TV journalism will be poorer for John Campbell's departure: Peter Dunne

John Campbell's last day at TV3 will be on Friday.

John Campbell's last day at TV3 will be on Friday.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is lamenting the loss of broadcaster John Campbell from TV3, which he says shows the channel "is really all about ratings and entertainment, ahead of quality and information."

MediaWorks, the parent company of TV3, announced last week that Campbell, the host of Campbell Live, would leave the company, and the show would take on a new two-presenter format. 

Campbell Live had been under a six-week review by MediaWorks, during which the show had seen a ratings surge and an outpouring of support from the public.

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.
KENT BLECHYNDEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne.

Campbell, who had hosted the show for more than a decade, was offered a co-host position on the new show, but declined. His last show will be on Friday. 

Past encounters with the broadcaster - who "annoyed and frustrated" - aside, Dunne said he would be sorry to see Campbell go. 

While he seldom watched Campbell Live, and was even more rarely invited to appear on the show, Dunne said New Zealand television journalism would be poorer for Campbell's departure. 

"Without him, television news and current affairs will be reduced to just another succession of barely witty asides between presenters, with precious little analysis or actual understanding of what is going on in the world."

TV3 was "really all about ratings and entertainment, ahead of quality and information."

"It is so pervasive that now even someone like John Campbell has been cast aside unceremoniously in its unrelenting pursuit," Dunne said. 

The most disturbing feature of the demise of Campbell Live was the wider message it sent - that talented broadcasters ran second to "the pre-determined light and fluffy news and current affairs formulae both TVNZ and TV3 now to seem operate by."

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Traditional media were struggling to compete with the explosion and variety of outlets, along with social media, which made Dunne fear for the regard current affairs was held in, and the future of news in New Zealand.  

 - Stuff

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