Thursday, 21 May 2015

The End of political journalism on NZ TV

And then they came for Campbell Live – the end of political journalism on NZ television
Martyn Bradbury

Campbell Live was a beacon of light in an otherwise bleak media landscape – we are a lesser country for this decision


21 May, 2015


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MediaWorks have released their decision on Campbell Live on budget day so as to minimise the media impact, they have made the same decision TVNZ did – walk away from their 4th estate obligations to peddle trivia and mindless entertainment.

By killing off Campbell Live the right have silenced one of their biggest critics – now it’s just wall to wall Paul Henry & Mike Hosking. Who will hold Key to account now? His chums Mike or Paul?

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Maybe TV3 will appoint Cameron Slater as John Campbell’s replacement?

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T
he totality of the right wing echo chamber our mainstream media have become just made Key’s attempt at winning a 4th term far easier. -Only National and the right will find glee in this decision.

Campbell Live was a beacon of light in an otherwise bleak media landscape – we are a lesser country for this decision.

Make no mistake about it, this is a political hit job on the loudest critic of the Government.

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1: He’s the man John Key picked to chair the “Summit on Employment” in 2009(1)
2:He’s also the man John Key picked to lead The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal(2)
3: He’s also the man who used that position to breach the Bill of Rights Act and force “the advancement of religion” into the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust’s constitution(3)
4: And he’s the man Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) characterises as “allegedly a friend of John Key”(4)
5: Slater also asked on October 15 last year “Who will be the first (of many) casualties under Mark “I’m the boss” Weldon at Mediaworks?” with one commenter on that story saying “The man is a tyrant who doesn’t play nicely with others. Frankly, I love the idea of Weldon and John Campbell having to work together …”(5)
6: he’s also the man whom insiders were picking as a potential National Party candidate for the safe seat of Tamaki(6)
7: And he’s a man who praised John Key’s program of asset sales announced in 2011 as “bold, it was clear, it was early – and very positive…” and called those who were cautious about it “fearmongering”. That’s the same assets sales program that had to be drastically cut back and became something of an embarrassment to the government(7)
8: He’s the man who made a substantial personal gain ($6 million) as a result of Key’s asset sales announcement(8)
9: He’s also the man who, as CEO of the NZX, characterised those who voiced concerns about aspects of the Exchange’s operations as mentally ill(9)
10: He’s the man who’s already got rid of two of Mediaworks’s main financial watchdogs – chief financial officer Peter Crossan and company secretary and lawyer Claire Bradley(10)
11: He’s the man of whom blogger Cactus Kate (business lawyer and commentator Cathy Odgers) noted “Mediaworks currently does not employ anyone on your television or radio with a larger ego than Weldon, even Willie Jackson, Sean Plunket and Duncan Garner combined can’t compete” and that “NZX was the greatest reality soap opera in town under Weldon’s leadership, the casting couch of characters was enormous as disgruntled staff left and new bright eyed disciples were employed”(11)
12: He’s the man Odgers also described (in a blog post now deleted by referenced by another, also right wing, blogger) as a “weasel word corporate-welfared CEO…” and a “shallow self-promoting tool”(12)
13: He’s the man who said there was no conflict of interest in allowing the NZX to be the provider of NZX services, the supervisor of its members, a listed participant on its own exchange and the market regulator… a statement one broker described as “utter balderdash”(13)

This is a CEO who is Key’s best corporate friend and this is a foreign owned media company who have been given sweet heart deals from this Government. 
The lax regulation has allowed MediaWorks to gain a dominant market position so claims that they are a private company who can do what they like is bullshit. They have done well from NZ, they owe us fourth estate obligations more than they owe their vulture fund shareholders.

All we have left to hold the powerful to account is Native Affairs on Maori TV.
The less we are told about what Government do, the weaker our democracy – killing Campbell Live is a sad day for broadcasting & sadder day for NZ.

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