Were Close Up leaned on?

May 2nd, 2010 at 11:04 am by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs:

But the eagle-eyed little bird had spotted something strange in the Close Up story. In it reporter Daniel Faitaua interviews David Henshilwood and his wife Sally about their problems with Serepisos. Referring to the interview, Faitaua says in voice-over, ‘That was them four weeks ago when they told us of their frustration trying to get paid for installing screens in Terry Serepisos’ Century City Hotel.’

Whoa there! Four weeks ago! You interviewed the Henshilwoods four weeks ago, but you only approached Sereposis’ office yesterday to seek a response. Isn’t that just a little strange?

The eagle-eyed little bird thought so and made a few discreet inquiries. ‘I’m told,’ he tweeted in my ear, ‘that Close Up was instructed not to run the story because it would embarrass TVNZ for not doing proper checks on Mr Serepisos before accepting him for the show. It’s only hearsay of course.’

I am sure normally Close Up do not wait four weeks before following up a story. It would be good to know if they were ordered to wait, to avoid damage to The Apprentice.

Well, if my eagle-eyed little bird has it right, it’s kinda sad isn’t it.  For a network to instruct or  even suggest to  a current affairs programme that it ought to abandon or delay an item of public interest on the grounds that the item might damage the reputation or ratings of one  of the network’s other programmes, really isn’t journalistically or morally defensible.

And if it didn’t happen like that, I’m happy to retract and apologise to TVNZ. As for my eagle-eyed little feathered friend, he may have to watch out for passing birdshot.

Sounds like a good topic for Media 7.

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Whale and Goff

June 4th, 2009 at 9:47 am by David Farrar

Whale Oil on Close Up last night talking about the Richard Worth scandal.

Whale reports that Phil Goff not only refused to go on with Whale – he also insisted that Whale be filmed earlier so they don’t share the Green Room, and then finally said he would not appear at all, if Whale was on the same show.

I find that quite ironic as on Check Point last night, Phil actually quoted “right wing bloggers” in our criticism of the initial press statement.

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Public Service Alert

September 16th, 2008 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Denny Crane will be on Close Up on Tv One at 7 pm tonight.

That is all.

UPDATE: Seems it was last night. I was watching TV and saw the promo, but must have been watching a recording off My Sky.

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School fighting for three years to get drains fixed

July 2nd, 2008 at 9:18 am by David Farrar

I’ve just watched last night’s Close Up, after Bernard Hickey blogged about it.

If you did not view it, go watch it now. It is disgusting. They have spent three years fighting the Ministry of Education to get their drains unblocked etc. Finally they wrote to the Minister Chris Carter but he hasn’t even replied to them, so in desperation they went public:

They’ve had 25 meetings with the Ministry of Education over their property plan. You wonder why numbers at the Ministry of Education has increased so much – this is why. Let me quote Bernard:

The school’s poor principal, Diane McCallum, and the board had been jumping through bureaucratic hoops for three years trying to get a decision on fixing the decrepid school buildings. Tiaho School’s drains overflow when it rains, flooding the toilets and the playing fields with sewage. The students have to walk on duckboards to cross the playground. McCallum is worried that the students are afraid to go to the toilet because of the smell and therefore may struggle to learn.

The rain gets into the wires and sets off the fire alarm. The principal has to climb on a ladder and jam blu-tack into the alarm to stop it ringing when it rains so classes aren’t disrupted. The school wanted some money for some new buildings or to renovate the buildings. There had been 25 meetings with the ministry and 3 different building plans had been submitted. Consultants had visited at a cost of NZ$24,000. Letters had been exchanged. Formulas considered. Yet nothing happened.

Then the boiler broke last week. The Ministry of Education told the principal to buy a bunch of heaters because it wasn’t worth fixing the boiler. The school then spent NZ$4,000 on oil column heaters to warm up the school so the students wouldn’t be too cold. Then the caretaker turned them all on and the electrical system shorted out.

An apt summary of the background. And then the Ministry:

The Education Ministry’s National Property Manager Paul Burke first went through his bureaucratic routine of trying to explain why the school hadn’t quite jumped through all the hoops yet, despite three years of trying. He was trying to explain the shape of the hoops, the number of hoops, how round they were, what they were made of and the exact nature of the leaps required to jump said hoops. He wore a lovely suit with a beautiful tie. He seemed like a man who knew the rules very well.

I wanted to throw things at the television. Mike Hosking avoided throwing things. But he did quickly tear apart the Kafka-esque web the good bureaucrat was weaving. Why was it taking so long? Why couldn’t the drains be fixed? How many consultants does it take to change the lightbulbs at Tiaho school….and why?

I’m just amazed that we make schools jump through such hoops and have to get Wellington to approve a new boiler. Sounds like a case for bulk funding for me. Sure large exceptional items will always be an issue, but forcing a school to spend three years and 25 meetings justifying why they need the drains and sewers unblocked is madness.

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