How many watch?

April 10, 2015

The petition to save Campbell Live has attracted more than 20,000 signatures, but signing a petition isn’t what matters.

What does matter is how many watch the programme and Stuff shows the audience is declining:

. . . Last year, Seven Sharp pulled in an average of 430,000 viewers in the 5+ demographic per episode. In comparison, Campbell Live had 240,000, according to figures from ratings company Nielsen.

In the last week of March, when Campbell Live celebrated a decade on air, it also saw some of the worst ratings in its history. According to analysis by, it averaged an audience of 154,576 per night for that week – a week in which Seven Sharp exceeded 500,000 viewers for the first time.

The number of viewers isn’t the only sign of a programme’s influence.

Other media has picked up on some Campbell Live campaigns, and the wish for a smile one to help children who require orthodontic work changed lives for the better.

But such campaigns don’t pay the bills.

Advertising pays for programmes. Advertising will follow the viewers and fewer are watching Campbell Live.

I don’t think I’ve ever watched it from start to finish but it’s not that I’m watching something else instead, I rarely watch television much at all now.

My farmer turns on the TV when he wakes in the morning and usually has it on TV3, I listen to it, though don’t usually watch it until I get up. If my farmer’s still in the living room when I get there the TV will be on but I usually turn it off when he goes.

I turn it back on when I’m preparing dinner and catch the news but don’t have a preference for either channel. If it’s just the two of us TV usually stays on while we eat (yes, shame on us) but as background noise rather than a focus.

We usually record The Nation and Q & A but don’t always watch them and if I do I usually use the fast forward option for at least some of the time.

In the evening if I’m at home I might flick through the channels but usually give up when I find nothing of interest and I can’t remember the last time I watched anything from start to finish. If I have time to spare I’d rather read a book.

The sad irony is that while there are more options on ever over what I could watch, there is less and less that I really want to watch.

Paul Henry 1

April 7, 2015

Paul Henry’s new programme won the battle of the breakfast shows in our house this morning.

But then we’d been watching TV3’s breakfast programme much more than TV1’s anyway.

Henry’s show is a multi-media one.

Radio, live streaming and TV are very different media. But I got all I needed to know listening with my eyes shut when my farmer turned the television on at 6am while I was still dozing.

Quote of the day

March 25, 2015

“I have built a confirmation bias so strongly into my own fabric that it’s hard to imagine a fact that could wonk me,” . . . . “At some level, the news has become a vast apparatus for continually proving me right in my pre-existing prejudices about the world.”Jesse Armstrong

Password tips, job loss and questions for kids

March 10, 2015

Discussion with Simon Mercep on Critical Mass today was sparked by:

* 6 tips for creating an unbreakable password that you’ll remember.

* A New Definition on losing a job at Abbey Has Issues


* 11 questions that will make your child happier.

Chocolate matters

February 4, 2015

The world is a sweet place when a story about chocolate downsizing makes the news:

Cadbury Confectionery is reducing the size of its family block as the chocolate maker battles higher manufacturing costs.

But while the block would be reduced by 10% to avoid a price rise, the company’s owner said its Dunedin factory was going from strength to strength.

”We didn’t take this decision lightly,” said Jack Evison, the New Zealand head of Mondelez, the company that owns Cadbury.

”More of our manufacturing costs are going up than down. Other chocolate companies are also under pressure. Two are in significant trouble in Australia.

”We chose to reduce the size of the block rather than up the price so we can keep chocolate as an affordable treat. The quality and taste will remain the same.” . . .

Chocolate is one of my vices, albeit one I’ve learned to indulge in moderation.

A friend recommended a square or two of chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa after dinner as a way to satisfy cravings and I’ve found it works.

But in the quest for quality rather than quantity I discovered Lindt from Switzerland so that habit won’t be affected by the downsizing.

However, I use Cadbury chocolate to make a chocolate hazelnut Christmas tree and a smaller block will mess with the proportions in the recipe.

Write positive

January 16, 2015

Labour’s campaign slogan vote positive didn’t have the impact it sought but new leader Andrew Little is seeking someone to write positive:

. . . Little is advertising for a new chief press secretary to head the party’s media and communications strategy, and the successful applicant is expected to ensure Little appears “in a positive story on the 6pm news at least twice a week”.

Positive news coverage depends on what the leader, the caucus and the party saying and doing..

No amount of spin will counter the mixed messages, ill-judged policy, caucus dissent and party disunity which has dogged Labour for several years.

Other key targets put emphasis on social media, including 100,000 “likes” for the party’s Facebook page, up from about 38,000 now, and 40,000 “likes” for Little’s Facebook page by the 2017 election. It currently boasts 10,422 “likes”.

Little’s new spin doctor will also be expected to increase Labour’s email contact list to 200,000 by the 2017 general election, from about 87,000 now.

Electronic communication is cheap but few beyond political tragics are interested in party communications.

One of the best ways to increase the contact list would be by increasing the membership from its current state of around 10,000 at best but that is the job for the party not a publicly funded press secretary.

The advertisement has already prompted senior press gallery reporters to plot creative ways to thwart another expected result – weekly meetings with key press gallery journalists. . .

That’s key with a small k.

Positive media coverage is helpful but it’s not enough in itself.

John Key and National won their third term with an extra seat in spite of unrelenting negative media coverage.

That’s because they had a proven track record, a disciplined caucus, a strong united party and of course a leader who genuinely likes people and is liked in return.

Labour has a long way to go to equal that and it will take a lot more than positive media releases to do it.

Freedom only for those with whom agree?

December 9, 2014

Judith Collins’ first column in the Sunday Star Times has provoked an outpouring from the left about media bias and right-wing conspiracies.

The column was about an issue of health and safety in the building industry which a constituent brought to her notice.

It wasn’t party political. It’s highlighting the sort of issue which comes to MPs’ notice and which the good ones act on.

The condemnation from the left wasn’t universal. Brian Edwards  defended the column.

But others from that end of the spectrum threatened to cancel their subscriptions.

They appear to not grasp the concept that freedom of expression isn’t only for those whose opinions with which you agree.





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