Radio NZ and Bradbury

Clare Curran blogs:

Martyn Bomber Bradbury has been banned from Radio NZ  for criticising John Key.

That’s not quite the case, even though it is how Labour wants it reported.

First of all I should make my position clear. I think Bradbury’s bombastic style is extremely good at motivating partisans and activists of the left, but I don’t think it exactly appeals to so called swinging voters. In fact I suspect such rhetoric actually turns such voters in the opposite direction to the left.

So I’m actually all in favour of Bradbury being on the air as much as possible. Hell give him Labour’s 20 minute opening address. In fact I’d give him his own radio show, even his own entire frequency.

So did Radio NZ really biff him just for criticising the PM? I suggest people listen to the the Media Watch item (start at 26 minutes).

They cite several issues, namely:

  1. Bradbury spoke over the host and wouldn’t let him get a word in
  2. His rant against the Prime Minister was word for word taken from his blog post
  3. Previous contributions to the show were recitals from his blog posts
  4. His rant was against RNZ’s broadcasting standards

As I said, I’ll be delighted if Bradbury is on air as much as possible so I’m not defending Radio NZ’s decision, I’m just pointing out that Mediawatch did not say Bradbury was kicked off for criticising the PM – they cited all those issues above. Also there is a difference between criticising the Prime Minister and accusing him of corruption.

I’m also a regular guest on RNZ Afternoons Panel. As far as I can tell there are 40 – 50 panelists and you tend to end up on around once a month. The format is that Jim and the producers set most of the topics, and you nominate two items. At just after 4 pm you talk about what you have been up to lately and around 4.30 pm you talk about an issue that you nominate. You are meant to indicate these to the producers in advance of the show.

Different guests approach the show in different ways. For what it is worth, here is my approach:

  1. The show is a discussion, not a rant. Listeners are expecting a three way or four way (when we interview someone) discussion on topics.
  2. I never prepare notes in advance. I will think about topics in my head but always just speak unscripted
  3. I try to be relatively balanced. I’ve often been critical of the Government on a specific issue on the show. Of course as someone with centre-right views, this reflects what I say.
  4. I try not to be too political. Many of the items I choose to talk about are not political. I talk about travel a lot!
  5. Even though you get to set the topic for “your issue” I still see it as starting a topic for the whole panel to discuss. You have your initial say, but hopefully it leads to a discussion between you, Jim and the other panelist on the issue.
  6. In keeping with the discussion theme, I will sometimes jump in and offer my 2c on issues put up by the other panelists, or even with guests Jim is interviewing. Being in a different studio can make this sometime difficult to pull off, so you only do it if you think your question or comment is relevant, or at least funny.
  7. Disagreements are fine, but are best done in a respectful manner. I try to identify the aspects I agree with someone on, and then point out the parts where I disagree.
  8. Radio New Zealand is not the same as a blog podcast. I use different styles for different mediums.
  9. I enjoy going on with people with different world views such as (recently) Brian Edwards, and discovering how much we may agree on, and the areas we don’t.
  10. Occasionally the other panelist has been someone who makes me look like a bleeding heart pinko liberal. This frightens me and amuses me in around equal proportions 🙂

Since going on The Panel, I’m amazed at the number of people who tell me they have heard me on it. Several taxi drivers have recognised me purely from my voice alone, as I give them directions. Radio NZ don’t publish ratings, but as far as I can tell it must rate pretty well.

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