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Reader Comments on Aardvark Daily 15 January 2002

Note: the comments below are the unabridged submissions of readers and do
not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher.


From: Kyle Scott
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: News & Sky TV coverage

Yes, the internet is marvelous for gathering more
information than could be seen on the telly at 6 o'clock.

But your article pointed out some polarised views - there
is more news available than just TVNZ. Remember the
feelings of disappointment when the mainstream media
announce that "all internet content is just pornography and
stolen software" - well, perhaps a bad exagerated example,
but appropriate. Generalisations help no-one.

Some people cannot receive TV3, sure. Some people cannot
receive TVNZ. Nor Sky, and if you're lucky, Prime TV is off
the scope too.

As a behind the scenes comment, there has been some
discussion on if the Sky TV digital debacle is a worthwhile
story, or should the resources be placed on something else.

The Sky TV debacle is important to us - those that use it,
or try to! But for the 90% of the country that don't use
it, the story is unimportant to them.

The internet has a fantastic niche in being able to deliver
news and information targetted to specialised groups -
something tv news simply doesn't have the luxury.

But, and this IS my personal opinion only, to critique
those who doesn't act on something that affects only 10% of
the population, is, I feel, somewhat misguided. Let's
become an angry mob instead, and march with pitchforks and
burning sticks.

And finally, the Sky TV digital system upgrade is one
massive cockup - those responsible should be shot!! I hate
it, it's too slow, and I'm paying for worse service now
than what I had before.

Aardvark says:
Sky digital claim a subscriber base of 300,000 households
which, if we assume that the average family unit is two
parents and 2.5 children, represents an audience of 1,350,000
individuals.  That makes this problem something that affects
over a third of the country's population -- not at all

From: Grant
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: Sky TV reporting

The Listener magazine also reported the Sky TV problems.

I think Sky may not be too worried about the amount of
publicity so far - after all what are you going to do -
switch to the competition?  Didn't think so.  Even if they
lose a few customers its still probably cheaper to lose a
few than to pay for hardware upgrades.

No one seems to have noticed that Southern Cross Healthcare
are also having 'computer problems' that has caused months
of grief for me and others, but then Southern Cross is
another govt sanctioned monopoly <sigh>

From: Allister Jenks
For : The Editor (for publication)
Subj: TV News coverage

A few points:

1) It is not just the internet that highlights the flaws in
TV reporting.  Watch any item on a subject you have some
expertise in and all manner of errors and inconsitencies
are obvious.  I'm an aviation enthusiast and I absolutely
cringe when I hear "A tyre burst on landing, but nobody was
hurt." (Tyres frequently burst and the aircraft are
designed such that this is rarely an issue.)

2) The TV News is still part of the ratings game.  It's not
whether it is important that dictates coverage, but how
well it will rate.  It is a simple fact that missing the
*very* important stories will be bad for ratings.  After
all, why else would we be deluged with Christine Rankine's
wardrobe night after night?  ;-)

3) It's not just news sites on the web that can be of
value.  After the recent crash of an American Airlines
Airbus A300-600 (shortly after the terrorist attacks),
there was some coverage on the TV but I found each bulletin
contradicted the one before it or omitted certain details
that had previously been included.  So I visited
www.airbus.com and there, right on their homepage, was a
clear but discreet link to a page which had (at the time)
three versions of a report on the accident. Each was dated
and timed and each version stuck strictly to the facts.  By
reading successive versions you got an idea of how the
information was unfolding.  And there was basic data on the
airliner type in question including build and in-service
dates for the specific example that crashed.

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