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Research Redefines Special Interest TV Direction

29 June 2001

Research Redefines Directions For Special Interest TV

Special interest groups unanimously support continuing specialised television programming, according to a major research project commissioned by NZ On Air.

NZ On Air presented the research today to a diverse audience of television broadcasters, producers and special interest representatives at a forum in Wellington, as part of its strategic review of special interest television programming.

Special interest covers a wide variety of audiences including Asian and Pacific Island peoples, the gay community, the Christian sector, and mixed ability communities. The research analysed the communities' responses to television programmes targeted at their interests.

NZ On Air chief executive Jo Tyndall said that the creation of better, ever improving programmes that are well received by their target audiences, is a key objective for the organisation.

“For the special interest audiences these programmes serve, knowing that the programmes are there, that their cultures are seen as valuable enough to have their own television programmes, and that these programmes have the potential to create greater understanding in the wider community, is of primary importance to them.

“The ratings performance of these programmes that, by their very nature, are targeted principally at minorities in the community is of secondary importance. This research has affirmed that reflecting the interests and perspectives of these groups on screen is an important use of NZ On Air’s funding,” she said.

The results have also brought to light many invaluable insights for everyone involved in special interest programming which will help shape future content and funding directions.

“The next step is for producers to consider how they might reflect the research findings in the programme proposals which they bring to NZ On Air’s board at our October funding round,” Ms Tyndall said.

“We will ensure that there is an independent review half way through next year to show the programmes have developed in light of this audience feedback.”

Programmes assessed included Asia Downunder, Tagata Pasifika, Praise Be, Queer Nation and Inside Out, and included an analysis of the captioning service that provides television subtitles for hearing impaired people.


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