FAQs: Save Campbell Live

Q. How can signing a petition help?

A. A petition is a simple and clear way for ordinary New Zealanders to combine their voice and influence and communicating powerfully to the people who can make change. Alone, our opinions and voices may be invisible and easy to ignore, but when we join together in big numbers, we become visible, powerful and impossible to ignore.

Since ActionStation launched in July last year, we’ve had successful campaigns driven exclusively by petitions. For example, when the police announced they would be laying no charges in the Roast Busters case, more than 8000 people signed a petition which we sent to the Minister of Justice demanding an independent review of the decision. That independent review took place, and helped bring transparency and accountability to this case.

Though a petition is often the best way to get the ball rolling, it is not always enough, alone, to win the campaign. That’s why ActionStation is not just a ‘petition platform’ but a campaigning organisation and our job is to make sure that your actions are part of smart, strategic and winning campaigns.

Examples of other actions our members have taken, besides petitions, include: writing to or calling their MPs, chipping in cash to fund a nationwide radio campaign to get the word out about issues that matter to them, and donating hundreds of tins of food for a fun stunt at the Beehive (which were all later donated to the Wellington Food Bank).

Q. What does saving a TV show have to do with ActionStation’s values?

A. Campbell Live stands for the same values that underpin ActionStation: a commitment to a fairer and more equitable future for all, a belief in the goodness and power of ordinary people working together for that better future, and an insistence that the powerful are held to account, and that decisions and processes that affect the lives of ordinary Kiwis are transparent.  

Our members are concerned at the possible loss of one of our nation's few current affairs shows because independent investigative journalism is critical to a healthy democracy. Campbell Live has a long history of covering topical issues that hold power to account. 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.

But, as one ActionStation member wrote, Campbell Live is about more than just uncovering our challenges as a nation. It also plays an essential role in society by celebrating New Zealand at it’s best; ordinary people working together for a better future for all.

Q. Has there been a change in ratings since the petition?

A. Yes, in fact, 333,960 viewers tuned in for Monday night's Campbell Live episode, its highest average audience for 2015!

Q. What happens next with this petition?

A. With your help, we want to make a 30 second television commercial to deliver our petition, and play it right in the middle of the Campbell Live show. Read more about that, and chip in to the crowd-funder for the ad, here.

Q. How does the rating system work?

A. The television ratings are based on 600 people meters in a range of households around New Zealand. They measure the channel being watched (either live broadcast or through a PVR/MySky box) and viewers enter how many people are in the room watching. This type of system is used internationally, but usually with a much larger number of homes included.

Because of the small sample size in NZ, our ratings are generally considered to be flawed (some results in the smaller demographics can vary wildly) but due to a lack of other options and the expense involved in commissioning independent ratings, the people-meter survey is accepted by the television and advertising industry.

Q. Why are Campbell Live ratings so bad?

A. Actually Campbell Live ratings are good! TV3 consistently rates lower than TVOne but Campbell Live performs better than almost all TV3 shows. 3News for instance rates significantly lower against One News, so less people are watching TV3 as Campbell Live starts. Still Campbell Live loses fewer viewers during its half hour than Seven Sharp does.

And if you look at the graph here (http://imgur.com/Opu6Fcj) it’s clear that the drop in Campbell Live ratings since 2013 was preceded by a climb resulting from Close Up being replaced by Seven Sharp. The recent drop reflects traditional TVOne viewers going back to Seven Sharp, so that the average ratings between the channels are back to where they were when Close Up was canned. 

More about Campbell Live's rating here.