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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  • Shoreboy57

    No wonder mediaworks offering huge discounts to advertisers. No viewers.

  • Lion_ess

    “.. they should stick to kittens up trees and tradesmen sniffing undies”. Sledge of the Day .. first time I’ve lost my coffee over the keyboard.

  • Justsayn

    He may get more viewers tonight, a bit like when passer-by slow to look at a car accident.

    • JeffDaRef

      Campbell should pull a sickie..probably needs a “mental health day” after that!

  • JeffDaRef

    Mediaworks confirmed sale today – price must have dipped overnight!

  • tarkwin

    Classic mad scientist stuff! Mad man spends so much time trying to make monster (news) doesn’t realise monster becomes more powerful than him and finally ends up consuming him. I intend to turn this into a one act play, apply for government funding and stage it in an exclusively seedy theatre somewhere in Grey Lynn. Of course the tickets will be incredibly expensive in order to reflect the emotional suffering I’ve put in to this venture. I’m off to the pub to wait for my grant to come through.

  • Col

    How about Paul Henry at least we can have a laugh.
    3 Cheers for JK THG he is PM.

    • Bunswalla

      JK’s a legend, true, but why do we have Hugh Grant to thank?

  • JeffW2

    “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”.

    Absolutely spot on description. There is no longer a TV programme worthy of the title “news”.

  • Blue Tim

    Just helps confirm to me I was right in changing my viewing habits earlier this year when I banned 1 & 3 news, 7 sharp & CL from my house. A recorded Charlotte, Alistair & Eric on Prime it is now then Crowd Goes Wild. One half hour of news with one newsreader not begin part of the story and prompting me how to feel and some light hearted sports.

    • Not Mark Richardson

      Well duh

    • Toddus

      CGW for me too Mon/Fri and in between we chose something else at 7pm.

  • CheesyEarWax

    Campbell Live: New Zealand’s leading current affairs programme for the dumb and stupid who couldn’t care less. Weeknights with John (Schooled) Campbell 7pm.

    I’ll definitely tune in tonight. 8)

  • blokeintakapuna

    it also seems, more people are interested in slagging-off Campbell and Campbell Live – than making submissions about the GCSB – so by those measures TV3 have declared, and the shrilling Campbell is carrying on about – what does all the negative feedback and comments all over the MSM actually tell the new owners of TV3?

  • cows4me

    You assume that Campbell reports the news. Generally I would say it’s a half hour opinion piece for all things and issues held dear to the left. If some parts have news in if if is probably a lucky consequence.

  • Rodger T

    The TV news turned to shit in the 80s when they had to compete for ratings and the advertising dollar.
    I stuck it out up to the mid 90s then gave up,the missus got sick of me shouting at the vacuous twats spouting their vapid opinions instead of reporting facts.