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Save Campbell Live – But you have to Save Yourself

Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

I´m not surprised that TV3 has indicated Campbell Live may be scrapped, in favour of the Jono and Ben entertainment show. The general population (that´s you and me) as a target market, are not treated as if we´re intelligent – because we´re not that smart. Last week the front page of our regional newspaper featured a lady who found a giant mushroom on her lawn. A giant mushroom. We clearly like to keep abreast of current affairs.

We want the truth. We want honest unbiased news coverage. We just don´t want to watch or read it. We don´t want to be lied to… but we´re not really that interested in the facts either.

Mark Weldon, the MediaWorks chief executive, stated that the revision of Campbell Live is due to “a consistent 10-year trend of ratings decline, with no reversal in the trend." So we can sign the petition in outrage – but if we´re not watching the show, then we´re not really defending our right to keep watching. Rather, we´re defending our right to choose not to watch it. We may be stupid. But we will not let you take from us our CHOICE to be stupid.

It is speculated by some, that Weldon believes Campbell Live is too "anti-government". That´s a stupid speculation in itself - it is absolutely the duty of journalists to challenge the government where needed – because we´re supposed to think. Never forget – the world is shaped by the action, or inaction, of ordinary people, every day.

Campbell Live has covered important issues when other current affairs programme would not, i.e. child poverty, deep sea oil drilling. But did you watch? Despite John´s adorable little smile, that makes you want to put him in your pocket - (see photo, above left) – do you actively participate in following our nation’s current events?

The news is not supposed to be fun and glittery. If it makes you feel depressed because the world´s looking screwed, we´re sorry – but the news is designed to inform - not to boost your morale, self-esteem, and give you the warm fuzzies.

What the news is missing, I feel, is a practical element. People like watching shows where they can vote or follow a storyline, because we like to participate. This is where the news fails to engage viewers. I would like to see every significant news story (and I am not referring to stories about giant mushrooms) finalize with a “what can I do from home?” option. Sometimes this is provided, but let´s turn up the ante – I propose rebranding “Campbell Live” as “The Make Shit Happen Show”. Doom and gloom story followed by – and what can you do, if you have been moved by this story?

  • Protests are being organized by this organization…
  • Donations are being accepted here…
  • You can write letters to this MP, here´s the address…
  • Learn more at www…
  • Here is the list of supermarkets that stock products which are not poisoning our environment, depleting our rainforests or killing orangutans… vote with your dollar people
  • Not happy? Make shit happen

If you want people to watch the news, you must give them something practical, empowering, and tangible to take away from it. And if you want to save Campbell Live, you must consider the messages that your own viewing habits, priorities and interests are sending. Save the integrity of an informative relevant news show – but in order to do so you must overcome your own preference for ignorance.

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