Getting the News with Radio New Zealand National

Where do you get your news from? It’s quite hard sometimes to keep up to date with the news. Trying to squeeze in some time to read the paper or watch a news broadcast. International news gets even harder as you have to work a bit harder to get it. But, for those of you who do like to have a vague idea of whats going on I have a little kernel to share. It won’t be news to all of you, but I love it. What am I talking about? Radio New Zealand National.

Radio NZ is our only public broadcaster (unless you count MTS). TVNZ had their public broadcasting charter murdered last year and TVNZ7 is due to have its funding cut very soon. (If you’re against that, get behind SaveTVNZ7) But what this means is that we don’t really have much in the way of unbiased media, dedicated to telling the news in as balanced a way as possible. I think that RNZ gets pretty close to it though.

It’s a bit hard sometimes, the National government has wanted to pull its funding for some time, and they’ve had their funding frozen since 2010. It’s consequently become pretty normal to hear that they’ve asked so and so minister for comment but they have declined etc. (This was particularly annoying for me during the election when I really wanted to hear both sides argue their points against some pretty high quality interviewers, but nope. National prefers talkback.)

But anyway to the point, RNZ is great and provides quality media. It’s reflected in the awards they won (including total domination of the spoken programme category) at the 2012 New Zealand radio awards.

But let’s be honest, it’s pretty hard to listen to radio all day, so these are the shows that I personally really enjoy. (Edit: I keep thinking of more, but seriously, they have some great people working there.)

  • Morning Report with Geoff Robinson and Simon Mercep from 6 til 9 am. Morning report gives great up to date coverage of the news, between 7 and 8 they tend to do relevant interviews and I usually just have it on while I’m getting ready.
  • Checkpoint with Mary Wilson from 5 til 7pm is great. She’s an absolutely kickass interviewer, being called ‘New Zealand’s most feared media interviewer’ by the NBR.
  • Also, on Friday nights during Checkpoint you get Spotlight on Politics which is an overview of the past week. It’s a good way to check up on things and RNZ has a pretty good politics team led by Brent Edwards.
  • On Saturday’s there’s Kim Hill in the mornings and then This Way Up with Simon Morton on Saturday’s from 12-2. Kim Hill is a great interviewer and This Way Up is like current events for inventions and cool random stuff. They’re shows that I don’t listen to often, but when I do they’re great.
  • Then on Sundays at 9am you get Media Watch. I think this is what makes RNZ really great. The fact that once a week they examine the credibility of all NZ media (including themselves) calling everyone into check for shoddy workmanship or high fiving great work. You know, actually doing their job as the Fourth Estate? They also discuss issues within the media, last Sunday they talked about the proposed format changes for the New Zealand Herald – will tabloid format = tabloid content?
  • Oh and if you’ve got the time 9 to noon with Kathryn Ryan can be interesting from time to time, you get to learn alot about really random things as it goes into a bit more depth with ‘experts’ on news topics. It’s a bit more hit and miss though.

If you’re lucky you also get to hear from some pretty onto it media people – Brian Edwards and Joe Atkinson being a couple. (I was lucky enough to have them as lecturers last year and they were incredible.)

If your family is anything like mine, well you’ll have grown up with RNZ pumping in the background (it’s my parents alarm). But I’ve grown to appreciate it and have even found myself yahooing (in my head) during particularly good interviews. Really, you can’t complain when a story about UFO’s is prefaced with the Doctor Who soundtrack. Oh and if you miss anything it all gets put on the website! How convenient!

(And if anyone with any governmental influence is reading this ((however unlikely that is)), I’m 20 and I love this radio station. Give it kudos, let it be our public broadcaster since you’ve destroyed all the rest!)


About madicattt

Curator of The Things That Are Good. Sharing the things that stand out in the worlds of theatre, food, beauty and style.
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