Media Matters: Anti-social media

Nick Grant discusses some of the week's big media stories on NBR Radio and on demand on MyNBR Radio.

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In this instalment of Media Matters, NBR Radio’s Jason Walls chats with Nick Grant about the inner workings of New Zealand’s media industrial complex.

Probably the biggest local media story of the week, Mr Grant notes, was the sharp drop in Sky TV’s expected profit along with its directors’ bid for a bigger fee. However, that’s been well-covered on NBR ONLINE and NBR Radio, both of which he heartily recommends.

Instead, Mr Grant talks about two flare ups on Twitter this week and what social media lessons might be gleaned from them.

The first started with a photo and comment posted by sportscaster Tony Veitch on his work-related Facebook page that reminded a number of people of his 2009 conviction on a domestic violence charge, something they took the opportunity to point out on the page.

Veitch took umbrage at the posts and posted a response that those critical of him in turn found offensive due to its apparent lack of contrition – and thus a conflagration of comments began.

(Although Veitch’s Facebook page now appears to have been scrubbed of most if not all of the content associated with the spat, a great deal of related material has been curated under the hashtag #TonyVeitch.)

Mr Grant compares this to another hashtag (#BoycottStarWarsVII) that a trio of US-based trolls managed to get trending globally by calling for a boycott of the next instalment of the space opera franchise on the basis it features too many people of colour.

They managed to achieve this aim, largely because of the number of people who used the hashtag while decrying the proposed boycott. Which is a timely reminder of one of the prime directives of the internet: do not feed the trolls.

As to what lessons might be drawn from Veitch’s experience this week, Mr Grant suggests that one of the main ones must surely be that if you’re using social media to leverage a brand – whether it’s a personality or product – there’s a fine line that must be walked between unvarnished authenticity and thoughtful moderation.

Newsworthy increasingly living up to name
On the subject of which, he points to a thoughtful piece called What Tony Veitch Should Have Said on the webpage for TV3’s late night show Newsworthy, which seems to be in the process of being continually refined with increasing success.

As the Spinoff’s Calum Henderson noted in a review of a week’s worth of Newsworthy, it’s “basic formula – a front half loaded with a tidy bundle of the day’s news, a back half open for longer and/or weirder pieces, and a web presence which frequently and meaningfully intersects with the on-air content – appears pretty solid and versatile. It’s easy to forget that the show has only been on the air for a matter of months.”

Also covered by Mr Grant are the languishing ratings of Campbell Live replacement Story, and the apparently poor internal communication at NZME about the redundancy repercussions of its restructure process.

If you are travelling by Air New Zealand this week, remember Koru Lounge wi-fi provides you with FREE access to NBR ONLINE premium content.

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