An odd ‘panel of experts’ for media review

There’s a number of curious aspects to this story at NZ Herald: Campbell Live axing prompts review

A group of Kiwi movers and shakers will undertake a review of New Zealand public broadcasting in the wake of Campbell Live’s axing.

Campbell was axed from a commercial television programme that had nothing to do with public broadcasting.

Why the focus on one media presenter? John Campbell left his TV3 show a year ago, so why now?

Community campaign group Action Station is concerned about the decline of public-interest journalism since TV3’s flagship news magazine show was canned last year, amid a public outcry.

The panel’s findings will be presented to the Government in the run up to next year’s General Election.

So it is timed to be used as an election campaign next year.

It has enlisted a panel of experts – including economist Shamubeel Eaqub, singer Lizzie Marvelly, former MediaWorks news boss Mark Jennings, TV and film director Kay Ellmers and policy analyst Wendy McGuinness.

What is singer Lizzie Marvelly an expert on? “She is best known for her career as a classical crossover vocalist and her many performances of the New Zealand national anthem at rugby games” (Wikipedia).

Where is Eaqub’s media expertise? Elmers? She works for Maori TV. McGuinness? Mark Jennings is the only one who appears to have notable media experience.

Action Station spokeswoman Marianne Elliot said “People are very worried that this kind of campaigning is disappearing from television in particular.”

Action Station organises petitions, social media swarms and mass emails to decisions makers. It also creates crowd-funded creative campaigns and offline actions like creative stunts, vigils or hikoi.

The not-for-profit organisation was involved with the Save Campbell Live campaign and teamed up with Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon to help stop the trade of ivory in New Zealand.

I think that Action Station has had some close connections with the Greens. They don’t appear to be politicallybalanced or  non-biased.

Here are some of Action Station’s current campaigns:

What is Action Station? According to their website ‘About’:

ActionStation is an independent, member-led not-for-profit organisation representing over 100,000 Kiwis holding power to account, standing for a fair society, healthy environment & economic fairness.

ActionStation is a vital piece of democratic infrastructure for Aotearoa in the 21st century, here to reinvigorate our proud tradition of participatory democracy and people power, using the potential of new technology. 

While they may try to keep a separation they were set up by people closely involved with the Greens, and their campaigns are closely aligned to Green campaigns. The above list of campaigns would not look out of place on the Green website.

To all intents and purposes Action Station looks like an activist arm of the Green Party.

So an odd panel for a media review that is timed to coincide with the next election, run by the very Green-like Action Station. It may not be very politically balanced, nor does it appear to be a very vital ‘piece of democratic infrastructure’.

Leave a comment


  1. Iceberg

     /  3rd August 2016

    “findings will be presented to the Government in the run up to next year’s General Election”

    Action Station lining up the hit jobs for election year already.

    “Findings” LOL

  2. Gezza

     /  3rd August 2016

    I think it’s a great idea. The more reports from lobby groups that the government gets in the run up to election year the less likely it is that anybody will even bother to read them.
    I’ll just wait for the 37-second summary from Mike Hosking, and the two-minute detailed analysis by Jack Tame, on Seven Sharp.

  3. Blazer

     /  3rd August 2016

    certainly good intentions…not sure where the road’ leads to…

  4. Kevin

     /  3rd August 2016

    I felt the same way with the flag committee. Not one expert on flag design among them and look at what we ended up with.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd August 2016

    Dear taxpayer, please pay for our propaganda. Yours faithfully, Greens.

    • Gezza

       /  3rd August 2016

      PS: if you wish to donate as well that’s ok too.

    • Blazer

       /  3rd August 2016

      Dear taxpayer please pay for Groser swanning around the world lobbying for a job he missed out on,please pay for a flag referendum no one wants,please pay a Saudi millionaire 11 mil on a groundless premise,give Sky City a leg up at taxpayers expense,throw 30 mil to Rio Tinto of taxpayers money yours faithfully Gnats a.k.a ‘a safe pair of hands’….I could go on all day!

  6. Zedd

     /  3rd August 2016

    methinks Campbell got ‘into hot water’.. when he highlighted Dunne promoting Synthetic cannabis/legal highs.. & condemned ‘natural herb’ as MORE harmful (B-S).. he then queried Dunne’s assertion of ‘NO conflict of interest’ when it was ‘discovered’ that his son worked in the synthetics industry ! :/ 😦

    the ridiculous thing.. they replaced ‘Campbell-live’ with ‘Story’ (which I dont watch.. mostly CRAP)

  7. Zedd

     /  3rd August 2016

    Campbell now does ‘Checkpoint’ on RNZ (ch50 on freeview) 😀

  8. I wait with baited breath as I just can’t imagine what will be in the report. Maybe something along the lines of “Campbell Live wasn’t meeting ratings targets and TV 3 had no choice but to can it and refresh the time slot.”

  9. Corky

     /  3rd August 2016

    “ActionStation is a vital piece of democratic infrastructure for Aotearoa in the 21st century, here to reinvigorate our proud tradition of participatory democracy and people power, using the potential of new technology. ”

    The word ” Aotearoa” is the clue. Its all you need to know.


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