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Lock him up!
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# 240242 28-Aug-2018 17:08
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National is celebrating the drawing of a Member’s Bill that would make publicly-funded broadcasting subject to ratings pressure, just like the commercial dross already smothering Kiwi brains. The logic is pure right-wing ideological foam: The dumber you make it, the more people will watch. That is how commercial tee-vee works. Why should taxpayer broadcasting be any different?

 

Forget about quality television for discriminating audiences. The best way is the lemming way, all over the cliff in one mass stampede. Master Chef is already the only choice on TV 1 seven days a week. Pretty soon it will be drilling into our brains 24/7. Who needs original thought when you can have ba-ba instead? An entertained sheep is a happy sheep, or at least, an occupied one. Eat, pray, defecate. What more do we need?

 

So what is wrong with this particular idiocy? Why shouldn’t niche programs funded with public money be subject to viewer head counts? Is it not a good thing to know if the money is being well-spent?

 

The problem is exactly the same as with commercial TV. As soon as audience sizes start being counted, the pressure to increase ratings kicks in. The result is a race to the bottom as programs seeking public funding strive to increase their mass appeal. This kind of ‘money is the only value that matters’ myopia reminds me once again why I have such a dislike of the National party and the things it purports to stand for.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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eph

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  # 2080362 28-Aug-2018 17:40
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Mike Hosting thinks it's right so it must be right lol.

 

He probably doesn't like that they fund "Jono and Ben", "7 Days" and probably some other shows making fun of him.

 

 

 

Though truth to be told I did a quick search on Google and could not find which shows do they (co)fund and how much. Also quality of the show is not directly linked to ratings and audience, lots of that depends on the actual broadcaster, marketing, screen time, etc. so it would be unfair to use that indicator to evaluate NZOA funding decisions.

 

 


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  # 2080377 28-Aug-2018 18:37
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National is celebrating the drawing of a Member’s Bill that would make publicly-funded broadcasting subject to ratings pressure, just like the commercial dross already smothering Kiwi brains


That’s a massive misrepresentation of the bill.

The bill seeks to have taxpayer funded programming report transparently on the viewership that it generates.

Almost exactly what a government seeking to be the most transparent and open government ever should be doing.

 
 
 
 


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  # 2080407 28-Aug-2018 19:36
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Nothing to do with 'ratings pressure' and everything to do with publishing data that reports just how widely (or not) content funded by NZ on Air (ie taxpayers) is 'consumed'.  At worst this will reveal that content is being funded that no-one wants to watch.


gzt

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  # 2080414 28-Aug-2018 19:49
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In any case I'll disagree with the Mike Hosking quote provided in the linked article:

"New Zealand on Air already funds an absurd amount of rubbish that no one watches," Mike Hosking told his ZB listeners last Monday. "Broadcasting is entertainment and information, and it needs to either pay its way - or, if it's subsidised by the taxpayer, it has to have an audience," he said.

Local programming also makes an invaluable contribution to the historical record of New Zealand in some areas.

Taking the example of the programmes made by Melissa Lee - the actual audience on the day is likely to have been very very small.

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  # 2080429 28-Aug-2018 20:29
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gzt: In any case I'll disagree with the Mike Hosking quote provided in the linked article:

"New Zealand on Air already funds an absurd amount of rubbish that no one watches," Mike Hosking told his ZB listeners last Monday. "Broadcasting is entertainment and information, and it needs to either pay its way - or, if it's subsidised by the taxpayer, it has to have an audience," he said.

Local programming also makes an invaluable contribution to the historical record of New Zealand in some areas.

Taking the example of the programmes made by Melissa Lee - the actual audience on the day is likely to have been very very small.

 

It's not saying it's the only metric by which programmes should receive funding. I'm partial to a bit of the old Marae in the weekends but I can't imagine rates highly. That doesn't mean it's not important. 

 

It does, however provide help for assessing the relevance of dross like Filthy Rich which hoovers up a shedloads of funds; for things like this, it's definitely important we understand who is watching it.

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11591113

 

There's no point in bollocks like that getting the lion's share if no one is watching it; we can use that money for more culturally significant programming. If you're going to have a funding model that picks winners then it's kind of important to know if you've won or not. 




Lock him up!
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  # 2080433 28-Aug-2018 20:45
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My concern is that it turns into a popularity contest for the almighty dollar. How do you protect against that?

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2080446 28-Aug-2018 21:00
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Why do we need a publicly funded TV channel nowdays? NZ on Air should just upload all of their videos to their YouTube channel. Then good videos can be found and watched easily.

If NZ has to have a public broadcasting channel, It should have only limited copyright restrictions, allowing it to be rebroadcast for free by overseas cable networks, overseas FTA, on cruise ships etc. Meaning it can be used both for public access and to promote NZ overseas. Both as a tourism destination, and to promote NZ culture.

Broadcasting via satellite on a beam that covers the entire Pacific would be ideal. There are some small Pacific island countries that are still governed by NZ, some of which don't have a local TV station.

In effect, similar to BBC World.

The NZ on Air YouTube channel is mostly just music videos at the moment. I'm sure NZ on Air has some good content, but it seems that they are hiding it.





 
 
 
 


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  # 2080461 28-Aug-2018 21:26
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Even the ABC in Australia is under threat, so the chance of NZ getting an ads free BBC news type TV channel are doomed I would say. Even if we did get one half the day would be broadcast in Te Reo anyway!


gzt

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  # 2080495 28-Aug-2018 22:35
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There's a long tail to much of it. Filthy Rich has sold to a couple of overseas networks. That helps keep NZ on the map and gives some flavor of the scenery and local culture.

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  # 2084428 5-Sep-2018 16:24
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What's the point of spending govt money on programming only a few people want to watch?

 

People with niche interests should just pay their own way,  As people with mainstream interests have to.  If the audience for particular form of entertainment or art form doesn't justify the costs of production and/or exhibition, then it's a failure and should go extinct. 

 

The alternative is the spinach argument i.e. "it's good for you, even though you don't like it".  That requires value judgements about the 'merit' of particular forms of entertainment - which are subjective at best. 





Mike



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  # 2084442 5-Sep-2018 17:03
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I don't want to sound snarky because this point is being made seriously, but I think it is a typical right-wing money argument. Not everything can or should be measured in simple quantitative terms. People don't always know what they like until they are exposed to it. The spinach argument has a point. Having content that is uplifting and inspiring can have a broader elevating effect, even if it only attracts a minority of viewers. There is a synergy effect. This could be seen with TV 7 until National killed it. Quality attracts other quality. It raises standards. Not everything has to be serious or educational. There should be room for different tastes and needs. But it shouldn't all be lowbrow crap either. Public money pays for museums and libraries and some art. This is a rightly seen as a worthy investment. Media content should be no different. When viewership starts getting measured, inevitably this will lead to questions about the cost per viewer of the content, and it will create pressure to produce more content with mass appeal. It becomes another race to the bottom. We don't need that. We already have it with commercial TV.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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  # 2084720 6-Sep-2018 09:50
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Rikkitic:

 

I don't want to sound snarky because this point is being made seriously, but I think it is a typical right-wing money argument. Not everything can or should be measured in simple quantitative terms. People don't always know what they like until they are exposed to it. The spinach argument has a point. Having content that is uplifting and inspiring can have a broader elevating effect, even if it only attracts a minority of viewers. There is a synergy effect. This could be seen with TV 7 until National killed it. Quality attracts other quality. It raises standards. Not everything has to be serious or educational. There should be room for different tastes and needs. But it shouldn't all be lowbrow crap either. Public money pays for museums and libraries and some art. This is a rightly seen as a worthy investment. Media content should be no different. When viewership starts getting measured, inevitably this will lead to questions about the cost per viewer of the content, and it will create pressure to produce more content with mass appeal. It becomes another race to the bottom. We don't need that. We already have it with commercial TV.

 

 

To me it's only secondarily a money issue.  It's primarily about support.  If something can't stand on its own two feet , then people don't want it. 

 

You don't need govt subsidy to ensure initial exposure.  I was first exposed to all my favourite music via commercially produced albums. I was first exposed to Shakespeare (which I enjoy) via Mel Gibson's Hamlet.  With modern technology, there are many, many more avenues for discovery.

 

I was exposed to a bunch of govt subsidised 'culture' at school - RNZB, NZSO, art galleries etc "eat your spinach" and I've never developed any interest in any of it. 

 

Underlying the subsidy of the arts is a sort of snobbery, that holds some forms of art are more important than others.  It's bunkum.  People can find what they like organically, without state interference.

 

Meanwhile we live in a country with a subsidised ballet company and symphony orchestra, but a large number of volunteers in  emergency services. Nice priorities.





Mike



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  # 2084759 6-Sep-2018 10:32
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Culture is generally seen as a good thing in Europe and it is broadly subsidised. Having lived there most of my life, I would say that is not a waste at all. I think the point about wider accessibility through modern communications technology is a valid one, but it shouldn't end there. Subsidising the arts is not snobbery. It is democracy because not everyone can afford the same kind of access or has the background to appreciate it without some support and encouragement. We also live in a country where the streets are lined with junk food palaces while children suffer from malnutrition illnesses and type 2 diabetes skyrockets. More nice priorities. 

 

There is more to life than beer and beach barbecues.

 

 





I don't think there is ever a bad time to talk about how absurd war is, how old men make decisions and young people die. - George Clooney
 


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