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Maxim Institute - real issues - No 189

Maxim Institute - real issues - No 189 www.maxim.org.nz

WELCOME TO REAL ISSUES FOR 2006

It is our hope that Real Issues will provide a unique perspective on some contemporary local and international news and views this year.

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

On Monday night, One News launched its much anticipated dual line up on the six o'clock broadcast and straight away the media analysts started talking. The discussion spotlights the value of competition in the media and the entertainment aspect of how we report the news. This is not a bad thing.

In a well-functioning democracy, citizens are informed about the world around them. Today we have more information at our fingertips than ever before, but this doesn't ensure that the public are well-informed. Quantity does not guarantee quality.

Competition from TV3 has been heating up for a while now and One News has been forced to respond. TVNZ hopes that the combination of fresh-faced presenters Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie and a more up-beat production will give viewers more of what they are looking for. Responding to customer needs is important for any service provider, particularly a publicly funded one. Competition brings different stories and different perspectives, both of which are important for robust public debate.

There is no reason why quality reporting and compelling viewing cannot go hand in hand. Just where the balance is struck however, depends on how much viewers value quality news and a variety of sources. Otherwise, in our entertainment driven culture, style could easily prove more lucrative than substance.

YOUR FEEDBACK IS IMPORTANT

The news media value your feedback so make sure you utilise the formal processes available.

The Broadcasting Standards Authority is a statutory body that regulates the content of broadcast media. To find out more, visit: www.bsa.govt.nz.

The New Zealand Press Council is a voluntary body which considers complaints against newspapers and other publications, which are directed at editorial content. The Council also promotes freedom of speech and freedom of the press in New Zealand and the highest professional standards among the press. To find out more, visit: www.presscouncil.org.nz.

TALKING POINT

It's amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. - Jerry Seinfeld

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