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Where Is The Factual Category At TV Awards?

Writers Question Lack Of Factual Category In New Television Awards

Friday 24 June 2005

Press release by the New Zealand Writers Guild

The New Zealand Writers Guild today questioned the lack of a factual script writing category in the recently announced Television Awards. The Awards, organised by the NZ Television Broadcasters' Council, contain only one writing award - for non-factual script writing.

"Almost all television is scripted in some form or other - including fact based television," said Guild acting Executive Director Dominic Sheehan. "Factual programmes such as documentaries, magazine and lifestyle shows and even reality shows are all ultimately script or story based. This work is often overlooked, but like any television, good writing is essential to the success of fact based shows."

Sheehan pointed out that the Awards do recognise the work of directors in both factual and non-factual shows. "It seems anomalous to suggest that non-drama shows are directed but not written."

Sheehan applauded the Council for wanting to celebrate New Zealand television but noted that these Awards are out of step with similar overseas models, like the American Emmys and Canadian Geminis. "Everyone else presents awards for non-dramatic writing. Good fact based script writing is a specific skill and our local writers deserve to be acknowledged for their work."


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