Labour’s broadcasting policy

November 1st, 2011 at 10:16 am by David Farrar

have announced:

Kiwis will be asked to help shape a new, non-commercial, modern public broadcaster to be established under a Labour Government.

Labour said it would bring together elements of non-commercial public that already exist, including the statutorily independent functions of TVNZ7 and Radio NZ, to both strengthen and broaden them in the digital environment.

The new broadcaster, which may also include a nationwide news service, will be based on the outcomes of a nationwide public debate, to be completed within one year of Labour winning office.

This is not so much a policy, as a concept. No details, and no costings.

I actually do support the concept of a unified public broadcaster, if it can be funded from existing budgets. I blogged in September how the current spend is $233 million a year.

But Labour are talking of having Radio NZ retain its own seperate board and structure. Hello, you can’t have a unified national broadcaster without a full merging of television and radio together. BBC Radio does not have its own board separate from the BBC.

After full public discussion, Labour will have a clear view of how to proceed and will implement the new model.

This sounds like they just had this idea at the last minute. A decent policy would at a minimum have a budget and set out two or three distinct models for consultation.

There has been an ongoing debate in New Zealand for some time around volume and consistency between featured programmes and commercials on TV, where there are concerns that the audio of television commercials are broadcast at louder sound volumes than the television programme
material they accompany.

You are kidding me? Labour thinks the Government should intervene over the the audio level of advertisements?

Can they also do something about the static on the radio?

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27 Responses to “Labour’s broadcasting policy”

  1. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    how else can we get the ads turned down..?

    .(a ‘market-force’ that pisses off a real lot of people..)

    ..they won’t do it voluntarily..

    ..yet another ‘free-market-failure’…eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  2. Lance (2,550 comments) says:

    And just one easy (compulsory) annual broadcasting fee to pay for it

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  3. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    Hmm vacuous, sound-bitey, well-meaning but mostly nothing there, has Curran’s fingerprints all over it.

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  4. KH (693 comments) says:

    The public contribution that Radio New Zealand makes is quite clear to me.
    But try as I might I can see no element of public contribution in Television that comes from the vast sums of public money they consume.

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  5. JeffW (324 comments) says:

    Why do you support a public broadcaster? Why should government own media? Where is the merit?

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  6. ciaron (1,377 comments) says:

    My mute button works fine thanks Phill.

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  7. tvb (4,240 comments) says:

    The Labour Party is all about get the Government to do this or that, even regulate the sound of commercials. Most people, except the dimmest Labour MP is capable of muting the sound. This policy has all the hallmarks of a half baked policy written up on a piece of paper in a few minutes. Even blog posts have more depth than that.

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  8. Bob R (1,355 comments) says:

    ***You are kidding me? Labour thinks the Government should intervene over the the audio level of advertisements?***

    Heh, I actually know a few older people who find the discrepancy quite annoying. I’m sure they would be happy to see the audio level for commercials to be consistent with that used for the programmes.

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  9. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    I was at the National stand at a women’s expo in Dunedin. I took off my rosette and walked around, and met up with Ms Curran. I told her that advertising volume was a problem- and the next day she tweeted about it! I claim the Troll Prize!

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  10. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    You are kidding me? Labour thinks the Government should intervene over the the audio level of advertisements?

    BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. GO HARVEY GO! GO HARVEY NORMAN! GO!

    Fuck yeah, get this loud crap off any broadcaster who gets a cent of government money.

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  11. backster (2,117 comments) says:

    Labour obviously want to increase the type of propaganda presently broadcast through the likes of Laidlaw, Hill, and Co on Leftwing radio.

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  12. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    DPF said…
    I actually do support the concept of a unified public broadcaster,

    So, you’re a Keynesian proponent after all?

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  13. MT_Tinman (3,043 comments) says:

    Now if they’d promised to guarantee the return of ball-by-ball first class cricket commentaries I might ………

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  14. Nookin (3,174 comments) says:

    I think that it has been referred to the “expert panel”.

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  15. Bill Ralston (8 comments) says:

    A couple of points: We probably do need a debate on public broadcasting (radio and TV) and how it might be delivered. I once suggested to Jonathan Coleman he should set up a formal inquiry to settle the issue once and for all. Not that he did.
    It’s not as simple as it sounds. If you take all the money currently spent on NZOA etc and put it all into one public service channel the market for independent production companies largely disappears and becomes a virtual monopoly. Not good.
    The Nats policy of funding programmes across a range of channels means a wide distribution of NZ programming, much wider than keeping them on one channel that could become a ghetto for NZ productions – look at the Kiwi music radio network, it’s lucky to have 20,000 listeners.
    Merging radio and TV worked well for the ABC in Australia, I studied what they did closely.
    Without trying to justify the racket of TV commercials I would point out the technicals – TV ads aren’t necessarily louder in decibel terms, it is simply the the audio is highly compressed (a Phil Spectre type Wall of Sound effect) while general programming is not as highly compressed. Still bloody annoying though.

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  16. reversespin (68 comments) says:

    Audio levels – surely people have noticed that ads are louder?!

    I assumed that New Zealand already had limits – because I know that in most countries they do!! (Sorry to pop that bubble, DPF)

    But they don’t really work. Usually, all the televised content is subject to a decibel limit – both programs and the advertising. What happens is that the programs appear quiet because they only reach the upper decibel limit occasionally, such as a character shouting, gun shots or a car crash etc.

    Advertisers lay out a soundtrack to their ads that plays at the upper decibel limit for the entire ad- background music, script…everything. The entire 30 seconds is at the limit.

    So yes, most countries (definitely the UK, Canada and the US) have upper decibel limits but ads STILL appear louder by way of this method.

    Now you know……………….and my mum said all the years I spent in advertising were wasted!!

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  17. Scott Chris (5,958 comments) says:

    Farrar says:- “You are kidding me? Labour thinks the Government should intervene over the the audio level of advertisements?”

    Yes this is populist nannyism.

    Amazes me that for such a ubiquitous complaint, that TV manufacturers haven’t included a noise compression facility in their sets.

    Or perhaps they already do.

    Should be a standard feature wrought through market evolution, like flat slim screens or colour. I imagine it soon will be.

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  18. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    Ralston is right, the DB limit will be the same, it’s the use of excessive limiting that makes them truly loud. Google “Waves L2″

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  19. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    the thing that really grinds my teeth at the moment is how our whole heritage of programmes..

    ..has been handed over to sky…

    ..thus forcing us to bow to the sky subscription should we wish to view these programs..

    ..and just to make sure they push our faces right down in the shit..and grind them..

    ..they advertise ..on free to air television..just how good/fascinating/interesting..it all is..

    ..whoever did/approved that ‘deal’..should be dragged to the town square and have rotten fruit thrown at them…

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  20. Falafulu Fisi (2,176 comments) says:

    Phil said…
    thus forcing us

    Who’s us? Us minus you? You can’t be part of the US. Stop trying to be inclusive as if you contribute at all.

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  21. SHG (369 comments) says:

    As I commented elsewhere upon first hearing that tv-ad volume levels were a high priority for the Labour Party…

    TV ads? What the fuck? Who the fuck watches ads? Has (Curran) been paying attention to anything that’s happened in the technology and advertising industries in the last five years? What’s she going to do next, formulate a policy on an acceptable level of rotational intertia for the dials on rotary telephones?

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  22. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    ..thus forcing us to bow to the sky subscription should we wish to view these programs..

    Fuck mate. Don’t tell me you have Sky. I don’t have Sky and I’m fairly well-paid! (Of course I don’t want to waste my money on subscription TV)

    I hate that I’m working to support bludging violent and cruel bastards like you. You’ve done nothing but act to destroy society your entire life. It’s sad you’re okay with your son having such a useless role model for a father.

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  23. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    settle tristy…!..steady…!

    ..read again…

    ..you have miscomprehended..

    ..and are you one of those sad/utterly-ideologically-confused people ..?…a poor-rightie…?..(can’t afford sky..?..)

    ..supporting the political ideology that ultimately fucks you over..?.

    ..sad…

    ..kinda like big bruv…the rightwing taxi driver..(snigger/snort..!)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  24. wreck1080 (3,794 comments) says:

    i agree about reducing audio levels of adverts. This is not the same as radio static either.

    Actually, the adverts are not louder, rather , the dynamic range has been reduced to make them seem louder.

    And, there is legislation in the UK about this…

    http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/experts/article-1674058/Are-these-noisy-TV-adverts-legal.html

    Isn’t this something the Broadcasting authority could sort out without government interference?

    But, hardly an important issue when compared to the GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS!!!

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  25. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    How is regulating to counter the pressure from advertisers to run offensively-loud ads, different to regulating to control the period during which political billboards can be used before an election?

    Both protect the public against irritations that market forces otherwise would be unlikely to control.

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  26. sallydeb (13 comments) says:

    Does that $233m include the administrative costs or is it just the amounts they dish out?

    No one here has elaborated on why government funding of TV and radio programs is a necessary “public good” and why We should be forced to pay for it. Jeffw asked earlier on so common let’s have an answer.

    All the different political parties have different policies on how they decide which programs are “public goods” and how much should be spent on them. Libertarianz are the only party that clearly state that you can keep your money and make you own choices re broadcast spending (ACT do not have a clear policy statement on their site).

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  27. RightNow (6,834 comments) says:

    “Labour thinks the Government should intervene over the the audio level of advertisements?”

    It’s their first sound policy.

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