Whale v Pagani

July 1st, 2012 at 4:55 pm by David Farrar

Whale blogs:

Tomorrow I have a special treat for readers.

John Pagani and I will be hosting an hour of morning talkback at NewstalkZB Wellington.

Sean Plunket is away and so we are doing a filler spot for him. It will be no holds barred crossfire from the two of us with talkback.

Unfortunately for Auckland listeners you will have stream it live if you want to listen to me smack up Pagani…again. Wellington listeners can tune in on 89.3FM 1035AM.

Whale and Pagani on air for an hour together should be like sticking a mongoose and a rattlesnake in a small container and watching the mayhem.

Highly recommended listening. They are on from 11 am to 12 noon tomorrow (Monday).

Keys actual comments on the media

May 15th, 2012 at 3:55 pm by David Farrar

Do you recall before the election when the media reported that John Key “stormed” out of a press conference refusing to answer any more questions, and then the video showed it was a total beatup. He just called an end to questions and calmly exited.

Likewise we are now seeing reports that John Key “slammed” the media in his comments on NewstalkZB. Luckily they videoed the show, so you can judge for yourself whether this was a “slamming” or in fact a reasonable critical analysis.

A near miss

February 3rd, 2012 at 3:18 pm by David Farrar

Was on Face Off this morning on Wellington ZB hosted by Sean Plunket. The other panelists were Josie Pagani and Greg O’Connor.

Josie and I got there early and went into the studio. Sean had the news break, so left the studio to have a nicotine break.

Josie and I started our normal chatter, which as you can imagine is not always as carefully phrased as when speaking in public. A short time into this, Josie then goes “Does that red light mean we are broadcasting?”.

Yes, Sean had forgotten to turn the microphone off. Very fortunate that Josie noticed the red light in time, as I suspect five minutes of our conversation accidentally broadcast would not have helped either of us!

Justin du Fresne’s retirement

September 1st, 2010 at 1:32 pm by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Wellington radio personality Justin du Fresne has announced that he will step down as host of the morning show on NewstalkZB.

He has hosted the show since 1987, and this year marked 50 years since he began his radio career.

“This is my decision, I’ve had an amazing time but feel I need to enjoy life without the pressure of a daily radio show. I would like to thank my listeners for the sustained support I’ve had,” he said.

Wellington general manager of The Radio Network Rhys Nimmo said: “Justin has been a fixture on Wellington’s airwaves for well over two decades and has been a key reason behind NewstalkZB’s status as a market leader in talk radio”.

Du Fresne was in discussions about an ongoing role with NewstalkZB.

Christmas Eve will be his last day in his current role.

1987 is around when I started listening to talk radio, so I can’t recall a time when Justin has not been the morning voice on Newstalk ZB, or 2ZB as it was then.

The trend in broadcasting has been to centralise the broadcasts. Once upon a time 1ZB, 2ZB and 3ZB all have very different shows and presenters. It makes economic sense to have one presenter nation-wide if you will keep much the same ratings.

The exception to this trend has been Justin, in Wellington. He has such a dedicated following, that he has maintained his Wellington only mornings show.

In the last couple of years, I’ve gone from a listener to a regular panellist on his Friday face off panel. This was my favourite part of his show, as a listener, so it has been a real treat to be on Face Off, and hand out bouquets and brickbats.

Hopefully NewstalkZB will continue with a Wellington only show in the mornings, after Justin retires – but they may find his boots are too big to fill.

The next time I am on the show, I must ask Justin the question I keep forgetting – is he related to Karl du Fresne?

A case in point

August 28th, 2010 at 8:18 pm by David Farrar

At the #openlabournz conference earlier today, there was a good discussion about how social media can help improve interactions with Government, and we focused specifically on getting a culture in the public service where staff can engage in social media.

I made the point that the problem is the media can take a flippant comment online, and treat it as a press release, and demand the CEO comment on it or respond to it. My suggestion was that a good CEO should tell anyone who comes to them with a media inquiry about a flippant comment on Facebook or Twitter, that the person needs a life and the CEO is too busy with real issues.

In the few hours since the conference, we’ve had a perfect example of this play out – but with MPs not public servants.

In the House on Thursday, Melissa Lee embellished her question to Judith Collins of “Can she explain the reasons behind the record low number of escapes” by adding on “except for the fact she is such a fantastic minister”.

Nikki Kaye promptly facebooked that Melissa’s effort should win her “brown nosing backbencher of the year”.

Now Nikki and Melissa are good mates. Melissa actually responds to “Blondie” in the facebook thread. It is very obviously two mates having a friendly hassle.

Then early this morning on Red Alert Trevor Mallard posted a screenshot of the Facebook thread. It is bloody obvious that it is a friendly exchange. They even have Melissa doing a lol on it.

So far so good. But then someone at NewstalkZB thinks this is somehow a newsworthy story. They actually dispatch a reporter to phone Nikki Kaye up and ask her why she called a colleague a brown noser, and does she think John Key would approve of it.

For fuck’s sake. This was the exact point I was making at the Labour conference. An idiot media outlet thinking that a piece of friendly banter is somehow a news story, let alone some sort of scandal that the Prime Minister might need to be informed about.

The Prime Minister, I am confident to predict, would find the exchange as funny as most people would.

What really annoys me is that the consequences of such media stupidity is to encourage our MPs to become automatons – never showing any personality or humour – playing everything safe, just to avoid a potentially bad media story.

When you can say fuck on air

October 5th, 2009 at 1:10 pm by David Farrar

Brian Edwards blogs on the F word, and how often it is used on TV now. I’m not that interested in that (I hardly even realise when the word is said), but on his quoting rules from various radio and TV networks.

Radio New Zealand’s programme rules state: ‘In general, senior managers will never approve the word “motherfucker”, and the word “fuck” will only be approved in rare circumstances where context justifies its use.’

But what if one is talking about a Tasmanian?

The Radio Network has an even stricter policy.  ’Fuck’ may not be used by its programme hosts or talk-back callers. Like all talk-back stations, the ZB network operates a 7-second delay, allowing hosts to delete unacceptable material before it is broadcast.

So Radio NZ is slightly more liberal. I’m on the Panel this afternoon so maybe I’ll see if I can slip it in – just kidding Noelle 🙂

TV3 will allow limited use of obscene language after 8pm but takes a much more relaxed approach after 9.30. (Outrageous Fortune and Seven Days are both TV3 programmes broadcast after 9.30.)

Wasn’t the Ralston Group on after 9.30?

TVNZ takes a similar position. Though it will on occasion broadcast the f-word after 8.30pm, it prefers to restrict its use of the word until after 9.30. If the word is used more than twice, the programme will be preceded by a viewer warning.

I love how they have a quota. More than two fucks and you get a warning!

Most New Zealand newspapers will not print the word ‘fuck’ in full, preferring to use asterisks as in ‘f**k’. This always struck me as rather silly, since there are very few New Zealanders who would not be able to fill in the missing letters.

It is silly, but I sometimes do it myself. It is a way of conveying what was said, without perhaps repeating any offence.

Facing Off from 11 to 12

December 19th, 2008 at 10:24 am by David Farrar

I’m on Faceoff on Newstalk ZB Wellington from 11 to 12 with Ken Laban and Kathryn Asarae.

Topics are:

  1. Are fines for truancy the solution?
  2. Is ACC out of control?
  3. What part of Xmas most annoys you

I’m not sure any part of Xmas annoys me. Will have to think about that one.

Farewell Paul Holmes

December 19th, 2008 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I wasn’t always a fan of Paul Holmes on TV. Don’t get me wrong – he made the Holmes show into a huge success, but I didn’t think he was the best political interviewer on TV and would get frustrated with some of TV work.

But with his radio show, I have no mixed feelings at all. I absolutely love Holmes on ZB and listen to him most mornings. His sense of humour and ability to poke at sacred cows was wonderful. He really had few peers, and it showed in the ratings. I am not sure if we will see such a talented radio person again.

The NZ Herald (despite often being a target of Holmes) delivers a nice farewell editorial.

I don’t know who I will listen to now. Not sure how Hosking will go. I could defect to National Radio but again with Sean Plunket leaving, that loses some of its appeal.

Some may be surprised

October 22nd, 2008 at 7:55 pm by David Farrar

Was on Larry Williams just before six pm. Larry was defending recent utterances from National MPs, and I was criticising them!

The point I tried to make is it is not just about whether something is true or not. For example it is of course true that new roads built with a PPP will have tolls on them and sure the toll could be $3.

But the issue is whether one even wants to talk hypothetical prices on hypothetical roads. This allows Labour and/or the media to conjure up images of every road into Auckland having a toll on it. And many people do not read beyond the $30 a week toll headline.

TV3 did an item on Lockwood’s comments and talked to some local employers of seasonal labour and they said much the same thing as Lockwood. However my criticism still stands – in an election campaign you have to think five seconds ahead of what you say, and avoid giving needless ammo to your opponents.

MPs survey of the media

September 29th, 2008 at 3:20 pm by David Farrar

Last week I set up an online survey for MPs, asking them to rate various media organisations and senior gallery journalists on a scale of 0 to 10. Just under one quarter of MPs responded, and the results are shown below.

As the media often rate how well MPs are doing, I thought it appropriate to reverse this and ask the questions in reverse. The media are a hugely powerful filter, and it is appropriate (in my opinion) to have some focus on how well they are perceived to be performing.

The questions were:

  1. For each media organisation please give them a rating from 0 to 10 for how well you think they do in their parliamentary reporting. This should take account of all relevant factors – accuracy, fairness, thoroughness, relevance, substance etc.
  2. Now for some individual senior members of the press gallery, please rate from 0 to 10 how well you think they perform at proving fair, accurate, unbiased and informative reporting on Parliament. You can skip any that you do not feel able to rate.
  3. Finally can you indicate your party grouping as National, Labour or Other. Your individual identity is not sought by us, and we have no way or interest in identifying individual respondents. However we would like to summarise results for all MPs and by the three groupings to see if they vary by party grouping.

It is important that these be read in context, so make the following points:

  1. This is the opinion of MPs only. It does not set out to be an objective rating, and should not be seen as such.
  2. MPs get reported on by the gallery. While this makes them the group of NZers potentially best able to have an informed opinion on the media (which is why I surveyed them), it also gives them a conflict of interest. MPs may score journalists lowly due to personal run ins with them, or the fact they are too good at their job! This should be borne in mind.
  3. I only e-mailed the survey to the 121 MPs, but it is possible that one or more responses was filled in by a staff member who has access to the MPs mailbox. I think this is unlikely, as most staff are very professional. However MPs were not required to prove their identity to vote, as confidentiality of individual responses was important. You need to know the Survey URL to be able to vote.
  4. National MPs made up 43% of responses, slightly above their numbers in Parliament. Minor Party MPs were also slightly over-represented, Labour MPs under-represented and some MPs did not give a party identification.
Media Mean Median Mode Minimum Maximum Range
NZ Press Assn 6.1 6 6 4 9 5
Newsroom 5.8 6 5 1 10 9
Trans-Tasman 5.5 6 6 0 8 8
NZ Herald 5.3 6 6 0 8 8
Scoop 5.2 5 5 0 10 10
Newstalk ZB 5.1 6 7 1 8 7
Listener 5.0 5 3 1 8 7
NBR 4.9 4 4 1 8 7
Radio NZ 4.8 6 3 1 9 8
Radio Live 4.4 5 1 1 8 7
Sky/Prime News 4.3 5 5 0 7 7
The Press 4.2 5 1 1 7 6
TV Three 4.1 5 6 0 8 8
Dominion Post 4.1 4.5 1 1 7 6
TV One 3.9 5 5 0 6 6
Maori TV 3.7 4 5 0 6 6
Herald on Sunday 3.5 3.5 7 0 7 7
Sunday Star-Times 2.7 3 3 0 5 5

NZ Press Association tops the rankings with a mean or average 6.1 rating – and received no very low ratings from anyone. The two Internet agencies were in the top five, indicating MPs like the fact their releases are carried in full. Trans-Tasman also does well.

Television generally gets ranked lowly with all four stations in the bottom half. Sky News actually ranks highest.

Radio is middle of the field with NewstalkZB being the highest ranked radio broadcaster.

The newspapers range the spectrum. The NZ Herald is up at 5.3, Press at 4.2 and Dom Post at 4.1. I would have them all higher, but this is a survey of MPs, not of my views.

Now the sample sizes are of course very small (but of a limited population) but let us look at how National MPs ranked media compared to all the other MPs:

Media All Mean Nats Mean Others Mean Difference
TV One 3.9 6.3 2.2 4.2
TV Three 4.1 6.2 2.6 3.6
Maori TV 3.7 5.2 2.5 2.7
Sky/Prime News 4.3 5.5 3.3 2.2
Sunday Star-Times 2.7 3.5 2.1 1.4
Radio Live 4.4 4.8 4.2 0.6
Radio NZ 4.8 5.0 4.6 0.4
Dominion Post 4.1 4.2 4.0 0.2
Herald on Sunday 3.5 3.5 3.5 0.0
Newstalk ZB 5.1 4.8 5.4 -0.6
The Press 4.2 3.8 4.6 -0.8
NZ Herald 5.3 4.2 6.1 -1.9
NBR 4.9 3.3 6.1 -2.8
Listener 5.0 3.3 6.3 -3.0
NZ Press Assn 6.1 4.3 7.4 -3.1
Trans-Tasman 5.5 3.3 7.1 -3.8
Scoop 5.2 2.8 7.0 -4.2
Newsroom 5.8 3.0 8.0 -5.0

National MPs ranked the four TV channels much higher than other MPs did. Maybe this is minor parties upset that they do not get on TV much?

Despite the generally accepted lean to the left of Radio NZ, National MPs ranked Radio NZ higher than other MPs did. And while some on the left attack the NZ Herald at favouring National, National MPs actually ranked them lower than other MPs did. The Listener and NBR also get accused of leaning right, but again get ranked lower by National MPs.

The Nat MPs also rated the online media very lowly.

Now the journalists. I decided not to list all members of the press gallery, but only those who are relatively senior, and are more likely to have a reasonable number of MPs have formed opinions about them. Looking back I could have included more.

If any journalist is unhappy about being missed out, happy to include you next year. Now again it is worth remembering these are only the opinions of those MPs who responded to my survey – it is not an objective rating.

Journalist Mean Median Mode Minimum Maximum Range
John Armstrong (NZH) 6.4 7 2 2 10 8
Peter Wilson (NZPA) 5.8 5 5 3 8 5
Audrey Young (NZH) 5.7 6.5 7 0 10 10
Ian Templeton (TT) 5.6 7 7 0 9 9
Jane Clifton (Listener) 5.6 6 6 2 9 7
Barry Soper (Sky & ZB) 4.9 5.5 7 1 9 8
Ian Llewellyn (NZPA) 4.9 5 5 1 8 7
Vernon Small (DP) 4.6 5 6 1 8 7
Colin Espiner (Press) 4.5 5 6 0 8 8
Guyon Espiner (TV1) 4.4 5.5 7 0 7 7
Tim Donoghue (DP) 4.1 4.5 2 1 9 8
Brent Edwards (RNZ) 4.1 4 4 0 7 7
Tracy Watkins (DP) 3.8 4.5 6 0 7 7
Duncan Garner (TV3) 3.7 3.5 3 0 8 8
Gordon Campbell (Scoop) 3.6 5 5 0 7 7
Ruth Laugeson (SST) 2.7 2.5 2 0 6 6

John Armstrong tops the ratings, followed by the NZPA Political Editor Peter Wilson. Generally MPs ranked journalists slightly higher than media organisations. As can be seen by the minimum ratings showing, some MPs were very harsh handing out zeroes. Did WInston multiple vote? 🙂 (Note I have no idea if Winston did vote)

And once again we compare responses between National MPs and other MPs.

Journalist All Mean Nats Mean Others Mean Difference
Laugeson 2.7 4.2 1.6 2.6
Clifton 5.6 7.0 4.5 2.5
Soper 4.9 6.2 4.0 2.2
Campbell 3.6 4.8 2.8 2.0
Edwards 4.1 4.8 3.5 1.3
Llewellyn 4.9 5.2 4.7 0.5
Young 5.7 6.0 5.5 0.5
Garner 3.7 3.5 3.9 -0.4
Espiner G 4.4 4.2 4.6 -0.4
Wilson 5.8 5.5 6.0 -0.5
Armstrong 6.4 6.0 6.8 -0.8
Watkins 3.8 3.0 4.4 -1.4
Donoghue 4.1 3.2 4.9 -1.7
Small 4.6 3.2 5.6 -2.4
Espiner C 4.5 2.8 5.8 -3.0
Templeton 5.6 1.8 8.5 -6.7

Again very interesting. The SST is generally seen as hostile to National, but Ruth Laugeson is ranked much higher by National MPs, than by other MPs. Likewise the Gordon Campbell and Brent Edwards (both left leaning) are ranked higher by National MPs than other MPs.

Also for some reasons National MPs ranked Ian Templeton very lowly. Maybe they don’t like his weekly chats with Clark and Key, ignoring the lesser MPs?

Winston’s Song

September 1st, 2008 at 2:13 pm by David Farrar

A reader recorded this off Leighton Smith on NewstalkZB. A reader phoned in and sang a song about Winston. Leighton started off very cautious about it, saying one verse only but loved it so much as he heard it, let her sing the whole thing.

The song is here: winnies-song.

On ZB from 11 to 12

May 16th, 2008 at 10:54 am by David Farrar

Oh yes forgot to mention I am on Newstalk ZB today from 11 – 12, for Wellington listeners. Part of the face off panel.

Clarks claims inspired by Rudd “come from behind” win

April 12th, 2008 at 8:39 am by David Farrar

Newstalk ZB reports:

Miss Clark says Labour is looking closely at the victory by the Australian Labor Party last November, which come from behind for a comfortable win. The Prime Minister told delegates those elections show an incumbent Government does not have to be at a disadvantage going for a fourth term.

Come from behind? There was no come from behind. From almost the day Kevin Rudd became leader, he soared to a lead in the polls, and the incumbent Government never came close to closing it. Rudd had a 10%+ lead for over a year, and even overtook Howard as Preferred PM. Now who does that sound a better comparison to?

And even more weird she claims the Australian elections show a Government does not have to be at a disadvantage going for a 4th term. Umm, the incumbent Government lost!! Sure, going for a 5th term, but either ZB has reported her comments incorrectly or she is really clutching for straws.


UPDATE: The above graph from Oz Politics shows what total crap Clark is speaking, when she refers to Rudd coming from behind. On two party preferred vote, Labor led the Coalition for over two years, and by over 10% for the year since Rudd became Leader.

On ZB 11 – 12

March 14th, 2008 at 10:17 am by David Farrar

Doing one of my semi-regular spots on ZB’s Faceoff Panel from 11 – 12 today, for Wellington listeners.

Labour Minister Darren Hughes is on also. He’s a great guy, so I am sure we will have fun.

Topics include the Speaker’s Tours and Auckland Airport.

UPDATE: Was fun.  When Darren started going on about strategic assets, I asked him to provide a list.  He responded with “anything in my electorate” which was very witty. He kindly gave me a lift to near Lampton Quay afterwards.  When the driver asked where exactly he should let me off, Darren suggested where-ever the traffic is busiest 🙂