; that they “damage the innocent workers”. Usually the only timer when the Right display any shred of “concern” for workers.

      The question is whether the Left, such as Anthony Robins, should be buying into it as well.

      As I wrote on TDB,

      I sympathise with TV3’s workers and it’s a thought that crossed my mind when our household began boycotting most of TV3.

      I suspect though, that Weldon, Christie, et al, think nothing of workers’ jobs at Mediaworks and certainly did not take consumers (ie, the audience) into consideration when they put the knife in ‘Campbell Live’.

      Now they’re holding workers’ jobs in the firing line with a none-to-subtle threat?

      Is that how it works?

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        Yes, just look at john key pretending he gives a shit about renters by protecting landlords from having to upgarde their properties but telling the public it is to save the renters!

      • Chooky 3.1.2

        +100 FM…the boycott MUST continue!

      • Clemgeopin 3.1.3

        I doubt if the TV 3 management was GENUINELY concerned about ‘ratings’/ ‘viewer numbers’ on Campbell Live rather than bowing to the political pressure from their friends and god fathers like Key and Joyce from the National party and the RW mafia who gave then 43 million dollars of public money for a private corporate bail out. By axing Campbell Live using the ‘ratings’ card as an excuse, TV3 ignored the importance of a public interest aspect of their duty.

        When the review was announced, the programme’s ratings steadily increased until the last day, when it reached a record number of viewers.

        Here are some viewer numbers to see for TV3’s 7:00 pm-7:30 Campbell Live slot. These are for a few days before the announcement of the Campbell Live review, a few days after the review, a few days before the axing announcement, a few days after that and for a few days after the final show on 29 May:
        Wed 1 Ap : 169,900
        Thu 2 Ap : 156,470
        Fri 3 Ap : Good Friday
        Mon 6 Ap : Easter Monday
        Tue 7 Ap : 213,450
        Wed 8 Ap: 233,120

        Note that 3rd April to 19th April (two weeks) were the Good Friday/Easter school. The Campbell Live review announcement was made on 9 April, in the middle of this holiday period.

        Thu 9 Ap : 241,870
        Fri 10 Ap : 293,050
        Mon13 Ap: 333,960
        Tue 14 Ap : 327,920
        Wed 15 Ap: 285,930
        Thu 16 Ap : 265,220
        Fri 17 Ap : 264,570
        Wed 13 Nay : 269,470
        Thu 14 May : 359,460
        Fri 15 May : 253,050
        Mon 18 May : 312,460
        Tue 19 May : 278,000
        Wed 20 May: 234,850
        The announcement to axe the Campbell Live show was made on 21 May.
        Thu 21 May : 314,140
        Fri 22 May : 330,830
        Mon25 May : 313,400
        Tue 26 May : 285,200
        Wed 27May : 280,710
        Thu 28 May : 331,110
        Fri 29 May : 484,850

        The last show of Campbell Live was on 29 May, 2015.

        Mon, 1 June Road Cops : 212,010
        Tue, 2 June Road Cops : 211,400
        Wed, 3 June Road Cops : 142,400
        Thu, 4 June Road Cops : 135,350
        Fri, 5 June Road Cops : 163,730
        Mon,8 June Road Cops : 162,930

        If the TV3 management monkeys were HONEST with any modicum of integrity, then the buggers would have allowed the Campbell Live programme to continue for another six months to a year at least to SEE if the recent favourable ‘ratings’ held or not. They didn’t wait, in spite of good viewer numbers! Why would that be, if not for RW political pressure reasons?

        P.S : Notice how John Key has been on Paul Henry’s show HEAPS of times (at least about six) within the last couple of months while he hardly went to Campbell Live in spite of REPEATED invitations to front up! If he was ‘busy’ to come ,as he claimed, then he could have sent pre-recorded interviews, couldn’t he? No, Key didn’t! Wonder why! I suspect he was scared to be seriously scrutinized by John Campbell, a journalist of high calibre and integrity. Now of course, Key is free of any quality hard hitting questioning. Hardly any intelligent and fair minded journalists are left in the public front TV media. Key will now feel quite ‘comfortable and relaxed’ with the mediocre pro govt clowns like Paddy Gower, Mike Hosking and Paul Henry to happily bull shit his way through with no care in the world!
        Spray, smile and walk away!

        What TV3 management (as well as the TVNZ) are offering the dimmed down public is this :

        What we need is a people funded (tax payer funded) public service TV channel devoted exclusively to quality programmes to inform, educate and broaden people’s minds about current affairs, the good and the bad that is happenning in different areas of society, including airing of issues of importance, investigative journalism, interviews, holding the government and institutions to account etc.

        Sure, it may not get as many viewers as the dummed down so called reality ‘cooking’ ‘dinning’ shows, but the function of the media is not just as a source of profit, but also of being a voice for the voiceless and being a arm of society as a valuable fourth estate, an important pillar of democracy.

        Personally, I have no problem if such a dedicated channel (whose brief should be to primarily inform rather than purely entertain to earn money), also has a ‘few’ highly priced commercials, say not more than 5 minutes to 7 minutes per hour, to reduce some costs.

        Someone here recently suggested that TVNZ should be split into TV1 as a purely news and public service channel and TV2 for commercial money making entertainment channel. A good solution, is it not?

        • Either that, or stop funding TVNZ for public broadcasting altogether and make a new channel to absorb all the local programming, and let them do what they like with TV1.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    There’s a similar piece by the author of Throng as well: http://www.throng.co.nz/2015/06/why-boycotttv3-is-such-a-stupid-idea/

    • If there were any half-decent remaining current affairs on TV3, there might be a point there.

      There aren’t, it’s all either view from nowhere BS or infotainment of varying degrees. (which is really what the 6pm news shows are at this point too, and what the mooted replacement show sounds like) The reality is that with John Campbell and Mihirangi Forbes’ departures there is now no real current affairs on broadcast TV. Turning off TV3, or if not, punishing whatever is in the 7pm slot until it is real current affairs again, sounds like a great start.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.1

        There are a few worthwhile current affairs ‘political’ programmes such as The Nation and Q and A.

        However, we do not have a meaningful and worth while general public service programme like Campbell Live which while being entertaining in parts, also gave a powerful and serious platform for the voiceless and which discussed, exposed, investigated injustices/dodgy affairs and problems faced by common people. It held the government as well as the private and public entities in positions of power or exploitation. The programme encompassed all aspects of society, the good and the bad, including politics, economics and the arts.

        There is No TV programme now that is fulfilling that essential function of the media in a democracy.

        We definitely need a public service TV either non commercial or with very minimum ads.

  5. GoodShepherd 5

    Did not TV3 also say they were reducing the news hour to a half hour? No current affairs programme at 7 on Friday evenings? Pretty sure that was the ‘plan’.

    I’m sorry the journos and their support teams are being impacted by the boycott. I was a journo, once upon a time. And I jumped when my employer required far more advertorial that journalism from me. And I jumped again after my columns were ‘edited’ when their content criticised a major advertiser.

    The media in this country is overwhelmingly commercial. We need something else. Let these journalists help to create that independent something else.

  6. David H 6

    “would cost journalists (workers!) jobs and thus weaken the media.”

    Workers?? Jonolists like Gower, Obrien and Sabin? Ass kissing, Key loving, Labour hating, Make it up Jonolists. And the production teams that know they are spreading hate and bullshit? Yep I am really sad for this lot.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1


    • weka 6.2

      Probably more likely to be the journalists and allied staff whose names you don’t know, including the good ones. Gower and co will be the last to go.

      • David H 6.2.1

        Unfortunately that is the truth. The worker bees always get it first.

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        if all allied staff stopped working …. gower etc would have to do some hard yards themselves… without cameras… sound people editors, underlings etc…

        • Colonial Rawshark

          that’s what solidarity used to be like.

          • Tracey

            but then came the success of the notion that self interest trumps everything… oh sure others suffer but YOU get a pay rise…

    • TheContrarian 6.3

      David H only supports workers that align to his politics it seems.

      • fender 6.3.1

        I get the feeling David H just supports fair and balanced reporting.

      • David H 6.3.2

        You don’t know me. I Don’t use the new automated Checkouts because of the fact that some poor worker lost out to a machine. But then again that’s just me. I support the poor bastard that continually get it in the neck from everyone the last in first out on near to zero hour contracts type worker bee. But the ones that were complicit in Gowers bullshit ….

        • David

          What about the workers who made the machine & service the machine? Don’t you care about those workers?

          Do you ensure your computer is hand crafted and not manufactured by machines?

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    In war there is collateral damage and make no mistake, we are at war. It’s a war for control of our government and our lives and the journalists at TV3 are on the wrong side. It’s a war of if that control should be by us through our elected representatives or by the corporations through the government owned by them with us manipulated through the MSM.

    Should we be afraid that a few people may lose their jobs? No.

    But we also need to be working on other fronts to ensure that power is taken from the corporations and returned to the people, that we get a true public service TV and that our society shifts from the me, me, me type that the Fourth Labour government brought in in the 1980s and return to being a society about all of us.

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      Its the editors and mid/senior management at TV3 who are on the wrong side; some of the journalists may be complicit but the stick of job insecurity and the carrot of careerism are very powerful motivators.

      The Right Wing corporates have human incentives and motivation down to a fine art.

      • David H 7.1.1

        Looking at some of Gowers antic’s, even some of the most rabid Nats must roll their eyes and say WTF.

        • cricklewood

          Gower is completely ensconced in the soap opera that is politics unfortunately he now sees himself as a player rather than spectator.
          He has become increasingly sensationalist as he seeks to become the news and to in his mind become someone who can make or break political careers.
          He needs to take some time out for some long overdue perspective.

          • Tracey

            I remember him in 2008 (??) election campaign as Garner’s under study. he was fair and balanced and incisive… then garner left… gower promoted and became what you see today. All for the extra dough and the celebrity status

            • Clemgeopin

              On watching his over-the-top, unfair, nasty, soul destroying comments, several times I have felt this: ‘What a dirty stinky arse hole of a so called ‘journalist’ and ‘political commentator’ this bugger is!’ Why would any decent outfit employ a nasty bugger like him! He is a badass.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    The “boycott” is actually just not bothering to watch anymore. I re-arranged my schedules, and watch Prime news then go to gym then come home for dinner. For our household the TV is (usually) on after 6pm, but seldom actually watched.

    • “Go to the gym”…

      Hmmm, I’ve been wondering what to do between 7-7.30pm (our household has become very quiet since Campbell Live was dumped, what with the TV switched off after TV1 News).

      I’ve been doing some research and writing…

      Time to go for a walk around the block and work of a few stubborn kilos that refuse to budge off my puku…

  9. AsleepWhileWalking 9

    Markets tell businesses what to provide. Not supporting unethical/socially corrupt companies forces necessary change and viewing TV3 has now become dangerous to the social good of the nation.

    I respect your writing tremendously and enjoy what you add to this site…but being leftish you have experienced a temporary lapse of judgement in this area. Stop overthinking this.

    Like the new version of Milo, Cadbury’s palm oil chocolate, and cheaper eggs coming from caged hens we have to stamp this out.

    • George Hendry 9.1

      Agreed 🙂

      The boycott must be working or it wouldn’t have got this response. The comment links provided all fail to address the reason so many agreed to the boycott in the first place.

      At last, ‘the public themselves are making the news.’ So in case they start getting ideas above their station, let’s try belittling them, and making the discussion about newsworthiness in general rather than focusing on the most recent egregious example of political suppression of news.

    • r0b 9.2

      Cheers for the feedback AWW (and all)…

  10. lprent 10

    The last time I watched anything on TV3 was The Nation streamed live last weekend. Before that, it would have been a month or so looking at a linked article. I do read some of their news stories.

    TVNZ would be the same.

    Neither have an streaming app on my Sony bluray player, neither cast video from their website on my tablet to my bluray. Hell as far as I can see they don’t have android apps that work on my android nexus 7. FFS tvnz – Samsung or phone only – really? What looks like Chromecast seeking… There is a limit to how many electronic devices I want to use for media..

    If I do watch them, most of the time it is from YouTube clips throwing that to the bigger screen (a 33″ full HD Sony from 2009) via the bluray. Limited ads and usually tightly linked to the story I read them from, and direct to my big screen via a throw from YouTube

    Radio? I listen to that in the car, usually a maximum of 20 minutes a day of National Radio on the days I don’t take a bus. I think I listen to almost as much of those hoons on Matinee Idyll with their contining exploration of bad music. I seem to drive more on DIY tasks on long weekends.

    The aerial is pretty dead as far as I am concerned, killed by the advert, reality shows, and egotistical idiots with the instincts of bomber about alternate viewpoints. Outside of the cars, the only radio we have is the emergency on on a battery/solar/windup torch.

    We pretty typically live on the bleeding edge of cheap tech and convenience.

    Right now that is $129 bluray players feeding an old TV off a wide pipe to the net that we also use for many other purposes (like this site). I watch Netflix, Quickflix, and material from a digital pipe. I prefer using a larger screen except in bed where I use a tablet.

    Now here is the thing. All of my life I have been a consumer on the bleeding edge of tech trends. Usually about 5 or more years ahead of most of the market. Usually by the time systems get to consumer level I am off on something else. What I am looking for in old tech is something simple without the convolutions I will do for new tech.

    So saying that, I think that unless local TV start to focus on convienient net delivery to a big screen with some way of getting fewer ads (I would pay for a bundle of all channel news delivered to my bluray) then they are dead in a few years.

    They have bigger issues than boycotts.

    • McGrath 10.1

      Agree with you there. Any programs we want are via the net. We’ve not watched local TV for over a year. They’re dead unless they fully adopt the net.

    • Macro 10.2

      I can’t remember when I last watched TV in NZ – Different in Australia where the ABC is advert free – you can watch news and drama without any commercials – oh! for there to be something like that here.
      No we switched off the Tele years ago. Never feel the need to go out and buy the latest gizmo/car/whatever to be happy. (Consumption is of course the driving force of our already over stuffed economy)
      If we want to watch a tv series or missed movie we use really old technology called “fastpost” – helps keep our posties employed 🙂 and fatso a wonderful archive of old and new films and tv series on that antique technology dvd (Oh god! advertising!! ) but we get to choose what we watch and when.

      • Chooky 10.2.1

        DVDs are great…we have become culture vultures thanks to a fantastic DVD shop in Christchurch called Alices….which stocks Art house films, classics and the latest thrillers…….and you can watch tv series night after night at your leisure

        …no need for tv3 or tv1 crap ( when absolutely necessary we relink to Sky for sports or other options)

        …and RT on line gives the latest in world current affairs


        • Macro

          You know I played cricket to a senior level in my younger days, played with a number of players who represented NZ, coached several 1st XI’s winning local tournaments, umpired – and was a chairman of selectors for a national team in the mid 80’s (I claim to have been the only selector of a cricket team that has played and never been beaten by a national Australian side 😉 ) But I never watch cricket now. Not even the WC match in Melbourne – even though I was in Perth at the time and could watch it for free. All Australian games are broadcast free unlike here. It is just too commercial for me nowadays.

          • Macro

            I like the guardian for my world news, and scoop for local. The unequaled Colin Campbell for informed opinion and werewolf. Norightturn also has good feeds and up to date snippets on NZ and world politics especially human rights and social justice which are vitally important to me.
            And of course the standard – incomparable for informed discussion and debate – although like you (yes i’ve seen you there too Chooky I pop over to TDB especially for the guest posts and Frank.
            My! having read some of the comments on stuff and the herald etc – you wonder about the intelligence of some of our compatriots! And we give them the vote. 🙁 Talk about uninformed opinion.

          • Chooky

            yes agree…shouldnt have to pay Sky to watch national sport

            …and yes with all the other options for news online and interactive debate…no wonder newspaper circulations are going down…our newspaper often remains unwrapped

      • lprent 10.2.2

        I keep thinking about fatso and the equivalents – especially since all of the useful video stores in Ponsonby have shut down. The hassle with fatso etc is that I am rather useless at dropping stuff back in the mail.

        Reminds me. Must send that sim card back to my parents. Been on the desk in an envelope for 5 days now.

        • Macro

          Our local video store is reasonably well stocked – but not with the kind of film we like to watch, whereas fatso has a huge range, way more than any store could possibly hold, and there is no time limit on when a disc has to be returned. The limit is on the number of discs per month so if you chew up your limit in 2 weeks say, well you just have to wait a couple of weeks for the next installment on your queue (Not that we have – too much else to be doing). They supply the return envelopes – fastpost both ways – hugely efficient operation.

          • lprent

            Might try them out. But there isn’t a lot of spare time. After I do the morning checks here and Lyn does hers for her projects, both of us head off to work and that is pretty much it for the day. We both do long days. Then there is this for me and whatever other projects are being done for both of us. Having TV time is a luxury, as often done in bed on pads as in front of the TV (I can hear Lyn giggling in bed watching the hilarious http://comediansincarsgettingcoffee.com/ as I speak).

            But when I can get delivery via the net is when I really get interested. Netflix and Quickflix are instant and felicitously easy when they are hooked directly to the TV. But the range is a bit limited at present.

            • Macro

              Yes I was impressed with Netfix while we were in Canada last year. But here in Thames the broadband is – well the less said about it the better. Mind you we don’t have any traffic lights, and it is only 5 mins to anywhere! Including the movies if we so want.
              One of the things one yearns for during the last years of working life is the time of retirement. Our husband and wife butchery has just sold (best meat in town IMO) and Judy was saying “well the first thing I’m going to do is spend the next 6 months in bed” lol. I advised her that the first thing I noticed about being retired was it was a wonder how people actually had time for work. I’m planting and tending to wetland plants, tending to the oldest arbouretium in the country,(400m from our house) and have meetings almost every other day, with one thing and another – and I’m loving it! 🙂

              • lprent

                That is what my parents say as well. When (and if) I finally get around to retiring, I can’t see it being too much different to now apart from the lower income. I will still have too much work and too little time for things like the site and everything else that people would like me to work on. I’ll just have more choices about the things that I don’t want to work on.

                • Macro

                  Exactly – which reminds me – I really must go and finish the boring bar I’m making so that I can ream out the steering head by 1mm to fit the new steering head bearing on my 1957 BMW R50 that I’ve had since 1969, and get it back on the road – something I’ve been working on since 1974! 🙂

    • r0b 10.3

      They have bigger issues than boycotts.

      That’s for sure!

  11. saveNZ 11

    Unfortunately the only thing the TV3 Execs understand is money. So the only punishment is to take away ratings, therefore advertising and their money source.

    So although I feel for the other journo’s, there does need to be a sharp lesson made to those to the Execs in particular Mark Weldon (the markets) and Julie Christie (queen of crap TV) that for political, personal or ideological reasons canning a popular show so they can re run Cops 3 all week, and champion Paul Henry’s failing shows, might actually have real ramifications.

    They obviously thought they can ride it out, and after a week or so everyone would be back watching Cops 3 and viewing TV3 news. It was fairly well known that people who liked Campbell tuned into the TV3 news because of him.

    Having such a fucked out MSM actually also drives viewers to places like the Standard, for people hungry for real news and discussion. So although TV3 may not be benefiting, it does create other opportunities and appetite for alternative news.

    So I am pro boycotting TV3, they behaved disgracefully and they deserve to feel the force of their bad decision. It’s a bit late after canning jobs for Campbell and cutting the news down to 30 mins (if they did, since I have stopped watching I have no clue) they are now grovelling around complaining about job losses.

    It’s about time Christie and Weldon were cut. Maybe then viewers might start to return.

    • dukeofurl 11.1

      You forget they dont care about ‘those sort of viewers’.

      If they could cut the news even more they would say ‘improves bottom line’

      The viewers they want and they want to pitch for is the 15 to 40 year bracket, mostly female and mostly uninterested in ‘news’ other than the lifestyle/human interest/ celebs.

      Dont cry too much for them, the business has burned through hundreds of millions of real money, when the Australian private equity fund Blackstone bought out the previous shareholders before the GFC, loaded it up with massive debts and then crashed and burned.

      “The debt is part of MediaWorks’ $388 million senior loan with other senior lenders including BNZ, Westpac, Bank of Scotland International, which is now part of Lloyds Banking Group, JP Morgan and Rabobank.”
      All these names are part of the most reckless lenders which led directly to the GFC

      The banks and others sold their interests to a US vuture equity group Oaktree who specialise in these sort of massive stuffups.
      Its Oaktree who are trying to turn the business into something saleable by bring in the idiots who are now running the place.

    • halfcrown 11.2

      “Having such a fucked out MSM actually also drives viewers to places like the Standard, for people hungry for real news and discussion. So although TV3 may not be benefiting, it does create other opportunities and appetite for alternative news.”

      You have got it in one there pal. For news and information I go to the infernal net to sites like this. There is always someone on the Standard who will direct you to another site for sound and alternative opinions

      With respect to Antony Robins I think he has got it wrong. The only thing these pricks understand is when it hurts them in the pocket. We are under no obligation to watch so don’t watch. It’s not a boycott, it’s more of a don’t like watching the mind numbing shit they broadcast, especially in place of Campbell Live..

    • “It’s about time Christie and Weldon were cut. Maybe then viewers might start to return.”


      An upcoming blogpost I’m working on may hasten that event.

      • Tracey 11.3.1

        Crawlin Christie is ….

        The clones TV1 use to replace pippa (and to instal Pippa) are an insult to female journalists.

      • Chooky 11.3.2

        +100 saveNZ and Frank Macskasy

        “It’s about time Christie and Weldon were cut. Maybe then viewers might start to return.”

        …and bring back John Campbell and crew on a better contract!

    • Ergo Robertina 11.4

      ”Having such a fucked out MSM actually also drives viewers to places like the Standard, for people hungry for real news and discussion. So although TV3 may not be benefiting, it does create other opportunities and appetite for alternative news.”

      That’s not right. A large proportion of the discussion on TS draws on linked MSM content.
      This is despite the online availability of almost all source documents for news stories and press releases; for breaking/spot news comprehensive coverage can be sourced from twitter, facebook, and press releases.
      I haven’t got round to checking out Selwyn Manning’s Evening News, which is in the feed, but it doesn’t seem to prompt much discussion in comments.
      If the MSM is ”fucked out” it’s only in the sense that people won’t pay for it, not lack of demand.

      • Tracey 11.4.1

        we are not news breakers, you are right. Despite what John Key says. by associating us with WO methods

        • Ergo Robertina

          That’s a misrepresentation of my comment.
          Source documents, press releases, social media etc are in the public domain; linking to them is not news breaking.
          And WO wasn’t into breaking news, he was into smearing and commercial hit jobs.
          My comment was in response to a suggestion that MSM content is no longer used.

          • Tracey

            It wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be agreement. That we don’t break news, we tend to comment on news that has happened.

            THAT was my point. My comment about WO is that they create news,then break it, yet Key says TS is just like WO (as do many others). That is ONE difference.

            • Ergo Robertina

              Ok, got it now, sorry.
              I don’t see the stigma in TS being a news-breaker. It’s the same as the association of dirty tricks with being a political blog – it’s just Key’s mind games and not worth buying into.
              WO pushed the boundaries of what constitutes news – the main example being the Len Brown story – but he hasn’t been a news breaker in a proper sense, even with privileged access to official information.
              That’s because his focus is commercial and political propaganda, not reality.

  12. Keith 12

    Its not a matter of boycotting TV3 news especially because of what happened with John Campbell, but because their news long since ceased to be news. Its a mess of trivial to mindless dross all of which I guess is supposed to entertain us cretins out there in TVland, It’s that or leave us praying for an ad break for some serious relief!

    Add in the likes of their non-objective political team led by Patrick Gower and his tirades against anyone but National/ACT and or the mind numbing banter between the bigger than news hosts and bingo the whole show is a turn off.

    • saveNZ 12.1



    • Weepus beard 12.2

      This. Angus Gillies laments the boycotters missing a piece on the death in the family living in a cold and damp house but that piece would have been on 3 News by accident I am sure.

      No, what Angus Gillies is desperate to defend is a orchestrated rooting out of all socially conscious journalists who might drive a social story instead of just reporting on it because it happens to be the news at the time.


      • Colonial Rawshark 12.2.1

        This. Angus Gillies laments the boycotters missing a piece on the death in the family living in a cold and damp house but that piece would have been on 3 News by accident I am sure.

        Yep. Dangerously low quality accommodation and fuel poverty have been issues in NZ for many years. If the MSM had done their job in recent years, it would not have gotten to this point.

    • Colonial Rawshark 12.3


  13. Peter scott 13

    Campbell live is gone. Stop all this boycot bullshit. Move on people. He is a quality act and he will re surface somewhere else. Times change.

    • halfcrown 13.1

      “Stop all this boycot bullshit.”
      I have, but will not watch TV3, can’t stand the crap that it shows in place of Campbell Live, or at other times.

      Is that better.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        That’s pretty much my feeling – I actively boycotted when the issue was still in doubt, but mediaworks seem to have well and truly burned that bridge.

        But TV3 has very little I want to watch, and even when channel surfing I just don’t connect with their content. A sour taste, if you will.

        As for some of the armchair picketers here who like to say what tv3 staff should have done, rolly-eyes time. Big words are easy when it’s not your mortgage on the line in a competitive and largely dying industry.

        • Ergo Robertina

          Free to air channels are dross, apart from the odd publicly funded local programme, because in NZ the TV market has been largely privatised.
          Overseas programmes that would have been screened on free to air are behind paywalls.
          Anyone with a brain would have found nothing to connect with on a regular basis outside of news/Campbell Live for a decade or so.

          • McFlock

            Harry was ok.
            Outrageous Fortune.
            7 days.

            NZ free to air isn’t entirely dross, although the ratios aren’t improving.

            • Ergo Robertina

              It’s not contentious to say the free to air model is broken – only those with a vested interest seriously argue otherwise.
              Of course there’s the odd locally funded thing worth watching; there is vast under-used creative talent in NZ.
              Completely agree with you about the ”armchair picketers”, but we need to be careful about exactly what’s ”dying” – quality news and current affairs are being starved, not TV itself, which has been privatised.

              • McFlock

                For a given value of “broken”, maybe.

                TV3 is broken. It’s in financial difficulties, in addition to the weird programming calls of late (Henry in, Campbell out). But free to air is as free to air does – prime isn’t too bad, and even several imported shows are pretty good (person of interest, Graham Norton spring to mind).

                Yes, we could do with a publicly-funded quality TV channel, but only in the same way that we could do with more regulation of food outlets to make takeaways and restaurants healthier.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  For one thing, as Tom Frewen points out, we spend a significant amount on public broadcasting in this country, but the market model is rubbish, so the comparison with food regulation is off the mark. They’re very different issues.
                  But sticking with your food analogy, there’s been much greater consumer benefit from deregulating media than industrialised food production, and the media market failure is easier to ameliorate.
                  Your confirmation bias is such that because you like a few shows, you assume things are functioning pretty much OK.

                  • McFlock

                    As a viewer, if it didn’t produce anything I liked then I would definitely say that the system was broken (option B being that I’m fundamentally unique at a level required to provide programming on half a dozen channels, which is doubtful).

                    So as far as I can see it isn’t partcularly broken, no (although there is room for improvement). What metric do you use to judge “broken”?

                    • Ergo Robertina


                      It’s worth reading former NZ on Air CE Ruth Harley’s speech to industry from the end of last year, reproduced in full in the NZ Herald link:

                      ”Public Broadcasting…we seem to have completely lost this
                      argument with TVNZ ‘s mandate being more about yield than
                      quality or culture. It is a tragedy for the development of the
                      industry, for diversity of content for audiences as well as for

                    • McFlock

                      There’s an eternal contradiction between what people want to watch and what people should watch. It’s the brain equivalent of chocolate eclairs vs bran and carrot muffins,

                      Harley seems to want it both ways: saying we need to have more culturally significant productions, but then using sales revenue to compare aus and nz productions.

                      Yes, we can get the mix better. But the fact is that TVNZ and NZonair provide a variety of current events (including political), drama, comedy, and gobshite reality schlock that people watch (when the channel isn’t alienating its audience).

                      And lastly, Top of the Lake was unoriginal, pretentious shite that deserved to be thrown in the bin, but that’s just my opinion. Maybe there should be more meaningful drama awash with grey filters, five second fade-outs and turgid symbolism on NZ tv, but at least wait for an original work to come along before recycling all the “quality drama” tropes.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      The false dichotomy in your food analogy was shot to pieces by TVNZ7 shows like Back Benches, which proved politics shows can be fun and can work in prime time. Another example was the Court Report.
                      Back Benches wasn’t perfect, but it engaged people who wouldn’t watch the politics shows screened on weekend mornings, and could serve as a gateway to stodgier fare, to use your analogy.
                      Yours is the kind of flawed thinking that led to the situation Harley admits she and others were wrong to accept; the market dogma that bequeathed us the current mess of a broadcasting system. It’s an inefficient content box-ticking fragmented mix in which taxpayers fund highly commercial televisual chocolate eclairs.
                      The sense of mea culpa came through strongly in a followup interview with Harley on Mediawatch, which I can’t find online.
                      Her focus in the speech is TV drama, but the verdict applies to the whole broadcasting mess.
                      TVNZ7 showed that platforms serve a purpose, one I’d argue is more important in a fractured, information-rich environment. No-one’s arguing that we can or should turn back the clock but there’s much better ways to allocate the money we are already spending in this space.

                    • McFlock

                      Isn’t back benches on prime now?

                      NZ is well served for political news programmes excluding, ironically, the main 6pm political news pundits. The Nation also springs to mind.

                      But examples of quality commentary being very popular compared to eclair TV are few and far between anywhere, regardless of production model.

                      And while Harley merely chose “quality” drama as one area to look at, the specific example of Top of the Lake she used is, to my mind, a perfect example of why broad public appeal should be a major criterion on which to base funding decisions (although if a pitch is extremely broad with limited ingenuity, like jaust another reality show, I suspect that should be priftable enough to self-fund). TV is a mass media. It shouldn’t be annexed by the vapid arthole crowd.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Yes I know Back Benches now screens on Prime; there are niche spots in this fragmented market for good shows.
                      That is not the point.
                      And yes, we have political shows of reasonable quality that air on weekend mornings when few are watching which are contingent on going cap and hand to the funder each year.

                    • McFlock

                      Most tv shows, anywhere, have to go cap in hand to someone every year. I’m sure even Sesame Street needs to argue for a decent budget.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      That’s a glib non-answer.
                      Yes, Govts potentially use funding levers to try to exert control over broadcasters, an inherent problem, but the system we’ve gone with in NZ is particularly problematic, ineffective, and inefficient.
                      You don’t see an issue with NZ being the only OECD country aside from Mexico that lacks a public broadcaster?
                      You don’t see an issue in NZ being the best example of what not to do in broadcasting?: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11211861

                    • McFlock

                      It’s a perfectly sufficient answer: any programme with guaranteed funding quite possibly streals that funding and broadcast time from more innovative and valuable programmes.

                      On whatever metric is used to determine value.

                      No, I don’t particularly care about the first thing, and the second thing is a problem with NZonair’s priorities, not the actual model of delivery. A “public broadcaster” would still be the same as current NZ programming if it shared the current NZonair priorities. And again, if the priority is to make stuff people in NZ actually want to watch, the system isn’t “broken”. It just uses jump cuts rather than five second fade-outs.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Your first sentence doesn’t make any sense.
                      But I get your underlying argument – the market model works just fine.
                      Plenty of well informed people disagree, including some of the former executives who implemented the system and have since been in a position to compare the NZ market failure with more successful models.

                    • McFlock

                      And I get your underlying point that a system which does not conform to your personal idea of “quality programming” must be broken, no matter how many people watch it, and no matter if what other people might regard as “quality programming” does get shown. Oh, and that the system will not be “fixed” unless it is reshaped into the only form that you can imagine.

                      Plenty of actual viewers disagree.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Oh, you mean all those ‘actual viewers’ who subscribe to Sky and the emerging players in such high numbers in NZ because of the slim pickings on free to air?
                      It’s a bit desperate that you have to fall back on the old cliche that anything other than the commercial model is paternalistic and elitist.
                      It shows your lack of comprehension and outdated ideas.
                      You’re the one demonstrating the predetermined rigid view, for instance the false dichotomy between high and low brow programming.
                      I acknowledged there was a smattering of taxpayer funded quality programming, so that’s another misrepresentation. One of the issues is the efficiency of that spend.
                      Free to air is another New Zealand market failure, whether or not you can grasp or acknowledge it.

                    • McFlock

                      Of course just under half of households have sky – even in aus around a third have paytv. Because it provides lots of less popular options to supplement the one or two big events like rugby matches they bid for (e.g. the ratings on throng for all last week – heck, it seems most sky subscribers watched the rugby on saturday, and they’d probably call that night alone a good purchase for the month). But then many of the RWC matches went onto Maori TV.

                      And no, I’m not arguing that “anything other than the commercial model is paternalistic and elitist”. I’m arguing that your idea of “quality” is “paternalistic and elitist”.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      Great. Your argument failed so you resort to casting aspersions on my motivation.
                      In fact, the elitist and paternalistic model is what we ended up with, because factual and more expensive programming is largely behind a paywall. And if you think NZ has a reasonable standard of current affairs and public debate, you simply haven’t looked outside of this country.

                    • McFlock

                      oh come on – damned near nothing that lots of viewers like is “quality”, according to you. That’s the very definition of elitist.

                      And barring the rugby, almost everything on sky struggles to compete with “come dine with me nz”. It gets a good market share through shear volume of channels.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      LOL ”quality” , Dunno about you, but that’s not a word I often hear used by people to describe the status quo; on the contrary they’re likely to launch into a diatribe about the endless array of cooking and crime shows.
                      But unlike you, my main reference point is not the shows or types of shows I prefer. And given you see reform of public broadcasting as neither achievable nor even desirable, that’s to be expected.

                    • McFlock

                      Whatever, oh arbiter of what is “quality”.

  14. philj 14

    Any journalists at TV 3 should start looking for another gig. Good luck in our present dire media cess pool. PR , marketing, Real Estate, Security guards, Door to door selling, telemarketing, Fiction writing …

  15. fender 15

    I’ve stopped watching 3News since the hatchet-job took place, but I wish TVNZ would make my boycott easier. One-News is just so drab that I find I just can’t get interested in watching TV news any longer. And as I refuse to watch 7-Sharp due to an intense dislike of the creep Hosking I’m turning it off at 7pm but if you’re not careful they do a preview with him at 6:50 (as they did last night, and you have to endure the smug intoxicated-looking fast-talking-wanker).

    I’m not sure how long I can keep up my boycott because I still find myself morbidly interested in keeping one eye on that little Gower prick just to stay abreast of his latest attempts to create a scandal out of fuck-all.

    • Anne 15.1

      Do what I did fender. Give up. TV1 bores me stiff and I can’t even cope with the Hosking preview let alone the programme. So have gone back to TV3 news. After all, Mike McRoberts and Hillary Barry are in no way responsible for what happened, and they are far pleasanter to listen to than the “we’re so wonderful” crowd at TV1.

      • Jilly Bee 15.1.1

        I agree with you Anne – we’re still watching 3 News in solidarity with Mike and Hilary, but that’s it. Mind you the 3D programme this evening after the shortened news half hour was very interesting about what really did happen in Afghanistan with the N Z Army over the death of the two soldiers – looks a bit murky and the story just might grow some legs and run.

  16. RedBaronCV 16

    I think I’d have been more impressed if it was a note signed by all lower level staff plus a copy of their employment contracts guaranteeing them job security if the viewing was at certain target levels and that upper management took pay cuts everytime it dipped – but we can’t have everything I guess

  17. Richard Christie 17

    Burn them, burn them all.

  18. barry 18

    I don’t know about boycott, but what is the point of watching TV3 or TV1 news when the bulletins are mostly gossip. There might be the odd pearl but why sit through all the dross waiting for it.

    I don’t want to see 10 minute items about the intergenerational welfare dependents (AKA the royal family) or the Kardashians. The only decent news bulletins on free to air TV nowadays are on AlJazeera and Maori TV and even Maori TV is being dumbed down.
    I tend to watch prime news sometimes as it is at least only half an hour wasted.

    Basically advertisers are not interested in me anyway so they won’t put on programmes for me.

    It is sad for journalists that they can’t actually do any investigation that makes a difference. They can hardly blame the watchers who switch off.

    • Weepus beard 18.1

      Quite. That right wing enabling twat Angus Gillies blaming the viewer is the same method used by his employers Weldon and Christie to axe Campbell live in the first place.

  19. Tiger Mountain 19

    TV3 should be a test case for (ex) viewer power, keep it up and grind them into the dust on this occasion given what has been lost and what is still at stake

    I have been keen on a boycott of Talleys in supermarkets, but the unions have been cautious on this and rightly so because it is tricky to implement tactical flexibility with boycotts and turn the tap on and off effectively, but Talleys are getting to the edge at the moment with meatworkers lives

  20. rod 20

    Christie and Weldon have done the job they were hired to do and will soon move on, with plenty of back slapping and plonk from The One Man Band.

  21. Aaron 21

    If we really want to scare the execs at TV3 we need to do more than a boycott. We need to do something like telling them that this Wednesday night they will have good ratings for their news and then Thursday will be terrible again – and then do it.

    If a boycott could be that well organised it would really have influence.

  22. Peter 22

    I boycott tv3 for the same reason I boycotted South Africa and I boycott Israel It’s just my moral code, but if it works don’t you think it might make Tv1 think if they turn on us it will cost us millions and that all that matters to them.

  23. linda 23

    boycott bastards and tvnz as well why should i watch key TV or read or buy key news papers there a sun set industry and with the INTERNET i don’t have to listen to key propaganda and key bullshit

  24. linda 24

    for programing just use popcorn time screw them and fukin corporate greedy pricks and stuff that pervert pony tail deviant john key

  25. Capn Insano 25

    I watch zero TV at my home now, if I do turn on the screen it’s to watch a DVD or bluray, I spend a lot of spare time now on the net. I’m in mourning for the loss of local satire and rise of Reality mindrot and Mediaworks has confirmed they’re keen to contribute to the dumbing down of society. TV really is ‘the idiot box’ now.

  26. Incognito 26

    John Campbell was much more than a current affairs frontman or presenter; he was a brand, a household brand, for that matter. He was a familiar face in many families watching him together during or directly after dinner* – please note that these words have a common origin.

    Through the connection with Campbell Live TV3 built a ‘relationship’ with the viewers, which resulted in familiarity, (brand) loyalty, a feeling of belonging, a ‘family’ feeling.

    Surfing the net for news or even reading the TS, for that matter, are much more ‘soloistic’ activities than watching TV together as a family or a group of flatmates, for example. Naturally, the resulting communication is also quite different.

    Our society is already showing strong individualistic tendencies with some quite negative consequences and the termination of Campbell Live has removed another opportunity for people to view and review together the daily issues that are pressing and current.

    I think that Angus Gillies [Gyles?] is missing or overlooking the point that it is not just about the news and current affairs or even quality reporting and producing (!) but about the connection with the viewers at prime time.

    *One of the more surprising findings of the 2015 CensusAtSchool project was the high percentage of kids (Yrs. 5-13) having and enjoying family time and having dinner at the table together. These moments represent quality time with real face-to-face interaction, which is something we all need and love. So, why are there so many forces pulling us into different directions away from what we need and love? And why are we so willing to give into these?


  27. larry mercer 27

    Bring back Campbell live. A great show.

  28. Domino Raymond 28

    I appreciate that this boycott is affecting other innocent parties, namely those left at TV 3 to pull together programs of interest which really is of no interest without John Campbell show.

    Do you realise that this was the only show on all TV channels that dealt with real human issues affecting thousands of people in NZ and would stay on the case by following up on promise made and kept or not kept?

    I donated to causes that John brought to the attention of thousands of NZers because I could relate to alot of those issues because of my ethnic background and the fact that those things shouldn’t happen in a country as free as this.

    Im afraid, I will not watch tv3 again or allow it to be viewed in this house. If I could cut it from my TV viewing myself I would.

    Mediaworks, why dont you admit you made an error and apologise and re- instate John with the same type program, and I will forgive you?

  29. Sable 29

    Yes you are conflicted and I’d say dithering is not inappropriate either. Need you be reminded that its MSM workers who produce much of the right leaning misinformation that passes as journalism in this country. The damage they do to this country by acting as apologists and panderers to dishonest politicians is beyond words. The misery it causes all too evident.

    Would your argument hold up if it was applied to the tobacco industry or how about arms manufacturers?

    I for one have permanently boycotted the NZ MSM and indeed its only by refusing to watch, listen to or read the disgraceful excrement that passes as news in this country that things will ever change.

    PS: Please stop quoting the f**king Herald. Many thanks.

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