GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Weekend Satire: No News is not good News


“Media and Communications Minister Melissa Lee insists she is not ducking for cover, despite refusing all radio and TV interviews since the announcement of Newshub’s impending closure “- RNZ March 5

Scene: Outside a School Broom Cupboard. Mid-morning.

The School Principal knocks on the door.
FX: Knock knock

Principal : Melissa Lee? Come out I know your hiding in there.
(pause – then muffled voice from behind the door)

Melissa: She’s not in here.

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Principal : Don’t be silly Melissa . I know that’s you. Unlock this door please!
(long pause)
FX: Sound of lock turning and door slowly opening.

Principal : That’s better, now come out so we can have a proper conversation
(Melissa reluctantly exits the cupboard into the hallway)

Melissa : ( sheepishly ) Yes sir.

Principal: Why were you hiding?

Melissa: I wasn’t.

Principal: So what were you doing in there?

Melissa: Counting the brooms .

Principal: (Sigh ) Alright Melissa….do you recall that at the beginning of the year you expressed an interest studying for a career in Media and Communications?

Melissa: Yes sir.

Principal: And that was why we put you in charge of producing the school newsletters and the college website?

Melissa: (even more sheepishly) Yes sir.

Principal: Good communication is vital to the well-being of the school isn’t it Melissa?

Melissa: Yes sir.

Principal: Newsletters and social media are how we share important ideas and messages – not just with ourselves but with parents and the wider community. News is VERY important

Melissa. Isn’t it?

Melissa: Yes sir.

Principal: (pause) That’s why we gave you quite a lot of money at the start of the year to produce the school news.

Melissa: (very quietly) Yes sir.

Principal: Well that was 4 months ago Melissa and so far we haven’t seen a single newsletter and the website is offline…Why is that?

Melissa: (getting flustered) Um….because Nicola..

Principal: The Head Girl?

Melissa:.. Yes sir..we were in the Prefect’s Room one day and she said the school news was a waste of time and money.

Principal: Oh?

Melissa: She said people got the school news in other ways these days.

Principal: How exactly?

Melissa: On their phones.

Principal: And who writes what you read on your phone?

Melissa: Anybody….The Troll and Demon Boy .. they’re always good to read.

Principal: (Deep sigh) .. Go on.

Melissa: So when Chris and David heard Nicola say school news was expensive they both yelled “Market Forces!” really loud. They said we should fire all the school reporters, put the computer up on Trade Me and spend the money on something more important.

Principal: Really??

Melissa: That was when Winston suggested we should spend it on an overseas school trip because he’s really in to those.

Principal: Did he suggest where to?

Melissa: Disneyland.

Principal: Disneyland!!??

Melissa: Yes sir. Then David got really excited and said entertainment beats news any day especially if there’s dancing in it… and Nicola said she was really into Micky Mouse economics. So we sold up everything and bought the tickets.

Principal: (incredulous) How many of you are going on this trip?

Melissa: Just Nicola, Chris, David and Winston.

Principal: Not you?

Melissa: (holding back tears) No sir.

Principal: And why’s that?

Melissa : (sniffs) Because Chris said as student leaders they were all entitled and that someone would have to stay behind to explain why there wasn’t any school news anymore and they all pointed at me!

Principal: And that’s why you were hiding in the broom closet?

Melissa: (sniffs again) Yes sir.

Principal: (Shakes head in disbelief) Right!…Go and find them and tell them to report to me immediately!

Melissa: (reluctantly) OK.. but they won’t be happy.

Principal: Why not?

Melissa: They’re already in limo on the way to the airport.


Bryan Bruce is one of New Zealand’s most important and respected documentary makers. 


    • The only fake news on TVNZ and Newshub is them reporting the bullshit the coalition of clowns are saying.

    • Clearly, Nat, you have no idea whatsoever how a professional newsroom runs or how it vets its sources otherwise you would not make such an ignorant and foolish statement.

      • Verity Verdant – No, you are wrong…examples
        1. Man is shot in the heart, and dies in Auckland, death caused by…covid according to the Government, reporting by both TVNZ/Newshub
        2. Albert Park Riot…reported as joyous gathering of trans activists by both TVNZ/Newshub
        3. No mention regarding Julian Assange for years by both TVNZ/Newshub
        4. Snide/Sneering tone by both TVNZ/Newshub reporting on the gathering outside Parliament over the vaxx Mandate

        Getting the point yet Verity??

        • Nathan none if what you say is supported by evidence.
          Here’s how easy it is…
          1. National support all NZ, TVNZ 1

          2. TVNZ report support to parliamentary antivaxxers by Winston Peter’s.

          Getting the point yet Nathan.
          If you are going to make claims support those claims with actual data…you claimed 4 examples, fine, but you provided zero evidence. Where did you get these examples for us to validate?

          • National are squeaky clean – Really? No evidence? Is that your current coping strategy? There is plenty of evidence…I gave 4…prove me wrong

        • No, not at all.
          Your “reporting” only confirms my view that you have never worked in a newsroom; even if you have you have conveniently forgotten any of the the protocols they work to. Otherwise you would not make such a foolish and ignorant statement. QED.

  1. Prior to this there had been several failed attemps to get Melissa out of the broom closet.
    Casey Costello had been sent in to try to smoke her out. Chris Bishop left crayfish outside the door, and Winston left his phone on loud speaker playing chumbawamba incessantly.

  2. If you want to make stupid comments about “fake news” you should give examples. Otherwise we have every fucking right to ignore what you said. Because it’s fake news.

    • guerilla surgeon – So why are many Kiwis stating its’ fake news according to various AUT studies???

      • Because calling something “fake news” is a way of disagreeing with it without needing to mount a coherent argument against it. It’s easy and appealing to lazy, opinionated people.

        • AB – or they are correct, and its the lazy, opinionated MSM that is at fault…the same MSM going down the drain.

          • No, AB is correct Nathan unless of course those lazy opinionated people provide evidence to back up their claims. Now that would be unique Nathan, wouldn’t it?

  3. Melissa Lee might look like a possum in the headlights – but that’s because she is. Willis won’t give her the money to bail out Newshub, and it would be a bad look to subsidise a giant corporation like Warner. Even a right-wing outfit like the Taxpayers Union would have to avoid accusations of hypocrisy by calling it corporate welfare.
    All Lee can do is to burble about the Government establishing the conditions where the broadcasting market is able to function effectively. It sounds half-plausible, but Warner pulling the plug on NewsHub is exactly the market working as intended. Warner are actually real capitalists with no interest in NZ society. Reality Check Radio falling over is exactly the market working as intended also – they got a lump of capital to start up a far-right-wing propaganda outfit to help destroy the Labour government – and now it’s mission accomplished the funding disappears.
    And really, Lee and National couldn’t care less. National have still got ZB and the Herald going into bat for them. Their best propaganda asset on NewsHub was Ryan Bridge – and an opportunity may be found for him somewhere. TVNZ is struggling and cowed; RNZ, the only intellectually respectable (though decreasingly so) mainstream outfit is not getting the opportunity it needed through the RNZ/TVNZ merger – and so there is no prospect of a decent public broadcaster such as the ABC in Australia.
    Lee may be useless, but that’s just fine for National.

  4. Melissa Lee, the perfect example of the Peter principle. Promoted to her level of incompetence.

  5. Who above just farted?
    I know mine are particularly redolent so it MUST have been one of youse.
    Hopefully Melissa will be taking a cabinet paper to the coalescing soon to sort it all out. No doubt she’ll report back before Christmas (2124).

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