Dating a kiwi

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Its rival on state television has grown softer over the years, to the point that in its latest incarnation it has given up on having its female lead come from a journalistic background and has her male counterparts engaging as much in banter as they are discussing the news of the day.

The TV3 evening show features a pretty weathergirl and a slow-witted, unfunny comedian as part of their front-line ensemble, with a rotating cast of B-list celebrities, politicians and attention-seekers engaging in yuk yuk fests interspersed with episodic discussion of real news.

Its competitor on TV One has been re-jigged but in recent years has been the domain of–you guessed it–that NZME male radio personality and an amicable NZME female counterpart, something that continues with its new lineup where a male rock radio jock/media prankster has joined a well-known TV mother figure to discuss whatever was in the headlines the previous morning.

What is noteworthy is that these shows showcase the editorial opinions of the “properties” on display, leaving little room for and no right of rebuttal to those who have actual knowledge of the subjects in question.

Those who appeared on them came from many walks of life and fields of endeavour, with the common denominator being that they were thoughtful exponents of their point of view and grounded in the analytic, philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the subjects that they discussed.

Unfortunately, at least in NZ, that is no longer the case (if it ever was).

These media “properties” are paid by the parent companies no matter what they do.

Non-affiliated people who submit op ed pieces to newspapers are regularly told that there is no pay for their publication (or are made to jump through hoops to secure payment).

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The same applies to television and radio–if one is not a “property,” it is virtually impossible to convince stations to pay for informed commentary.Some independent NZ-based foreign news correspondents still appear in print, but there too they are the exception to the rule.The evening TV news and weekend public affairs shows are still run as journalistic enterprises, but the morning and evening public affairs programs are no longer close to being so."i have met a lovely lady and, we are living together only after 17 days ..thxs" - cheeky1always, Auckland. I met very nice people on here, the site is very discreet and fun." - Anonymous, Auckland.

As an admirer of the eloquent written word and nuanced argument, occasional op-ed writer and someone who grew up reading the editorial pages of major newspapers in several countries, I have long seen the editorial pages of newspapers as places where public intellectuals debated in some depth the major issues of the day.

Over the last decade or so there has been a pernicious two-track trend in NZ media that has not only resulted in the dumbing down of the “news” and public discourse in general, but the substitution of informed and considered debate by shallow opinionating by celebrities and charlatans.

dduvs.dp.ua

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