Fair go being pressured?

March 4th, 2012 at 12:06 pm by David Farrar

blogs:

So the head of TVOne and Two, Jeff Latch, asks for a powwow with staff. Labour broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran asks whether, at that meeting, he asked them to go easy on ’s advertisers.

Latch said he just stressed the need for balance. Price comments:

It does make sense. So much sense, in fact, that you have to wonder why Jeff Latch had to organise a meeting with Fair Go to tell them that. Did he also mention that they should try to be accurate? Not defame people? Latch should know that Fair Go are probably the TVNZ reporters best versed in broadcasting standards and media law, since they deal with them every week.

Then the key part:

Asked if he was instructing Fair Go not to produce programmes that upset advertisers, he said “it wasn’t an instruction, per se.”

Not per se? This sounds weasily to me. Was it a hint, Mr Latch?

Any suggestion that advertisers on TVNZ should be treated differently to non-advertisers by Fair Go, is abhorent.

Price concludes:

Because actually, Fair Go has a pretty good track record in its broadcasting standards complaints. It has not been listed in the BSA’s “Most complained about” shows for at least the past three years, despite the fact that it often makes serious accusations against people with the resources to sue. Likewise, there haven’t been any reported defamation cases against them in the last few years, as far as I can tell. Was there a big secret settlement recently?

If not, Mr Latch – how should I put this? – you should stay the fuck away from the Fair Go staff. It’s their job to tackle TVNZ’s advertisers when that is merited, and it’s your job to hire good journos then leave them to get on with their job.

A fair conclusion.

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23 Responses to “Fair go being pressured?”

  1. Matthew Hooton (131 comments) says:

    “If not, Mr Latch – how should I put this? – you should stay the fuck away from the Fair Go staff. It’s their job to tackle TVNZ’s advertisers when that is merited, and it’s your job to hire good journos then leave them to get on with their job.”

    Its also the advertising department’s job to call up the client and say: “Saw that Fair Go story last night, sorry about that. Surely it is not a big deal for a company as successful as yours? Let’s have lunch.” Then everyone will be happy.

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  2. Redbaiter (9,123 comments) says:

    “Any suggestion that advertisers on TVNZ should be treated differently to non-advertisers by Fair Go, is abhorent.”

    Well maybe. On the other hand, the sooner TVNZ runs out of advertising revenue the better for democracy.

    In the absence of any real broadcaster, the less we hear from those wittering left liberal progressive and watermelon propagandists the better.

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  3. TripeWryter (716 comments) says:

    Just a reply to Matthew Hooton:

    If the Fair Go story is correct, then it is not the programme’s responsibility to care a shit about the consequences for the advertising department.

    Journalists understand that. Others tend not to.

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  4. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    There could be occasions when advertisers who are the subject of Fair Go should be given the opportunity of rescheduling ads. No one wants this sort of scenario:
    Californian cop show – “I will get him in the gas chamber if it is the last thing I do”.
    Commercial break – “Gas does it quickly, cleanly and efficiently”.

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  5. brettc (1 comment) says:

    “I also made the observation we operate in a commercial environment and Fair Go, like all our programs, need to exercise care in the way they handle stories.”

    So you gave them the directive to go easy on those who advertise with TVNZ Jeff?????
    In doing so you have diminished Fair Go as being impartial and credible.
    This is a example of the trend in commercial interests over riding editorial judgement and impartiality. Either it be Fair Go, News, or Sunday you are you are making TVNZ less credible Jeff Latch!!

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  6. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    You might care to ask the Bell-Booth family about Fair Go and balance. My recollection is that Fair Go and a particularly zealous MAF officer conspired to put a legitimate company out of business. In the whole sorry saga, the conspirators failed to produce one customer who was unhappy with the product.

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  7. All_on_Red (1,584 comments) says:

    “good journo”. Now there’s an oxymoron

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  8. jonno1 (82 comments) says:

    The only Fair Go story that I know something about involved a dodgy financier who “passed off” a legitimate small accounting firm as being a front for his business. Fair enough for Fair Go to initially follow this lead, but despite quickly discovering there was no connection they continued to stalk & hound this small firm, and named it in their piece with no explanation that it was an innocent party.

    The next week – a 10 second apology IIRC. Not a huge issue, but the owners had to spend several days explaining to clients that they were totally uninvolved with the scam, and were in effect another victim of the scammer. As far as I’m concerned, Fair Go lost all credibility at the point they knowingly defamed an innocent party just to make a story.

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  9. Dave Mann (1,224 comments) says:

    Any suggestion that advertisers on TVNZ should be treated differently to non-advertisers by Fair Go, is abhorent.

    Really? Fair Go is just junk entertainment, isn’t it?

    Does anybody with any brains think that a business (which is what TVNZ, is after all) would deliberately shoot itself and its clients in the foot by slagging off any of its major advertisers?

    Wake up. We’re not talking sacred soil here, its just muckraking for the masses.

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  10. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    Never realised anyone still watched Fair Go. I gave up 15 years ago and I only have half a brain. :)

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  11. MT_Tinman (3,205 comments) says:

    Fair Go is a vehicle designed to sell advertising for TVNZ.

    I can see no reason at all why TVNZ shouldn’t protect their advertisers.

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  12. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    TVNZ should be sold to the highest bidder. It surprises me that a National Government feels that it requires a propaganda arm just the same as the bloody socialists do.

    Gives us a fair insight into the Key mentality I guess! :)

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  13. Steve (4,565 comments) says:

    “I gave up 15 years ago and I only have half a brain.”

    State Asset but kept control Johnboy?

    Sorry, could not resist

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  14. Akaroa (558 comments) says:

    Still watch the odd one now and again, but IMHO the show started to go down the pan when ol’ Cliff left. We suspected there’d been a bit of upper echelon corporate tweaking programme content-wise when they put in a female front person. A mere shadow of its former punchy self!

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  15. peterwn (3,277 comments) says:

    Dave Mann – Fair Go is the 21st century equivalent of the stocks and pillory. It does provide a let-out for those experiencing problems with shonky traders.

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  16. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    Jesus. People who comment on KB actually watch TV1!!

    And I thought we attracted a more intelligent sort of fuckwit here! :)

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  17. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    I’ve just been watching TV. On sport (TV1 during channel hopping) they said that everyone should be still partying in the south…the deep south. How’s everyone in the north…the shallow north?

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  18. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Pete,

    Wallowing in the paddling pool the “weather bomb” left behind. At least we are not out of our depth :-)

    [Edit: That was meant in reference to our shallowness up north, not the predicament in Otago, for which you have my (and I suspect most of our) empathy.]

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  19. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    Glad to see you are embarrassed about watching TV1 Pete.

    I always thought you were an intelligent sort of fuckwit. :)

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  20. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    Having worked in a store that was “investigated” by Fair Go, (and as I still work there, I will not name it) I can say that the story was unbalanced, and did nothing to determine the actual series of events in the dispute.

    As it was, we were contemplating refering the matter to police as we felt this was a case of a customer using a document fraudulently, but this person ran off to Fair Go, and at that point, the bad publicity we would have garnered by continuing down that path would have been far worse than the cost incurred by doing what Fair Go “asked” us to do. The fact is that those who watch “Fair Go” perceive the journo’s to be the “good guys”, and as a result, the target of the complaint must be the Bad Guy.

    Asking for balance in these issues is not uncalled for. The lack of balance in the issue that I was involved in would be EXACTLY the reason Mr Latch would have called such a meeting. Fair Go is not about balance. Fair Go is about Ratings. More often than not the really bad companies with illegal practices deserve to be lambasted, and the ratings do follow as the disenchanted public bay for corporate blood. But they aren’t alway right.

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  21. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    Don’t be upset SR it is just the way of the horrid little world.

    It’s a bit like blaming the dreadfully bad health outcomes of the hugely gross brown people on a popular occasional snack for the more intelligent of us.

    Shit happens.

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  22. Paulus (2,633 comments) says:

    Having a company involved with a spurious claim, that I represented some years ago, I was appalled on the night, in the studio, to be told that the whole story was changed and shortened, and that true representation did not take place. There is a long story a month later which nearly led to more than physical when I told FG to get stuffed in loud terms, in the Avalon reception.
    Don’t think that anything has changed – only the people.

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  23. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    I recall a couple of years back listening to the Leighton Smith show on Newstalk ZB, except Leighton was away and some other guy was filling in. Somehow the topic of McDonalds came up and there were no callers so this guy started a big rant about how he had been to Maccas that morning and his Bacon and egg McMuffin came without any bacon, or egg. It was just a muffin by itself. He then proceeded to have a good whinge about the hash browns and so on, it was all quite funny to listen to.

    Anyway, straight after that rant was the news or some other segment – sponsored by none other than McDonalds breakfast. It was all class. I wonder if he ever got invited back to that morning segment again?

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