After time as a music journalist and a London OE, media commentator Russell Brown founded pioneering NZ online community Public Address (he writes their Hard News blog). Brown is known on screen for Media Take (co-hosted with Toi Iti), which dissects contemporary media. The show began in 2008 as Media7 before moving to TV3, then Māori Television. Brown is a long-serving board member of NZ On Screen.
I admire the investigative journalists — Fisher, Savage, Kitchin, Hager. And I have the utmost respect for the way Campbell Live stays with important, unfashionable stories. The worst of the media, sadly, is probably to be found in the comments sections. Russell Brown on the media, The NZ Herald, 26 June 2014
TV personality Jaquie Brown plays (and plays up) herself for further delightful comic effect in the second series of The Jaquie Brown Diaries (renamed The Jaquie Brown Odyssey for DVD release). In the Qantas Award-winning TV3 satire Brown is an egomaniacal reporter looking to climb the media ladder any which way she can. This episode sees Brown googling herself, and a late-night forum post sends her spiralling towards celebrity booze binge self-destruction on K Road. In her wake Auckland’s Metro social pages set are skewered with self-referential glee.
Weekly media commentary show Media Take focuses on the week's news and new media developments. Frontman Russell Brown and a team of panellists analyse how certain issues are presented. In front of a live studio audience they cover traditional outlets (TV, radio and newspapers) and also look at the internet, advertising, PR and new technology. The show began life as Media7 on digital channel TVNZ 7; it shifted networks to TV3 after TVNZ 7's 2012 shut down, and was reborn on Māori Television in 2014 for four seasons as Media Take.
With five series and close to 100 episodes, Frontseat, produced by The Gibson Group, was the longest-running arts programme of its time. Billed by TVNZ publicity as a "topical and provocative weekly arts series investigating the issues facing local arts and culture", and hosted by actor Oliver Driver, it (sometimes controversially) took a broad current affairs approach to the arts of the day, covering "all the big events, reporting the stories, and interviewing the personalities."
Mikey Havoc and Newsboy (Jeremy Wells) take a typically sideways glance at the 2002 general election in this one-off special, broadcast live from inside "a giant stainless steel question mark on the neutral electorate of Rangitoto Island." In case you hadn't noticed (Havoc presents in Paul Frank pyjamas), the analysis is more satirical than factual, and along the way they find time to put the boot into Auckland's then-mayor John Banks, learn parliamentary etiquette from Jonathan Hunt and compliment Don Brash on his six-cylinder Ford.
This documentary tells the story of the legendary Flying Nun music label up to its 21st birthday. The label became associated with the 'Dunedin Sound': a catch-all term for a sprawl of DIY, post-punk, warped, jangly guitar-pop. The Guardian: "[it's] as if being on the other side of the world meant the music was played upside down". Features interviews with founder Roger Shepherd and many key players, the spats and the glory. The label's influence on the US indie scene is noted, and Pavement's Stephen Malkmus covers The Verlaines' 'Death and the Maiden'.
Backch@t was a magazine-style arts and culture show that appealed, from the opening acid-jazz theme tune, to a literate late-90s arts audience. Fronted by media personality Bill Ralston, the show included reporters Mark Crysell and Jodi Ihaka, and Chris Knox appears as the weekly film reviewer. In keeping with Ralston’s journalistic background, Backch@t took a ‘news’ approach to the arts, debating topics in the studio and interviewing the personalities, as well as covering the sector stories.