New Look for NZ Current Affairs

The tag line for TV3’s 60 Minutes successor, 3rd Degree, promises “a new kind of current affairs”.

And in one respect at least that will be true: 3rd Degree is the first NZ current affairs hour to be 100% pure HD — and will be for some time.

An earlier post that Q+A, which resumes Sunday morning (TV One, 9.00), would be in HD turns out to be wrong because of incorrect information from TVNZ.

Unlike TV3, TVNZ has no plans to roll out HD for its news and currents shows.

But 3rd Degree won’t be the first time NZ current affairs has aired in HD.

TV3 did shoot some local 60 Minutes segments in HD but they screened alongside SD US and Australian reports.

3rd Degree will be all-NZ content and all HD. And in the rare instance when it does air overseas material, it will be in the form of an HD documentary.

TV3’s news and current affairs chief Mark Jennings says the network bought more HD cameras so 3rd Degree could be a totally HD production.

But switching over 3 News, Campbell Live, Firstline and Nightline will take longer.

“There is a plan to roll out HD in News and Campbell down the track but it is quite a major capital investment,” Jennings says.

“All the field cameras need to be replaced with HD cameras and our SNGs [satellite uplinks] need to be modified, so I expect it will be phased in over the next couple of years.”

Once a month 3rd Degree will devote its hour to The Vote, in which Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner will lead two teams debating national issues, with Linda Clark the referee.

It will be recorded “as live” in front of an audience and at the end of each debate, viewers will get to vote and comment via text, Facebook, Twitter and online.

As to what will be on the first 3rd Degree, here’s the press release promising “two controversial stories”:

Hosted by Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner, 3rd Degree kicks off with a major story from 2012 Journalist of the Year, Melanie Reid, followed by an exclusive look into the life of Anna Guy, sister of murder victim Scott Guy.

Melanie Reid investigates a furore in Taranaki: a stoush between the region’s “most hated man” on one side, and the mayor, the police, and just about everyone else in the province on the other. 

Daniel Clout is a car clamper – he clamps cars for several private car parks in New Plymouth. It is not a job that endears him to the local community, but the one thing he has going for him is the fact that he has video-recorded everything – all his run-ins with car parkers and the police. Melanie Reid will show you why he deserves his story told.

Also in the first episode of 3rd Degree, a special report on Anna Guy – her own story in her own words. Anna was thrust into the spotlight, when her husband was charged, and subsequently acquitted of the murder of Anna’s brother.  Now Anna has invited 3rd Degree cameras to follow her, as she leaves the town she grew up in and sets up home with her four children in Auckland. Anna talks candidly about putting tragedy – and her husband Ewen – behind her, and about her new love.

Anna is also in the studio to answer some hard questions. Each week the programme includes an interview segment, in which a guest is given the ‘3rd degree’ by Duncan Garner and Guyon Espiner. This week Anna Guy is in the hot seat: does she think her brother Scott was killed by her husband?   

In upcoming weeks, the programme will feature stories from some of New Zealand’s top journalists, including Paula Penfold, Sarah Hall, Guyon Espiner, Melanie Reid, Phil Vine, Duncan Garner  and Samantha Hayes.  

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4 Responses to “New Look for NZ Current Affairs”

  1. Sounds VERY interesting, hope it gets GREAT ratings 🙂

  2. Looks to me like same old , same old. Hype for ratings.

  3. Actually I loved it … Anna Guy has such beautiful eyes in HD 🙂

  4. Disappointed. Car clamper is hardly newsworthy. Anna Guy – who cares? She’s a silly bint.

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