I took a look at the Jim and Carly Show (otherwise known as Sunrise) the other day.

Carly's over in the United Kingdom - thanks to a local travel agency (plugged throughout the show) - and the morning I tuned in she was in Newcastle.

I saw her talking to a local music journo. What are the latest trends? asked Carly and said journo rattled off a few band names that meant nothing to me - and probably Sunrise's other four viewers either.

What did I learn from this interview? Nothing.

But dear old Jim Coleman discovered something. 'I didn't know Sting was from Newcastle' he declared to co-host Anna Rogers, normally TV3's film reviewer. 'I knew Dire Straits were from Newcastle but not Sting. Thanks Carly.'

Jim often gets it wrong and he got it wrong again here. Twice.

Sting is from Wallsend, a short distance from Newcastle. While Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits is from Whitley Bay.

But that's Sunrise - there are a lot of factual errors.

Sunrise is mostly fluff. After you take out the banal chat, the reviews, the touristy items, the weather, the interviews with authors flogging their latest book, and the 'lifestyle' pieces (I saw a silly story about a convention of donkey lovers), there is not a whole lot of hard news.

Most of that comes in the news bulletins presented by Sacha McNeil, formerly with TVNZ.

You get the feeling that there's a knowledgeable news journalist in Ms McNeil waiting to get out - instead she's trapped in the Jim and Carly Show, where there's always time for some banal banter and some weak jokes.

Sacha doesn't look entirely comfortable - and fair enough to.

Sacha is a journalist of some years standing - as opposed to Coleman who has spend most of his time cavorting around on pop music radio. It's kind of symbolic of the current dire state of television journalism in this country.

I'm not sure which is worse - Sunrise or TV1's Breakfast. Maybe Sunrise is marginally better but only because it doesn't have Paul Henry.

If you are looking for hard news - maybe you want some analysis of the current situation in Iraq as opposed to some drivel about the All Blacks or donkeys - then you will have to look elsewhere.

Me, I get my news from the Internet but I also watch the English-language news show from DWT (the German equivalent of BBC World) that is broadcast on a local television channel , CTV. It 's solid news packaged up in a no-nonsense half hour show. That's what I want but which neither TVNZ or TV3 feel inclined to provide.


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