Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kim Hill: international radio personality of the year

I didn’t listen to Kim Hill this morning. I didn’t listen to her last week and I probably won’t listen to her next Saturday either.
I realise I may well miss something worth hearing, because she sometimes has interesting guests and she’s a very capable interviewer. But I have to weigh those factors against the likelihood that I’ll be irritated by her overweening ego, her increasingly exaggerated mannerisms and her disgraceful ideological bias.

It was announced this week that Hill had been named International Radio Personality of the Year 2012 at some awards ceremony in London. I don't wish to sound churlish, but I'm afraid that merely confirms my scepticism about such awards.
Setting aside the intrinsic conceit of this particular award (did every radio personality on the planet enter, as the title implies?), the problem is that entrants can be very selective about what they put in front of the judges.
I hold the view that the only people genuinely in a position to judge how well Hill does her job are her New Zealand listeners who hear her (or choose not to hear her, as in my case) week after week. (I've said the same about newspaper awards, which is why I no longer judge them. The only people who can say whether a paper is doing its job well are the local readers who get it every day.) And while Hill clearly has a devoted fan base that won't hear a word against her, most people I know - including many habitual Radio New Zealand listeners - have long since tuned out for much the same reasons as I have.





Brendan McNeill said...

I lodged a formal complaint against Kim for her awful interview with former Australian PM John Howard. It was a cynical display of Kim at her worst. It focused entirey on her view of his worst mistakes,and never once asked what he considered to be his best achievements. By way of contrast the former PM was patient and gracious to a fault. I cannot imagine for one moment she would have treated Bill Clinton or Helen Clark with the same level of sneering disdain.

My complaint was dismissed of course on the grounds that John Howard was a seasoned politician and used to this line of questioning.

What ever happened to the idea of treating invited guests with respect?

Karl du Fresne said...

The Howard interview was a shocker. I wrote about it for the Australian edition of The Spectator: