MediaWorks new audience claims “fake news” claims TVNZ

Oh golly.  It’s handbags at dawn as MediaWorks keep trying to stop their brand from going down the gurgler.

A war of words has erupted between senior TV news executives after a TVNZ boss accused rivals MediaWorks – who broadcast channel Three – of “fake news”.

A new MediaWorks marketing campaign promoting Newshub as “New Zealand’s number one news source” has TVNZ’s head of news and current affairs John Gillespie crying foul.

In an email sent to the TVNZ news team, veteran newsman Gillespie called the campaign “a new low” for MediaWorks, adding, “they’re now in the business of putting out fake news”.

Pot, meet kettle.   But let’s not be precious.  

“I think it completely undermines their news credibility to promote themselves with misleading facts,” Gillespie continued. “I think by doing so they are treating New Zealanders with contempt.”

Among other things, the MediaWorks campaign states that “every day, more New Zealanders get their news from us”, and claims an audience of “three million Kiwis and counting”.

MediaWorks also emphasises their audience reach in what they term “the most commercially important” 25-54 age demographic (the sector advertisers traditionally target), stating that 47 per cent of the Newshub Live At 6pm audience is in this demo, compared to just 25 per cent for 1 News.

Gillespie told Stuff that in his view “Newshub is selectively cherry picking audience statistics to flatter its news performance”.

“Newshub claims a higher proportion of 25 to 54-year-old viewers than 1 News but conveniently ignores the fact that 1 News’ average daily reach among this same age group is 37 per cent higher.”

“It’s one thing to gild the lily via its reality TV shows, but to extend this approach to news brings Newshub’s credibility into question.”

Well duh.

Desperation is a stinky cologne.  You only have to see how they try to skew all sorts of issues, be that politics, global warming or Donald Trump’s Mocking of the Day.

Both channels should be more concerned about their survival in a rapidly fragmenting marketplace rather than point fingers at each other about “fake news”.   That, we already know for a fact.

Katie Bradford NZ

Katie Bradford


– Stuff

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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

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