The Dim-Post

December 31, 2013

In defense of Guyon Espiner

Filed under: media — danylmc @ 1:33 pm

Former TVNZ Political Editor Guyon Espiner has been named as one of the new co-hosts for RNZ’s morning report program, which is a big deal in political circles – Morning Report often sets the news agenda for the entire day. Bomber Bradbury is upset; one of the commentators at The Standard is also critical.

I’ve made fun of Espiner’s somewhat other-worldly political-insider comments in the past. But realistically, writing about politics on the internet is one thing; confronting senior politicians about their own portfolios live on air (after they’ve been briefed and prepped by their very smart, very experienced advisers) is another. The list of people who have the depth of knowledge and quick wit to conduct those kind of interviews and generate news stories out of them is incredibly short, and Espiner is at the top of it.

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9 Comments »

  1. Bomber Bradbury is upset – dare I say it but that’s recommendation in itself. I agree it’s a good move & wish him and Radio New Zealand well.

    Comment by TerryB — December 31, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

  2. Honestly who cares what Martin Bradbury or The Standard think.

    Comment by TransportationDevice A7-98.1 — December 31, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

  3. I haven’t been able to listen to Morning Report as much as I’d like in recent times, but I’ve heard that one of its problems in the lady few years has been in getting government Ministers (including the PM) to actually agree to an interview about controversial matters if they think they might be asked tricky questions. Is this a genuine problem and is it likely to change with Guyon Espiner there?

    Comment by izogi — December 31, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

  4. (sorry – LAST few years… silly phone)

    Comment by izogi — December 31, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  5. If what Fran OSullivan says is true, Guyon will have to give up being wined and dined by Mr Key . Can he ask the hard questions of a drinking buddy?

    Comment by Chuck J. — December 31, 2013 @ 2:47 pm

  6. “confronting senior politicians about their own portfolios live on air (after they’ve been briefed and prepped by their very smart, very experienced advisers) is another. The list of people who have the depth of knowledge and quick wit to conduct those kind of interviews and generate news stories out of them is incredibly short, and Espiner is at the top of it.”

    Guyon Espiner pulled off a rare feat: making Prostetnic Vogon Joyce uneasy over the SkyCity backroom deal. There haven’t been many moments like it since the face-off between Simon Walker and Rob Muldoon.

    There’s simply too much being hidden from us by a Govt that runs on the ‘explaining is losing’ motto, and Guyon is one of the better of a bad lot who can try to strip away the spin.

    Comment by deepred — December 31, 2013 @ 2:54 pm

  7. Sigh! Methinx deepred is correct (I almost wrote “right”) G Espiner is probably the best of not very much that would be interested. How he gets around the Wall Street Wizard and Crosby Textor is going to be interesting.

    Comment by peterlepaysan — December 31, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  8. I haven’t been able to listen to Morning Report as much as I’d like in recent times, but I’ve heard that one of its problems in the lady few years has been in getting government Ministers (including the PM) to actually agree to an interview about controversial matters if they think they might be asked tricky questions. Is this a genuine problem and is it likely to change with Guyon Espiner there?

    Yes, this is a real problem although to be fair Joyce fronts up regularly but generally it seems with anything “negative” the responsible minister is “unavailable”. A good recent example would be the recent postponement of the introduction of changes to Child Support. Announced after Parliament went into recess the Minster of Revenue was ‘unavailable’ to discuss this on Nine to Noon – I’m pretty certain Peter Dunne would have fronted up. (I’m also certain that Dunne would never have signed off on the delay which if nothing else indicates the IRD is under real strain).

    I’m not sure if Guyon Espiner’s arrival will make any difference – there’s a deliberate media strategy to avoid awkward questioning (which is why Key’s counter-attack on Campbell Live was so effective).

    Comment by TerryB — January 1, 2014 @ 10:40 am

  9. Espiner will be okay. What troubles me is the move to Auckland. We need one of the hosts to be in Wellington, available for face to face interviews in the studio, instead of over the phone.

    Comment by MeToo — January 1, 2014 @ 11:41 am


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