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Memo to the Herald

Written By: - Date published: 1:40 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 25 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: , ,

Dear nzherald.co.nz,

The opinions expressed in the Your Views section of your website are not an accurate reflection of public opinion in New Zealand.

If anything, they are a reflection of a self-selected minority of opinionated internet users who have access to a computer during work hours and a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to participate in online debate.

The views on your website don’t include the people who clean your offices after you’ve gone home at night, they don’t include the bus driver who drops you off home at the end of the day, and they don’t include the McDonalds worker who made your lunch today. Chances are, they don’t include many struggling beneficiaries either.

Fact is, the views you’re reporting represent an internal debate among the largely white, privileged and relatively wealthy elite that makes up the Herald online’s core readership. Let’s not be so arrogant as to assume we speak for all of New Zealand.

25 comments on “Memo to the Herald ”

  1. Boris Klarkov 1

    The views on your website don’t include the people who clean your offices after you’ve gone home at night, they don’t include the bus driver who drops you off home at the end of the day, and they don’t include the McDonalds worker who made your lunch today.

    None of whose incomes, that they work 40+ hour weeks for, come close to the astonishing amount gifted to these two babies-for-pay women.

    Fact is, the views you’re reporting represent an internal debate among the largely white, privileged and relatively wealthy elite that makes up the Herald online’s core readership.

    Yes Herald, your reporting represents those who have to pay and they don’t count. Only those who bludge are allowed access to the media!

    • Maynard J 1.1

      God knows why I am indulging you, but please share with me what you think should have happened to the women whose partner left her with three children two years ago, the youngest being 4 and the eldest being 11?

      I take it by your disparaging tone you are also unhappy that she is trying to get a better education so she can support her family herself. What do you suggest? A touch of Dickensian charity, and devil take the hindmost?

  2. r0b 2

    Thank you for that Guest Post!

  3. Murray 3

    The views on your website don’t include the people who clean your offices after you’ve gone home at night, they don’t include the bus driver who drops you off home at the end of the day, and they don’t include the McDonalds worker who made your lunch today. Chances are, they don’t include many struggling beneficiaries either.

    How do you know & do you presume to speak for these people

    • snoozer 3.1

      Murray. does the guest poster claim to speak for them?


      They say the opposite “Let’s not be so arrogant as to assume we speak for all of New Zealand.”


      • grumpy 3.1.1

        Snoozer, I think you are wrong. “Guest Post” clearly does claim to be speaking for all those disadvantaged people he list.

        Otherwise, he would have to agree his post is wrong! Sort of a Catch22 isn’t it?

        • snoozer


          Where does the guest poster claim to speak for those people? All they say is that the Herald’s online readership does not

    • Ari 3.2

      People who work at the Herald ride buses? 😉

      • uroskin 3.2.1

        I know one who works for the Herald on Sunday who rides ferries. Brian Rudman rides the Herne Bay bus, he has menttioned it in his columns

        • Ari

          I was being glib, I figured it was a pretty good bet in practicality that at least one person did. 😉 Perhaps none of the people who think “your views” really represents the views of wider society.

        • BLiP

          And what a sensible chap Brian Rudman is – him and Brian Gaynor are the only consistently sane voices at The Herald.

          • gingercrush

            He was the person that revealed Neelam’s name. I don’t find that very consistent somehow. Though he’s a columnist. One shouldn’t expect columnists to behave as a news reporter would. They’re there to offer their opinions, Though to be honest. I’m so sick of both the left and right and anytime the media reports something a certain side doesn’t like they’re suddenly bias?? Yet you will be quick to praise them when they write something you agree with.

            That nonsense just needs to stop.

            • BLiP

              I’m sure the New Zealand Fox News Herald will be making changes in the way they run the paper based on your comments – you have no idea how valuable and insightful you really are.

              As it happens, Gaynor regularly makes my blood boil with his pro-business anti-regulation stance but he makes no bones about it. He is who he is and can be relied on for consistency, accuracy, thoughtfulness, real knowledge of his subject, and, oddly enough, an understanding of how it is for the workforce grunt as well as the fat suits in the boardroom. Rudman, on the other hand, irritates the fuck out of the ShittyRats Regime that currently runs the show in Auckland and, just for that, is always worth a read. He’s also consistent and accurate and that’s all I expect.

              There was a time I expected to see the principles of the Fourth Estate at large in the MSM – alas, that task has fallen to the blogosphere.

  4. Relic 4

    Revolting reading at the Herald. I sometimes wonder does every second kiwi really think like these gormless and gutless wonders? I guess that’s what happens when people don’t much participate in public affairs apart from online sniping. There is truly an information deficit in this country. Don’t the thousands of working for family recipients realise they too are on welfare? If any of those beneficiary bashing pricks at the Herald are in receipt of WFF, consistency demands they stop claiming it immediately.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Interesting how last year the Herald was for free speech and the right to have Political debate and how undemocratic the Electoral reform legislation was. Remember it struck at the very heart of the freedom of the press. But now that its National in power they are not so keen on freedom of speech within the law and they attempt to make out that Bennett has done no wrong, choosing to be selective about what part of the commissions guidelines that they print. How come I wonder?

    • Luxated 5.1

      I don’t think that is necessarily a Labour govt or National govt issue (it may well be however), it probably has more to do with the EFA potentially limiting the amount of badly written trash the Herald can produce vs Paula Bennett setting a precedent for producing more badly written trash.

      Newspapers these days are all about putting in as many ads as the readership will stand and putting in as many cheap ‘interesting’ bits in as possible (sport, crime) to keep people happy, the rest is just filler.

  6. Mark M 6

    “The opinions expressed in the Your Views section of your website are not an accurate reflection of public opinion in New Zealand”

    How do you know?

    • snoozer 6.1

      because they don’t incorporate the opinions of anyone who doesn’t spend a long time in front of a computer with internet access

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Online polls and comments are not a valid measure of public opinion. That is not a matter of dispute, but a simple mathematical fact.

    There are many reasons why: computer access, dial-up vs broadband, motivation, time, wealth, sedentary versus physical job or leisure, age, etc.

    That’s why Melissa Lee won the Mt Albert by-election … at the Herald online. Yes, really.

    Only a fool thinks internet = truth. Sadly, there are a lot of fools.

  8. graham 8

    the problem with this memo is that the same can be said for you .The standed does not represent the views of people that work for a living are not public servents anyone who believes that hard work should be rewarded.
    catch 22 i think

    [lprent: You are a gormless fool who thinks in stereotypes. I’ve only worked in private industry. Offhand I don’t know of a standardista that I know who does work for the public service. Some might. But I don’t know who most are in real life. You on the other hand look like just another idiot troll. To date only redbaiter seems to have cornered what intelligence was issued to your narrow minded breed]

  9. graham 9

    i read the policy of this blog it says no abuse.but how come the moderators abuse me because i disagree with the left wing view? words like troll, low life, arsehole ,idiot ,fuckwit,moron are thrown at me because i am not a labour supporter of green party member.so the policy should read no abuse unless you are a tory then abuse all you want because the ends justify the means

    [lprent: Commentators are restricted in what they may do. We are not. The policy doesn’t say anything about what the moderators may or may not do, it simply gives guidelines about what we could do.

    There is a wide diversity of opinions on the site. Your opinions, while pretty basic, badly formed and generally juvenile in my opinion, do not cause concern. However your behavior does. Exactly what I can’t remember. It took you long enough to read the policy. But from memory you looked like a troll.

    Our view is that we prefer to drive out trolls rather than having everyone putting up with them. So we torment them until they either conform to the loose site rules, leave or get thrown out. ]

  10. graham 10

    so drive out anyone that dosent have the right view of the world.then we can a place we all speak the same lanuage and have the correct view of the world is that it.how can you go on about free speach and democracy when your view as you have described to me that you dont like people that disagree with (here you add ****wits like you we dont like or simlary abuse).so in your world you cant understand why helen lost because everyone agrees with you what a happy world you live in

  11. graham 11

    so if i call you a gormless fool that is bad but if you call me a gormless fool thats ok
    good to see their are fans of george orwell out there

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