'Don’t freak out': Hilary Barry on NewsHub closure, TVNZ cuts

March 22, 2024

'Don’t freak out': Hilary Barry on NewsHub closure, TVNZ cuts

Turbulent times for NZ Media: TVNZ Auckland HQ. PHOTO: Kenzie Latch

Hilary Barry says it's been a tough time in broadcast and television media, but journalism students should not be discouraged.

NewsHub has announced a proposed closure, and TVNZ a restructure which would cut nine per cent of its workforce.

“Don’t freak out. Journalism is not dead. People are still hungry for reliable, informed journalism, for the sort of writing and writers that they can trust,” says Barry.

Executive Producer of Seven Sharp Paul Moor says there was a feeling of shock in the newsroom.

“It’s horrible when people lose their jobs.

“It’s sad when something like Fair Go that’s been around my whole life is not going to be around anymore, assuming that does happen.”

Fair Go is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s longest running shows, on air since 1977.

Moor says long-form journalism is important to tell New Zealand stories, and Seven Sharp has shifted to more long-form content this year.

“Longform storytelling, I hope – and don’t think – is going to go away, but the delivery will need to be changed.

“It’s not a dying field – it's a changing field.”

E tū, the union representing TVNZ staff, is now calling on the public to join their “Save our Stories” campaign in protest of the proposed cuts after union members voted unanimously against them. 

Barry says while the way news is distributed is changing, students and future journalists should not be discouraged.

“Yes, it’s changing, it’s freaky. But there will always be a need for journalism. My advice is - hang in there, don’t give up on your dream.”

Listen:  Hilary Barry speaks to Kenzie Latch

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