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Posts Tagged ‘crap tv’

TV3’s The Project – A Babyboomer lowers the boom

2 April 2017 2 comments

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“TV3 have attempted to make current affairs for people who listen to the Edge, the problem is that generation doesn’t watch TV. So TV3 have alienated Gen X and Boomers who want actual current affairs at 7pm to gain a generational audience who don’t bother with the platform TV3 are using.” Martyn Bradbury, 26 March 2017

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I don’t often comment on other bloggers who have contributed a piece for The Daily Blog. Ninety percent of the time, my ideals, values, and beliefs are  muchly similar to those expressed by others on this forum.

Martyn Bradbury’s piece on   “The Project meltdown raised a point that has been on my mind since I saw the very first ‘Project’ billboard in Kilbirnie, Wellington. Waiting patiently at the lights, my gaze wandered over to the billboard on my hard right (metaphor?);

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The Billboard was situated just above clothing bins where unwanted stuff is dumped by people. (Irony?)

At first, I was stumped. I couldn’t work out what ‘The Project’ or the logo, ‘+HR=E’ was supposed to signify. My first impressions were that it was promoting a new New Zealand comedy movie. Or a novel, upmarket chain of childcare centres was entering the country. ‘+HR=E’ would be a pretty nifty corporate logo for the latter. ‘+HR=E’. Three year olds. Geddit?

A few moments later, as the lights were still red,  I noticed the blurb “News delivered differently” and “Weeknights 7pm”, and then it dawned on me. It was Mediawork’s latest effort to wrest primacy of the 7pm timeslot from ‘Seven Sharp’ and ‘Shortland Street’.

The lights turned green, meaning my *facepalm* moment had gone and I kept both hands gripping the wheel as I mercifully left the scene of the Braindead Zone I had stopped in.

My thoughts turned to another image I remembered from Google Images;

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Oh, how times change.

From sombre anchormen (and they were all men during Phillip Sherry’s time at the NZBC), to… muppets.  Yes, really, muppets. ‘The Project’ has muppets on its set. Here’s the evidence, from an episode on 4 March 2017;

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Let’s play a game, children… see who can spot The Muppet.

Take…

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Your…

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Time…

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No?

Can’t pick it?

Ok, it’s probably this one;

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(But I could be wrong.)

Now, I’m not suggesting for one micro-second that we return to the era when our NZBC was practically an off-shoot of the 1950s-version of the BBC.

But Mediaworks already had a well-recognised, well-respected ‘brand’ in the form of TV3’s ‘Campbell Live‘. It was solid journalism covering a wide range of stories, from the sombre and thought-provoking to the occassionally light and frothy.

Its in-depth coverage the  GCSB Bill, and the Ian Fletcher scandal  in 2013 and 2014 were perhaps one of only two serious media  analysis (the other being Radio NZ) of National’s widening of the surveillance state in this country;

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Campbell Live’s‘ on-going investigation of  post-earthquake events in Christchurch also raised new standards of journalism, as well as nationwide consciousness of events and on-going problems in that stricken city.

Indeed, John Campbell and his talented team at TV3 were so successful at raising public awareness on the GCSB issue that it provoked our former-Dear Leader Key to respond in his usual trivialising, shoulder-shrugging, *meh*-sort of way;

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Jessica Wright: “How do you think that Kiwis feel about the bill?

John Key: “I think they’re much more interested in snapper quota.”

Jessica Wright: “But I’m not talking about snapper quota, I’m talking about the GCSB Bill. How do you think that they feel about the GCSB Bill?”

John Key: “Yeah, I think they’re much more interested in snapper quota.”

Jessica Wright: “Why?”

John Key: “Because they like catching fish.”

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Despite ‘Campbell Liverise in ratings, it was insufficient to save the programme from it’s apparently pre-determined doom.  It was soon followed by the jaw-droppingly  inane New Zealand-version of  ‘Come Dine With Me‘;

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Rivetting stuff. Almost as engaging as watching grass grow.

By sheer coincidence the producer of ‘Come Dine With Me‘ was  none other than Mediawork’s Board Member, and unReality TV porn-purveyor, Julie Christie.

When Mediaworks axed ‘Campbell Live‘ in May 2015 – most likely at the behest of corporate head-kicker Mark Weldon, aided by his trustee henchwoman, Julie Christie – they opened a can of worms.

There were (unsubstantiated) rumours that Key had contacted Weldon, demanding that Campbell be gotten rid off.

The short-lived garbage  that was ‘Come Dine With Me‘ was considered unappetising by the viewing public, and was quickly canned after only two months. It was followed by Story’  in August 2015 but seemed not to engage viewers. The last chapter of ‘Story’ was broadcast in December 2016.

Now we have ‘The Project‘.

Firstly, I have no idea where Mediaworks execs get their ideas from or why they think that something as vacuous as this programme would appeal to the public.

As “Bomber” Bradbury succinctly put it;

“TV3 have attempted to make current affairs for people who listen to the Edge, the problem is that generation doesn’t watch TV. So TV3 have alienated Gen X and Boomers who want actual current affairs at 7pm to gain a generational audience who don’t bother with the platform TV3 are using.”

We ‘boomers  are the generation that grew up on serious investigative journalism. We are the who watched as Muldoon was taken down by a younger Simon Walker and John Campbell took on Helen Clark. We’ve enjoyed the stellar talents of committed professionals like  Lindsay Perigo, Louise Wallace, Brian Edwards, Maggie Barry, Bill Ralston, Kim Hill, Ian Fraser, Mihingarangi Forbes, Liam Jeory, Kathryn Ryan, Carol Hirschfeld, Paul Holmes, Anita McNaught, Cameron Bennett, Melanie Reid, Guyon Espiner, Genevieve Westcott, Mike McRoberts, Lisa Owen,  and so many, many more. 

Regardless of their politics, these were dedicated journalists who we could rely on to ask the questions that we ordinary Citizens were rarely in a position to do. They were persistent. They asked the hard questions which demanded answers and in doing so, challenged those in authority.

That is the purpose of journalism.

Not to look like this;

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I can’t speak for all Babyboomers (of which I am a member of that privileged demographic), but I want my current affairs and news more like BBC/Al Jazeera/Radio NZ/CNN/etc instead of this;

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I want to see this;

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And most certainly not this;

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Next, the number one rule in business is;

#1 The customer is always right

The second rule is;

#2 If in doubt, refer to Rule One

That rule may not always apply. If a customer requests cyanide in their latte, that request can be rightly declined (or not, depending on what is clearly stated on the menu board).

Aside from issues of life and death, public morality, and physical/biological impossibilities, the customer (in the form of the Viewing Public) is always right when it clearly expressed a desire to keep ‘Campbell Live‘ very much alive. So, how right was the  customer?

Viewers:

Campbell Live – 23 May 2015: 330,830

According to comparative ratings, approximately 186,830 customers were very much right. They “walked” from TV3, en masse. Consider me one of them.

Instead of telling us, the viewers what we want to watch, perhaps Mediaworks should have listened to us in the first place. Businesses that turn a deaf ear to their customers usually end up like this;

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If Mediaworks is attempting to cater to Babyboomers, then shite offerings such as ‘The Project‘ will not cut the mustard. It is a pale, immature, sickly parody of professional journalism. What else can you call something that is fronted by people whose day-jobs are comedians? (Though, to be fair, Jesse Mulligan and Josh Thompson are pretty damned good comedians. I’ve enjoyed watching their gigs on ‘7 Days‘.)

It is an insult to my intelligence.

It is an insult to the intelligence of every person who has grown up (or not) watching real journalism, covering real stories, in a real, professional manner.

To be blunt, Mediawork Execs, if you can’t cobble together credible meaningful journalism for your 7pm timeslot, just repeat F.R.I.E.N.D.S or M*A*S*H* or anything else with excessive punctuation marks in the title.

Or just show this;

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Add a bit of background elevator-music and you’re sorted.

Or, you could try something Different/Not Different. Hire a bunch of the most respected, experienced, capable journalists; resource them properly; and give them sufficient editorial-independence to do their jobs properly.

Guarantee them security from interference by the Mark Weldons and Julie Christies of the world.

Spend money on promoting the product. If Mediaworks can spend millions promoting ‘The Block‘, ‘The Batchelor‘, ‘The Project‘, and other programmes of dubious value – then it should be able to promote a serious, flagship current affairs programme.

Treat the viewing public with respect.

That is how a business succeeds.

It’s not that hard. Does it really have to be explained?

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References

Radio NZ: Labour calls for inquiry over GCSB appointment

Scoop media: The GCSB Bill – We at least have to try

Fairfax media: Come Dine with Me to replace Campbell Live

Fairfax media: John Campbell bows out of Campbell Live show

NZ Herald: Political roundup – Who killed Campbell Live?

Wikipedia: Story

NZ On Screen: Tonight – Robert Muldoon interview

NZ On Screen: 3 News – ‘Corngate’ interview with Helen Clark

Throng: TV Ratings – 22 May 2015

Fairfax media: MediaWorks boss – Project is here to stay and will win the ratings war

Other Bloggers

The Daily Blog: The Project meltdown – when Executives come out to support your 7pm Show, that’s when you know you are in trouble

The Standard: I want that left wing bastard gone

Previous related blogposts

The Curious World of the Main Stream Media

Producer of ‘The Nation’ hits back at “interference” allegations over ‘Campbell Live’

Campbell still Live, not gone

Friends, Kiwis, Countrymen! I come to praise John Campbell, not bury him

Mediawork’s Julie Christie at war with NZ on Air – Possible conflict of interest as first reported last year on TDB

Blogger threatened with lawsuit over questions of conflict-of-interest regarding Mediaworks

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This blogpost was first published on The Daily Blog on 27 March 2017.

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Letter to the editor – Witches, foreign fighters, and other bogeymen…

30 November 2014 5 comments

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Listener <letters@listener.co.nz>
date: Sun, Nov 30, 2014
subject: Letter to the editor 

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The editor
The Listener

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A few hundred years ago, it was witches and jews. But burning witches and persecuting jews is  socially passé, so the powers-that-be require new Bogeymen with which to frighten the citizenry.

That is, if the citizenry can shift their glazed eyes from such ‘conciousness-raising’ (note sarcasm) offerings such as “The Block”, “Big Brother Australia”, “The Voice”, “My Kitchen Rules”, et al, to become frightened of black-garbed “Jihadists”.

Funny old world… the masses indulge in their televised ‘opiates’, “reality TV”, and in doing so by-pass the Real World in which they live in.

Because, when you think about it, here’s the irony: in 1985, after French agents/terrorists bombed the Rainbow Warrior, killing an innocent man. The State did not react by passing a gaggle of laws increasing surveillance, police powers, and other draconian measures. The government of the day simply allowed the Police to get on with the job of apprehending the culprits.

Meanwhile, 29 years later, with not a “Jihadist” or “Foreign Fighter” in sight, this government has enacted more repressive laws and extended State surveillance, than at any time in our short colonial history.

Our esteemed Prime Minister – who currently has hearing, perception, and memory problems of his own – seems hell bent on protecting us from “enemies” a world away, and who, like most Americans,  probably aren’t even aware of our existence. (Until, of course, he deploys SAS troops to Iraq. That will no doubt attract the attention of IS like a red flag to a bull. Nice one, Dear Leader.)

This government could install cameras in every home in the country; set up roadblocks and checkpoints at every intersection in our cities; enact a dusk-to-dawn curfew (except Friday and Saturday nights, so bars and alcohol retailers can still ply their trade)  – and the slumbering masses would simply switch channels from “Home Improvements” to “Masterchef Outer Mongolia”.

If apathy was a strength, we would be a reigning world superpower. (If the middle classes could be bothered.)

-Frank Macskasy

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Other blogs

Local Bodies: Five Reasons Why John Key Should Resign

How Melulater Sees It: Why rushing legislation isn’t democratic and doesn’t meet the standard.


 chris finlayson democracy slayer - six months of chit chat

Reference to “Six months of chit chat

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NZ on Air funding soft-core porn garbage? Since when? Since now!!

18 April 2012 7 comments

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From the  NZ Herald comes this mind-blowing piece of news,

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Full Story

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The article goes on to state,

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Though the Mozzies – aka Maori Aussies – play hard in Australia’s “ultimate party town” they are focused on business ventures and building their own personal empires.

They have not forgotten their roots and wear their tattoos proudly, acknowledge their iwi affiliations, and use te reo as well as GC slang.

Cast members include single rugby player Tame Noema, musician DJ Tuini, former X Factor contestants Jade Louise and Nuz, personal trainer Alby Waititi and singer Nate.

Their favourite phrases include “mumsies” (meaning girlfriends), “neff” (friend), “creep on” (scoring girls), “publics” (pubic hair) and “what doing?” (what’s up?).

The official website for The GC says Tame is the only single member of the cast, “which causes much angst for Jade and Zane’s girlfriends as he’s always trying to drag them out on his chick-chasing escapades”.

The show’s producers promise “hot hook-ups, a shock revelation from one of the group about their sexuality, all-over tans, and advice on how to score in a club, of course.”

Which should give the rumoured reality show about Sally and Jaime Ridge a run for its money.

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No way!?!?

*checks date*

Nope, it’s not an April Fools joke. NZ on Air is using taxpayers’ money to fund this garbage? We’re paying taxes to fund a programme showing us  “nine 20-somethings as they work and party hard with the goal of retiring sometime in their 30s hot hook-ups, a shock revelation from one of the group about their sexuality, all-over tans, and advice on how to score in a club” ???

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The GC follows the lives of a group of talented and attractive young Maori as they work hard and play even harder in Australia’s favourite playground, the glittering Gold Coast.

Talented and ambitious, the GC cast are chasing the good life on the Gold Coast. Some live together, some work together but they all play together.

This series offers a fascinating insight into the lives of nine young and successful Maori.

And they’re not alone.

Nearly 130,000 Maori now call Australia home and it is estimated as many as one in six Maori now live in Australia.

Every year thousands of Maori are drawn to the glamour and good life that the Gold Coast offers them.

And it’s not hard to see why. The warm climate, big paying jobs and cheaper living lures them there, and keeps them there.

The GC is where Australia comes to play and party. The famed Surfer’s Paradise strip is lined with high rise apartments and hotels, and crowded with clubs and bars.

It’s hugely competitive and young Maori are striving to reach the top.

They’re known as Mozzies – Maori Aussies – and they are grabbing the opportunities and living life to the full.

It asks what does it mean to be Maori on the Gold Coast as they chase the dream of a better life.

For the boys of the Whare it means playing hard in a town full of resort rich night life, but also investing in that town.” – Source

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If this is not someone’s idea of a bad-taste prank – then the board members on NZ on Air have lost their minds.

Even more derisable is that (if this is true), is that the producers are attempting to validate this infantile pap by using Maori to give some manner of cultural credibility? Oh puh-leese, give me a break. This reminds me of the “blaxploitation” genre films of the 1970s. It mixed sex with violence, using Black Americans, to exploit an ethnic group.

“The GC” appears to be a local version of that Hollywood cringe-worthy embarressment.

Is this now NZ on Air’s  funding agenda; a reality show with 20-somethings doing inane things?

In what way is this supposed to benefit us culturally? How is this educating us? How is dumbed-down, vacuous,  soft-corn porn supposed to broaden our minds?

I pray to whatever gods are up there, that this supposed “reality show” is a lame joke and NZ on Air has nothing to do with it.

Because if this is for real – heads must roll!  The entire NZ on Air Board should resign forthwith.(And repay any cash that they may have paid out up till now.)

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This is not what our taxes are meant to be directed at.

A quick check of NZ on Air’s funding allocation for 2012 shows no mention of anything called “The GC”,

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NZ On Air Television Funding Decisions

March 2012

Genre Programme Total Amount Approved No. Of Episodes Length of Episodes (minutes) Production Company Channel
Children GIRL VS BOY (additional) 34,600 8.0 30.0 KHF Media TV 2
Children SMOKEFREE ROCKQUEST 2012 301,312 6.0 30.0 Satin & Lace Productions FOUR
Comedy AGENT ANNA 1,359,850 6.0 30.0 Great Southern Television TV One
Comedy THE JONO PROJECT 3 897,364 20.0 30.0 TVWorks TV3
Documentary THE LAST OCEAN 80,000 1.0 90.0 The Ross Sea Documentary Prime
Documentary THE PROPHETS 211,524 7.0 30.0 Scottie Productions Maori Television
Documentary * THE FORGOTTEN GENERAL 179,971 1.0 60.0 Kingfisher Films Prime
Drama MEDICINE WOMAN 199,999 1.0 120.0 South Pacific Pictures TV One
Documentary ♦ THE YEAR OF THE ELEPHANT 109,948 1.0 60.0 Lippy Pictures TV One
Documentary ♦ SIEGE: THE INTERVIEWS 32,437 1.0 60.0 Screentime TV One

* This programme was supported by the NZ On Air Platinum fund

♦ These programmes were funded from TV One Docs

The Inside NZ working Group has made the following funding decision for TV3 documentaries:

Genre Programme Total Amount Approved No. Of Episodes Length of Episodes (minutes) Production Company Channel
Documentary YEAR OF THE DRAGON tbc 1.0 60.0 Firehorse TV3

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But just in case, this blogger has fired of an email to NZ on Air,

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Subject:  “The GC” – Please Confirm?
Date:        Sunday, 8 April, 2012 11:57 PM
From:     “Frank Macskasy” <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>
To:            info@nzonair.govt.nz
Cc:           “Minister of Broadcasting Craig Foss” <craig.foss@parliament.govt.nz>

Kia ora,

A recent NZ Herald story reports that a new, proposed reality show on TV3 called “The GC” will be attracting NZ on Air funding.

Can you please confirm that the Board of NZ on Air has not allocated tax-payers money to a reality show of 20-somethings, promising the viewer “nine 20-somethings as they work and party hard with the goal of retiring sometime in their 30s… hot hook-ups, a shock revelation from one of the group about their sexuality, all-over tans, and advice on how to score in a club” ?!?!

Hopefully, the Herald has mis-reported the claim that NZ on Air is now funding sexualised reality shows that instruct viewers how to “score in night clubs”.

If the Herald report is correct, please identify the part of your charter, mission statement, or legislation  confirming that reality shows fall within the ambit of NZ on Air.

NZ on Air’s funding of a reality show, using taxpayers money,  will be of considerable public interest and attention. Your organisation will have to explain how this type of commercialised, low-brow entertainment is of possible benefit to this country.

Regards,
-Frank Macskasy
Blogger

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Subject: “The GC” – Please Confirm?
Date:    Tuesday, 10 April, 2012 3:48 PM
From:    “Kartini Havell (MIN)” <kartini.havell@parliament.govt.nz>
To:      “fmacskasy@yahoo.com” <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>

Dear Mr Macskasy

Thank you for your email of 8 April 2012 to the Minister of Broadcasting.  The Minister will consider the issues you have raised and respond as soon as he is able.

Best regards

Kartini Havell
Private Secretary – Broadcasting
Office of the Hon Craig Foss
Minister of Broadcasting
Private Bag 18041
Parliament Buildings
WELLINGTON 6160

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NZ on Air has not replied to my 8 April email. I did, however, leave this message on NZ on Air’s Facebook page,

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This has to be the worst waste of taxpayers’ money since… since… Hell, I dunno, it just IS!

What on earth possessed you people to use our money for this “reality” soft-core porn?! Are there no other aspects of NZ culture, current events, issues worth looking into?

After you funded Bryan Bruce’s excellent document, “Inside Child Poverty”, you folks set a high benchmark for television production.

You have let yourselves down badly with this latest effort. Having to endure reality garbage, endless cooking shows, and US crime-porn on almost every channel is bad enough. Having our taxes funding this is a gross insult.

I repeat; what were you people thinking?!?!

Shame on you all.

PS: I am guessing that your failure to reply to my email on this issue on 8 April indicates you have no answer to the criticisms I raised?

That was posted at 12.57pm, 18 April 2012.

Which seems to have suddenly prompted this imediate response from NZ on Air’s Jane Wrightson,

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Subject: RE: “The GC” – Please Confirm?
Date:    Wednesday, 18 April, 2012 2:25 PM
From:   “Jane Wrightson” <Jane@nzonair.govt.nz>
To:     “fmacskasy@yahoo.com” <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>

Dear Mr Macskasy

Thank you for your email.

I confirm we have helped fund the documentary series The GC. The proposal talks about young Maori succeeding in Australia. We were pleased to support a prime time series that intends to provide stories of successful Maori who are proud of their culture and are making a good life for themselves.

We have not seen the series yet. I have no doubt some of the fun parts of being young are included in the programme. I do not know in what detail and I imagine they will be balanced with other aspects of life. It’s true that the network’s publicity release seems somewhat lurid in its description: we’ll reserve our judgment until we see the series and the audience response. As you may know our legislation does not permit us to be involved in editorial matters.

Thanks you for your interest

Yours sincerely
Jane Wrightson

Jane Wrightson  |  Chief Executive
NZ On Air  |  Irirangi Te Motu
04 382 9524 (tel)  | 04 382 9546 (fax)   
jane@nzonair.govt.nz  |  http://www.nzonair.govt.nz http://www.kiwihits.co.nz
PO Box 9744  |  Wellington  |  New Zealand  |  6141

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Now, I’m not suggesting that NZ on Air be “involved in editorial matters” – I would be the first to jump on that bandwagon, opposing any such suggestion. It is not up to NZ on Air to be involved in any of the programmes it funds.

However, NZ on Air does have a responsibility as to which programming recieves taxpayer funding.

On their webpage, “Our Funding Strategy“, NZ on Air states,

Our funding strategy reflects our values. We look for: innovation and creativity in programme proposals; for diversity of faces, stories and storytellers to reflect all New Zealanders; and value for money.
What we fund

The Broadcasting Act 1989 determines our genre priorities. Within each genre we fund projects that the market alone would not support. Before applying you must secure a commitment from a free-to-air New Zealand broadcaster to screen your programme. “

One cannot help but wonder how an overtly commercial reality show, which promises that the central characters,

  “… play hard in Australia’s “ultimate party town” they are focused on business ventures and building their own personal empires...

…Tame is the only single member of the cast, “which causes much angst for Jade and Zane’s girlfriends as he’s always trying to drag them out on his chick-chasing escapades”.

The show’s producers promise “hot hook-ups, a shock revelation from one of the group about their sexuality, all-over tans, and advice on how to score in a club, of course.

How is any of that “creative” or “innovative”?

And why is “the market” not funding a format – a reality show – that is clearly of a commercial nature? Why is taxpayers money being used on such a venture?

As this blogger wrote on NZ on Air’s Facebook page,

After you funded Bryan Bruce’s excellent document, “Inside Child Poverty”, you folks set a high benchmark for television production.

It is a shame thathigh benchmark has not been maintained.

But maybe, hopefully, this series will not be as ‘ somewhat lurid ‘ as it’s publicity  would have us believe.

Probably NZ on Air is also hoping.

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Acknowledgement

NZ Sentinel Blog

References

Broadcasting Act 1989

Additional 

NZ Herald: Viewers want ‘The GC’ cancelled

Facebook:  Cancel ‘The GC’ TV Show

Tom Frewen: GC In Breach Of Funding Agreement?

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