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Messenger shoot-out

Written By: - Date published: 3:14 pm, September 15th, 2012 - 52 comments
Categories: blogs, newspapers, The Standard - Tags:

It must be the new tabloid format. Or perhaps Steven Joyce talking about the death of print news. On Friday John Drinnan highlighted APN-internal media spats speaking of “Frenemies”; today John Armstrong launches forth at so-called bloggers Gordan Campbell and Bryce Edwards.

Armstrong’s article does mark a change; no longer is it blogs attacking  the MSM, now its the MSM attacking the blogs. Interestingly, Armstrong seemed most concerned about Bryce Edwards, implicitly threatening him with the worst of all Armstrong curses, that he is “unlikely to please National.”

Edwards’ blog is the extreme example of the fact that most blogsites rely on the mainstream media for their information and then use that information to criticise the media for not stressing something enough or deliberately hiding it.

Unlike the mainstream media, the blogs are not subject to accuracy or taste – and sometimes even the law.

It is the ultimate parasitical relationship. And it will not change until the media start charging for use of their material.

Armstrong is the second senior Herald journalist to have a go at Edwards, who features regularly on the Herald website although not in the print edition. Fran O’Sullivan has also been at it on her Facebook page here and here.

I’m grateful to Fran for the personal compliments, and have made the same to her in the past on this blog. But I think that both she and John Armstrong are engaged in what one might call “transition thrash.” The bleat that bloggers only use mainstream media for their information is increasingly untrue; most credible bloggers have experience and expertise of their own, and more and more blogs are communal, places for interaction and discussion. Trolling also seems on the way out.

O’Sullivan’s call for Bryce Edwards to be banned, and Armstrong’s for the media to start charging for the use of their material are more like the ” pair of tut-tutting old dowagers gossiping in the salons” than Campbell and Edwards.

Edwards’ contribution to the Herald website is likely to be retained precisely because he assembles a wealth of material from a wide range of sources, not just the mainstream. He links it intelligently, and enables the reader to access all or some of it for themselves. It’s interesting. If he sometimes reveals political elements that might be called personal, well so do Fran and John.  More often than Bryce, in fact. Harden up.

To be fair to John Armstrong, as a print journalist he sometime suffers from his headliners. This article was headlined in the print edition “Putin handshake a win for Key.’ My snort of  derision blew the windows out.

Citizen journalism and the web are undoubtedly offering a challenge to the old hands. Some are coping better than others.

52 comments on “Messenger shoot-out”

  1. Brad 1

    Blogs have the advantage because they have little to no rules they have to follow, so they can do whatever they like essentially. Hell, one only needs to look at The Standard to see this

    [lprent: Within the legal limits. In fact the same legal limits that print media are required to follow.

    Some of the MSM do have various industry bodies that impose additional guidelines on them in what are usually voluntary or near voluntary compliances. However like most self regulated industries, you'd have to wonder at what they do allow and start to think that it is more a process designed to delay recourse to the law. Without any registration authority most wind up as looking like slaps over the hand with a wet glove.

    But blogging came out of the net and such forums on the net from BBS'es to usenet. We really don't bother with such pretentious covering of genitalia like professional bodies. We just figure out how to lower the costs to reduce the barriers to entry. Much of that is done with simple requests for comment that people start to follow. Similarly who people choose to read is entirely based on their content. Which is why the types of viewpoints are somewhat wider on various blogs than the remaining simple conservationist readership of the NZ Herald.

    The Standard is obviously doing well under the rules of the net because it is quite cheap to run in both money and volunteer time, highly interactive, and we keep getting new readers and contributors. The actual 'market' constraints on us are probably considerably higher than most MSM's because there are no natural economic barriers for us to shield behind. And the list of failed blog sites is a hidden testament to how hard it is to provide a good site. Obviously we don't have the advertiser displeasure constraint that hobbles most of the MSM - our costs are too low.

    The real problem for MSM is that mostly they haven't figured out how to cope with the net providing such a relentless increase in efficiency in feedback and two-way conversation. So they're losing audience amongst the younger generations because they simply look like prats trying to talk down to others without interacting. Even worse is their habit of thinly wrapping PR and serving it as 'news' or 'analysis' - which is John Armstrong's main claim to fame in my opinion. These are the generations who are completely aware of such advertisements and can usually tell an puff piece advertisement from actual content within a few seconds of reading.

    Of course there are some who are still stupid enough to not think who do rely on the old media. Kind of leads us to you... ]

    • Dv 1.1

      No rulles.

      Have a look here.
      http://thestandard.org.nz/policy/

      DUH

      • David H 1.1.1

        Yep break the rules and our nice polite sysop (old bbs’er here) or writer/moderator, will point out your indiscretions in a nice, polite, and concise way.

    • fatty 1.2

      The rules of the newspapers are defined by advertising revenue

    • weka 1.3

      Of course there are some who are still stupid enough to not think who do rely on the old media”

      I think that is a little unkind. It takes more work, considerably, to use the internet for news than the MSM. The same critical thinking applied to the MSM needs to be applied to other media too, and when it’s not packaged and delivered and you don’t spend alot of time online it’s not that easy. That’s not stupid*, it’s just that some people don’t live in cyber space. 

      The other point of course is that some of us were reading widely outside the MSM before there was an internet. I can’t say how grateful I have been for public libraries in NZ, as well as street level media. 

       *but I agree with you that JA is, who should know better because it’s his job to.

      • lprent 1.3.1

        It is like everything else.

        You don’t rely on single media types because if you do, then you get captured by their funding model and/or systematic biases. It isn’t that hard to read widely on the net. What you generally do is to seek systematic and preferably disclosed biases of different types and read based on those.

        The Economist is a good source because it has a quite transparent editorial bias – I have had a subscription since the early 80′s for that reason.

        I tended to like the NYT for the same reason before it largely disappeared behind a paywall and I discovered I wasn’t interested enough to pay the sub..

        Slate is excellent for the sheer diversity of semi-(US)-leftish opinion.

        Wired sucks because it is like watching a talkshow after you read a few issues.

        I used to read the NBR. But it got to the point that I could damn near recite most of their articles after the first paragraph. The quirkiness that used to be there disappeared to the Independent. Dropped my subscription to NBR. Eventually the Independent disappeared.

        The NZ Herald isn’t a particularly reliable source because they frequently play the game of “unbiased news” when it has been clear forever that they are not (people who were around then the Auckland Star was running are quite aware of this). However it does have authors there who you can rely on to have a systematic bias. The anonymous editorials on the other hand seem to be in a continuous political war about who writes them. But some of the opinion pieces over recent years recently have started to sound like sectional PR spin. Fran for sectional non-productive business issues. Armstrong as a shill for National. etc. There are still some interesting writers there.

        I have a pile of other things that I read for other areas of interest; linux, c++, management theory, some areas of group theory, history, earth sciences, and general science mostly. But I tend to have sources that I trust enough to be well biased in different directions.

        I used to read magazines in specific areas. These days I read online newspapers, netzines, facebook links or blogs… I spend less time and money than I did 20 years ago and get a far wider range of opinions on news and current affairs. But even 20 years ago I was getting better analysis on nz.politics than I was in the MSM.

        This site tries to select authors from the left, but with a range, and then make it clear who writes a particular piece. Which is why all of a authors pieces can be viewed together. We are distinctly and deliberately biased to the left. But there is quite a range of authors especially when you consider the occasional ones who aren’t writing all of the time. But as importantly commentators tend to question and query a lot. Authors often respond if they feel like it. Seems to work at providing feedback to the authors and improving them rather markedly…

  2. Blue 2

    Yeah, the ageing right wing political journos are an odd lot to be sure.

    Exhibit A – Fran ‘KKK’ O’Sullivan, who thinks she is a genius for comparing pseudonymous bloggers to a bunch of racist murderers for the crime of daring to have a different opinion to her.

    Exhibit B – John ‘Lovin’ Armstrong, whose tragically unrequited passion for John Key has spawned many a panegyric.

    I was surprised at JA’s outburst this morning. Surprised that his editor would publish a ‘poor me’ column masquerading as political comment, and more so that he was bothering to reply to the plebs who do not occupy his vaunted position as a Press Gallery Journalist.

    As to his accusations against the blogosphere, if you had a few people willing to regurgitate press releases, go to press conferences and watch Parliament TV and report back, then I don’t know that we’d miss much without the MSM’s ‘political journalism’.

    • tc 2.1

      It got published so got through all the editors and gatekeepers, don’t excuse JA he’s doing his masters bidding who duely let it through to release.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Yeah, the ageing right wing political journos are an odd lot to be sure.

      They can see now the NZ that they helped tear apart over the years.

  3. fatty 3

    Its important to read John Armstrong to understand what idiots think. And also to know what morons think they know.
    Gordan Campbell is a real journalist. Edwards’ was good before he started wasting his time with daily overviews. eg. his 10 part series on Identity politics vs class politics

    • Shaz 3.1

      Most of Gordon Campbell’s journalism is a quantum better in research, depth, analysis, originality, writing skills and timeliness than that put out by many “opinion writer” journalists. Bryce’s summaries are good but I was disappointed that he missed the TPP a few months ago when it was the story of the day. Keith Ng’s analysis of the budget in Public Address surpassed all the other coverage. The Standard’s posts and comments often give an idea a really good thoughtful workout.

      As for paid journalism being a dying medium and the professional journalism model being broken surely any liberal democracy worth its salt should be able to stop the slow and tortuous death of paid journalism at a stroke by (for example) levying a charge on advertising listings wherever they appear (web , print, phone, television) to fund journalism. This would replicate the funding model that has existed for centuries in print media and for 50+ years on commercial television. Advertisting / listings agencies that don’t have their own media outlets would put the money into a contestible fund to support independant journalists. (Adapting an idea from the Tobin /Robin Hood Tax model to support informed citizenry doesn’t sound to me like it should be rocket science.) The audience for advertising is an important element of the charging model advertisers use so making this trasnparent to levy a small fee to support journalism shouldn’t be too hard.

  4. ianmac 4

    Went back and read the comments pages of Armstrong’s item and of the 36 only 2 had mild support for John. Most ridiculed his line.

    • Plastic Tolstoy 4.1

      Reading through those comments has made me feel a whole lot more positive about the direction we are headed in in this country, people may well be awakening from their stupor. Plus it gave me a bloody good laugh to see someone so clearly full of themselves be roasted like that. I especially enjoyed the comment from one person suggesting that John should be providing links to prove that his claims were true! Providing proof of claims is something that is standard on most blogs, even blogs written by novices, yet this man obviously believes that because he is a ‘real’ journalist he doesn’t need to.

  5. Mainstream media hating on bloggers? You have to be kidding me.

    Just what do JA and Fran O use for their sources? Secret inside information that no-one has? Get off. The NZ media is – I’m sorry – but, total crap. The Herald cuts and pastes from Reuters and AFP. At least bloggers branch out into the more obsure corners of opinion, cite appropriately, and present independent analysis.

    I should also note, that most main stream media of any value or credit (NYT, WSJ, the Huff, etc 0 I know these are not loved by all, I’m not going there), but these dailies actually have blogs anyway. There is a very fine line between opinion piece and blog, in many cases, its jsut what you call it.

    JA needs to climb out of the antiquated, soft-core and uninspiring machine that is NZ MSM and join the real world.

    • blue leopard 5.1

      @ Peanut Monster,

      “The NZ media is …total crap’?

      Sacrilege!

      Clearly you are unaware that independent analysis is anathema to NZ orthodoxy and bloggers and media whom are audacious enough to involve themselves in such heretical activities deserve every insult and unemployable situation they get.

      You should wash your mouth out with soap, or better yet beer and switch on some rugby and recant. We can’t be having anyone who makes too much sense around here.

      • David H 5.1.1

        I’ll take the Beers Ta, but you can (Sacrilege coming up) stick the rugby where the sun don’t shine… League and Cricket for me thanks.

        • blue leopard 5.1.1.1

          @ David H

          The depths this site sinks to, first trying to understand issues and now THIS

          You have secured yourself as first on the list when the new form of witch-burning is invented for that comment against the big R….ex-communicable for sure

    • tc 5.2

      JA along with Fran and cohorts will be quietly forgotten when the sun rises fully on the new media like the irrelevant carping has beens they are.

  6. Dv 6

    One of his moans about being stuck inTokyo traffic was telling. Who in their right mind would use a car when trains run every 3 mins on the Yamanote line.

    may be TOO common for John.

  7. seeker 7

    “implicitly threatening him with the worst of all Armstrong curses, that he is “unlikely to please National.”

    Hilarious MikeS.! No need for the “laughing gas spell” after reading this delight.

    Completely Pottily Potter. Am so going to get my manuka crossed with kowhai wand and use it on all blue at heart Kiwis who even slightly diverge from the national cult cants with—-
    da da da dahhhh (roll on drums)……………………the ARMSTRONG curse….aaaaaargh……

    This should definitely undermine them, and leave them in a highly anxious and twitching state, just as wicked witch of the west, Great Benefitnot and her high mistress oracle, Poorer Ratstock, and their aforementioned followers do almost daily to those that have no work and less.
    And the mere thought for blue Kiwis, that the curse might lead to them being cast out into ‘outer Helensville’ and away from the ‘brighter future’ of their idols, Arch Wiz key and his sidekicks(and I do mean ‘kicks’ as in ‘teeth’) Blighter English and Joyceless Bringer, will bring them multiple meltdowns and agony. Brilliant!!!

  8. jaymam 8

    “Unlike the mainstream media, the blogs are not subject to accuracy”. The Herald is often wrong and if it goes subscription only I won’t miss it.

    The Herald went along with alarmist propaganda that 15kg of uranium was seized in Turkey in 2002, and that was used to justify attacking Iraq. The Herald never did fully correct the story, which was that “The substance we analyzed was not uranium and was not radioactive,” Guler Koksal of the Nuclear Research Center in Istanbul.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    It’s as idiotic to say “the MSM iz rubbish” as it is to write a column like Armstrong’s.

    In recent weeks reporters like Phil Kitchin, Simon Collins, Melanie Reid, David Fisher and many more have broken major stories (ACC, John Banks etc). Today there’s another example: the Christchurch Press/Stuff investigation into the CTV engineer. Good journalists doing their job.

    Gordon Campbell is another fine journalist, Fran O’Sullivan certainly has been, and Armstrong … well, he was once. Sadly, he has a lot in common with many MPs, the ones who talk about “Skynet” in Parliament. The world has moved on, they haven’t.

    The new journalism needs a workable funding model (Campbell and Bernard Hickey are trying out a new one soon). But ranting about “parasitical” blogs is just that – a rant, not analysis. Silly John.

    • tc 9.1

      Senile John more like, I feel sorry as he’s like a lot of corporate lackeys following the lines offered as fact. Making it happen oh yay.

      Hope his contract gives him a good package like his colleagues across the Tasman have been getting in the OZ dailys when the time comes.

    • fatty 9.2

      how predictable…gobsmacked gobbles it up.
      I wouldn’t wipe my arse with the Chch Press, let alone read it. I’d rather go to Scoop and engage my brain.

      • gobsmacked 9.2.1

        If you’re not interested in the collapse of the CTV building, that’s your choice. But it was NZ’s biggest disaster in years. So it’s a shame you don’t want to read about it, with brain engaged.

        • fatty 9.2.1.1

          Sure is my choice…you can take your CTV disaster porn and shove it. Having experienced all the quakes and had my life flipped upside down, I have no desire to engage with that story. That story does not affect me directly, so I personally see no reason to know the ins and outs of it. Most people I know in Chch do not care about that story, there are so many issues we are facing in Chch at the moment, and the CTV building is just one of a thousand tragic stories.
          Here’s the stories I am interested in, and they are stories which get little more than a footnote in the Chch Press:

          The city centre plan is not done for the people, or designed by the people. The city plan has screwed the people of Chch….and those in charge were congratulated for it.
          The covered stadium is not wanted or needed…rugby has never been so unpopular in Chch.
          The convention centre epitomises the corporate takeover of Chch.
          Social services in Chch have been at breaking point since the quakes and support of these organisations has generally been non-existent.
          Employment in Chch has been poorly organised and the average worker continues to suffer as the privileged continue to benefit.
          The vice chancellor is wrecking University of Canterbury by shafting the Arts department to get more funding for science/engineering.
          ECAN.
          Mental health issues in Chch is not being reported on enough.
          Housing concerns in the Press have mostly focused on middle class people…those who would be classed as primary, or secondary homeless have been ignored.
          Addictions, and people with addictions have been ignored.
          The general liveability in Chch has been underfunded…such as cycleways, community groups, support groups etc.
          There has been little critique of the worst mayor that Chch has had in a long time….”look at his orange jacket”…haha, very funny.
          Alcohol articles are more likely to be about ‘alcopops’ rather than the excessive use and abuse throughout Chch.

    • Blue 9.3

      The MSM didn’t ‘break’ anything on those stories. The ACC story was the result of an OIA by the Green Party, and the Banks one an OIA by the Labour Party.

      • gobsmacked 9.3.1

        ACC – Melanie Reid on “60 Minutes”. John Banks – David Fisher (Herald) and Campbell Live.

        ACC – Kevin Hague in Parliament. John Banks – Robertson, Shearer et al in Parliament.

        The opposition and the media have different jobs, but both are essential and interdependent in a functioning democracy. Kevin Hague can interview the Minister in the House, but somebody else has to interview Bronwyn Pullar on prime time TV. Are you saying that we’d be better informed if that hadn’t happened? If not, then how did it happen? Answer – months of work, by reporters.

        • Blue 9.3.1.1

          I think we have different understandings of the term ‘breaking’ a story.

          If someone puts an OIA in and gets some juicy stuff back, then that person ‘broke’ the story, not the media outlet that picks it up. Similarly, if the media outlet put the OIA in, then they ‘broke’ the story, not the bloggers who pick it up. It works both ways.

          Expansion on any issue is welcome and good. There needs to be more of it, whether it comes from the MSM or from bloggers.

          • Colonial Viper 9.3.1.1.1

            The MSM doesn’t do very much investigative journalism now. Other people are doing the legwork and digging around, and then the MSM does the easy bit, asks a few people for comment and puts it on air.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10

    Foot stomping–“I used’da be someone, I still am someone!” is the tone of JA’s piece.

    Sitting across, or more likely way down the aisle from the PM glugging freebies does not cut it anymore. Millions have other sources of info.

  11. Hanswurst 11

    “To be fair to John Armstrong, as a print journalist he sometime suffers from his headliners. This article was headlined in the print edition “Putin handshake a win for Key.’ My snort of derision blew the windows out.”

    The “Putin handshake”? Sounds like something that men might get up to on their own after a hard day at the office.

  12. Populuxe1 13

    I think this article from the Guardian on how clicktivism and blogging affects the Left is relevant
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/aug/12/clicktivism-ruining-leftist-activism

  13. Carol 14

    This seems to me to be the crucial part of Mike Smith’s post above:

    Armstrong’s article does mark a change; no longer is it blogs attacking the MSM, now its the MSM attacking the blogs.

    And it’s telling in Armstrong’s op ed piece that he doesn’t deal with the substance of Campbell and Edwards criticisms of the senior political journalists junket to the APEC meeting. In his op ed Armstrong points to the criticism he is responding to:

    Edwards’ and Campbell’s claim that there was precious little analysis of key Apec issues, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is simply not borne out.

    There were copious amounts written about the TPP beforehand, including a major feature in the Herald a few months ago.

    Everybody knew and said the TPP would not be a big deal as Barack Obama, the figure crucial to building political momentum to achieve a final deal, was absent.

    TPP is sure important within the wider context of Apec. But it was not a major feature of this year’s meeting.

    Or is it Campbell’s and Edwards’ agenda or strategy to make the media feel guilty about not writing more anti-TPP stories?

    This is just diversionary and an inadequate excuse for lack of in depth critique of political issues related to the APEC meeting. Armstrong knew in advance of his APEC trip, and should have done lots of background research to draw on in his reporting of the event.

    But a flick through Armstrong’s op eds while away for the APEC meeting, shows pretty superficial reporting, a lot of Key promos, and little critical analysis. He provides some local colour with descriptions of things like beaches, buildings and weather. He provides some potted background history and context (largely about Russia and Putin). But mostly he just seems to paraphrase Key’s press releases and speeches, with one or two selected quotes.

    In contrast, Campbell’s pieces are well researched, provide in depth critique, and aren’t focused on puff pieces for any one powerful politician.

    Armstrong’s latest pieces look like the death throes of a senior political journalist, as new more independent voices find their feet online.

  14. BernyD 15

    It’s strange no one has called JA on it, but he wants to charge for information he is meant to be reporting on ???

    Does anyone else see the death throws of a an incompitent idiot ???

    Or is he simply trying to score old fashioned browny points from his current bosses ???

  15. captain hook 16

    the recondite problem with the meedja in Noo zillun is that it has become completely infantilised.
    everywhere you look or heavens above read there is some geek talking about themselves and what they bought last week.
    Look at the ads for University Of Canterbury on the teevee at the moment.
    Unbelievably childish but this tendency represents everything that is small minded and feeble about the public discourse in noo zillun.

  16. ianmac 17

    “Bloggers Don’t let the Facts get in the Way.” is now the heading online Herald. Wonder why the bit about “parasites” was dropped?

    • BernyD 17.1

      I don’t read the Herald anymore, it was bad for my soul.
      TVNZ is on the “Wire”, so are many others.

  17. Tom 18

    Who is this mysterious ‘Gordan” ?

    Should it be the ‘Gordian’ knot ?

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Can’t say that I was paying much attention to this blog post. It has some mild interest about the verifiability of Wikipedia and then this paragraph jumped out at me:

    Third: people should perhaps start having a debate about the way authors are treated in “proper” sources. The New Yorker, the Guardian, ABC News and the Los Angeles Times – all respected bodies. And all, without being able and/or willing to do their own research, happily published or republished Roth’s assertions. We rely on these organisations for reporting what our politicians do, what our armed forces do, how entities with the power of life and death over humanity are accountable to the people. And they happily gulp down the glorified press releases of anyone who offers to let them touch his Pulitzer.

    And that brought me back to this thread and the assertion by JA that bloggers don’t check facts and yet the evidence is that it’s the MSM that doesn’t do the checking.

  19. xtasy 20

    Homely, homely, homely, my name is Dr Alzheimer, I visit thou and others now and then, may be persistent too, if you do NOT let me into thy “grey space”. I have been welcomed by “brother John” some time ago, he invited me into his abode upstairs, and I feel quite comfy there. It is “cheap” rent not even asked for, it is like a kind of “dwelling right”, really. Now we will sort all this out at some stage, but just leave us in peace, while we try doing so.

    Get your thrills maybe on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMJbM8I7K0I

    Amnesia is excusable, thank you! Admittedly, it is a DISEASE!

    JB and JK

  20. Polish Pride 21

    Was sitting behind a Guy on the Train working for the Dom Post last week. He was having a conversation with the person next to him. He said its a dying industry and they know it.

    • BernyD 21.1

      Not dying, evolving rapidly, there’s no difference between Internet and TV / Radio / Print, it’s just another medium to disseminate information on.

      • fatty 21.1.1

        One key difference is that when we just had radio and print it was much more difficult for people outside of journalistic institutions to get their view across. We were told what to think and what to believe. The internet allows many more people to give their opinion, and their version of the news because it is far more interactive.
        I’ve read a number of your thoughts here BernyD, alongside many others, and it gives me a much more in depth analysis of news/politics. Journalists are losing power, that is a big difference with the internet and the rise of the blogs.
        Journalists like to talk about the lack of ethics on blogs as if journalists had ethics themselves. Its their last ditch effort to hold onto the power that is slipping through their hands.

    • blue leopard 21.2

      “He said its a dying industry and they know it”

      Which is interesting because I would be much more interested in buying newspapers if they

      ~Reported things correctly (Throughout my life I have had numerous examples where names, places and facts have been conveyed incorrectly when someone from my circles has had an article done on them)

      ~Could spell accurately

      ~Corrected grammatical errors including things like incomplete paragraphs and sentences that don’t make sense.

      ~Weren’t simply a mouthpiece for vacuous orthodoxy- would prefer insight and informed input on subjects were provided.

      The first 3 failures are unacceptable when each article has an editor checking them. A luxury that blogspots are unlikely to have.

      The letter and editorial pages are usually the only part of a paper that is bearable to read now.

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    Press Release – The White House PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) On behalf of the Japanese people, I would like to express my heartfelt welcome to President Barack Obama, who is in Japan as our state guest. Barack and I...
    Its our future | 24-04
  • Shane Jones’ new job raises Ministerial interference questions
    The Public Service Association says the announcement that Labour MP Shane Jones is to move to a new ‘ambassador-level’ role...
    PSA | 24-04
  • Evidence lacking for Northland council amalgamation
    The Public Service Association has told a Local Government Commission hearing in Kaikohe that there is a lack of evidence supporting...
    PSA | 24-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 24
    Top of the AgendaObama Navigates Asia-Pacific Security Challenges...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • This is treason, sirs!
    A guest post by Captain Horace Cockwood, RN, on the problems besetting the Labour Party...
    Imperator Fish | 24-04
  • The Beatification of St Jonesy
    This has been even stupider than I thought it would be. The majority of the media commentary regarding Jones has been – as Malcolm Tucker would put it – borderline homoerotic. Morning Report featured Damien O’Connor, Clayton Cosgrove, John Tamihere, Chris...
    DimPost | 24-04
  • Photo of the day – ANZAC
    I don’t know if they’ve done it again this year but this from 2012 was one of my favourite things to happen in Takutai Square Photo are credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • How to become a climate change denier (in 4 easy steps)
    Cartoon drawn by Joshua Cakeburger Drummond as a contribution to the High Water Project, and rooted in bitter experience, I suspect…...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • TV3′s The Nation: Antarctica and public understanding of climate change
    A few days have passed since Lisa Owen’s interview with Antarctic scientists Chuck Kennicutt of the US and Gary Wilson of New Zealand on TV3’s The Nation but I hope it’s still worth drawing attention to. Programmes like The Nation...
    Hot Topic | 24-04
  • Shane Gones
    So, Shane Jones is quitting politics.  The reasons given, according to Polity, are because he wants the Labour Party to embrace a wide range of opinions, and that that too many people have opinions he doesn't agree with, like forming...
    Left hand palm | 24-04
  • Australia welches on open government
    Last year, Australia announced that it was joining the Open Government Partnership. But now that Tony Abbott is in charge, they're backing out:THE Abbott government is reconsidering Labor’s pledge to sign Australia up for a major international transparency and citizen...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • A counterproductive waste of money
    That's the quick assessment of Britain's participation in the "war on terror":Britain's military operations since the end of the cold war have cost £34.7bn and a further £30bn may have to be spent on long-term veteran care, according to an...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Shane Jones Nationalised
    Shane Jones is on Radio Live as I type this, explaining that he quit politics because he just couldn't be arsed etc.  "No reservoir of energy to..." as he put it.  Ridiculous.  Retirement at 54.  A career beginning and ending...
    Tumeke | 24-04
  • The ICJ orders Australia to stop interfering with witnesses
    Last year, in what was clearly the actions of a guilty government, the Australian government detained a former ASIS agent who was going to testify against them over their bugging of the government of East Timor, raiding his house and...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Here’s what a real bloke sounds like
    Kelvin Davis3 hrs ·...
    Pundit | 24-04
  • So long Shane, thanks for all the ‘fush’
    So Shane Jones is off. Retired from politics he says. Couldn’t give 100 percent to the cause so he did what he thought was best for the Party.Shane Jones has always been a polarising figure and never more so when...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 24-04
  • The benefits of transparency
    Ministerial expenses were released today, and as usual, I spent an hour trawling through the credit card statements hoping to find evidence of Ministers rorting us. So what did I find? Nothing. No $1,000 a night luxury hotel rooms. No...
    No Right Turn | 24-04
  • Christchurch to use Auckland’s old trains?
    As the new electric trains roll out over the coming year or so, a question we don’t know the answer to is what will happen to the old diesel trains Auckland no longer needs. Of course we will need to...
    Transport Blog | 24-04
  • Access: Defective, deficient, deviant and delinquent
    As many NZ babies do, I developed eczema and asthma. My mother took me to various clinicians. I have vague impressions of kindly doctors with strange accents. In retrospect they were probably part of the Jewish diaspora - educated at...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • An FPP politician in an MMP world
    So, now that Shane Jones has gone, he's come clean about the reason: he didn't want to work alongside Russel Norman and the Greens. Which I think emphasises just how much of a throwback Jones was, and how unsuited he...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: News from talented women
    As I may have noted once or twice, Janine and the Mixtape's Dark Mind EP is one of last year's overlooked local gems. Or perhaps not-so-overlooked now, given that her new video for 'Hold Me' was premiered this week on...
    Public Address | 23-04
  • Focus on housing costs, raise wages not interest rates
    "The increase in the Reserve Bank's interest rate, while expected, shows little imagination and will raise mortgage costs for home owners," says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “The focus should be on getting housing costs down, and raising wages to make...
    CTU | 23-04
  • One year on: progress made to prevent another Rana Plaza tragedy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 24, 2014Body:  An official from one of the two global union bodies that negotiated the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, currently visiting New Zealand, says that the Accord continues to make big steps forward to ensure...
    First Union Media | 23-04
  • Update from Dr.Gevil
    We wanted to share with you a little fun....
    Gareth’s World | 23-04
  • Matauri Bay: There are certain stories that get under your skin
    There are certain stories that get under your skin, stories that no matter how many times you hear them somehow strike you in a way that you never forget, stories that become a very part of you. The story of...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-04
  • Anit-fluoridation advertising deceptive
     Looks like the scientific fight-back against the misinformation coming from anti-fluoridation groups is having some success. This press release from the on-line Making Sense of Fluoride group. Anti Fluoridation Advertisements Rejected by The Advertising Complaints Authority Over the past week,...
    Open Parachute | 23-04
  • The Art of Letting Go
    via Porcupine Farm   While the big news with regard to the rebuild has been the scaling back of the Arts Precinct, this is just one part of a wider narrative that sees the grand plan unravelling. Since I wrote...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 23-04
  • Joyce tells Otago to ship in more students
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 11 Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is using threatened changes to university councils to bully the University of Otago to take more international students, says TEU national secretary Sharn...
    TEU | 23-04
  • New money for Māori innovation won’t cover cuts to Māori research
    Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori centre of research excellence is welcoming the  government’s decision to invest up to $2.5 million a year over the next two years in Māori-led science and...
    TEU | 23-04
  • UCOL staff given holiday but not pay rise
    UCOL staff got two extra days’ holiday they did not bargain for this week between Easter and Anzac Day, but what they really want is a pay rise. The polytechnic’s chief executive Paul McIlroy said...
    TEU | 23-04
  • Workers Memorial Day 2014
    Please be advised that there are three events planned to commemorate Workers Memorial Day (28 April) in Wellington. The media are invited to attend all three events.What When Photo:  ...
    CTU | 23-04
  • Shane Jones speaks out
    On 3news last night, Shane Jones gave a staged interview where he got some things off his chest. Not exactly a graceful exit, but there you go. Two of the things he said were especially interesting to me. Shane said:...
    Polity | 23-04
  • No Economic Rationale for $760m Warkworth Toll Road
    This is the fifth in a series of posts based on the Campaign for Better Transport’s submission to the Puhoi to Warkworth Board of Inquiry. The full presentation is over at bettertransport.org.nz In this post we look at the economic...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • iPredict Ltd 2014 Election Update #15
    Column – iPredict iPredicts 7000 registered traders continue to believe Winston Peters NZ First party will hold the balance of power after the election and allow National to govern. There has been a small gain to Act and the Conservatives...
    Its our future | 23-04
  • Photo of the day – Vulcan Lane
    Vulcan Lane alive with people Photo is credited to oh.yes.melbourne...
    Transport Blog | 23-04
  • Have your say on what Internet rights should look like
    Today I launched my Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill – NZ’s first ever bill crowdsourced by a political party. The launch happened live on Reddit, and I was joined in my office Joy Liddicoat (former Human Rights Commissioner and present...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Michael Porter on Social Progress
    via CNN, Fareed Zakaria has a fascinating interview with Harvard's Michael Porter, architect of the Social Progress Index that was launched to great fanfare a little while back. New Zealand won the top rank in that index, and Porter's main...
    Polity | 23-04
  • Time running out to save uni councils
    There’s only a week left to have your say on the Government’s changes to university and wānanga councils. Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has put forward dramatic changes to the way uni and wānanga councils are made up – removing...
    frogblog | 23-04
  • Another reason why we need an enforceable BORA
    Back in 2003, the then-Labour government, faced with the "threat" of an unpopular child-sex offender being released from prison at the end of their sentance, enacted the Parole (Extended Supervision) and Sentencing Amendment Act, allowing them to be detained for...
    No Right Turn | 23-04
  • Govt response to alcohol report simplistic
    The Government's response to a Ministry of Justice report on minimum alcohol pricing is simplistic and turns its back on those who are most susceptible to alcohol marketing promoting greater consumption, Labour's Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. "The Ministry's report...
    Labour | 25-04
  • Govt fails Southern Cross Forest workers
    The Government's failure to deal with problems in the wood processing industry has resulted in more needless job losses, Green Party forestry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.Southern Cross Forest Products announcement of another sawmill closure brings the tally of closures...
    Greens | 24-04
  • Humiliation for Government in Chinese dictat
    New Zealand’s food safety systems should be respected by our trading partners, but instead the Governm