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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 | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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