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Indian Newslink 15th April 2018 Digital Edition


APRIL 15, 2018 14 Businesslink Carol Hirschfeld keeps her head down Mark Jennings Some commentators have rebuked the media over its lack of vigour in questioning Carol Hirschfeld on why she lied to RNZ CEO Paul Thompson about her meeting with Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Clare Curran. The presumption being that the media is looking after one of its own. They are wrong. Hirschfeld’s phone will be full of voice messages and texts asking for interviews. Stories about high profile media types like (Mike) Hosking, (Paul) Henry, (Alison) Mau, (Duncan) Garner or Hirschfeld hitting turbulence are major generators of audience interest in all forms of the media. Competition desperate The idea of going easy on a colleague doesn’t even enter calculations when competition for audience attention is as desperate as it is now. Newsroom, like all other media organisations has asked Hirschfeld for an interview and been turned down. It is highly unlikely that she will ever discuss the reasons for misleading her boss. Being an experienced journalist, Hirschfeld knows that no matter what explanation she produces, Picture of Mark Jennings from Twitter Carol Hirschfield (Courtesy: E-Tangata) it won’t change the fact that she told an outright lie. While there may be some sort of plausible explanation for not telling the truth when first asked about the meeting, there is no way out of the pickle that she has created by not owning up when challenged subsequently. Catastrophic chain of events Close colleagues of Hirschfeld say she is devastated by what has happened. What was probably a catch-up by two people excited to discuss the impact of an impending funding boost for Radio New Zealand (RNZ) set off a catastrophic chain of events that neither would have imagined. The excitement was understandable when you look at it in context. The development of a high-quality video component to complement RNZ’s existing strong public radio broadcasting would be close to, if not the high point of their careers. If they had been plotting to circumvent or undermine RNZ’s CEO and Board they would not have done it over coffee in a crowded, noisy Wellington café frequented by journalists and lobbyists. Hiding in Plain Sight The so called “hiding in plain sight” theory is too conspiratorial by far. The man who let Hirschfeld go will also be upset. In addition to any personal feelings that he experienced over the resignation of a close colleague, Paul Thompson will be unhappy with being thrust into public gaze in this way. It has given ammunition to those who think the money earmarked for RNZ+ should be spent on other things. RNZ+ is the name Curran has given the television service she wants RNZ to provide. A service for which the Government could cough up around $30 million. RNZ+ Plans secret The plans for RNZ+ have not been revealed in any detail but RNZ Chairman Richard Griffin told aSelect Committee last Thursday (April 5, 2018) that there had been nine different versions before he (and presumably the Board) Thompson, Hirschfeld and Curran all agreed. The final plan seems to be pared-back version of a linear (conventional) TV channel - more of a bulking-up of the existing video that RNZ is currently providing. Sources with knowledge of the plans say that there was no fundamental disagreement between Thompson and Hirschfeld over the direction. RNZ+ will need to carry plenty of strong content to satisfy its current audience but it also needs to be innovative enough to recruit the younger demographic that its radio product has been successfully doing. The Successor Issue So, who will end up with the tricky task of making it happen now Hirschfeld is gone? Thompson will be tempted to turn one of his trusted lieutenants and current Head of Digital, Glen Scanlon. Scanlan is now Acting Head of News and regarded (inside and outside RNZ) as highly competent. Former TV3 and TVNZ Producer Tim Watkin will also be pressing his claims. Watkin is RNZ’s Executive Producer of Podcasts and Series. Having had a spell as Deputy Editor of the Listener, his journalistic credentials are good and he will know more about producing TV programmes than most RNZ executives. Thompson also has Stephen Smith to turn to. Smith worked for TVNZ, Vodafone and Maori TV before taking charge of branding and marketing at RNZ. He has a strong understanding of TV and new media. About the Minister And what of Clare Curran now? Supporters of better public service media will be hoping that she recovers from her self-inflicted wounds and sees through her plan to boost a part of the media that has been neglected and in the case of television (Maori TV aside) abandoned. When Curran picked up the portfolio, there was an expectation that public broadcasting would get some overdue attention, particularly given the opposition spokesperson, Melissa Lee, also has a strong interest and knowledge in the area. Lee was a TV Producer before she entered Parliament. The Hirschfeld saga has damaged Curran but whether it will mean less money for RNZ+ won’t be known until May 17 when Finance Minister Grant Robertson delivers his first budget. It could be $30 million, it could be less, or it could be zero. Mark Jennings, former Head of News and Current Affairs at Mediaworks (TV3) is the Co-Founder of Newsroom along with Tim Murphy, former Editor-in-Chief of the New Zealand Herald. Indian Newslink has published the above article, an updated version of which appeared on the Newsroom website under a Special Agreement with 2018 CALLING FOR ENTRIES & NOMINATIONS CATEGORIES: 1. Business Excellence in Retail Trade 2. Business Excellence in Innovation 3. Business Excellence in Marketing 4. Business Excellence in Customer Service 5. Best Employer of Choice 6. Best Small Business 7. Best Medium Sized Business 8. Best Large Business 9. Business Excellence in Health &Safety (NEW) 10. Business Excellence in International Trade with India* 11. Best Accountant of the Year 12. Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year 13. Best Businesswoman of the Year 14. Best Financial Advisor (Mortgage) of the Year 15. Best Financial Advisor (Insurance) of the Year Supreme Business of the Year Award (All entries will be entered for this category) For details contact P OBox 82338 Highland Park, Manukau 2143 Phone (09) 5336377 Email: • Conditions of Entry: Entries and Nominations must be in electronic format sent by email. Those sent by post, fax or other means will not be accepted. The decision of the judges would be final and no correspondence will be entertained in this connection. 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APRIL 15, 2018 The labyrinth of Algorithms can be creepy Danielle Van Dalen The cracks are starting to show on the fancy computer algorithms that we rely so heavily upon these days. The recent news that Facebook was involved in sharing the personal information of quiz participants and their friends with Cambridge Analytica has illustrated the creeping influence algorithms have had on our lives. After the story broke, the New York Times reported that “the hashtag #DeleteFacebook appeared more than 10,000 times within a two-hour period,” showing that people are starting to recognise that our increasing reliance on algorithms is not all positive. We need to remember that technology cannot be a substitute for relationships. Powerful tools Algorithms are powerful tools for creating efficient and targeted processes used in our day-to-day lives. They do a lot of awesome things. Companies like Netflix and Uber harness them to ensure that the right information gets to the right people, like which movies to advertise for whom, or which driver to connect with which passenger. Unfortunately, as the Cambridge Analytica example suggests, there are also risks to the widespread use of algorithms and the personal data they so often rely upon; and privacy breaches are just one example. In many less-obvious areas of our lives, the algorithms are showing their fair share of bugs too. Healthcare options In 2016, the Arkansas Department of Human Services began to use algorithms to determine heaAlthcare options and supports for different people. The algorithm led, however, to significant changes and reductions in many people’s medical care – one person even claimed, “they were hospitalised because their care was cut.” A court eventually discovered that the software vendor had “mistakenly used a version of the software that didn’t account for diabetes issues.” Bad predictions While not quite as life-ordeath, companies like Shell have also been using algorithms to fill job roles but are now finding that these algorithms are “bad at predicting rare events, such as when employees would excel at a task they haven’t encountered before.” So, while we have seen that the potential of technologies like this and get understandably excited about the future possibilities and efficient systems we might create, these examples show that completely relying on these processes is not always the answer. Sometimes they get it wrong. It is easy to quickly trust the outputs of a computer, but as these examples show, we simply cannot afford to be so naïve. The response So how do we respond? While quitting Facebook seems like a good start for many – even futurist and technological entrepreneur Elon Musk deleted his company’s accounts – becoming a technological hermit does not seem helpful, or even possible, anymore. Besides, the efficiency-related benefits of algorithms are hard to give up. Instead, we need to be aware of their limitations and wary of their potential unintended consequences. We need to remember that algorithms often fail to see the nuance that only human interaction can detect. From social media to medical care or potential employment, let us introduce some more healthy suspicion when it comes algorithms. Danielle van Dalen is a Researcher at the Maxim Institute based in Auckland. Businesslink The Denture and Denture Implant Clinics • Full Dentures • Acrylic Dentures • Metal Dentures • Flexible Dentures • Denture Relines • Denture Repairs • Mouth Guards We make it... we fit it... we fix it... Full dental laboratory services with no dentist appointments or referrals required! 3/208 Gt Sth Rd, Papatoetoe. 09 277 2233 161 Gt Sth Rd, Manurewa. 09 266 3850 11 West St, Pukekohe. 09 238 0095 Email 15 KAT5886 RVS Heat Recovery Ventilation Fresh filtered air for a healthier, drier and warmer home. • Fresh filtered air • Reduces moisture • Reduces Mould and Condensation. We use Dry Air from Roof Cavity and replace your home air. • Super energy efficient The ultimate home ventilation system that provides fresh filtered air. RVS Ventilation removes both moisture and stale indoor air and effectively recovers heat from both outgoing stale air AND from damp areas such as kitchens and bathrooms. We are your local Mitsubishi Electric Ventilation Specialist. Call us for your free in-home quote 0800 787 111 Unit No. 42/18 Lambie Drive Manukau, Auckland

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