Why should we boycott TV3 after Campbell Live and why Martin Van Beynen is so wrong



Why should we boycott TV3 the moment they officially kill off Campbell Live?

There are so many reasons.

The first reason is  the mindset of news by MediaWorks Chairman Rod McGeoch,

“We put news on, but only because it rates. And we sell advertising around news. This is what this is all about.” 

This astoundingly blunt message makes it very, very, very clear that TV3 is simply about ratings, it has nothing to do with their Fourth Estate Media Obligations. MediaWorks Chairman Rod McGeoch makes it perfectly clear that he is aiming for the dumbest, lowest common denominator for news. If he could get away with naked jelly wrestling as a lead news story, he would. Their own words damn them to hell.


The second reason is because this is all about politics. The National Party cheerleaders who are running TV3 now may as well make John Key an honorary board member on the editorial team. If you want National Party propaganda, you can just watch Seven Sharp or read the New Zealand Herald.


TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

The third reason is THIS

MediaWorks management viewed Campbell Live’s crusading journalism as a liability that stretched audience patience, company sources say.

The show’s ongoing coverage of Pike River, where 29 men died in a 2010 explosion at a West Coast coal mine, was specifically singled out by management as having led to viewer “fatigue”.

The term “fatigue” struck a sour note last night with Bernie Monk, spokesman for families of the dead mine workers.

“I can’t believe that would be one of the aspects of getting rid of John,” he said.

“Sure Campbell Live covered a lot of it but TV One did a hell of a lot too and they are still willing to do that.

“Campbell Live was a great ally in getting the truth out and I felt he was never over the top or on a crusade by any means.”

The review by management – which concluded on Thursday with host John Campbell leaving the network and the show facing replacement within the next six weeks – also considered Campbell Live over-emphasised charitable fundraising and coverage of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, GCSB spying and child poverty.

…can you seriously believe this??? Too much time taken on the Pike River tragedy? Too much time taken on Child Poverty??? Too much time taken on mass surveillance??? Too much time taken on the Christchurch Earthquake???

Fuck TV3 management. That’s all I have to say to them spitting in the faces of those impacted by the deaths of workers in a mine, the misery and suffering of the people of Christchurch, the entire NZ population now under mass surveillance from the state and every poor child going hungry and cold tonight. What cruel human beings would deny the attention those important issues demand from a  serious media?


The fourth reason why you should stop watching TV3 the moment they kill off Campbell Live is strategic. The American Vulture Fund that has bought 100% of MediaWorks will slice up MediaWorks for sale. This is what vulture funds do. They take the most profitable part of a company (in this case the radio advertising arm of MediaWorks) and they chop it up and sell the parts that make little money. Boycotting TV3 now means that when they come to sell TV3 in 12 months time they won’t get a hell of a lot of money from it. Perhaps Opposition Parties  could buy the channel back and we could get a public service network again.

The reason why Martin Van Beynen is so wrong (don’t worry, I’d never heard of him either) is because this line that TV3 are merely a commercial enterprise and Campbell Live simply a product is the neoliberal argument to kill off public broadcasting that holds the powerful to account. Our democracy is weakened when the Fourth Estate watchdogs become lap dogs. TVNZ has already failed us in this obligation by putting a right wing fanatic like Hosking on and Campbell Live was the last prime time public broadcaster. The lax media regulation environment MediaWorks have been allowed to dominate in (Steven Joyce once owned MediaWorks) has benefited them immensely, as did the sweetheart $43 million loan to MediaWorks from the National Government at a rate they couldn’t obtain on the open market.

After all the corporate welfare to MediaWorks, they owe us the people of NZ Fourth Estate obligations well before the shareholders of their American Vulture Fund.


If you are an ethical media consumer, vote with your remote and boycott TV3 the moment Campbell Live is killed off.

Not only will the revolution not be televised, it won’t ever be mentioned on TV3.

All we have left is Native Affairs and Maori TV. Let us rally to them as the final bastion of investigative journalism Aotearoa has to offer. They are the only ones remaining who provide voice for the voiceless and challenge the power rather than parrot the power.

Boycott TV3 for Killing off Campbell Live



  1. Yeah, TV3 is persona non grata in this house for the foreseeable future. After knifing Campbell in the kidneys, allegedly because people got bored of hearing about the collective misery of their fellow Kiwis, they can all go fuck themselves.

      • Why? If TV only shows propaganda and not news, then surely a person must have better things to do than watch it. Besides, if people continue to watch after John Campbell has been booted off then the government wins.

      • Why not thoughtful? I stopped watching TV altogether 2 years ago after considerable thought and research. Have you tried it? Perhaps you could give it more thought?

      • Not so sure about that actually Frank.

        There’s been no TV in my home for over 8 years now. I do watch a little, if it’s available online. I watch movies online. But not regular scheduled TV. Ever.

        My sisters home is the same. Increasingly, many people are ditching broadcast TV.

        Too much advertising, too much bias, too much bullshit.

        If I were JC (cool initials too Mr Campbell) I’d be moving to something online. That’s where the future is. TV is dying I think.

        It’s easier to get a better range of opinions and content online than TV.

        • The reason it’s not a practical solution is that, like it or not, tv is a powerful medium. Probably still the most powerful medium we have.

          The internet presents an alternative source of information, but it is highly fragmented, and in many instances, is an “echo chamber” for political viewpoints.

          For mainstream New Zealand, I suspect most have never visited The Daily Blog , Kiwiblog , or Whaleoil (the latter’s ratings I strongly suspect are fraudulent).

          Television broadcasts into the homes of the vast majority of New Zealanders and with two free-to-air channels presenting a regular news service (of dubious quality, admittedly), it is the default setting of many Kiwi households.

          Only Radio NZ has domestic penetration approaching those of the two TV broadcasters. (Though RNZ doesn’t show up on commercial ratings, because it is non-commercial. Roy Morgan does, however, offer the option to choose RNZ on it’s media polls.)

          In a nutshell, that is why we cannot afford to permit Mediaworks to dump ‘Campbell Live’ without a very noisy, messy, highly-publicised fight.

          And why a campaign of boycotting should be encouraged.

          Because, in the final analysis, if we don’t care, then why should those muppets running Mediaworks care?

  2. So the 1%er employee with the 7 figure income is gone. Now you want to take down the receptionist, the cleaners, the writers, the camera operators, contractors, taxi drivers, baristas, make up and hairdressers and the myriad of others downstream?

    • From the down votes it seems it’s ok for these workers to be collateral damage as a result of the tantrum about to be thrown. It…..won’t……make……any…….difference to TV3. All it will do is cost jobs. Is Campbell’s 1%er salary more important than these workers?

      • Technology changes populations and cultures. TV replaced radio, DVD replaced video (remember Beta?) and now the internet is replacing TV.

        Those people still have skills which are transferable to new technology and new media.

        The answer is not to hold onto old technology because of jobs, the answer is to adapt and move with technology.

  3. “The show’s ongoing coverage of Pike River, where 29 men died in a 2010 explosion at a West Coast coal mine, was specifically singled out by management as having led to viewer “fatigue”.” and “also considered Campbell Live over-emphasised charitable fundraising and coverage of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake, GCSB spying and child poverty.”

    ARE THEY SERIOUS!!!!! I could not believe it when I read that as justification for the axing of Campbell! The absolute mind-blowing arrogance and contempt this mob holds for their audience is breathtaking!
    Is this what thirty-one years of neo-liberalism has brought us to. Our proud traditions of honesty, ethics, empathy appear to be vanishing down the toilet.
    You shall be missed John and I for one shall certainly boycott TV3.
    We have no hope with Labour as per Little’s outburst the other day that roughly translated “as putting the boot into the worker!”
    God save New Zealand.

  4. Yeah Martyn,

    I have deep concerns about where our over-commercialised media has gone to as it now has taken on the status of Junk TV.

    “We put news on, but only because it rates. And we sell advertising around news. This is what this is all about.”

    I will spend two minutes on TV one news then switch to BBC, Aljazeera, RT and even Fox and Channel 83 for PBS.

    I get the vast difference of coverage that gives me a balanced view of who is reporting the best honest coverage.

    For instance last Monday RT and BBC were the first to break the news that Islamic State seized strategic city of Ramadi just 60 miles west of Baghdad. It took our NZ media two days to catch up with this story as it is close to where our troops are so you can see that our media intentionally cooks the news for local consumption ahead of Government need to not upset the release of the budget.

    Such a sorry MSM we have here shame on them.

    We have been without TV3 now for two whole days and it feels very good to have broken the allegiance we had for ten years with this unethical untrustworthy TV3 channel that backstabbed us and John Campbell.

  5. It’s easy boycotting a channel that shows f*ck all. After recently fitting a motor system to our satellite dish and directing it at Optus D2; receiving RT for free, the progressive political programmes they broadcast from the US are light-years ahead of anything shown here. Sure sign of how morbidly conservative this country is if US programming on a Russian TV channel is progressive.

    The TPPA and its ramifications are discussed regularly on an almost daily basis. The programming interesting and hopeful, unlike the dull hopeless tripe broadcast here.

    It appears if one wants to watch anything interesting for free, it’s to be found by receiving broadcasts from various foreign services on various satellites.

    It is seriously time for those concerned to devise a solution to the atrocious broadcasting here. Time has clearly shown how corrupt this country is by what is omitted from our TV screens.

    • 1000% ANDY K I watch RT every day for sanity too.
      Christ even Larry King the older version of Campbell live on MSM USA is now moved to RT, something extraordinary we think.

      While in US during the 1980-98 era we used to watch “Larry King live” as he was big on most channels there and now on a Russian based TV network wow.

    • To see the deeper, longer reasons why news & current affairs has become so shit … see: “Satisfying TV Market Share Hoes: Why ‘Systemic Political Apathy’ Infected NZ’s Mediascape” at: http://snoopman.net.nz/?p=2639

      For a solution to the atrocious newsroom model used in NZ (and in mainstream media outlets everywhere), see a conceptual description toward the end of the above article.

      p.s. Love to know more about how to: “fitting a motor system to our satellite dish and directing it at Optus D2; receiving RT for free”.

    • This is how Berlusconi controlled Italy for years. He owned or controlled the TV programmes and filled them with low brow rubbish to keep the masses quiet. It worked until thinking people got the internet. Then they read he was called the ‘Clown of Europe’ and why. Sad to see it happening in NZ

  6. For me this will not be a hardship as other than Campbell Live most of TV3 offering is LCD pap.

  7. We are some of those strange folks who already do not watch Channel one or Channel three for the most part and only on very rare occasions. So Martyn, your idea is a great one and I think we will just stop clicking on TV 3 ( and Channel 1 as well ? ) the day Campbell leaves – hope many more will do it as well. I may stop clicking on The Herald too.
    Less TV – more CREATIVITY.

    We are clear now about who owns who and why this is all happening.
    Boycotting is a powerful tool, as well as sending emails and letters to, many places and people, expressing our concerns and suggestions and disappointments.

    Thanks again ! John Campbell AND your support crew ! for your great show that spoke to the hearts and minds of many. You all have contributed to a richer cultural landscape in our NZ history and you have succeeded and were greatly appreciated.

  8. Look, if nothing else this gives us a valuable peek inside the twisted corridors of Corporate Control. The deeply offensive, anti-humanist statements revealed in those quotes should send shivers down everyone’s spine. Spiked with a Neo-Liberal agenda and the smell of John Key’s Spirit, this is simply dangerous stuff looking into the future.

    We are now at a cross roads – TPPA has been given a green light to be fast tracked, and if passed, we are entering a new era, of which the axing of John Campbell will signify a moment when we could see this Beast briefly reveal itself for what it is.

    We should all be scared at the significance of what has happened, as the mechanisms for dissent and critique are being dismantled before our eyes. So the question is how do we fight this, is changing the channel, not watching tv etc a sufficient protest to impact on People who clearly operate outside of the democratic model and don’t require the consent of anyone?

  9. TV3 is owned by National now as Joyce has a stake in it, AS HE BORROWED THEM $32 MILLION OF OUR MONEY FOR THEM TO SECURE CHANNEL RIGHTS! and we are advised today that National Party has the whole “The Nation” devoted to the budget???


  10. NZ television is about 99% pure shite in any case. The 1% remaining was largely taken up by Campbell Live. After that goes then NZ television will be 100% shite. Why should I bother watching that?

    NZ media is obsessed by (un)reality staged scripted shows like the Bachelor, Survivor, etc. These shows are as real as WWF wrestling. Then there is the (ahem..) news! Most of our TV news bulletins consist of a few things repeated ad nauseum. A bit of bad weather around the country becomes a weatherbomb. Any time a member of the royal family scratches his or her butt makes a lead story. Every time John Key opens his mouth or shakes a hand there are the same pictures of the same sycophants hanging around him waiting for the signal to applaud and giggle on command. We have the latest women’s world tennis open which is purely a chance to ogle their bodies. We have the endless weather bites and of course the most repeated phrase in television news ..”coming up after the break…..”
    And of course the last “story” just after the last weather bite. Have to finish with some cuddly bunny story about some dog being rescued from a drain in downtown Vancouver. Must finish up with a feel good story so the viewers can go onto the next programme with a few warm fuzzies.
    Personally, I have had enough of this shite. When NZ television comes up with some real news programmes instead of scripted nonsense I might watch again but I won’t be holding my breath.

  11. I’m not going to boycott TV3. Campbell live support is just the latest fad, remember how everyone went around saying je suis…. whatever. Not everything in life has to be so serious and you are crazy to look for serious on commercial television.

    • Sleep – so? Don’t boycott. You can watch “The Batchelor” or whatever crap TV3 dishes up for you. Enjoy.

      Though that begs the question why you’re engaging on a political blog at all?

  12. Thanks Martyn Bradbury for pointing out an American Vulture Fund (Oaktree) is looking at buying Media Works. Now comments by Media Works’ management (Chairman Rod McGeoch?) that the rating’s surge for Campbell Live was unsustainable makes more $en$e. Super-wealthy Venture Capitalists can’t stand any sustained criticism to their neo-con-neo-liberal-neo-colonial project. Vital to that project is the control and subordination of major media outlets.

    I think the boycotting comments that focus on Campbell’s 1% er income misses the point. Not many, if any, in the one percent bracket stick up for the poor, and other vulnerable people who would otherwise have no voice, because they lack a public profile. As we all know, Campbell Live isn’t (soon to be wasn’t) the perfect current affairs program. Many have said, “he’s tries his best”, meaning he works within a highly commercialised media environment.

    But I understand the concern for working and contractors at TV3.

    Perhaps something is needed. NZ’s media can only get better if we identify the deeper power relations at work (& the trajectory we are on), design a blueprint for a new newsroom model, and find the funds (crowd-funding/equity from various sympathetic sponsors, and/or time-dollars and cooperative entity where many people expend say 1-5% of their time to this project, to lighten the load?) and build a newsroom that we want/need and aspire to have.

    See article link below about why a ‘Free Market Zombie Outbreak’ has infected newsrooms nationwide and what to do about it.

    “Why ‘Systemic Political Apathy’ Infected NZ’s Mediascape” http://snoopman.net.nz/?p=2639

    As a group of mathematical and computer science students found in their study of zombie outbreaks, “When zombies attack! Mathematical modeling of an outbreak of zombie infection”, the best way to kill off zombies is to hit them hard and often. That is what news and current affairs is meant to do.

Comments are closed.