AFTAs

While this news is unsurprising, this is not news worth celebrating.

We have a fantastic Television industry in New Zealand and this announcement means a whole lot of talented people won’t be recognised publicly by their peers for their outstanding work.

ThinkTV, the convenor of the 2012 New Zealand Television Awards, has announced the end of the annual Awards following discussions with its major partners TVNZ and MediaWorks.

The Awards have been through some turbulent times in the last few years with the loss of a key sponsor in 2011 and with the Screen Directors’ Guild of New Zealand pulling out of what was the joint Film and Television Awards at the beginning of 2012.

ThinkTV, on behalf of its members, would like to thank the judges, contestants, associated sponsors and the many others for the time and effort they have contributed to making the awards the success that they have been for the last five years.

TV3 considered boycotting last weekend’s Aotearoa Film and Television Awards over a dispute involving the broadcaster’s entry in the Qantas Best News category.

TV3 was ordered to change their entry for the important category after the judges ruled thath it fell out of the “daily news programme” criteria.

The broadcaster’s entry included a highlights package of their coverage of the February 22 Christchurch earthquake, which was shown by networks around the world.

TV3 alerted the AFTAs of their submission which led to a specially convened judging panel.

“To their credit they brought it up in a news meeting so there was a discussion and we put it off to the judging chair,” said AFTA co-chairman Rick Friesen.

“Every news organisation would like to take highlights but they can’t, it is not the rules.”

Judge Susan Baldacci eventually ruled against TV3 after both TVNZ and TV3 were given the opportunity to express their views.

Senior executives at TV3 discussed withdrawing from the awards as a stand against the decision.

“We felt shut out of the competition, because we weren’t able to submit what was our best breaking-news coverage. The wording of the entry criteria was ambiguous at best.”

While TVNZ took out the Best News category, TV3’s Hilary Barry and Hamish Clark claimed top individual awards.

Source: Herald