By Paul Norris - New Zealand Herald - Tuesday Apr 24, 2012
Is that it? Is that the level to which television has sunk in this country? Commercial television is all very well, but it cannot be all there is. There needs to be some kind of balance between the commercial arena and programmes that are not driven by the ratings and the demands of advertisers trying to reach their favoured demographics. Programmes that are driven by social or cultural needs, programmes that stimulate the mind, programmes that inform, educate and often inspire, sometimes derided under the label of public broadcasting.
Such programmes include documentaries that reveal significant aspects of our past, or examine present trends and future possibilities. Or programmes that exhibit our culture through performance - concerts, opera or ballet, counterpoints to the popular culture we will undoubtedly see in New Zealand's Got Talent.
Or programmes appealing to ethnic or cultural minorities, be they book-lovers or those interested in analysis of our media.
Essentially public broadcasting aims to meet the challenge of providing quality programmes for all sections of society, especially those not served by commercial broadcasters, aptly described as market failure.
Which is why we must preserve TVNZ 7. Let us not accept its loss too readily, as Paul Casserly is inclined to do (Herald, April 16). For those who have not yet discovered this channel, it is a factual outlet with quality documentaries, imported and local, and news on the hour with a substantial hour long news programme daily at 8pm. It also carries a number of original local programmes appealing to specific groups - Media 7 for media followers, The Good Word for book-lovers, Back Benches for political aficionados, The Court Report for legal buffs, and Hindsight for those keen to trawl the past.
Full piece at NZ Herald
The Death of Pakeha TV by Paul Casserly
TVNZ 7. Is It Worth Saving? by Clare Curran MP