Thanks Frank Torley

March 28, 2016

Veteran broadcaster and the man who for many was  the voice of Country Calendar, Frank Torley, has died.

Frank retired as the narrator on Country Calendar in February because of problems with his vocal cords. . . 

Frank helped on his uncle’s farm as a teenager and was employed as a stock and station agent.

In addition to his broadcasting career, Frank was a small-scale kiwifruit orchardist in the 1980s.

He also owned a lifestyle block in Rangitikei.

Frank was committed to the craft of television. He loved words, his family said. 

“He’d be on the road shooting stories, then spend hours in his home office tapping out scripts on his computer or setting up the next story over the phone.” . . 

The news comes just weeks after the well-loved New Zealand farming series turned 50 years.

After working on farms in his earlier years, Frank he joined a stock firm.

He was plucked from the Feilding saleyards to join the NZBC as a rural broadcaster.

That eventually led to a job on Country Calendar. He has remained with the show ever since.

Frank became producer in the early 1980s, a role he continued until 2006.

He then went back to his first love: back on the road directing programmes.

In 2014 and 2015, he narrated all the Country Calendar episodes.

 He as a wonderful broadcaster.

He made country life and work accessible and interesting  to people who never stepped foot on a farm without dumbing-down the subject.

In doing so he made a significant contribution to bridging the rural-urban divide.


Tweeting for The Nation

March 12, 2016

I’m on The Nation’s Twitter panel at 9.30 this morning.

#nationtv3

… In the week that Landcorp pulled back on dairy, the milk price dropped and the Reserve Bank cut the OCR to a record low, we bring together the leaders of Labour, New Zealand First and the Greens to debate the state of the economy. How worried should we be? Or is it just a blip? Labour’s Andrew Little, New Zealand First’s Winston Peters and the Green Party’s James Shaw are live with Lisa Owen.

Then, an exclusive TV interview with Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta. New Zealand spent millions and lost five soldiers helping bring peace to Timor Leste, then East Timor. What difference did we make? How real are concerns that it could become a failed state inside a decade? And does Helen Clark have much chance at getting the top UN job?

And, we look at the battle over Auckland housing. Is it being driven by NIMBYism or are we trying to cram too much into our biggest city? Phil Vine reports on the inter-generational battle for the soul… and density… of Auckland.

We’ll discuss all this and more with our panel: economist Shamubeel Eaqub, NZME Business Editorial Director Fran O’Sullivan, and Sunday Star-Times Editor Jonathan Milne.


It had to happen

February 15, 2016

When Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce sent a tweet suggesting someone should send footage of  him being hit with a dildo to John Oliver, some sort of response was inevitable:


366 days of gratitude

February 2, 2016

If you subscribe to the Otago Daily Times you can get an app which allows you to download a digital edition of the paper each day.

The digital edition is particularly handy when travelling but I often read it at home too because our paper comes with the mail in the afternoon.

You can just subscribe to the digital edition but you need the print edition to do Sudoku and code cracker.

Today I’m grateful that the app lets me read the ODT anywhere, any time, and I have the paper edition to do the puzzles – even though I rarely complete any but the easy Sudokus and am often stumped by the code cracker.


Quote of the day

January 13, 2016

The greatest thing that could happen to the state and nation is when we get rid of all the media … then we could live in peace and tranquillity and no one would know anything – Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who was born on this day in 1911.


Log in left eyes

August 19, 2015

Winston Peters started the criticism of Mike Hosking as a National Party stooge.

Labour leader Andrew Little and Green co-leader James Shaw joined in, followed by several left wing bloggers lamenting bias in the media, especially on state-owned TVNZ.

Hosking has an unlikely defender in Brian Edwards who says rather than being right-wing he’s a social conservative.

. . . While I’d be surprised to discover that Hosking is a closet member of the Parnell, Remuera or Epsom branches of the Labour Party  – total membership five! – I’d also risk my bottom dollar that he isn’t a member of any political party. This is, or should be the default position for any broadcaster working in the field of news or current affairs.

What Hosking betrays on Seven Sharp, on commercial radio and in his writing is not political bias but social conservatism. The two may overlap from time to time, but are inherently different. It’s entirely possible and even commonplace to be left wing and socially conservative. . . 

Whatever his views, isn’t it strange that many of the people who are so upset by Hosking thought it was absolutely marvelous that John Campbell who wears his left wing heart on his sleeve was appointed to state-owned RadioNZ  National.

Perhaps the log in their own eyes blinds them to their hypocrisy and to Hosking’s professionalism.

Both he and Campbell are very good interviewers who are more than capable of putting their own views aside to ask tough questions of people across the political spectrum.

 

 


Tweeting panel

August 8, 2015

TV3 asked me to join The Nation’s tweet panel with Generation Zero co-founder Kirk Serpes this morning.

It was an interesting exercise.

Good interviewers listen to what interviewees say and base their next question on what they hear. I tried to do that with my tweets but kept missing the next point as I was tweeting on the last and trying to keep up with other tweets coming in.

Lisa Owen interviewed Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings talking about the farm gate milk price announcement today. This was followed by  reporter Torben Akel discussing governments appointing ex-MPs to government boards and an interview with American journalist Ben Taub who’s been writing about why teenagers’ journeys to jihad. 

The studio panelists were Heather du Plessis-Allan, Jacqueline Rowarth and Bernard Hickey.

Having Heather on the panel was very good marketing for Story which she’ll be co-hosting with Duncan Garner. It starts this Monday.

You can see the tweets here.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,855 other followers

%d bloggers like this: