Current affair shows could stop over TV3 boycott – opinion

The TV3 boycott is still going strong. TV3 are taking a bashing, but recently I have changed my views on the boycott of TV3. The boycott was started when Campbell Live was still under review, and was called for the show to return.

John Campbell has taken his settlement and departed. He’s not coming back anymore. But the boycott has continued without any reason. What are boycotters trying to achieve? Ruin all current affair shows? Take down state government owned TVNZ’s only competition?

TV3 have a number of current affair shows. The Nation on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and 3D as part of their early evening Sunday night line-up. Both perform poorly. The boycott has burnt ratings.

I can understand that some are upset at John Campbell’s TV3 departure, however the effects of a boycott could be huge for New Zealand’s left wing. Mediaworks may give up on current affairs and news, altogether.

TVNZ’s Close Up was ditched for right wing run Seven Sharp. A tragedy. Where were the calls for a boycott against TVNZ? Which, let remind you, is the state broadcaster of New Zealand. TVNZ are getting away with this while a commercial and private broadcaster is supposed to be held to account for a job that state owned TVNZ has failed to provide?

Unlike Mediaworks, you, New Zealand citizens pay for and own TVNZ. If anyone should be boycotted for not providing investigative journalism it should be them. Should it not be their responsibility to provide the type of content boycotters are demanding?

The boycott is doing well, yes, but it is having massive negative effects. The very show we all hate, Seven Sharp, is building massive momentum, just last night hitting a record of 675,000 viewers. I doubt this is what us boycotters were trying to achieve.

Rather than targeting the government or the state broadcaster boycotters don’t know it, but they are reducing competition and pumping up the very beast that should be providing the content New Zealand deserves.

A strong competition is vital for TVNZ and is important for the country. Mediaworks officials are being led to believe that by their poor ratings for other current affair shows 3D and The Nation that they were right to get rid of Campbell Live because viewers are taking the only current affair shows off their TV screens.

The best thing viewers could do is flock to those current affairs programs en masse. And not just for a short, concerted period of time either.

Viewers were implored to vote with their remotes during the Save Campbell Live campaign. I’d suggest that the better alternative for a #BoycottTV3 would be #WatchCurrentAffairs

If you don’t, you’d better get used to reality TV.

Written by New Plymouth political advocate and Insiders NZ political reporter Michael Riley

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