Fairfax and NZME and merger talks on

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, May 11th, 2016 - 13 comments
Categories: broadcasting, capitalism, democracy under attack, journalism, newspapers - Tags: , , , , ,

As previously discussed here, bad for the media, bad for democracy.

13 comments on “Fairfax and NZME and merger talks on”

  1. Sutton's li'l helper 1

    So we’re heading to a dictatorship propped up by a single news agency that only publishes government propaganda.

  2. ianmac 2

    Fran O’Sullivan sums it up @
    I don’t understand the diagram down the page which seems to include TVNZ and Radio NZ, as part of the merger. Huh?

  3. Richardrawshark 3

    IMHO, another useful distraction, a monopoly and is being created because of Keys mate Weldon going into TV3 wrecking it, so it’s share price bottoms out and then a take over attempt at them or offer.

    A clever tactic by a clever man to seal up the media for his purposes.

    like I say the man is dangerous.

  4. Glenn 50 4

    “Merja Myllylahti, an expert in media ownership at AUT, told RNZ the merger was potentially a seismic shift in media in New Zealand ,and would affect readers as well as journalists.

    She said regional news could suffer.

    “I’m afraid that if they don’t have all the resources to provide local news, all we’ll have is clickbait, and more and more of that would be a worry.”

    She said some kind of paywall was likely under a merged company.

    “Because they have a duopoly, they haven’t been able to do that, because if one was launched first, then other readers would escape to that free site. But now if they merge, I would bet they would introduce digital subscriptions”


    • Reddelusion 4.1

      If you gotta pay for thier stuff much rather take a subscription of overseas news paper re value for money, the Times, FT etc

  5. Reddelusion 5

    Quite funny really RWNJ accuse media of left bias LWNJ a right bias

    I think we all agree both are crap and not sure what you get when you add crap with crap

  6. Peter Calder 6

    It is an article of faith in all liberal discussion about this proposed merger that the loss of competition will be bad for democracy because standards of journalism will suffer. But at the risk of being dismissed as an enthusiast for the merger (I am not; I deplore it, but I have for some time seen it as inevitable) it seems to me that this assumption requires unpicking.
    Competition is great for the consumer, we cheer, thinking of what happened when AirNZ (thanks to Ansett) and Telecom (thanks to, who was it, Bell South?) lost their monopolies (Insert your own example here, and try not to think of the taxi industry). But the reason competition is great is because PRICES COME DOWN not because the existing monopoly holders decide to fend off the competition by offering a top-shelf product. (They say they do, that they are committed to excellence and such horseshit, but actually they are committed to obliterating the competition because that is the way capitalism works).
    It seems to me rather glib to say that QUALITY will suffer as a result of this merger. I ask: what industry can you point to in which the introduction of competition has led to an increase in the quality of a service or product – as opposed to simply a drop in prices? Conversely, what industry can you point to in which the loss of competition has led to an slump in quality of service or product – as opposed to simply an increase in prices?
    It also warrants mention that the desperate “race to the bottom” decline in the quality of mainstream journalism that has occurred since, say, the turn of the century, has occurred in the context of the very fierce competition that, the argument runs, is essential to maintaining quality. Just asking.

    • r0b 6.1

      Conversely, what industry can you point to in which the loss of competition has led to an slump in quality of service or product

      Monopolies have no incentive to do things well (though incentive could be artificially created with the right legislation / monitoring). The phone system in NZ under Muldoon and prior was complete rubbish. Competition was great for telecommunications.

      My fear would be that a single media conglomerate would also have no incentive to do things well (legislative fix impossible in this case), and be too easily led by a top-down agenda (e.g. Mediaworks).

      • Peter Calder 6.1.1

        With respect, R0b, your answer entirely sidesteps my question and repeats the conventional wisdom, using a lot of buzz phrases. We all fear what a single conglomerate would do, but I ask: right now, there is fierce competition. Are they competitors “doing things well”? Competition does not automatically – or even in practice – improve quality; it depresses prices. And moving from competition to monopoly does not mean a drop in quality. Disagree? Give me examples

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