Joe Hendren

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Economics for Everyone - free seminar today

Heading along tonight to the second part of 'Economics for Everyone' a free presentation by Canadian union economist Jim Standford, hosted by the Fabian Society.

Last weeks session was so well attended, they had to move the talk into the larger downstairs room at the Trades Hall. Great to see so many people there, and Jim provided a jargon free introduction for those who feel they know little about economics. I also think its useful for people who may know a little more. I often find looking at a subject in a new framework allows for clearer thinking - in essence it makes you a better teacher, and Jim is a great teacher.

If you missed last week you can catch up with the audio podcast

The first seminar, 'Understanding the Logic of Capitalism', was be held last Tuesday.

The second, 'What Went Wrong? The Failure of Neo-liberalism, and the Alternatives', will be held today: 22nd June 5.30pm – 7.30pm, at the Trades Hall, 147 Great North Road. Auckland.

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

TVNZ make a mockumentary of their own decline

So, for a 50th Anniversary of television broadcasting in New Zealand, TVNZ did a mock celebrity game show with heavily forced product placement.

It would be nice to think this was a spoof, but sadly TVNZ could not have done a better demonstration of what is wrong with our publicly owned broadcaster if they tried.

The programme could have been so much more - they had a treasure trove of New Zealand cultural history at their fingertips. A means to show how TVNZ has not only been a camera lens, but involved in New Zealand life itself. Dig out clips of those old programmes no one has seen for years, even if people don't know what it is they can still laugh at the haircuts.

It was like TVNZ went to Te Papa only to read the trashy magazines in the waiting area. They really sold themselves short.

The answer to this disaster may be in the demographics. The only ratings that matter are the eyes attached to the 18 to 35 year olds - the olds don't really count. Hopefully the ratings are senstive enough to pick up the large number of TVs that went off before the first half hour was up - mine certainly did.

TVNZ did use a few clips from old shows and news broadcasts, but they were so short one could have blinked and missed them. Perhaps the advertisers were worried the public might remember what real public broadcasting looked like....

Well might I just scrape into the 18 to 35 age bracket, yet I remember TVNZ when it was a real public broadcaster.
To make matters worse, Tumeke reports the Minister of Broadcasting Johnathan Coleman ordered TVNZ to deliver a new channel exclusively on the Sky pay TV platform, thereby undermining investment in TVNZ's own Freeview platform. "It is hardly conceivable that a more tragic and self-destructive present could be opened on such an anniversary. To use the Head of Digital's own assessment it will mean a "slow suicide" of the TVNZ digital channels (whose charter funding is set to run out in a few years). Great news for the SKY shareholders and another concocted reason to sell off the state broadcaster, so we can see why the National government did it."

Against the Current also suggests John Key's government is readying TVNZ for sale.

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