Television New Zealand

TVNZ intent on pimping the dead

What one earth is TVNZ thinking in pursuing the release of photographs of the last moments of those killed in the tragic balloon crash in Carterton.

This is nothing more than attempting to profit from the unfortunate demise of some blameless victims.

Photos showing the final moments of the fatal Carterton balloon crash should be released to the media in the interests of public education and safety, lawyers for TVNZ have argued.

Wairarapa photographer Geoff Walker took photos of the balloon as it crashed killing pilot Lance Hopping and all 10 passengers on January 7, 2012.

During an inquest in July, coroner Peter Ryan ordered the release of four photos to the media, but Walker refused to release them, saying publication breached his copyright.

He then asked for a judicial review, which went ahead today at the High Court in Wellington.  Read more »

Cowardly Cunliffe backs down over boycott

Cowardly Cunliffe has decided that discretion is the better part of valour and climbed down from his high horse called Sanctimony and will now debate John Key after “assurances” from TVNZ that the debate will be “fair”.

After declaring that he would debate John key “anywhere, anytime, even on Mike Hosking’s show” back in April he then went weak kneed and packed a sad only a kid in the sandpit could emulate…and then flip flopped on that.

What is this, kindy?

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe says Television New Zealand has given its assurance that its political debate will be conducted with absolute political neutrality.

Mr Cunliffe is due to go head to head with Prime Minister John Key in a pre-election debate chaired by broadcaster and TVNZ presenter Mike Hosking.

Labour has been worried about Mr Hosking’s political neutrality after he urged a business meeting last year to vote National.

Mr Cunliffe said on Friday that he is prepared to continue with the debate, but TVNZ has not outlined how it will guarantee the debate is neutral.

He said that would be up for further discussion and that Labour and the public will hold TVNZ to it, because he said it’s clear that Mr Hosking does have well-recorded political views.

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Face of the day

One of these things is not like the other

One of these things is kinda the same

– Sesame Street

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Waving the White Flag

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David Cunliffe and Martyn Bradbury are running scared. Read more »

When will TV3 make changes, something has to give

TVNZ

TVNZ

Mark Jennings should have a look at his ratings for the late news which rates pretty well considering Mediaworks put absolutely NO money or resources into it at all.

Jennings seriously needs to answer to shareholders why he thinks a Greenie who lives in Grey Lynn who uses prime time to push an agenda that excites his dinner party guests is the right formula.

Maybe it’s Jennings that needs to go and take a fresh look taken at the leftie agenda that comes out of 3news that condemns it too crap ratings.

Paul Henry is on the payroll who better reflects the public in general and would be good for a ratings jump at 7pm?

Meanwhile Seven Sharp continues to slam them in the ratings.  Read more »

Trotter endorses journalists declarations of political interests

Chris Trotter is a man from the left that I admire.

I enjoy our chats from time to time and he is a good bellwether for what is happening on the left of NZ politics.

He comments on journalistic ethics and undeclared inherent political bias.

IF YOU’RE READING this column you know already that it’s coming to you “From the Left”. You are, therefore, free to absorb its contents with a rare foreknowledge of its author’s ideological predispositions.

But how often can you say as much? How many of the stories, columns and feature articles published every day carry such a useful consumer warning? And how easy is it, Dear Reader, in the absence of such a warning, to discern how those stories, columns and feature articles have been put together and why?

Because, make no mistake, everything you read, watch and listen to, every newspaper article, television programme and radio broadcast, has been carefully constructed by an individual, or individuals, working consciously, or unconsciously, from well-established ideological predispositions.

The information a journalist decides to include in a story is very often less important than the information he or she decides to leave out. Indeed, this is almost always the case. Because in any “newsworthy” event there will always be many more details and contributory causes than a journalist’s employers could ever possess either the time or the space to relate.

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Brian Edwards on Shane Taurima, Linda Clark and Conflicts of Interest

My good friend Brian Edwards has this to say about Shane Taurima and his actual conflict of interest:

There was nothing terribly complex about Shane Taurima’s situation with regard to his job as Head of TVNZ’s  Maori and Pacifica Department once he had, albeit unsuccessfully,  sought the Labour Party nomination for the Rawhiti Ikaroa seat following the death of Parekura Horomia. Taurima had very publicly nailed his political colours to the mast. In doing so he had effectively disbarred himself from any further involvement in News or Current Affairs broadcasting with the state broadcaster. The potential conflict of interest could not have been more clear.

Television New Zealand apparently did not see it that way. Perhaps they thought that Taurima’s failure to actually win the nomination made all the difference. He had been a would-be Labour candidate, not an actual Labour candidate.  (And, as it turned out, would be again.) That rationalisation is so facile as to be laughable. Taurima was politically tainted. He should not have been re-employed in his previous role. But he was.

When he took things even further and  turned his TVNZ office into a Maori/Pacifica Labour Party branch, Taurima did his employer a favour.  Without actually hanging portraits of Savage, Fraser and Kirk on the walls, the conflict of interest in which he and others in his department now found themselves could not have been more patent. To his credit, Taurima had the grace and good sense to resign.

He resigned because the case was so clear cut there was no other option. Unfortunately for Shane Taurima he thought Labour would stand by their electorate chair, instead they have given him the cold-face and turned their back.

There is actually nothing new about all of this. The list of television and radio  broadcasters working in news and current affairs who are or have been simultaneously engaged in activities which conflict with their obligation to be and be seen to be utterly impartial in all matters relating to their jobs, is extremely long. They may well be in the majority. Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.

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Herald Editorial on political affiliations for journalists

The Herald editorial is rather stern this morning, commenting on the Taurima debacle for Labour.

Shane Taurima thought he could keep his affiliation to a political party entirely separate from his journalism, and to a degree he was successful. The Prime Minister, for one, felt fairly treated by him in television interviews despite Taurima’s affiliation to the Labour Party. It is not hard to put personal views aside in the interests of objective journalism even when a subject is political. But the independent report into political bias at Television New Zealand was right to find him at fault. Partisan politics and mass media journalism do not mix.

The report found Taurima not only had a clear conflict of interest, but had used TVNZ facilities for Labour Party activities. These included a $343 credit card bill for an air fare and the use of TVNZ’s offices and email for Labour Party planning and campaigning. Clearly the problem is not confined to the former head of its Maori and Pacific programming unit. Three of his staff also participated in the party activity.

But if these misuses of company property had not occurred, Taurima’s position would still have been untenable. He not only joined the Labour Party while working in news and current affairs, he made an unsuccessful bid to be Labour’s candidate in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti byelection last year. Strangely, after missing the selection, he was able to return to his position at TVNZ. There, his continuing Labour activities reached a level that, the report says, “would plainly be deeply embarrassing to TVNZ if it came to light”.

He must have known that would be so.

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Union lobbies for journalists to continue to be fifth colunmists for Labour

You would think that the PSA would respect political neutrality, but no, instead they are campaigning for the rights of TVNZ political journalists to be fifth columnists on behalf of the Labour party.

The Public Service Association (PSA) says the recommendation by a TVNZ inquiry that reporters, content producers and editors be banned from political activity is a draconian and unnecessary breach of their rights as New Zealand citizens.

Brenda Pilott, PSA National Secretary, said “It is every New Zealander’s right to participate in our democracy.”

“The State Services Commission guidelines for public servants clearly explain the rights and responsibilities, and we hope Commissioner Rennie will speak out strongly against these unjustified restrictions.

“If these restrictions are put in place, it will set a dangerous precedent for other public servants.   Read more »

Labour’s clustertruck policy is total carnage

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When Labour last attacked truckies there was a nationwide blockade of the nations towns and cities. On that day they al drove ont he left hand side letting people transit as they protested.

Truckies by and large are courteous drivers. But LAbour continues to attack them.

Labour’s policy this time though is a sham. Of the 11,000km of NZ roads their policy will affect just 60kms, mostly in Auckland. Their claims of people fed up with holiday traffic held up by trucks are fanciful, and anyone who lives in Auckland knows the problems aren’t the trucks at holiday time…it is the crappy roads, roading choke points and people towing boats and caravans that hold people up.

Still, Labour thought this was a winner, and a more spectacular policy cock up I haven’t seen in many a year.  Read more »