25 years of the broadcasting school: a celebratory gaze into the future of news

July 27, 2009

I spent an interesting 24 hours in Christchurch on Friday and Saturday as a guest of the New Zealand Broadcasting School. I was a speaker at the school’s conference to celebrate 25 years of turning out great Kiwi broadcasters and industry heavyweights.

Some other interesting speakers too, including the head of the Australian Special Broadcasting Service, Shawn Brown, himself a Kiwi; Brett Impey, the CEO of Mediaworks; Rick Ellis, CEO of TVNZ, Jim Mather, head of Maori television and John Follett, the head of Sky New Zealand.

All of them had some interesting things to say about the state of Kiwi broadcasting, but they are also fairly optimistic that the industry is in relatively good shape-if only it wasn’t for this blasted recession. Advertising revenues are down somewhere between 15 and 30 per cent and of course there’s been several rounds of cost-cutting, particularly in news and current affairs, but each of them was surprisingly upbeat about the state of broadcasting, particularly television, in the relatively (in global terms) small New Zealand market.

I was on a panel talking about the future of news and my fellow presnters were TVNZ head of news and CAff, Anthony Flannery, his TV3 counterpart, Mark Jennings and a recent NZBS graduate, Katrina Bennett, who’s now with the Radio Network in Wellington.

We had a lively discussion and again both Mark and Anthony were confident that television will continue to be the dominant news media for some time to come.There were some great questions from the audience too: about the ubiquitous TVNZ live cross that doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Anthony Flannery made the point that he thinks TVNZ news gets it right about 40 per cent of the time. There was also some discussion of how PR is tending to overshadow news to some degree and Katrina made the interesting point that to some extent journalists have just become the re-mediators of press releases. She asked why don’t organisations like the police just go straight to the public and this provoked some interesting responses from the panel and from the floor. Read the rest of this entry »

Does my face look fat in that?

June 17, 2008

Ah the mundanity of the web. I’ve begun a theme on this which you can backtrack to.

[Visit “Web of mundanity” post.]

This installment looks at the latest fad – public humiliation on the Facestat website. What a fcuking glorious idea and what a startling and innovative use of bandwidth.

If you’re considering plastic surgery; facial reconstruction, a nose job, or a “lift” perhaps, why not post your “before” shot and get your peers, or even perfect strangers to judge you.

Does your face look fat in this? “Absolutely you two-bit loser, why not just jump off a bridge now.”

Oops, sorry, ‘LOL’.

I’m sure this will be a roaring success, you can even upload your profile pic from Farcebook. It’s as easy as “one-click-three”.

In the interests of research Sean Plambeck of the news.com.au technology site uploaded his image to test the potential of the site.

[Sean Plambeck’s news.com story]

Better you than me buddy. Another innovative use: why not upload pictures of your enemies and get them down-rated. Ha, revenge is a dish best served online.

[update] I just went back to Facestat, you actually have to rate people in order to earn points to put your own pictures up. [I’ll be back once I’ve earned enough points to put a pic up, that could be fun].

A web of mundanity?

June 8, 2008

In a recent post I suggested that the blogosphere is now “officially mundane”. [Baby Herbal Soup]
I felt at the time EM readers might think that comment a bit pretentious and a bit of a put-down. It wasn’t meant that way, so I figured I should explain myself. I like to be provocative (in case you hadn’t noticed), but I also like to develop arguments and cases to back up my provocations. It’s the polemic method of a teacher.

The opportunity for further reflection and articulation of the Internet=Mundane idea has presented itself this week with a number of interesting news stories that show what I mean:

  • a Sky News story about the university gossip site, JuicyCampus, and attempts to have it banned on campuses
  • an NZ herald story about teenagers sending inappropriate images of themselves to each other then finding them in the public eye unexpectedly
  • a Sunday Star Times story about an irate online buyer who went round to an online seller’s house and forced him to remove comments posted to the Trade Me site about their transaction.
  • On any given day these “what were they thinking?” and “weird news” stories are in the media, they’re an indicator of something more profound.

    [Dribblejaws alert: If you don’t like “theory”, go away now]

    Read the rest of this entry »