In a year where the Mainstream Corporate Media screamed about ‘fake news’ while drowning us in clickbait bullshit, we salute, cajole and crap on those we loved, respected and hated in the 2016 NZ media sphere.
Best Journalist 2016: Matt Nippert
Matt’s incredible work this year on how vulture Kiwisaver accounts were being invested in industries civilised people found repulsive did more to reform the entire industry than any single person and he followed that up with an incredibly devastating series of stories highlighting how rich corporate multi-nationtionals were avoiding paying tax. That investigation has led to a new level of debate around legislation. Mainstream media journalists are deservedly given much crap for their biased and corporate interest fluffed churnalism, but Nippert has become part of a new class of journalist whose work is truly that of the Fourth Estate. We salute Comrade Nippert!
Best Newspaper Story 2016: Seclusion Rooms at NZ schools – Kirsty Johnston
The NZ Herald scored another amazing exclusive this year with Kirsty Johnston’s incredible investigation into seclusion rooms used in NZ schools where children with learning disabilities would be locked away in if they had behavioural problems. The extraordinary shock many NZers felt that our teachers were locking away problem children forced the Education industry to smoother the story and protect all the teachers involved. After a whitewash review the pricks let everyone off, but Johnston’s courage and tenacity to break the story insured that this medieval treatment of children with behaviour issues wouldn’t go unnoticed again. All hail Comrade Johnston!
Best TV Journalism 2016: Mike Wesley-Smith – kiwis living in cars
Mike Wesley-Smith’s shocking investigation into how appalling our housing crisis has really become was one of the most important pieces of journalism in 2016 because it forced property speculating middle class fuckwits who think because they’re doing alright then everyone is doing alright to confront the delusion of their own bullshit. The mainstream corporate media are there to sell space for advertisers in a happy classy land of consumerism, it’s not there to actually point out the bleak truth that inequality and poverty have become the norm under the intense yoke of the neoliberal welfare state. The real shockwave the truth of fellow NZers being forced to live in cars and the horror that was preferable to dealing with Housing NZ, WINZ and the Ministry of ‘Development’ was the first time middle NZ gained any inkling of how draconian the National Party welfare reforms have become. All hail Comrade Wesley-Smith.
Worst Journalist 2016: Heather du Plessis-Allan
God she’s awful. Everything she touches seems to turn to shit and her weird desire to throw dear old Duncan Garner and TV3 under the bus in her last interview was so unprofessional. She was gifted a chance to make current affairs at 7pm into something meaningful and because she failed she decided to try and blame everyone else. Look in the mirror mate. Her talents would be better suited as a host of some lightweight commercial radio station that plays the best music of yesterday and today. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse Heather.
Worst Story 2016: Aaron Smith sex in a toilet feeding frenzy
While Marama Davidson was being arrested for trying to get a peace flotilla into Palestine and Corrections were admitting that they were actually aware of prisoner beatings longer than they had pretended, the mainstream media went into a feeding frenzy over Aaron Smith having sex with some woman in an airport toilet. They even interviewed the fucking toilet for fucks sake. It’s shit like this that makes us despise the corporate mainstream media. This was only news if you base your personal ethics on people who can kick and chase balls, and if that’s truly the case, then you don’t deserve to vote. Had Aaron Smith coerced the woman? Had he forced her against her will? Had he drugged her? No – it was 2 consenting adults doing something in a public toilet. Who gives a toss? A curse and plague on all their news rooms.
Best Broadcaster 2016: John Campbell
He and his amazing team have recreated Checkpoint and turned it from some dull insider Wellington lecture on public service bureaucracy into a daily must watch that challenges the powerful and holds them to account. He has grasped the importance of livestream better than any other broadcaster in NZ. His generosity, skill and intelligence as a journalist puts him in a unique league few are even close to. All hail Comrade Campbell!
Worst Broadcaster 2016: Mike Hosking
I fucking hate this sanctimonious prick with all my soul. His rich privilege infects and poisons every issue like a case of herpes you can’t shake. Seven Sharp is to quality journalism what Donald Trump is to feminism and Hosking has become the most complained about broadcaster in NZ. This vicious arsehole attacked the young waitress who was bullied by Key because she had come to this blog rather than the proper media to tell her story, and of course we all saw how the NZ Herald treated her by pretending Rachel Glucina was a bloody journalist! When 2016 robbed us of so many talented and beautiful human beings, how was this shit head allowed to survive? A curse on Mike Hosking and all those who follow him.
The eye-rolling Wellington PSA Award for alienation and Wellington Wank 2016: Wellington Radio NZ Staff
Never before has such a tiny clique in Wellington managed to alienate so many other NZers quite like the Wellington PSA comms team, and this award commemorates their counter-productive intellectual wankery. With all the misplaced sense of superiority of Giovani Tiso mixed with the tediously smug insight of Simon Wilson, this Award salutes the elitist mindset that helped Trump get elected. We’d add members of the CTU Wellington Comms team in this as well, but if we did there’d be even more sulking on social media. The ratings out this year for Radio NZ show that John Campbell’s show ‘Checkpoint’ has almost single handily saved the station from a steady decline in ratings, yet there is a little known issue that occurred last year that was going to derail John ever getting the show! At the end of 2015, precious Wellington Radio NZ Staff attempted disruption of Campbell taking the show by kicking up a tantrum and threatening industrial action! The fact that his show has gone onto making the station relevant again will of course be overlooked by the Wellington clique because a white cis male taking over the show is evidence of the heteropatriarchy reducing safe spaces for womin etc etc etc.
Best Columnists 2016: Rachel Stewart, Andrea Vance and Dita De Boni
Without question, these 3 women are the best columnists NZ has. Rachel Stewart rightfully won best columnist at the Cannon Media Awards this year and Andrea Vance has written some of the best political columns in the country (why the Christ Phil Twyford thought it was a good idea to start a fight in public with one of the most respected journalists the country has to offer never made any sense) and Dita De Boni whose work at TVNZ was one of the few reasons you would ever bother reading the TVNZ website. Each have shown enormous courage in the issues they tackle (Rachel was threatened with rape by Federated Farmer’s for standing up to them) and total fearlessness in slaughtering sacred cows other columnists won’t touch. Hail all three!
Worst Fake News Website 2016: Stuff.co.nz
The sanctimonious manner in which Stuff.co.nz talked about their comments policy this year was more akin to the way the Pope talks about the 10 commandments. No one cares about the comments policy for a junk news site except the junk news site. Beyond the bullshit clickbait infection that seemed to curse all corporate news this year, the worst part about Stuff.co.nz is their awful ‘Stuff Nation’ where poorly edited and fact free opinions are brain farted out by people whose highlight in life is writing for Stuff Nation. That’s fine and dandy but Stuff have taken to elevating these bullshit fact free opinion pieces into their actual news stream without alerting readers that it’s just their bullshit fact free opinion pieces and not actual news. In a year when these corporate media screamed ‘fake news’ there can be nothing more ‘fake news’ than the opinions of Stuff readers masquerading as actual news. A curse on their ‘news’.
Best media threat 2016: NZME and Fairfax to the Commerce Commission
No one does threats quite like corporate media giants trying to create a newspaper monopoly. This year we were all stunned that the Commerce Commission intended to actually regulate these bastards rather than rubber stamp their monopoly application and I think it was because those members of the Commission are actual news consumers themselves and had seen the brain draining stupidity of the click bait bullshit both media empires were vomiting out daily this year. The media empires responded by directly threatening the Commission with job cuts to journalism just to spite the Commission. When you realise that NZME is 86% owned by the banks, you suddenly appreciate they don’t give two shits about journalism, they only care about a neoliberal narrative that keeps telling Kiwis to borrow for housing. Will the Commerce Commission be brave enough to stop the monopoly merger? We’ll wait and see in 2017, but the balls on these companies to just threaten the Commission has to be saluted as naked corporate greed at its most spiteful. Rupert Murdoch would be proud.
Best TV Current Affairs 2016: The Hui
Without a doubt, the best current affairs in 2016 once again came from The Hui. This incredible team of journalists continues to create the best quality public broadcasting. Why they are dumped off into nowhere land on a Sunday morning is an insult to the work they create and the audience who want to watch it. Why this team hasn’t been borough into save 7pm is beyond us all here at TDB. They make the best current affairs on TV – full stop! All hail The Hui!
Worst TV Current Affairs 2016: Story
It should have been Seven Sharp because no one does vacuous bullshit quite like Seven Sharp, but it has to be Story because this abomination stunk so bad TV3 had to kill it off. It’s remarkable that this stinking turd of a show that no one watched was somehow the replacement for Campbell Live. Remember how TV3 claimed this would be the new home of current affairs? Reminder how they attempted to roll this steaming shit in glitter and convince us all it was worth watching? I was actually watching Story when I called Willie Jackson up to start Waatea 5th Estate because I didn’t believe watching Duncan Garner boast about driving a fast car around a race track had anything to do with current affairs. They ended up copying our Friday night panel show except ours was actually funny. Waatea 5th Estate managed to out trend Story on Twitter every week we were on air. If a show with the tiny budget we had could out trend TV3’s main flag ship current affairs show, you know they had a problem. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Best Breakfast TV 2016: The Paul Henry Show
Yes he’s a rabid right wing fanatic and their panel was just other rabid right wing fanatics, but Christ on a unicycle Paul Henry was funny and incredibly talented. His crispness and ability to constantly move the show along made him one of the best talents TV3 ever had. What they will do without him? Newshub have a chance with Duncan Garner only because what TVNZ is offering up is so awful.
Worst Breakfast TV 2016: TVNZs Morning Show with Jack Tame and his Mum
Quite simply the worst pairing of anyone ever. Drinking goes with driving better than Jack and Hillary. They all look like they are selling insurance for Youi. How could TVNZ produce a worse product than what they had before? I have no idea who this show is actually supposed to be for. Coma patients? People with severe behavioural issues? The exceptionally stupid? Who the fuck are these people who would actively watch something so stupid? Closing my hand in a car door is preferable to listening to the infantile banter of these people.
Best Radio Station 2016: Hauraki
Love the music and the hosts are the only ones on commercial radio that don’t make me cringe. Suggestions to the music director though, we need far more: Bull on Parade, Ashes in the Fall, Know your Enemy by RATM, Stinkfist, Sober, Schism by Tool and Boom, Chop Suey, Toxicity by SOAD
Biggest story missed 2016: Israel threatens war with NZ
Did every journalist go on holiday or did the corporate NZ media self censor themselves like they always do when it comes to Israel. It’s astounding that the PM of a mother country can threaten us with war and the entire mainstream media go into blackout mode. You all saw it with your own eyes how silent they went join this. Don’t forget it and don’t let them live it down.
Best media activism 2016: Auckland Action Against Poverty beneficiary clinic
After Waatea 5th Estate did an unprecedented 3 shows in a row about what was happening outside a WINZ office in South Auckland, the rest of the media suddenly understood the magnitude of what was going on with the AAAPs beneficiary clinic. Thousands of beneficiaries lined up to try and get some help with their welfare via AAAP trained staff, because many were too terrified and beaten down by WINZ to see them. The madness of so many unable to get the help they were supposed to get having to be processed by a third party because WINZ are so awful to beneficiaries was the first realisation by many NZers of just how counter productive the neoliberal welfare state had become. All hail AAAP.
Most successful media activism 2016: Greenpeace and TPPA
Killing off oil speculation and the TPPA were the two great achievements of successful media activism in 2016. Greenpeace’s campaign against overseas oil companies trying to drill for deep sea oil culminated in the last one packing up and leaving despite the National Government’s flirtation with the industry and Jane Kelsey’s incredible activism against the TPPA saw tens of thousands take over and shut down Auckland. They were evidence of real people power in 2016.
Best commentator 2016: Chloe Swarbrick and Robert Reid
Chloe Swarbrick made a TVNZ host splutter and choke when she shot him down on Q&A this year. More of that please in 2017. Robert Reid was also easily the best commentator the country heard from in 2016.
Worst Commentator 2016: Michelle Boag and Matthew Hooton
Anything these two vipers have to say are infected with self interest. They are both as charitable as cancer and as unbiased as Russian State media. I would cross the road to spit on them.
Best Political Panel 2016: Q+A
Q+A managed to really surprise this year with a range of panelists you simply wouldn’t see or hear anywhere else. Let’s hope this continues into 2017.
Worst Political Panel 2016:The Nation
You would have hoped with Tim Watkin leaving that The Nation would have branched out and included people that Watkin’s had blacklisted, but no,m the same stale faces voicing the same stale opinions. How the Christ does this show manage to geta million from NZ on Air each year?
Best Promotional Blog 2016:
Auckland Transport Blog
After finding out this year that the Transport Blog editor took money from Auckland Transport for 5 years, we all suddenly understood why Auckland Transport always comes out looking so good on their blog. Transport Blog is the best promotional blog for Auckland Transport that Auckland Transport could ever wish for. One of the most corrupt agencies in NZ manages to keep conning the good people of Auckland, here’s to their initiative and Machiavellian genius.
Worst Blog Story 2016: The Spinoff’s fawning apologist piece for Real Housewives of Auckland racism
What was uglier? The Spinoff fawning over their exclusive relationship with the Real Housewives of Auckland or the NZ Herald’s?
The timid and fawning manner in which Grieves goes about ‘reviewing’ the ‘boat nigger’ episode is honestly one of the most cringe worthy blogs anyone in NZ wrote this year.
What The Real Housewives of Auckland represent is American neoliberal cultural colonialism that promotes a mono-culture of narcissism and hyper individualism from inside a wealth bubble 99% can’t attain.
This is the soft power of the American Empire invading our media broadcasting and we welcome it with open arms.
Instead of downplaying the racism on this show, The Spinoff should have annihilated them for it.
Russell Brown called The Spinoff the future of journalism this year. Let’s all put a gun in our collective mouths and pull the fucking trigger if that’s true.
Best NZ Comedy Show 2016: Funny Girls
It is so god damned funny. Brilliantly written and brilliantly acted, this is the show you turn to for solace that there is actually some satire worth watching in this tiny stupid country.
Best Film 2016: Hunt for the Wilderpeople
In the hands of a lesser talented director, this ultimate shaggy boar tale could have easily become a cavalcade of racist stereotypes that laughed at rather than laughed with but Taika Waititi is such a master of comedic timing he has created one of the greatest NZ comedies of all time.
Best thing to happen to NZ media 2016: Vice Channel
Oh. My. God Viceland on Sky TV 13 is the best thing to ever happen to NZ Journalism. As a media outlet, Vice has given voice to Gen Xers and Millennials to explore issues the mainstream ignore and their new TV channel on Sky is an incredible mix of exciting viewpoints considering dynamic cultural and political issues that you’d never get on Seven Sharp or Story.
The Vice Guide to North Korea, Killer Kids, Fuck that’s Delicious, Bad borders, Weediquette, Abandoned and Black Market are all incredible programs that provide a level of journalistic insight we simply haven’t ever had on NZ televisions. Imagine TVNZ 7 if it had been properly funded and not killed off by the Government, this is that!
It’s a shock to see TV this good and it really ups the ante in terms of TV3s ‘The Project’ which is already looking shaky with who they are considering as hosts. Duncan Grieve FFS? Why would you chose to watch a younger more right wing version of Mike Hosking?
ViceLand is dangerously intelligent journalism, I doubt The Project will be anything this clever.