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Kapiti meeting pines for the way journalism used to be

Aug 27th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News

400 px Kevin BurkeJOURNALISM was better in the old days according to a panel of veteran Journalists who attended a public meeting in Paraparaumu.

The aim of the meeting was to create awareness and debate about New Zealand journalism and where it is heading, said organiser and Labour Party electorate candidate for Otaki, Rob McCann.

The panel included former TVNZ reporter Kevin Milne, head of local radio Beach FM Corran Crispe, former TVNZ and Radio NZ journalist Kevin Burke, Massey University journalist tutor Cathy Strong, communications manager of UNICEF Patrick Rose, Graeme Joyes of Coast Access Radio, Labour press secretary Chris Harrington, Mana MP and former journalist Kris Faafoi.

Kevin Milne started the meeting, held earlier this month, by telling the audience of 200 the state of journalism today is confused.

“TV is a mess, the golden days of TV are over,” Mr Milne said.

Journalists wrote better investigative stories in the past when there were subeditors and when news was written to make the world a better place, he said.

Kevin Bourke brought his old manual typewriter and explained he still buys printed newspapers and continues to write for printed news today.

“Don’t blame the journos, blame the bean counters,” he said.

“Its crap, taking someone’s plight and put it on the front page “.

He drew a laugh from the audience when he said social Media was not new.

“We had social media in 1963. It’s simply a bunch of journalists having a drink together.”

The panel generally agreed journalists in the past wrote better investigative stories.

They believed demise of balanced journalism was a result of instant news delivered unedited on smartphones.

Criticism was also directed at corporate owners of larger media companies that only look at the bottom lines and how many views the digital sites receive. Where are the balanced stories in today’s news, most of them asked?

Cathy Strong was more positive. She said technology itself was not the enemy.

There are plenty of new young journalists in New Zealand. We need to look at who is using the technology and what the audience want.

“I think Journalism is in a good state right now. I love all the platforms available.”

She said owners of the various media need to make a profit which is where the demise and quality control sometimes gets lost.

Corran Crispe and Graeme Joyes represented the only local media present.

Mr Crispe said local news and community information was vital.

Recent flooding and local emergency issues were prime examples of this.

“We are here on air and provide information, news and support as it happens when networks based overseas or in Auckland won’t broadcast provincial incidents.” Corran said.

Kris Faafoi said he was passionate about all things broadcasting.

He and Kevin Milne advocated for a government-led alternative and leveler in the jungle of information.

“Get rid of TVNZ and develop and progress Radio New Zealand with all the modern platforms available,” Mr Milne said.

Each panel member spoke to the audience for about 10 minutes.

Patrick Rose said the job of a journalist was to make the important interesting.

He talked about the less fortunate, the hungry in the world and in New Zealand, and his lack of respect for current media owners where only profit matter.

During the question and answer session, a young journalism student in the audience made the point that it would have been better if the panel also had a representation from a younger active journalist.

The suggestion prompted the panel to looked at each other slightly uncomfortably.

When asked after the event why young and active journalists were not included in the panel, Rob McCann said they would have been muzzled.

“They wouldn’t have been allowed to speak honestly and freely here by their corporate employers”.



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