Action Station, 10 April 2015: More than 20,000 New Zealanders have signed a petition overnight calling on MediaWorks to save Campbell Live. Grass-roots campaign group ActionStation launched their petition within hours of the announcement yesterday that TV3 is considering replacing the current affairs show with a daily version of the Jono and Ben entertainment show. In the 12 hours since its launch the petition has attracted 21,000 signatures, making it the fastest growing petition since ActionStation launched last year.
“Campbell Live is important to our members because it has a long history of covering topical issues that hold power to account,” says ActionStation Campaign Director Laura O’Connell-Rapira, “In the past year alone the show has covered several of the topics ActionStation campaigns on when no other current affairs programme would. These include deep sea oil drilling, overfishing, SkyCity convention centre taxpayer blowouts, the Christchurch rebuild, NZ transport budgets and child poverty.”
MediaWorks representatives say the move follows a period of poor ratings at the show and TV3’s drift away from news and into entertainment. Political commentator Matthew Hooton tweeted yesterday that he understands “MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon thinks Campbell Live and John Campbell are too anti-government”.
“Whether the motivation for this move is political or not,” says O’Connell-Rapira, “our members are concerned at the possible loss of one of our nation’s few current affairs shows. Independent investigative journalism is critical to a healthy democracy and Campbell Live has played a central role in many policy and political debates in this country. Our members want to let MediaWorks know how much they value Campbell Live and hope the show will be saved.”
ActionStation members plan to deliver the petition to MediaWorks when they reach 30,000 signatures.