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With the latest bastardisation of infotainment TV News vomited upon us with Paddy Gower Has Issues, we are all reminded of just how important our public broadcasters are. Journalists working for the public good as opposed to whatever will distract citizens and mollify consumers.

Here are the Top 10 Public Broadcasters in NZ:

10: Kiri Danielle – Live Talkback Radio Waatea

Kiri’s talkback on Waatea is a breath of fresh air. It is rare to have someone as ethically solid as Kiri hosting anything but it is always a deep discussion on issues that matter. Her own environmental stance as someone focused on doing the mahi before the talk marks her out as a unique human as well as talented broadcaster.

 

9: Jenny-May Clarkson – TVNZ Breakfast

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Her emotional intelligence during very tough interviews mark her as a unique talent. There really is only one reason to watch TVNZ Breakfast now, and it’s Jenny-May. She is faultlessly kind and respectful but hard as nails when she is demanding accountability for a marginalised group. She manages all this without a hint of elitism of condescension.

 

8: Corin Dann – Morning Report

Being the host of Morning Report means being the journalist of record. Dann has always wielded that power professionally, without mercy or malice, because when he asks a question, the answer matters. Always balanced but ruthless in pursuing an answer.

 

7: Claudette Hauiti – Radio Waatea’s Parliamentary Press Gallery Reporter

Aunty Claudette is a senior Māori journalist almost unparalleled in her contact list of flax root organisations throughout Māoridom. Her experience, expertise and time working inside NZ Current Affairs marks her as one of the most important voices in NZ Broadcasting!

 

6: Moana Maniapoto – Te Ao with Moana on Māori TV

Easily the most intelligent Current Affairs on TV, Moana’s must see weekly current affairs show on Māori TV is the smartest broadcasting this country has. This country would be a vastly better place if this was on prime time TVNZ.

 

5: Jack Tame – Q+A

All year Jack brings true insight into our political landscape via Q+A and his journalism marks Q+A as the Jewel in the Public Broadcasting Current Affairs Crown of TVNZ.

His interview with Police Commissioner Andrew Coster at the beginning of last year as he desperately talked down middle NZ from using the military to indiscriminately sweep the protestors from the lawns of Parliament, literally saved us from ourselves.

At a moment of true panic and threat, where the middle classes demanded the military be used to clear the lawns, Jack calmly leaned into the debate and made us all understand what the ramifications of that decision would actually provoke.

His journalism talked us down from committing to a police action that would have required so much extreme violence by the State that we would have almost inadvertently triggered a civil conflict within our own whanau.

That takes true courage and true journalistic excellence.

 

4: John Campbell – TVNZ News

God defend New Zealand (and John Campbell). When my black cynical splinter of a heart hardens and doesn’t want to be compassionate, his journalism and empathy melts my anger with insight. His recent expose on ram raiding youth was heartbreaking and deeply poignant at a time when political parties are openly fighting over how young they can put ankle bracelets on them. His journalism makes this country a measurably better place. We are a poorer people without his work. Whenever I need hope, he delivers.

 

3: Julian Wilcox – The Hui TV3

There are so few Broadcasters with the mana of Julian. From his effortless polish and old school broadcasting performance skills to his ability to ask well researched questions and gaining answers that speak to the lived experience of his audience. He is such a class act and The Hui remains one of the most important current affairs shows on TV.

 

2: Kill Him – RNZ Saturday Morning

Disdain and intellectual contempt have never sounded so delightful. It’s like being tortured over brunch by a very demanding upper class Mother-in-law over why you haven’t got your shit together yet. Her constant tone of disappointment feeds the masochism of living in NZ. She is the classic Kiwi Aunty weaponised, like the Topp Twins, but with a machine gun. She is the voice of educated NZ that demands more and we love her for it.

 

1: Barbara Dreaver – TVNZ Pacific Correspondent  

Bab’s is a god damned national cultural treasure! Her body of work every single year marks her journalism and her ability to pull NZs attention towards the current affairs of the Pacific as the benchmark for Fourth Estate values in this country. The range of issues Barbara Dreaver covers from natural disasters to geopolitical machinations to domestic internal dynamics, her range and skill as a Journalist is true dedication to the craft. She is such a humble person and her stories are always focused on the ignored voices. She deserved this years Reporter of the Year at the NZ TV Awards.

 

 

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