Saturday, 4 September 2010


Actually the whole of the NZ media has fallen a bit short on the Christchurch earthquake.

We first realised something was up when we got a message from Cactus Kate. She lives in Hong Kong. It was about 5.30am.

So we turned on the TV ( we dont have Sky) TVNZ - nothing - TV3 - nothing. Turned on RNZ and they were still running a kids programme. The TV stations and most radio stations are now pushing out info but not RNZ. It is woeful.

RNZ did a special morning report with Mary Wilson and Kim Hill. It is like listening to Decima and Morta - their black delivery was too depressing to listen to. And Wilson does not know how to listen to people. She just knows how to ask people questions - there is a world of difference.

When people dont have power and cellphones become problematic due to the towers being knocked out - good old steam radio is where people will go to get info. So it is important that they continue to push out info.

The Herald started reporting early as did Stuff.

However it was online and especially Twitter that had the quickest most update info and first pics on the event. Soon the media was using the pics and info from Twitter.
It is an extraordinarily fast and organic way to get and spread info.

Hashtags - the search words from which info streams develop on an issue were problematic. The first to get a head of steam was EQNZ. The christchurchquake took a while to get some momentum. There are good and bad reasons for using both tags.

So instead of one key portal to info there are many.

But as we sat, fascinated how the story evolved and how it was handled we learned a little more about the power and the limitations of the online social media community in a major event.


kassto said...

TV1 seemed to be doing a good job by the time I got up, round 8.30am... but I don't think Kim Hill should have gone back to normal programming quite so quickly. And Mary Wilson is a bully, with that really irritating perpetually-aggrieved tone in her voice.

Anonymous said...

Turned on TV1 this morning assuming they'd be running something live. No, it was a programme on sheep. Went to Aust Sky TV instead.

Cactus Kate said...

Glad that Radio Cactus up late in HK got there first!!

Cactus Kate said...

Glad that Radio Cactus up late in HK got there first!!

CB said...

The Nation on 3 did some coverage but Hunkie Dunkie thought he was still interrogating polititions so asked the same question 5 times over people who were still trying to answer the last question.

Bad look and it was broadcast to the Aussis as well on Sky!

Anonymous said...

TVNZ stepped in and did a superb job with their extended evening bulletin. Comprehensive, unemotional (the emotion was there to see in the story - the reporters didn't need to add any), and valuable information. TV1, take a bow. 10 out of 10.

Ross Marwick said...

I don't know which RNZ you were listening to, but we had it on a few minutes after the quake had happened and so rudely tipped us out of bed. The all night announcer was running live feedback from email and twitter almost straight away, which then crossed into Kim Hill and Mary Wilson. What I heard was unsensational, factual, reassuring, (they even had feedback about the magnitude within about an hour) and comprehensive. They had eye witness reports from central Chch and information about Avonside Drive being impassable within the hour. What else do you expect them to do?