Last night I watched TV3 News at 6pm. A not-so-common occurrence these days. Not TV3 particularly; just TV. Find myself more often watching and getting my news online, as is the global trend.
However, as is usual for TV news, the first two stories were about crime. And yes, the crimes were awful and the stories had validity. Whether they were justified as the lead items is another matter. And is not the subject of this post.
Though I would be keen for some research to be done (if it hasn’t been done already) into how often our two main TV stations run crime stories as their lead items.
The reason for this post is that I was pleasantly suprised to see a positive piece as the third item about a 15 year old boy from South Auckland named Kyrone Toko who had found a wallet with $2500 in it and taken it to the police. The wallet belonged to a guy who is undergoing extensive physio so he can walk again. The money was his ACC compensation and much needed.
Great little story and a brown face doing a good deed. Instead of a depressing story with brown faces committing crimes and reinforcing stereotypes.
It was a welcome reprieve from the usual negative stigma attached to our youth by the media (particularly Maori and PI youth). So congratulations TV3 News – keep up the positive responsible reporting. I think all New Zealanders would like to see more of this type of news.
Most nights when I watch the TV news I despair at the sameness of the formula we are dished up. Crime, more crime, entertainment story, political story and often more crime.
Making us feel afraid, think that crime is endemic and that we must constantly become tougher and harsher in our response. It’s rarely reflective, thoughtful, analytic or challenging. Instead it’s more often fear-inducing, conflict-based and negative, or mindless drivel.
Forgive my cynicism, but it’s based on dismay and a hankering for a robust, modern, public media service that is truly based on news values and not ratings.
Tell us Mark and Anthony (that’s ironic) that the TV news is based on news values. Please.
PS: For those who don’t know. Mark is Mark Jennings TV3 Director of News and Current Affairs and Anthony is Anthony Flannery TVNZ Head of News and Current Affairs. Both smart guys. But I have witnessed the two of them at a conference acknowledge that TV news is based on ratings, not news values.
I get it, though I don’t like it, for TV3. But TVNZ?
PPS: I do so love that phrase; “backhanded compliment”. Not sure where it comes from (my mother in my case).