NZ Herald vs Seven Sharp | The Jackal

5 Feb 2013

NZ Herald vs Seven Sharp

Today, the New Zealand Herald ran a full page of articles concerning just how bad TV One’s new current affairs programme Seven Sharp is.

Firstly, Collin Hogg writes (not online yet):

So here comes Seven Sharp, TV One’s latest answer to what comes after the six o’clock news bulletin. The name, at least, is half right. The show starts at seven, but sharp, last night, it wasn’t.

Fluffy, Id call it – a bit like that three headed dog owned by Hagrid the caretaker in the Harry Potter stories. Though I admit Seven Fluffy isn’t a good title.

I’m not even sure presenters Ali Mau, Greg Boyed and Jesse Mulligan are a good mix, though they gave it their nervous, sometimes clumsy best shots last night.

Seven Sharp, of course, is a modern sort of current affairs show. In-depth is out and short, snappy, viewer-inactive, bright and breezy and poll driven is in.

Then Vaimoana Tapaleao writes:

Former TVNZ news boss Bill Ralston says the network's new current affairs programme is "all pastry and no pie".

Seven Sharp's much-anticipated first episode aired last night, kicking off an all-out war between TV One and TV3's Campbell Live.

Mr Ralston, now a media commentator, paused when asked what he felt about the programme.

"Now let me think ... The production techniques were really clever, the hosts looked a bit awkward together - but they'll warm up - and the content was all pastry and no pie."

All valid criticism... But the irony is that you could apply these criticisms to the Herald as well.

Since the most widely read newspaper went all tabloid in September last year it’s been full of boring human-interest stories.  In fact when there’s any political reporting of worth, it’s usually relegated to the back sections.

Now don’t get me wrong, Collin Hogg and Vaimoana Tapaleao are great journalists… But writing about a trivial current affairs program is kind of trivial in itself... But what's even worse is the Herald dedicating a whole page to such trivia while other hugely important stories go unreported.

Here’s just two examples: United States’ CO2 emissions have fallen to 1994 levels and Tepco plans to release huge amounts of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. These are events that could have a widespread impact on the world, and New Zealand for that matter. So why isn’t the Herald reporting such things?

The simple answer is that the second rate tabloid isn’t interested in informing the public properly... Real politics and important events are sidelined in favour of a cult of personality style of hoopla. The Herald excels at information laden with junk science that has more in common with the Truth than anything credible in the way of reportage.

These days, there’s more relevance to be gained from twitter or facebook because the Herald is full of old or recycled news. In fact the blogs break more news than the Herald does, which goes to show where many reporters are gaining their ideas. Investigative journalism is out and regurgitated churnalism is in.

Many of their articles are often just a re-write of political press releases, and that makes the Herald a bit stale to say the least. If Seven Sharp is fluffy trivia designed for light entertainment, the hypocritical Herald is generally propaganda well past its used by date.

Along with a plethora of logical fallacies that promote right wing ideology, the biased Herald often fails to give the other side a chance to voice their opinions.

That's the case with the Heralds attack on Seven Sharp, and they're in fact breaching New Zealand's publication laws. Not to worry though, because the editor probably doesn't even know what the rules are.