Pete George is a prolific blogger, promoter of Dunedin interests, and a campaigner for better democracy and more positive politics locally and nationally. He stood for United Future in Dunedin North in 2011 and is still associated (semi-independently) with United Future.
Where I’m coming from
United Future asked me to stand last year when they saw me promoting better democracy both in Dunedin and nationally. Being a candidate was a good experience, and part of a bigger goal.
I’m still associated with United Future, it helps me with my wider aims.
One of those aims is promoting Dunedin, and encouraging more participation in political and social issues here. Building a stronger voice for Dunedin, a more informed voice with strength in greater numbers. And using that voice to communicate with and lobby politicians and parliament.
I’m finding others with similar aims. This public meeting is one example. The Centre for Theology and Public Issues at Otago University is also doing a great job, regularly running public forums.
I wear a wider hat too – nation wide, working for better democracy and more positive politicals. Many politicians work positively, but we often see ugly face, the negative, the destructive. I stand against the negative, and promote the positive. I’m building networks with people with similar aims.
I use the YourDunedin and YourNZ blogs, but also other blogs and social media like Twitter and Facebook, and tie in with traditional media.
I don’t think TVNZ 7 can be saved. It’s a failed exercise, and too late to rescue. I don’t think TVNZ 7 itself failed, there have been noteable successes. And Labour’s intentions were good, even though in retrospect it can be seen as a flawed model. It is TVNZ who have failed, they have failed the people of New Zealand, they have failed to ensure we have strong public broadcast TV.
Tying it to a commercial network made it difficult. A conflict of priorities.
And now it’s too late. It would have been better campaign on it last year but bigger election issues overshadowed it.
But I applaud Clare, Myles and those involved in this campaign. I don’t think it will save TV 7. But it can be the springboard for a new, better model of non-commercial multi media.
The campaign has raised interest, and many people have stood up, like here in Dunedin. Don’t just sit back down at the end of the month. Stay standing. Keep talking. And do some walking.
We can’t just grizzle and wait for a change of government. That will waste two and a half years. Or more.
National aren’t likely to budge, so continue without them. That won’t get an immediate result, but doing as much as possible may force National’s hand at the next election, or
it at least prepares the way for the next government.
And we need to think outside the TV square.
I would like to consider three things.
The first is money.
There’s no such thing as free TV. All broadcasting costs money.
We often expect Government to provide everything. Even if Government comes up with all the money it’s a cost to taxpayers.
Anyway the initial work to replace TV7 has to be done despite the Government.
That means working for nothing or raising money. Money has been raised for this campaign, why can’t that continue, to start building a new media?
What about subscriptions?
Are the many keen supporters of TV7 at these meetings keen enough to pay for it, like many pay for Sky?
One extra Sky channel can cost an $5 a month. What is a better channel worth?
The second point is should all efforts be for one channel?
Daryl Baser made a comment on Facebook,
..also wondering about the future of regional television which receives a fraction of the funding across the nation, than TVNZ 7 does for its channel…just saying…
Regional channels serve their own purpose but compete for funds. Why not make them part of the whole solution, don’t focus on a single 24/7 channel, but an umbrella for a network of channels?
The third point is diversity of media.
The focus shouldn’t just be on TV. We need to take a radical look at how modern media works.
I rarely just sit and watch TV. I use my PC much more, on it’s own and while watching TV, when I’m commonly:
- Keeping an eye on what’s happening online.
- Commenting on what I’m watching on Twitter or Facebook.
- Looking up related information.
- Getting ideas for what I might blog about next – or typing a post as I watch.
- Commenting on other people’s blogs.
- Looking for more details and clarifications of what I see on the news.
In fact most news I see on TV I already know about. I’ve often seen things days earlier on the internet.
Television is only a part of a much wider multi media experience.
And I don’t live with a phone in my hand like many people.
So I think we have to look beyond a TV channel.
We should be exploring a much more diverse, multifaceted and interactive media experience.
Traditional commercial television tries to capture and hold audiences. They want to be the whole machine, the only machine carrying their advertisers.
New media can only be one cog in a much bigger machine. New media will only have teeth if it accepts that they need to intermesh with as many other cogs as possible.
I propose exploring and establishing a much more diverse inclusive multi media. Much of this can be done via the internet, at relatively low cost. Voluntary, collaborative, community driven.
And as more funds are found this can grow. Not based on one channel like TV 7, but weaving a multi media web.
Why not start this now?
Of course there could be room for a dedicated TV channel and a multi media umbrella.
Comment from Peter Dunne:
I think the die re TVNZ7 is probably caste, so the question now becomes how to build a viable public service television for the future, and whether some of TVNZ7′s quality programmes can be preserved on TVNZ’s other channels. UF’s position is to work to this objective.