Being the news instead of reporting the news isn’t working

Regan at Throng has been crunching some numbers and it isn’t looking good for journalist advocacy presenter tele-prompt reader John Campbell.

It would appear that public advocacy rather than intrepid journalism is actually hurting those who are pushing agendas.

I’m have to admit that I’m getting a fair bit of vicarious pleasure from this. I love how these media celebrities and legends in their own minds have  tried to turn themselves into a political force and failed. They should stick to kittens up trees and tradesmen sniffing undies.

They have fundamentally overestimated their audience. They run crap for news and get an audience that enjoys that. Then they try to do some real hard work, but discover that their audience doesn’t care. The people that care are no longer watching, and are now on sites like mine. 

campbell-liveIf the ratings are anything to go by then the GCSB bill may not be the important issue Campbell Live is suggesting it is.

The last four weeks have seen Campbell Live’s ratings fall significantly from where they have been with Monday night’s episode, the first of their nationwide GCSB tour, the lowest the program has had since April.  Considering we’re in the middle of winter when ratings are typically higher and the fact that the show had been riding high thanks in part to TV One’s 7pm current affairs changes, this isn’t what you’d expect to be seeing.

Not only this but the last week has seen the separation between Campbell Live and Seven Sharp widen to the biggest gap we’ve seen since they started going head to head back in February.

The left wing scoffed and wailed and gnashed their teeth when John Key said Campbell Live would have ben better to run with snapper with week. Turns out John Key was right.

The Prime Minister has suggested it’s a non issue with 124 submissions on the bill compared to the 30,000 on Snapper.  You can’t help but wonder if the ratings were supposed to be a true reflection of the outrage, since John Campbell has been championing this cause, the numbers would be significantly higher.  The fact that they are not, and are in fact heading in the other direction, would suggest people aren’t nearly as concerned about the bill.

What will be interesting is whether or not after all the furore over last night’s interview with the Prime Minister, people tune in for the next instalment?

The general consensus seems to be that John Campbell got schooled.  With a commitment to two more nights of GCSB coverage, will there be a backdown and admission that perhaps there has been some scaremongering going on or will it be front footing an offensive?

It just goes to show that being the news instead of reporting the news isn’t really a winner. It didn’t work for Fox news last election in the US and it isn’t working for Campbell Live.

Throng provide daily analysis of the ratings so it will be interesting to see how Campbell Live fairs tonight.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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