I’ve lived in Napier all my life, so while it came as a shock, the coverage of the tragic shooting of a police officer did give me a unique view on the coverage of the event, particularly on Friday night, the second night of the siege.
The “Hard Luck” award goes to the poor TV3 Reporter (Michael Mora?) shaking with potential hypothermia during a cross on Nightline. One News may be axing staff, but apparently 3 News can’t afford a winter wardrobe! The poor bugger’s microphone just could not stand still. The following night, when he was talking to Alister Wilkenson-Sword, they had wrapped him up nice and warm in a 3 News jacket. Give that man a nice, hot cup of soup!
Geography. Please, people, if you’re reporting from somewhere, either read a map, Google Earth, or ask a local!!! I heard multiple variations of Chaucer Rd (the scene of the event) and Carlyle St (where they reported from) getting muddled, never mind suburbs and other bastardizations of the name of the hill.
Second biggest laugh was Paul Henry asking our Mayor if she knew the gunman as they live “in the same street”. The Mayor lives almost a km and one street over away. The siege was in Chaucer Rd South, otherwise know as “Breakneck”, due to its very steep grade, where the views, houses and incomes, for the most part, aren’t so palatial. Seriously, people, research!
The single funniest thing I have seen all year though, goes to TV1′s Simon Dallow “crossing live” to Melissa Stokes… who only about fifteen meters away from Simon’s position on the other corner of Faraday St!!! If you looked closely, you could see Simon and his crew in the left background of Melissa’s shot. Seriously. You couldn’t just stand next to each other like 3 News did and save sending a camera crew? TVNZ Bosses are culling off news reporting staff left right and center, yet they still send double the necessary staff?
Which leads onto just why did we need so many reporters and presenters to report and, well present the event? Does someone think having all the nations anchor-people at the scene of tragedy and disaster will make everything ok faster or cure all the situation’s ills?
There is most certainly need for thorough coverage of such events, but the tendency to over-exaggerate and hysteria-erise everything (Millions potentially killed by swine flu, anyone?) really has tarnished our national media’s credibility over the past few years. New Zealand is not gullible to fall for the likes of Fox News sensationalism. So please don’t come crying wolf over the airwaves and screens telling us the sky is falling, because when it actually does, we’ll be telling you to bugger off just before the “Ka-Boom!” (or “whimper”, if you’re into your classical literature)