Archive for Broadcasting

Willie Jackson’s Newsbites

Posted in Television with tags on 08/12/2009 by ThreeDice

I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t watch a lot of Maori TV. But I was intrigued by the sound of Willie Jackson’s new show Newsbites which was on last night. It was the first show of a four part pilot, and the first product completed under the guidance of Maori TVs new executive producer Carol Hirshfield.

I’m a sucker for news analysis. It was the cornerstone of my degree and I still keep up with criticism by listening to Mediawatch on Radio New Zealand, watching Media 7  on TVNZ7, and reading the blogs of people like Russell Brown, Simon Pound and Janet Wilson/Bill Ralston. Add to that, that I’ve always enjoyed the jovial altercations that take place on Eye to Eye and just generally enjoy Willie Jackson’s broadcasting tone (opinionated, yet transparent) and you’ve pretty much got me into a new obsession. For anyone who’s interested it screens on Maori TV (19 on Sky) at 9.30pm on Monday nights and will be there for the next three weeks.

It’s also available on demand from the Maori TV site.

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The live cross

Posted in Television with tags , , on 17/11/2009 by ThreeDice

I come from the Joe Atkinson school of broadcast journalism, by way of Bill Ralston’s news and current affairs department. While these men may disagree on may points, one on which I’m sure they would agree unequivocally is the pointlessness of the live cross on TV news bulletins. 

Could someone explain to me please, what is the point of having journalists stand outside, often in the dark (I watch the late news), battling the harsh NZ elements to say “Well, it was all action here a couple of ours ago…”?

Worse than that, the journalists don’t really seem to reveal much in their crosses anyway. All the do is introduce the piece they’ve written and then wrap it closed at the end. They clutter the bulletin.

On top of that the anchors are made to look like morons by asking stupid questions written by producers. “What’s the weather like out there Anna?”

Presumably, the crosses are there for promotional purposes. To show the viewers that such-and-such TV team have reporters everywhere and will therefore always be there to get the story first.

Except anyone with brains will tell you that that’s bullshit as news editors dictate the news agenda anyway and will only make a big story out of something for two reasons: 1) If they can get a live cross there, or 2) If someone else has already got a live cross there.

The late Walter Cronkite, a guy who knew a thing or two about news, loathed live crosses to reporters in the field. His argument was if the reporters’ comments were important enough they should have been packaged in the story itself.