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“Name” journalism & voter dis-engagement

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, November 29th, 2012 - 75 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democratic participation, labour, news - Tags: , , ,

Attacks on the “anonymity” of bloggers by some MPs and journalists, are a symptom of change that threatens to make political participation more democratic.  Until the early 20th century journalists were largely anonymous.  The rise of “name” journalism and infotainment have increased voter dis-engagement.  A critical, independent fourth estate, free from commercial and state interference, is crucial to democracy.  However, well-managed blogging (by any name) can also contribute significantly to democratic re-engagement.

Auckland Star 12 July 1937 – from Papers Past

As outlined by Zvi Reich (2010), the now standard use of named author bylines, was the result of a gradual development during the 20th century.  With reference to his examination of NY Times and the UK Times, Reich shows how this was the result of a progression through 4 distinct phases:

1) anonymous journalists with an authoritative voice, aimed to stop the journalist coming between the reader and the story, by maintaining an impersonal voice (see the accompanying image of an Auckland Star article where Michael Savage talks directly to the public).

2) generic bylines promoting news agencies or newspapers; (still seen now with NZ Herald and NZ Listener editorials, written by unnamed authors).  It was also and attempt to deter plagiarism.

3) a few ‘star’ named journalistswhich began at the NYT before WWII, and at The (UK) Times after 1967.

4) most authors named with personal bylines, due to journalists’ pressure for an equal share of the public acclaim. This was accelerated by the celebrity-making  influence of TV news.

Reich: UK Times, named personal bylines began 1960s

Reich’s article shows how the use of bylines developed as the result of multiple, sometimes conflicting factors, which included changes in technologies and dominant discourses. In Reich’s article the rise of stage 4 in the UK coincides with Murdoch’s rise in publishing, when unions lost their influence.  They had been resistant to what Reich refers to as “the professionalization” of journalism.  As Geoff Kemp tells it, the introduction of new technologies in UK newspaper publication led to industrial disputes, which resulted in submissive journalists and a compliant press.

Naming of authors is supposed to create transparency.  However, this conceals the co-authors as identified by Reich; such as news sources, editors, sub-editors, spokespeople, and press release writers, each having the potential to add bias.  On TV, with the on-camera reporters being most closely associated with a story, co-authors would include camera and sound operators, editors, producers, studio anchors, and more.

As I argued in an earlier post, the international commercialisation of news has led to the public becoming increasingly cynical about the motives of politicians. One of the more negative impacts of infotainment and celebrity culture, has been the increasing public disengagement from politics and voting.  The visual medium of TV has contributed to the focus on superficial conflicts, the strategic framing of politics as game, and the insertion of well-known journalists into the story.

Running interference between politics & the public

“Name” journalists have become a proxy for the public voice, disempowering potential voters. When continuously associated with political news, they gain a false superficial aura of authority, trust-worthiness, and expertise in interpreting the news.  This was seen during the recent Labour Party conference, when TV3’s Patrick Gower led his own reality show exposé. He repeatedly thrust a microphone in front of David Cunliffe in an attempt to dramatically uncover an alleged leadership coup. The more important story about the democratisation of the Labour Party was side-lined.

Democratic political parties could look for ways to embrace the positive potential of blogs, in order to re-engage with the public. It was a promising development to see the consideration of the potential of  “new” media  at the NZ Labour Party Conference, towards the end of a speech by Judy McGregor. However, she seemed to see participants in electronic networks as an elusive, docile, loosely-affiliated population, unwilling to commit to the hard slog of party work; people whose voting choices are based on superficial assessments of personality and single issues.

In fact, well-moderated blogs enable ordinary people to become part of an extensively networked conversation: one that connects politicians, media stories, party members, and potential voters, while generating enthusiasm for political action on- and off-line.

75 comments on ““Name” journalism & voter dis-engagement”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    I don’t agree with the wholesale bagging of the “MSM” on the Internet. I think it’s a cop out and a failure if organisations and individuals to engage with the media as a stakeholder. Your post Karol however is well reasoned and makes some very good points. I agree with your motion that well-managed blogging encourages participation by otherwise disinterested parties, which is a huge positive for democracy regardless if which side of the political spectrum you normally reside in. Top post!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I think it’s a cop out and a failure if organisations and individuals to engage with the media as a stakeholder.

      I reckon the media should be engaging with the communities they serve, not acting as a political power base in of themselves.

      • shorts 1.1.1

        agree

        something blogs like this and many others do amazingly well and succeed with those, like myself, who feel let down by the MSM over so much of what they report/focus on – I care not for the if it bleeds it leads format, its revolting

      • TightyRighty 1.1.2

        Do you know any media types? I do, quite a few in fact, and they engage frequently. But you need a dead horse to flog, however unoriginal the meme “the msm don’t respect me”

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          I would dearly love to see the MSM really fulfill the 4th estate promise.  But, they way it’s become, I can see why so many people are frustrated with it and are highly critical.

          The MSM is more than any of the individual paid employees working within it.  Many on an individual basis are probably well-meaning.  But the focus on individual journalists, with the shift to naming them, masks how much, as Reich argues, they are constrained by the system they work within.

          With the developments in the 80s, there is a contradiction between the ways journalists were disempowered by the undermining of unions, and the way they are fronted as named individuals – often giving them minor celebrity status. 

          • TightyRighty 1.1.2.1.1

            There you go, ruining your previous intelligent comments by spouting some BS about disempowerment due to unions being taken down a notch.

            Blaming the woes of anything on the perceived class enemy only has so much traction. there is no doubt an element of truth in what you say, it’s hardly the entire cause of the problem. Far better to bemoan the fact that the editors who hold sway over the newspapers websites front page have to much power to shape peoples view of the news and yet are still largely nameless. how about how cost constraints on the industry due to the preferred medium now being basically free have forced the globalization of news generation?

            Have an academic debate about the problem, the tendency to ascribe every misfortune of the workers to some kind of class war is rapidly become the new godwin of the left. It also ignores the hindrance unions place on businesses within rapidly evolving industries.

            • Schlurps McGoo 1.1.2.1.1.1

              So Karol’s response @1.1.2.1 retroactively degrades any previous comment of hers that you may have found intelligent.

              Thats not only patronising, its illogical as well.

              As for reading criticism of structural flaws of Identity based journalism as segueing a class war argument in there by stealth is also stretching credulity.

              You don’t have to be a radical anarcho-marxist to observe the media of our time and suspect that there are some serious faults with how issues are being framed and disseminated.

              Anyone Left or Right can look at a dog’s hind leg and tell if its crooked.

            • karol 1.1.2.1.1.2

              I haven’t said the union disputes were the only factor with respect to name journalism and infotainment, but it was an important factor feeding into it.  The talk I linked to by Geoff Kemp, is an interesting take on it.  The undermining of print unions,  is worthy of a topic in its own right.

              I was in London at the time of the 1986 Murdoch-Wapping print union action and it was big news.  One of my lecturers at London uni also did some compelling research on how Thatcher manoeuvred towards getting supportive editors in key publications.  I see he is still talking about some of the related issues.

              During part of the 1980s, a large segment of the national press developed an almost cheerleader relationship to government. Indeed, the Thatcher cabinet minister, Ian Gilmour, wrote that the press during this period could ‘scarcely have been more fawning if it had been state controlled’.

              This was all part of the multi-pronged way Thatcher became so dominant, and also included a concerted attack on unions, including the mining unions, print unions and teacher unions.

              But I do think and independent media and open debate is good for democracy whether you are right or left wing. And too much of a fixation on name journalism can just obscure the ways the debates can be manipulated and skewed.

        • lprent 1.1.2.2

          I really don’t care if they don’t respect me. After all I frequently don’t respect members of the msm.

          I do care when they attack net institutions and standards because they appear to be too lazy to find out what they are and why they were created. My inclination then is to point out why I think that they’re wrong and lazy to try to apply their oddly hypocritical standards to a completely different type of system set up for a completely different purpose.

          I have no frigging interest in being a journalist or a talking head. That would seem to be a retrograde step from being a computer programmer who also expresses my own opinions on a self-published net forum. I don’t have any real respect for their “standards” which often seem to be specifically designed to protect them from criticism about the poor quality of their work ethics. People can directly express their opinion of my writing here, or from other blogs and they do it pretty damn fast. We don’t need intermediaries like the BSA or Press Council with their wet handslap months later.

          Looks to me like a few of the other authors feel the same.

  2. just saying 2

    I know for a fact that routine use of by-lines became policy for INL papers in the 80s.

    The trend from the previous practice of a couple of bylines per paper for features, columnists or “special” pieces, was rolled out as part of the infotainment revolution which also saw shorter stories, sentences and paragraphs, all active in tense, pitched at the reading age of a 14 year-old. The inverted pyramid became all-but compulsary. Regardless of the virtues or otherwise of this writing style, you can see how it fitted with the move away from analysing and informing towards entertaining readers, who researchers had apparently found to have, on average, the attention span of a fruit-fly.

    Cooincidentally, Judy McGregor, first as editor of the Sunday News, and then as senior management at Independent Newspapers was an enthusiastic implementer of the revolution. She also played a significant role in decimating the journalist and printers unions, which happened pretty much concurrently.

    (She also did some good things – women were appointed to senior positions in record numbers).

    • karol 2.1

      Interesting NZ background, js.  I was in the UK at the time, so I’m not so familiar with the background here.  But it did seem to me that the NZ media had gone through similar stages.

      It would be useful if there was documented evidence somewhere of that shift in NZ.

      The inverted pyramid is also important to attend to.  The main general and eye-catching points are put in the headline and opening paragraph, tapering down to the evidence and/or more contentious details at the bottom of the article.  

      It is always useful to see if the headline, lead, and later part of the article are consistent.  Often the opposing viewpoints are buried at the bottom of the article.  A lot of people don’t read beyond the headline or lead, and that is what forms their opinions.

      I was interested that McGregor came from a journalism background, and that she said she worked on the media part of Annette King’s, print-based campaign way back.  It does seem to me she is a little reluctantly looking at “social media” etc with a lot of negative pre-conceptions.

      Was McGregor one of the women who appeared in a TV documentary series on feminism way back in the 70s?  And that was revisited in the doco Sheilas?

      • just saying 2.1.1

        I don’t know. I was a kid then. She is featured in a couple of anthologies of NZ feminists and writings from prominent figures of the eighties, that I have on my bookshelf.

      • just saying 2.1.2

        You’re right about the inverted pyramid. As the industry knows perfectly well, the position, or opinion presented in the first one or two paragraphs, is the only perspective most readers are ever exposed to. Alternative viewpoints, and contentious (or any other detail) is placed further down where evidence shows, few consumers* will read.

        There is no doubt that the older style required more effort from readers. Apart from anything else, they had to wade through more detail to find salient information.

        *The word consumer, of course, took off in a big way at this time. My Mum said she never forgave Helen Clark for turning her from being a ‘patient’ when she needed medical care to a “healthcare consumer”. Point is, these changes evolved in the context of the wider neoliberal revolution, and, as is always the case, the one fed into and helped shape the other.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      (She also did some good things – non-unionised, ideologically compatible women were appointed to senior positions in record numbers).

      Just to clarify.

      • Populuxe1 2.2.1

        Doesn’t matter, they’re still women and that is a definite improvement. It breaks ground. There wouldn’t have been a Helen Clarke without there first being a Margaret Thatcher.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          nah that’s absolute total bullshit.

          • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.1

            You’re obviously a man. It may not excuse their politics, but it still opened the way for their gender – glass ceiling broken, deal with it.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Go on, identify the logical fallacy you just used.

            • karol 2.2.1.1.1.2

              I’m a woman, and I doubt that Thatcher made it possible for Clark to become PM – but if you can provide evidence otherwise, I’ll be interested.  

              Thatcher wasn’t the first elected leader of a country, anyway, and I think she did more to set back women’s rights as progress them – especially with respect to low income women.  

              • Populuxe1

                Social change is a cumulative process 

                • karol

                  Indeed, pop. And social change doesn’t move forward in a continuous line of progress.

                  Without a couple of waves of feminism, Thatcher would probably never had made PM.  Pity that she then turned back some of the gains made for women from diverse backgrounds…. and also contributed to the undermining of the media as 4th estate.

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.3

              Thatcher didn’t break the glass ceiling, she was teleported above it.

      • just saying 2.2.2

        Very true CV.

        I was a wee bit torn. Because although I strongly disagree with McGregor’s politics and many of her actions over this time, from my (minor and pretty superficial) interactions with her, I also liked her as a person. There was some surrounding context with her being the first woman to break the glass ceiling in the field, with all the difficulties and internal conflicts that entails. Which doesn’t excuse anything I know.

        It would be interesting to know what she now thinks about the changes that she helped pioneer.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    “The more important story about the democratisation of the Labour Party was side-lined.”

    Perhaps, but I reckon Labour dodged a bullet with this. Had the news focused on the actual voting system, with a handful of union heavy weights exercising the aggregated votes of affilited members on their behalf, and without reference to them or their wishes, it would have been a worse ‘look’ than the Cunliffe coup sideshow.

  4. DH 4

    Authors should take the criticism as a compliment, albeit disguised and unintended. If blogs weren’t getting an audience the media wouldn’t be bothered by them, ergo it’s the attention that blogs like the The Standard are receiving that causes the angst in certain circles.

    A lot of so-called ‘journalists’ and media personalities see themselves as the news these days . Content comes second to their preening in front of the camera or preaching to us from the soapbox of bylines. Anonymous blogs are the polar opposite of that populist attitude and they don’t like it; it’s undermining their status & stardom. It’s career threatening.

    The real reason they don’t like anonymous authoring is because it nullifies much of the power they wield & abuse. They can’t attack the author because they don’t know who the author is. They’d dearly like to use the name & shame, the belittling, the snide references; any dirty trick to turn people away from blogs & back to the MSM. But they can’t do that when authors are nameless, it pulls their teeth.

    My own thinking is that the Cunliffe chicanery was an attack on the Standard (and others) by the media; they were sending a message about who really wields the power here. That’s what the Winston Peters debacle was really about and this smelled the same. My answer to that would be for everyone to keep doing what they’re doing. It’s obviously working.

  5. BLiP 5

    .

    As overt shills like Clare Curran and the useful idiots like Brian Edwards attempt to soften us up, I’ll just leave this here.

  6. lprent 6

    Damn Karol – you beat me to it. I was reading through exactly the same material over the last week.

    I was going to call it – “Addiction to the byline”

    That Israeli Prof’s charts were quite compelling.

    Oh well, I have several other ones on the similar topics.

    • karol 6.1

      Whoops.  Sorry, Lynn.

      With several TS authors coming out with posts on similar topics and themes around the same time, someone will start saying it’s all been carefully orchestrated by…( ..?) 

      Yes, on the graphs.  And that article was also one of the few academic ones I found on the topic online, that isn’t behind a pay wall. 

      It’s taken me a couple of days to put this post together.  As I said on QOT’s name blogging a privilege thread on Tuesday, I had started researching this angle earlier that day. 

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a need to post on variations of this topic some time in the future.  I could have said more on the issue, but the post would have been too long.  An early draft was a lot longer. 

      I usually find research is rarely wasted, even if I don’t use it immediately. \

      PS: Your title is a lot better than mine!

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Don’t worry about it – great minds think alike etc etc… But there is a distinct paucity of visible info on this topic. Kind of weird when you realise exactly how big a change this was in the public discourse.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Finding something online on the issue seems to be the problem. I started looking because I had remembered seeing something on the topic & thought it might have been Auckland Uni’s 2011 winter lecture series.  There were other articles I came across in academic journals, requiring a paid subscription.  I didn’t check if any of them were available on the public library e-resource databases.

          I do have a couple of library books out on news media, but neither seem to deal with the rise of personal bylines as a substantial issue. 

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Brilliant post. What I wish I could have written myself. And interesting too how so many of us were drawn to write on the same theme at the same time.

            What is worth emphasising is that indeed it was the dismantling of the print unions which was one of the critical enabling steps towards dis-empowering journalists. There is no question that without even the sometimes tenuous backing of a union it became impossible for ordinary journalists to say ‘no’ to an editor or sub-editor. Or to insist on professional independence from the commercial pressures of advertisers.

            And it also highlights how much professional skill brings to the game. While us ordinary bloggers may bring the day to day experience of our lives and passion to our writing, it takes someone with professional training and experience to flesh this out into something quite compelling.

            Well done.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.2

            Exactly, I had some material about it in some old books from the 80’s. However I offloaded all of my paper books when I moved to ePub’s.

            When I looked on Amazon I could see books that were likely prospects. However I couldn’t see any that were digital formats that I could buy directly over the net (and convert out of whatever useless format they were using). Most were older than a few years old.

            Journals – the prices per article were too high to do a fishing expedition. I really needed to get to a university library and I never have time for the long hours required. Much easier to just do this when I was at home late at night on the net.

  7. Wheezing&Easing 7

    Respected mag The Economist has a policy of not naming writers and in fact gives “names” to columns within the Mag with particular topics (eg Lexington, Bagehot, Schumpeter)..occasionally names groups that have written special reviews. I get The Economist and I like the policy myself.

  8. Wheezing&Easing 8

    Respected mag The Economist has a policy of not naming writers and in fact gives “names” to columns within the Mag with particular topics (eg Lexington, Bagehot, Schumpeter)..occasionally names groups that have written special reviews. I subscribe to The Economist and I like the policy myself. NZ journalists need to grow up. It’s quality that counts, not names in print – and much of it is not great quality!

    • lprent 8.1

      …I subscribe to The Economist and I like the policy myself.

      ditto.

    • The Economist does list all their writers plus provides their backgrounds. None of them are ‘anon’.

      http://www.economist.com/mediadirectory

      But they do say “…the main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it”

      • leftriteleft 8.2.1

        Exactly!
        As I said yesterday in a previous reply.

        It’s the message, not the messenger.

        Although, sometimes, I’d still like to kill the messenger.

        Pompus pricks that they are.

      • lprent 8.2.2

        Yep. You just don’t know exactly who is writing what in the print edition. It is somewhat easier in the ‘blogs’ except for the numbers of J.P’s and J.A’s at various times.

        • TheContrarian 8.2.2.1

          Though I wouldn’t equate The Economist with it’s integrity to The Standard with its angry assholes.

          • lprent 8.2.2.1.1

            Ummm – perhaps you should read the history of the economist magazine. Especially in its first few decades. They are pretty proud of it, and they still write opinion pieces in that same vein. You know the same one we use, based on a sense of outrage

            And in the now ritual putdown (becasue you don’t seem to ever listen to it): You really do need to get a sense of history

            • TheContrarian 8.2.2.1.1.1

              So you actually are trying to equate yourself with The Economist.

              Wow, now that’s hubris.

              • lprent

                The economist and more particularly their online blogs were definitely one of the models for this site. The authors are pseudonymous and they write opinions on topics that they’re interested in. In the last year or so as they’ve had more than one person writing under the same pseudonym, they’re added initials so people could distinguish individual authors. Still a guessing game as they have several authors with the same initials….. There are also authors initials that are not on their lists of reporters.

                I’ve been reading it for nearly 30 years.

                But I can infer from your words that you’re not going to look at their rather opinionated history as a newspaper? Or why they’re the newspaper that is most likely to be banned in the most countries at any one point in time over the last century and a half. Too useless to learn does appear to be your usual trait.

                • Oh I know about The Economist and am a subscriber myself.

                  The history of The Economist notwithstanding , comparing The Standard to The Economist is delusional…. unless the editor of The Economist also calls people names for no reason and insults their intelligence with comments like “Too stupid to learn” when someone dares question them.

  9. mike 9

    Another good post karol. The way the TV1 and TV3 frame political news as merely a he said / she said, team A spin vs team B spin power game has been bothering me for a while. Garner and Gower are shocking.

    As you say it simply leads to viewers becoming more cynical about politics, and thus less interested. Not a good thing for democracy. Any chance of some in depth discussion with party leaders about policies? Or some reporting about the current govt’s performance in specific areas? Nah, lets just go shove a mic in someone’s face, get a “No comment” comment and call it a story.

    I’m reminded of a quote: “You make a mistake if you see what we do as merely political.” – Adolph Hitler

  10. Wheezing&Easing 10

    My post disappeared before I finished it!

  11. Nunya 11

    I yearn for the day when all public broadcasters are required to wear a bag on their heads, all names are removed and bylines scrapped.

    FFS at time of increasing economic meltdown our pols have been flat out like a lizard drinking debating about the relationship between a former weatherman, his brother and their mother!
    A farce that is the direct result of allowing talking heads the right to self promote and it needs to be stopped. Not by the gutless pols who profit from the celebrity culture yeah I know they all bitch about it when it bites them on the ass, but it is the ability to get a ‘media profile’ by beating up some emotive issue that has reduced all NZ politics to the worst type of populism.
    It is us who need to stop it – not the pols -how? easy. stop clickin on links to gossip, minor legal issues made important because one or more parties have a profile, film premieres, whose up who n whose payin the rent on Tuesday nite gallery opening page, n all the rest of the fat toad in a small pond bullshit that our ‘fourth estate’ foists upon us.

    I find it disappointing that the standard gives every contributor a byline. Sure some use nyms but the nyms are pretty transperant. If the standard truly believes that particular issues should be associated with particular writrers so readers can follow an opinion’s rationale why not just call em citizens A or B or C? Comrade 1, 2 or 3. If writers demand a byline surely that is an indication of a dodgy agenda?
    Standard writer #57, anything which seperates the opinion from a commoditiseable (sp?) persona would be good because I reckon it enhances credibility. That is, if someone is saying something in the knowledge that their expression of an opinion can’t advantage themself politically, it follows that readers are more likely to consider that opinion valid.

    • lprent 11.1

      I find it disappointing that the standard gives every contributor a byline. Sure some use nyms but the nyms are pretty transperant.

      We have no editorial line which was the reason why newspapers had anonymous authors in the first place. If you read the material linked to you’ll find why the Victorians thought that was important.

      We are just a cooperative sharing resources. The only editorial controls that this site places on the authors is that the trust running the site doesn’t want to be :-

      1. successfully sued for defamation,
      2. engage in criminal activities.
      3. bore moderators.
      4. having authors spending all of their time attacking each other.
      5. journalists.

      Because there is no editorial style guidelines and our individual personalities shine through with everything from from QoT’s unique ability to swear at least once in almost every post :twisted:, to Irish’s sarcastic style, to my pontification – we just put a psuedo on each person writing apart from Guest Post and Notices and Features. Even so we get people dancing on the head of a pin in other sites arguing that Eddie has some kind of split personality because of his persistent blandness.

      • QoT 11.1.1

        QoT’s unique ability to swear at least once in almost every post

        I tried so hard in my last one, but then I fucked it up.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    “However, this conceals the co-authors as identified by Reich; such as news sources, editors, sub-editors, spokespeople, and press release writers, each having the potential to add bias.”

    Ah, application of post-structural theory by someone who almost certainly has no experience of the newsroom. For the most part editors and sub-editors do not deliberately alter the content of articles, and it is up to the journalist to read around the projected biases of spokespeople and press release writers. The worst you can say about editors is that they control what gets printed or not, which can certainly slant things, but otherwise the rest is – except for a few scandals – nonsense.  

    • karol 12.1

      Bias most often refers to something that is done without people always being aware of their biases and/or how they are slipped into an article or report.

      It can be seen when the headline doesn’t quite match up to the content of the article.  And too often these days, articles, often by the least experienced journalists, just repeats the content of press releases uncritically. 

      Biases can also be done when a journalist is subtly influenced by their editor’s views.

      News journalism is usually conducted under the pressure of deadlines.  This means that journalists can often unthinkingly repeat views that are all around them.  Sue Abel kind of shows how that works with the way the MSM tend to overlook Maori perspectives in TV news, and the way stereotypes keep getting repeated there.  Abel has done research that includes observing in a newsroom. (see p3 here).

      There also can be (inadvertent?) biases in the selection of journalists for a news organisation, so that the successful applicants tend to be in conformity with the editor’s perspectives. 

      • Populuxe1 12.1.1

        By that reasoning everything in the world is a contingent social construct including your post and all of your sources, so let’s apply Occam’s Razor and assume that a significant chunk of the MSM are in fact living, breathing human beings with functioning critical faculties at least partially aware of their biases and not simply two dimensional theoretical automata bereft of your obviously refined sense of self-awareness.

        • karol 12.1.1.1

          I think it’d be great if more people read/viewed news media critically, rather than just accepted them at face value.  

          I also am more for discussing issues based on verifiable evidence – others can look at the same evidence and, possibly come to a different conclusion.  I don’t see it as a case of impossible relativism, but an on-going critical discussion.

          I would also agree with those who say journalists should be self-critical, so that they are aware of their own values and biases, and make them explicit in relation to their writing. 

    • RedLogix 12.2

      For the most part editors and sub-editors do not deliberately alter the content of articles,

      Oh dear, of course not; they don’t have to. What happens of course is that the journo very quickly learns to write what is acceptable. It happens is most organisations, you go along to get along especially if you feel vulnerable and on the wrong end of organisational power.

      Always most effective if you can get people to censor themselves.

      • Populuxe1 12.2.1

        I’m guessing you’ve never worked in the media then. It may be the case in some organisations, but by an large not the fairly broad cross-section I’m familiar with.

        • karol 12.2.1.1

          Are there humans working for your organisations, pop?  Because it is something we can all slip into.

          RL,@4.39pm:  Yes, I think it is the more inexperienced, least powerful journalists that will be most susceptible to self-censorship.  It’s been a recent shift that there has been a tendency to hire more young and less experienced journos as a cost saving.  And, once they start down that road they may never become aware of how they’ve been subtly influenced.\

          I think it is no accident that some of the most critical news items come from some of the older hands with a little status: e.g. John Campbell.

           

        • KJT 12.2.1.2

          I think that was one thing Beria admired about the USA. He reckoned the, US, media was so brainwashed it was not necessary for them to be censored.

      • lprent 12.2.2

        I have edited substance in a few posts out of the 11,241 posted on the site. Maybe 4 or 5 all up. Violating suppression orders. A couple that had material I thought was defamatory.

        There have been probably a few hundred where I have fixed egregious spelling or grammatical errors. A few where the author managed to say the inverse of what they meant (the fatal missing ‘not’ usually).

        But I’m not an editor. I’m not even that good as an author, a fact that Lyn informs me every time she reads one of my posts. Her doing the nights putting up material on the online herald for a while evidently did interesting things to her ability to see poorly constructed text, because I swear she can see the errors long before she reads the words. Or it could be the material that all of her students give her year after year. I rather pity them :)

        I just like writing posts that get across my meaning.

  13. vto 13

    Been watching this debate and see most every single argument ever has been submitted for consideration, including this one ……

    Brian Edwards can go jump in the lake. Just keep going and posting and bloggering and all in anonymity. What is he going to do about it? Ha ha ha, stupid idiot.

  14. just saying 14

    A lot of great minds thinking alike. A very relevant and eloquent column form Chris Trotter today:

    …The tone of these attacks leaves little doubt that not only do these political journalists consider bloggers to be unwelcome and illegitimate contributors to the nation’s political discourse, but that nothing would make them happier than to see them tightly regulated and controlled. It’s an attitude that should send a shiver down every New Zealander’s spine. A genuine “Fourth Estate” would welcome the democratisation of the gathering and distributing of news which the Internet has made possible. That so many MSM journalists have greeted the competitive spur of the blogosphere with a mixture of self-serving patch-protection and outright authoritarianism is cause for considerable concern

    It also casts much of their recent reporting of political news in a new and worrying light. If the truth is indeed out there, then presumably it’s as readily accessible to bloggers as it is to members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery? If both are present at the same event, then their reports should be (with obvious allowance for nuance and emphasis) at least broadly similar? But what if they are not similar? What if the MSM’s coverage of Event X is radically at odds with both the experience of participants and the reportage of bloggers? Wouldn’t that raise some extremely disturbing questions about the credibility and trustworthiness of MSM journalism…

    Concluding:

    ..If this is true, then the decision by so many active participants in the blogosphere to remain anonymous or write under a pseudonym becomes entirely reasonable. Any system powerful and mendacious enough to suborn the one institution specifically charged with exposing its malfeasance is probably not the sort of system to be openly challenged or taunted by vulnerable individuals using their real names.

    The day focus groups and their deliberations cease to be confidential is the day bloggers will gladly abandon their pseudonyms and the “pandemic of anonymity” will be over.

    • karol 14.1

      Thanks, js.  Yes, Trotter makes some similar points although from a bit of a different angle.  He also sees the attacks on anonymity as a symptom of some underlying shift, or threat of a shift, with the Internet opening up some democratic possibilities.

      He also points to the Labour Party conference as a key event when many who attended the conference, saw it in a totally different light to the standard MSM interpretation.

      He takes a different angle by focusing on the way the press gallery tend to be pressured into producing similar interpretations of events.   

  15. just saying 15

    Relevant and compelling column from Chris Trotter today:

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/

    Mods: You can ditch the previous comment (currently in moderation) which I realise had wayyy too much quoted text from the above.

    • ropata 15.1

      No don’t ditch it!!
      BTW here’s a more permanent link

    • karol 15.2

      Also, I laughed at the opening of this Gordon Campbell piece – one of the few independent “named” journalist on the internet, taking on one (or two) of the “named” fixtures on the NZ Herald:

      The best way of appreciating Fran O’Sullivan’s attack on Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey in the NZ Herald yesterday is to read it aloud as if you’re actually Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey. In which case the general content of O’Sullivan’s column – does this creature never sleep? How on earth has she managed to commandeer the debate on free trade? Are there no men in this house able to put this, this, this confounded woman in her place? – will sound exactly what it is. A last despairing squawk from the neo-liberal right, as yet another of its castles in the sand is washed away by the tide of history. Get used to it, Fran. It’s your lot that has lost the plot on “free” trade.

      I’m so glad the Internet still provides a diversity of voices to hold the MSM to account, and hope that it won’t be regulated down to an exceptional minority by banishing the use of pseudonyms…. if it was even possible?

      Or are we, as Campbell says, seeing the end to the neoliberal consensus?

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    There is no point going back to the msm, magazine mounted media imo, not with the Truth accessible
    on the internet if one is conscientious and caring enough to search for it. I almost flinged the
    commodities forecast values link on to the local paper however they have changed their online format
    and I cannot be bothered engaging with them anymore, not when lprent provides a clean daily refill and
    binder. I used to try the articles in North and South, The Listener or such like, yet I found a lot of
    excess padding, non-sequiters, and only a bite of real meat from a couple of pages, i.e, The Conclusion.

  17. MrSmith 17

    Nice Karol

    A couple of things the poly’s fear from the anonymity of blogs is the public servants specking up anonymously and the fact the writer may have to defend their written words and that’s all that’s happening here people, the written word, no guns, no marketing spin or underlying agenda just words on a page that anyone can call bullshit and it’s scaring the crap out of ………..

  18. Rhinocrates 18

    Indeed, some very interesting commentary from Chris Trotter.

    I used to think of him as a bit of a “dinosaur” due to his disparagement of “identity politics”, but I appreciate that one doesn’t have to agree 100% (haha, considering recent statements by a certain someone) to realise that there will never be “100%” agreement, nor should there be.

    Chris Trotter at least is carefully observing what is actually happening in the media landscape whereas Brian Edwards, someone I had admired* has reacted so negatively, so hysterically to the seismic shifts in the landscape of discourse. Chris Trotter is watching and he’s thinking. Others, such as Edwards, O’Sullivan, Armstrong et al are just reacting.

    I don’t suppose that there is an actual conspiracy, but rather a commonality of interest and a tipping point. The old media establishment is, as Chris Trotter says, is perceiving their power slipping away and once someone says it, they all do. Some, like Farrar, Hosking, Trevett, Hooters and Long will certainly say that Shearer is the best leader for the Labour Party because he’s the easy one to beat, while others like O’Sullivan will simply see someone they can identify with. Meanwhile, that spineless cretin Armstrong is an idolator by nature while Garner and Gower just see a drama that they wants to play a leading role in while Edwards is a tired, ossified sanctimonious dupe clinging to fantasies of what “should” be the case among comfortable liberals like himself. Mallard, Goff and King are driven by spite and their own insecurity, Hipkins is Mallard’s Mini-Me and Robertson of course is delighted to see all of this happening and does his best, as subtly as possible, to keep it going.

    They may look like a conspiracy, but they all have different motives to achieve the same end. It’s not a conspiracy – it’s just a perfect storm.

    It will pass.

    For all the problems that I have with Chris Trotter (he’s got to “get” the identity politics thing – there will never be a unified “left” now, but a mosaic of progressives to which all ultimately contribute), I do believe that he’s one of the best observers of politics around today. Edwards, on the other hand, does what he did very well, but like an old dog, he isn’t learning any new tricks. He knows that in a vague way, hence his anger, but he doesn’t want to think why, and it angers him. He’s stuck in what he thinks the world should be, not how it is.

    *Well, I might just despise him on this one issue and respect him otherwise… hopefully.

  19. Rhinocrates 19

    Oh, and by the way, seeing what has happened to Edwards’ post, as has happened so many times elsewhere, as a corollary to Godwin’s Law, can I – anonymously – propose this:

    “The longer a discussion in which Pete George is admitted to continues, the greater the probability is that he will decide that is all about himself. Once this happens, he will ensure that it will cease to be of any worth.”

    • QoT 19.1

      I second this.

    • lprent 19.2

      Yes. Definitely PG is one of the most self-obsessed people on the local web. The really amusing thing about him is the way that he ascribes all of his own worst traits to other people – and seems to be oblivious that is what he is doing. It is a permanent source of amusement to me.

      However, so long as he is not here, it is rather good fun winding him up on other peoples sites. I’m sure that the operators will all thank me and others for doing it. However I’d suggest that it might be a good idea to only do it on posts that are rather crap anyway. Otherwise the sound of a good PG tantrum can drown out some good debates

      :twisted:

  20. Skinny 20

    As someone who has been interviewed from time to time by MSM outlets, it’s often annoying  what actually gets published or broadcast. Quite often a reporter or editor will try skew what your saying to fit their theme or perception of a news item. Unfortunately  the facts sometimes get in the way of a good story. I had a print reporter chasing me for comments on an issue that was topical of the day, since I was speaking out ( whistle blower) against actions of my employer and wary the  
    reporter was seeking comments in reply from my CEO, I demanded he email what was written so I could check for accuracy of the verbatim Interview. The corrections needed before I was comfortable with being quoted was surprising. Once I read the new item in the paper I could see the original attempt too distort the facts! You could say I remain aloof of MSM nowadays. As for the story it’s going to be in the headlines again soon Boss :) 

    It’s great to post on here as an anonymous person as it allows you to have a opinion without threat of being sacked by your Govt employer, who’s HR team will deal to you with their ‘media policy.’ there would be a lot in a similar boat posting on here I’d say.

    p.s B b b b Boss your 800k  J j j j Job is gunna be o o o over!                        

  21. newsense 21

    It is also clear that ‘anonymous Labour-affiliated bloggers’ is a standard attack line now. Mostly from APN it seems. Armstrong, Fran O’Sullivan and Jane Clifton have used it or something similar.

    Interestingly in today’s paper there was a tiny corrections sidebar acknowledging the potentially defamatory inaccuracies in the ‘anonymous’ editorial attacking Dr Joy. Fran O’Sullivan remarkably attacked the university for not acting more as a rubber stamp for government policy over the TPP and allowing dissent a voice amongst it’s staff. There has been very little clear public debate about these trade agreements, that as Gordon Campbell points out are often not actually completely free trade agreements but riddled with exceptions to benefit the larger partner.

    Sorry if this is somewhere else and I missed it!

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    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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