First off the block for the ‘Battle of the Current Affairs Shows’ is TV3’s The Nation.
The current affairs show has been revamped with a different format and new hosts, Patrick Gower and Simon Shepherd. There is also a political panel, with familiar faces Bill Ralston, Josie Pagani, and Jordan Williams, frontperson for the latest right-winger ‘ginger’ group, The so-called Taxpayer’s Union.
So, how was the first episode?
Not the best, really. It is as if all the experience built up over the last few years have gone out the window, and there were a few irritating “clunkers”.
The main discordance – Patrick Gower. The man is talented, knowledgeable, and (should) know his craft.
But he needs to learn to Shut The F**k Up. Posing question to his guest also means waiting for an answer – not leaping in before the interviewee has even has a chance to complete his/her first sentence. Gower’s non-stop interuption of Cunliffe meant the viewer couldn’t get any idea of what the Labour Leader was trying to get at.
Message to Gower: do you want to know why David Cunliffe shouldn’t be outlining his coalition preferences on your programme?
Answer: Because he wouldn’t be able to articulate it properly without you over-talking him. We’d never get an answer because we’d be hearing your voice instead of his, and any message he’d try to express would be lost in your strident voice continually interupting him.
Next week, Gower will be interviewing John Key. Now, as much as I’m no fan of Dear Leader, I think I’d rather hear him speak than Gower. So learn to pose the question and draw breath whilst your guest responds.
On a vastly more positive note, contrast Simon Shepherd’s interview with Jamie Whyte. This was a measured, professional, almost laid-back style of interview reminiscent of past, by-gone years where the guest’s responses were the central theme of an interview – not the interviewer’s ego.
Simon’s strength lay in his soft-spoken, unexcited style of questioning Whyte (who, I think benefited from Simon’s style). There was definite ‘steel’ reinforcing his laid-back approach. The ‘softly, softly’ approach – and it worked. I was reminded of the BBC’s Hard Talk host, Stephen Sackur.
More of Simon, please.
The panel was a direct rip from TV1’s Q+A, with practically the same characters re-cycycled.
If TV3 is going to pinch another channel’s idea – can we at least have some fresh commentators? There must be more than half a dozen political pundits that TV3 can call on?
Next, the whole “Next Week’s News” seemed a bit of a farce. Not content with a TV current affairs programme being “across” a story (god, I hate that term) – now they’re going one step further and trying to predict stories? It is almost as if The Nation is trying to set the news/current affairs agenda – an uncomfortable step for a news/current affairs programme to take.
Oh well, at least they’re not making up Tweets.
Lastly; what gives with the near all-male line-up of hosts, reporter, and panellists?! Does TV3 have no talented women journalists? And what happened to Rachel Smalley, who really grew into the role?
All up, I rate this 6/10.
Can do – should do – much better.
= fs =