web analytics

NZ Media and blogs vs blogs

Written By: - Date published: 10:32 am, December 6th, 2014 - 42 comments
Categories: blogs, broadcasting, internet, journalism, Media, newspapers, radio, tv - Tags: , , ,

“Mainstream” media has (in general) a structural right-wing bias because it (in general) reflects the interests of its owners, who are of course well off. If you have ever felt the need to know who owns the NZ media and pulls its strings, take a look at the latest version of the JMAD NZ media ownership report (pdf), which has a brief summary on RNZ here:

More evidence of unethical alliances

Researchers say there is increasing evidence of what it calls unethical alliances between bloggers, politicians, media and public relations companies. The Journalism, Media and Democracy research centre at AUT University says the boundaries between those groups are blurring. The report highlighted what researchers said were major revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, and said they cast a shadow over long-established media organisations.

Well yes, all of this is now obvious to everyone. Here’s a few snippets from the report itself (pdf):

Key events and trends concerning New Zealand media
• Financialisation of mass media ownership confirmed
• Substantial changes in Fairfax, APN and MediaWorks ownership
• Competition heats up in online television and video markets
• Turbulence at Maori TV
• Blurred lines among politicians, bloggers, journalists and PR practitioners

In 2014, there were six major commercially operating media corporations in New Zealand. These included APN and its New Zealand media arm NZME, Fairfax Media, Sky TV, MediaWorks, TVNZ and Bauer Media. The National Business Review is a privately owned financial newspaper which funds its operations from advertising income and print/digital subscriptions. APN, Fairfax Media, Bauer Media and MediaWorks are all foreign owned media outlets. APN is a trans-Tasman media corporation with Irish media corporation INM and Irish telecom billionaire Denis O’Brien as its substantial shareholders. Fairfax Media is an Australian headquartered media corporation with Australian mining billionaire Gina Rinehart as its largest shareholder. Bauer Media is a privately owned, global media conglomerate headquartered in Germany. In 2013 the group bought APN’s New Zealand magazines including The Listener. MediaWorks ownership is also in foreign hands as the American private equity group Oaktree Capital is the largest shareholder in the company. Sky TV has been owned by financial institutions since Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited sold its shares in the company in 2013.

In 2014, Stuff was more dominant in the online news sphere than The New Zealand Herald. In September Amazon’s Alexa, which measures internet traffic, ranked stuff.co.nz as the sixth most visited site in New Zealand, and nzherald.co.nz as the seventh most visited site in the country (Alexa, 2014).

In 2014, it was even more evident that New Zealand media companies were under the control of fund management companies and other unlisted financial institutions. In 2014, two financial corporations alone owned 23 per cent of APN’s shares, and four financial institutions held 24 per cent of Fairfax’s shares. Sky TV’s four substantial shareholders were all investment management companies and they held 26 per cent of the company’s shares. In 2014 MediaWorks was owned by five financial firms: one private equity fund, Oaktree Capital, held 43 per cent of the company’s shares.

As the JMAD report in 2013 noted, financialised ownership is worrying because it intensifies corporate focus on revenue streams and profits. This ownership structure has made media organisations more vulnerable to restructuring as the financial owners maximise profits and returns. These profit imperatives were exemplified by Fairfax, as it continued layoffs during 2014, and by APN as the company contemplated a float for its New Zealand media assets. The drive for profit also compelled MediaWorks to introduce increasingly commercial, advertising friendly content for its programmes.

Many journalists noted that “profit-making pressures” had strengthened in the past five years (Hannis et al., 2014). They commented that cost cutting was “undermining the quality of journalism” and that news copy was over reliant upon public relations material (Hannis eta al., 2014). Some respondents were quoted as saying that journalism in New Zealand is “too productivity-driven” (in regard to the number of stories expected per day). Others remarked that journalism had “been captured by trivia” as newsrooms were employing fewer journalists, and that there was pressure “for everyone to be first with something on websites” (Hannis et al., 2014). Clearly, the profit driven culture is felt in most newsrooms. In this context, it is concerning that public service journalism in New Zealand has shrunk as non- commercial television channels such as TVNZ7 have been shut down.

All of that is business as depressingly usual of course. But the report also gets in to territory that is of particular interest to Standardistas:

Political machinations and the blogosphere

The 2013 JMAD New Zealand media ownership report observed that bloggers had gained in prominence and influence in New Zealand as media space became increasingly commercial. Accordingly the report observed that “blogs have started to fill the gap in public interest journalism left by the commercially operated media corporates” (Myllylahti, 2013). The report specifically argued that

increasing commercial pressures combined with financialised media ownership, have created a national media environment where the content is driven by profits, ratings and clicks. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that citizen journalists and bloggers have started to take a more active role in the media domain (Myllylahti, 2013).

After the revelations in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, it appears that blogs are not necessarily a counterweight to commercial media outlets. The capability of blogs to retrieve the principles of public interest journalism became questionable. This report finds increasing evidence of unethical alliances among bloggers, politicians, PR companies and legacy media.

The issues concerning Dirty Politics have been covered extensively elsewhere. This report simply highlights the major revelations; how the politicians try to manipulate news coverage; how corporates and public relation practitioners advance their agendas in the blogosphere; and how blogs can influence news journalists. In the latter context, the Coalition for Better Broadcasting (CBB) observed that the ability of Slater, Judith Collins and David Farrar (a right wing blogger) to exploit mainstream media was due to the fact that “our media is weak, underfunded, highly competitive and almost entirely commercial” (CBB, 2014c).

Hager’s book has cast a shadow over long established media organisations. After the publication of Dirty Politics, Fran O’Sullivan, Jared Savage and David Fisher, journalists working for The New Zealand Herald, came clean about their earlier collaborations with Slater. Jared Savage admitted that “information was shared, there was a bit of “horse trading”, we talked about developments as the story rolled along (Savage, 2014). The paper’s investigative journalist David Fisher admitted in his opinion piece that “Cameron Slater was a contact of mine – Nicky Hager made this clear in Dirty Politics”; before he stopped “dealing with Slater”, he was “speaking to Slater as a contact and source” (Fisher, 2014).

The Dirty Politics fallout, which led to the resignation of Justice Minister Judith Collins, did also damaged Cameron Slater’s the Whale Oil blog alongside the reputation of the wider blogging community. However, the Hard News blogger Russell Brown remarked that “we’re not all like that. The multitude of bloggers, political bloggers included, have no part in this” (Brown, 2014).

I want to pick up on the last point in particular. Permeating this report, and the coverage of it (e.g. RNZ quoted above) is the assumption that all blogs are equal – a blog is a blog is a blog. This is a version of the Nats’ dirty politics spin that “everyone does it” and “Labour has attack blogs” and “The Standard is written by Labour staffers” and so on – these are all distractions, deflections, and lies lies lies.

So it is disappointing to see this report accepting (apart from one quick comment by Russell Brown) the assumption that all blogs are created equal, and that all are tarnished by dirty politics. Bollocks. It makes no more sense than saying that all TV is game shows, that all radio is talkback, or that all websites are porn. Blogs span a rich and interesting spectrum, and the only ones tarnished by dirty politics are the ones that were actively involved – Whale Oil, Kiwiblog, and the (deleted in shame) Asian Invasion.

So – media – how about a little bit more honesty in the coverage of bloggers and blogs eh? And with all due respect to the JMAD team, for your next report, why not get out and talk to some bloggers, find out a bit about what is really going on (and not going on), instead of repeating the media lines that you are supposed to be critiquing?

(As a last point for a lazy Saturday, quoted above “blogs have started to fill the gap in public interest journalism left by the commercially operated media corporates”. Discuss!)

42 comments on “NZ Media and blogs vs blogs ”

  1. “..Discuss!..”

    i don’t really need to discuss..the problem..

    ..as what i do..each/every day…is part of the solution..

    http://whoar.co.nz/

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Yes, the mainstream masses are just clamouring for stream-of-consciousness style garbled sentence fragment “articles”.

    • and tho’ there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth over the current online content on offer..

      ..i wd note that i started doing this news-gathering stuff in the 90’s @ bfm..

      ..they didn’t even have a computer for the news people to use..

      ..( i bought mine in and gave it to them on extended-loan..it was that dire..)

      ..and as for news-resources..there was the print edition of the herald..and little else..

      ..i was reduced to dismantling/re-writing/taking the piss out of what they had on offer..

      ..the only other resource i had..was the print edition of the guardian weekly..that i went and purchased each week..

      ..i wd drip-feed re-writes from that most excellent publication over the week..

      ..i compare that to now..

      ..and wether you get it from my round-up/best-of..or the other choices on offer..

      ..what there is now is a total feast..

      ..compared to the famine of not that long ago..

      ..so yes..our msm is fucked/owned..but it always has been..nothing new there..

      ..but we don’t need them now/any more..

      ..the world is on our screens..

      ..and also now..we have the offerings from the excellent commentators in this country..(the work of gordon campbell is world-class..as just one example..)

      ..so i don’t gnash and wail that much..especially when i compare to then..

      ..and why i am puzzled by those who moan..seemingly unaware that they have more choices than stuff/herald..

  2. john pilger has a current/relevant bunch of questions/comments..

    “..John Pilger:.War by Media – and the Triumph of Propaganda..

    ..Why has so much journalism succumbed to propaganda?

    Why are censorship and distortion standard practice?

    Why is the BBC so often a mouthpiece of rapacious power?

    Why do the New York Times and the Washington Post deceive their readers?

    Why are young journalists not taught to understand media agendas –

    – and to challenge the high claims and low purpose of fake objectivity?

    And why are they not taught that the essence of so much of what’s called the mainstream media is not information – but power?

    These are urgent questions.

    The world is facing the prospect of major war – perhaps nuclear war –

    – with the United States clearly determined to isolate and provoke Russia – and eventually China.

    This truth is being turned upside down and inside out by journalists –

    – including those who promoted the lies that led to the bloodbath in Iraq in 2003..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40389.htm

  3. I for one appreciate your cred in this Phil.
    Pilger ref reminds me of his showdown with Kim Hill.
    And Tom Scott’s F bomb on Kim Hills show this a.m.
    Basically when cornered by Hill to justify his ‘kill the PM’ track he ended up saying Key had “‘f….d’ the working class” before walking out.
    Maybe radicals on radio have the best reach in the MSM.
    Thinking of Russell Brand who has got up Murdoch’s nose.

    • batweka 3.1

      Interesting interview and good to see Scott talking about his politics. He’s not shy on it, and seems solid on class politics, but still has a way to go on gender politics.

      And he really did say that ‘the working class got fucked’ on National Radio 😀

      Kim Hill on the other hand, wtf with the question about Scott writing lyrics about the politics of being poor when he got NZ On Air funding for a music video? This is Playing Favourites. Glad he walked out.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/20160090/playing-favourites-with-tom-scott

      • hoom 3.1.1

        Seriously WTF with that NZ on Air question?

        Is it seriously the case that recipients believe they’re not allowed to criticise the Govt with NZ on Air funding now?

        If true then what a Banana Republic we are in.

        • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1.1

          Kim Hill is painfully middle class. Pretty sure that her social circle consists of people with household incomes over $80K pa.

  4. Chooky 4

    +100…very interesting detailed Post and analysis thanks Anthony Robins

    …what I take from it is basically the Left parties …Labour , Greens, NZF, Mana/Int ….and New Zealanders’ rights are undermined and stuffed….. by big money corporate media interests and bias ( this includes their right wing dirty ops blogs Whaleoil and Kiwiblog)

    …unless the Left can mount an effective and recognised media alternative

    ‘The Standard’ and the ‘Daily Blog’ are good starts…maybe they can be expanded into paper newspapers/broadsheets as well( sold at railway/bus stations), …and have syndicated Left journalists …and whatever else they need to up their profile…there are still a lot of oldies who dont use the computer much for their news and views

    ….also needed are ‘commercial’ Left radio stations …to counter the likes of Sean Plunket ( who went after Dotcom)….and television to counter the likes of Paul Henry et al

  5. Clotilde 5

    Some journalists use pseudonyms when dealing with gritty stories (they hide themselves), some media groups get all their minions and slaves to do all their dirty work, while they stay silently behind the scenes (hiding themselves), both of these types are what you call- “ultimate cowards”. But Ian Wishart, when Wishart faces a serious investigation- he faces it head on, he “never” hides himself, he is definitely not the “ultimate coward”.

    Considering he is a mere mortal like the rest of us, his bravery is absolutely outstanding!

    His work is intelligent and truthful, considering all the crappy fluffy shit that is written these days, all that soft rubbishy bullshit, at least he can count himself as- a ‘real’ investigative journalist!

    He is a man that knows his true path to true freedom.

    It must be all that wisdom he has acquired, in his many journeys.

    auf Wiedersehen

    Clotilde.

  6. Manuka AOR 6

    Re: “Unethical Alliances”

    “unethical alliances between bloggers, politicians, media and public relations companies… the boundaries between those groups are blurring.”

    It is rather worse than that. The Govt has its own little squadron of 288 spin doctors, euphemistically referred to as “staff employed in communications roles”: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/63849330/Public-servant-numbers-climb

    As Vernon Small wrote (when discussing Rennie), regarding “agencies’ and departments’ “communications advice””: “It often goes well beyond how to communicate an issue – or even what to communicate – into frankly how to spin and counterspin Opposition attacks and manage the media in the most derogatory sense of the phrase.

    “What is happening is that the “no surprises” rule – the requirement public servants warn their political masters of matters both negative and positive that they ought to know – is being stretched, distorted and subverted into something much worse that ought to worry the public and Rennie.

    “No surprises has morphed into “no embarrassment” and has reached the next stage of evolution – “how can we help you avoid embarrassment”.

    “The next tentative steps on the journey are already being taken: “how we can help you overcome the Opposition”.

    “It’s a slippery incline that takes you from political neutrality to friend, to very good friend, to ally and onto unacceptable political partisanship. ”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/63576511/Putting-the-spin-on-neutrality

  7. Ad 7

    Let’s start from the position that everything is biased on a spectrum of degree, and that we don’t have to be defeatist about media corporations.

    Even more than I want to see greater differentiation between blogs, I want to see greater effectiveness between blogs.

    The MSM can campaign, incite, and change things, but because of their guise of neutrality, tend not to much in NZ.

    Apparently, any crowd with a cellphone and texting capacity can topple governments. The Internet is still young and flexible enough that we can form a different kind of media if we want to.

    We can and should translate our massive readership from a blog into something that changes the actual world. That’s the best response to these kinds of report.

    • Chooky 7.1

      Ad +100… “We can and should translate our massive readership from a blog into something that changes the actual world. That’s the best response to these kinds of report.”

      imo… people are starving of an alternative view from the msm…but many don’t read ‘The Standard’ or other Left blogs …they just read their newspaper and complain it is right wing or John Key Nactional biased ( I see Judith Collins is going to have her own column in the Sunday Star Times)

      …I would like to see a real Left newspaper start up in NZ….an unashamed alternative to what we have in the major dailies…then people could ditch their subscriptions to their current newspaper and buy a new one to a real Left newspaper

    • Chooky 7.2

      btw…as with e-books not replacing paperback books …i dont think newspapers are going to be replaced by digital e-news and blogs any time soon….the thing about a newspaper is that it is easy to keep lying around for future reference and mulling…the Left needs a body of journalism and news and reporting that is out there in paper form for people to refer to imo….so they can put a stake in the ground with their friends and say “This is where I stand”…’This is the paper that speaks for me”

      • Ron 7.2.1

        I have been getting my newspapers delivered digitally for several years now and not only can I read on my tablet or computer I can keep back copies for as long as I wish. Usually dictated by the amount of space on your computer/tablet.
        It is easier to read, I can search the paper for something I am seeking and it is way cheaper. I can read just about every paper in the world for less than one Herald subscription.

  8. Ad 8

    What is also needed is an audit of those voices who are still free:

    – academic activists like Dr Jim Salinger
    – trade activists like Dr Jane Kelsey
    – economic activists like those we regularly see at the Fabians, and Child Poverty Action
    – little think tanks like the Sustainability Council
    – lawyer activists like Debra Manning
    – urban activists like Generation Zero
    – the Salvation Army
    – etc

    … who we can invite them to write on specific themes.

    We should presume that there are no journalistic distinctions really functioning now, only individuals prepared to research, publish, comment, and then go on MSM to roll the story. We’re not quite at this point, but we are nearly there.

    There are active and commercially motivated conspiracies all around us. Con-spiratio means “breathing together”. Lets form our own conspiracies.

    • Chooky 8.1

      +100…and blue leopard would have good ideas

    • Ergo Robertina 8.2

      It’s good you acknowledge the role of community leaders, activists, and academics, given in September you said:

      ‘The politically engaged lecturers, unions, and public servants are small and rapidly declining as a democratic force. No power now.’

      My Thinks: A manufactured consent

      However: ”We should presume that there are no journalistic distinctions really functioning now, only individuals prepared to research, publish, comment, and then go on MSM to roll the story. We’re not quite at this point, but we are nearly there.”
      This misses the point. What’s needed is for the narratives of activists/academics/community leaders to be woven into everyday stories, journalism and current affairs.
      Realistically, activists/academics don’t write challenging new editorial opinion pieces or break big stories all the time, it is not feasible logistically.
      It’s about changing the narrative in public life and discourse, which is what WO and National understand, and why they attack people who oppose them.

      • Ad 8.2.1

        I was responding in that comment to the same defeatism implied in the post.
        Serious yawn. And in case you missed it, I was complaining about the obsession pre-election with Dirty Politics, and proven utterly right by the resounding result.

        Nor did I atribute specific agency to any of those i listed. The point above and entirely consistent of previous comment is that resistance is shrinking, but we have no choice but to rebuild from remaining points of resistance.

        Leave the MSM behind for causal influence. The future is us.

        • Ergo Robertina 8.2.1.1

          Fragmenting the media further in an already fragmented market like NZ will not assist what has become virtual information blackouts across much of the public service and NGO sector.
          Fear of speaking (even about uncontroversial matters) has probably never been as pronounced as it is now.
          Those who retain the status to do so, like public health academics, have been targeted by WO with personal attacks.
          It’s why the setback to these tactics afforded by Dirty Politics mattered, with or without a positive election result.
          Grandiloquent pronouncements like ‘the future is us’ really don’t help.
          Platforms do matter. It’s why the BBC, despite its faults, is still a force, a countervailing one to the USA style culture wars the likes of WO and (unwittingly) you would foster here.

          • Ad 8.2.1.1.1

            You smell of fear. Fair enough – the defeat was big enough. I’m done with reviewing catastrophic defeat.

            The personal attacks aren’t going to stop. Jesson identified such networks three decades ago. We can gather round them and support the Good. Why not invite solidarity?

            We will never see TVNZ or National Radio transform into a local BBC. Stop your dreaming. Everyone looks at conspiracies real or imagined and expects some external righteous saviour. Media Jesus isn’t coming. We are it. I’ve written plenty on this recently, and many still squirm looking for another answer.

            We need to increasingly break anonymity, publish expert articles, break the rights conspiratorial cycle, and accept the leadership we have.

            • Ergo Robertina 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes and there will always be networks of power and control, but Hager’s book pushed the pendulum the right way, just a little.
              It is fair I think to say Jesson would have championed that, indeed Hager gave the 2012 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture.
              I think you’re the one dreaming, of a postmodern digital media utopia.

              • greywarshark

                @ Ergo Robertina
                Thanks for putting these comments. Your approach brings another viewpoint that fills in gaps. And with enough detail to follow your argument.
                I look forward to reading further.

              • RedLogix

                While Ad may well be a step ahead of the game ER – my sympathy lies with him. The left is systematically excluded or marginalised from the MSM and the mechanisms which enforce this fact are thoroughly entrenched.

                That door is shut.

                • Ergo Robertina

                  You’re confused between platform and content, Red.
                  Moving to an even more fragmented media, when NZ is already one of the most under-resourced in the western world, is not going to promulgate the left’s themes and messages.
                  It is realistic for NZ to have a BBC-type public broadcaster, albeit on a smaller scale; I don’t accept Ad’s TINA line on that.
                  I favour a pluralist model in which the principled blogosphere holds the MSM to account; in which old media skills like digging information and clear writing are used in conjunction with new media technologies.

            • greywarshark 8.2.1.1.1.2

              @ Ad
              You keep banging on about anonymity – not having it. The point has been made that we actually are not anonymous – the sysop knows who we are and we register each time we email from the same address. We can login if we are coming from another address. Pseudonymity is good in a conformist society.
              We are lightly moderated but there are rules – we keep it reasonably clean and ask for sources for statements so we can check and inform ourselves fully. This stops scuttlebutt and we all have our IQs raised from each other. We know each other’s thinking styles and who to respect, and who to rely on for interesting arguments, and who comes here to dump their boring RW lives on us.

              I don’t see how knowing people’s names actually provides more certainty and integrity. And I don’t want to be receiving phone calls from people I don’t know who want to praise or denigrate what I say. Which can happen.

              You are keen to push us further ahead. Our slogan should likely be to “Make haste slowly”.

            • lprent 8.2.1.1.1.3

              We need to increasingly break anonymity, publish expert articles, break the rights conspiratorial cycle, and accept the leadership we have.

              People can be as pseudonymous or not as they like. The extent that someone wishes to express expert knowledge gives the extent of how far they want to decloak.

              But even for me, this site for me is less than 10% of what I actually do. So I keep vast areas of my life off the site and off the net. I don’t need them to argue about a topic, so I don’t put them forward.

              The bits that I do put forward as expertise are usually the discarded or low priority parts of my skillsets, like running a php web site or a BSc in earth sciences or an MBA. Because the actual things that I routinely deal with do not exactly make for good blog posts. It is hard enough to describe them to engineers and programmers the wide area messaging systems of my last few jobs.

              Or look at Anthony. I can’t remember any time when he wrote about his speciality. THis post has nothing about that in it.

              I have absolutely no wish to become a politician or a media commentator, so I also have no particular need to expose more of my life than I have.

              It is the useless drones with time on their hands, like Cameron Slater, who want to bolster their rather pitiful self-esteem by doing that bullshit. People who have work to do are more interested in commenting, writing posts to express what they think and then getting back to their lives and work.

              And as grey points out, no-one is particularly anonymous on this site. We simply don’t allow it. Apart from our subtle proscriptions and insistence against changing handles frequently, I can usually figure out who people are if I really need to. Besides you lose your previous mana when you shift handles radically.

              It is only the rather lazy who don’t look at the links to see all comments or posts by a person who think that anyway.

  9. Fran O'Sullivan 9

    This is ridiculous. I have never “come clean” about any so-called collaborations with Slater. The author of this academic study fails at 101 Research. If she bothered to check the author would have found I said it was risible to suggest Odgers influenced my writings.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      Fair enough. Happy to take your word at face value here.

      But that alone leaves a lot unsaid does it not?

    • Chooky 9.2

      @ Fran O’Sullivan …..good to know you deny “any so-called collaborations with Slater” and … “I said it was risible to suggest Odgers influenced my writings” !

      We need more journalists to put a stake in the ground and say this is where I have not been….and this is where i will not go…and this is what i find unethical and despicable ‘journalism’, smear PR

    • Anne 9.3

      @ Fran O’Sullivan.

      I don’t think Anthony Robins meant it quite the way you appear to have taken it. In fact it was likely meant as a compliment – sort of anyway. You did write a piece soon after the book was published outlining your ‘links or the lack of them’ which, from memory, was damming of Slater and all he stood for. As Herald journos/columnists it was convenient to make a broad comment covering all three of you.

  10. Heather Grimwood 10

    I am overjoyed that serious thought is once more being given to need for a leftwing newspaper. That nowhere in comments above do I see the main obstacle of this goal in earlier decades was the then prohibitive cost.
    To counteract rightwing propaganda of daily papers pre-1945 election, J.D. Brown ( my father) teacher at Flag Swamp who had been involved for first year of the Kurow think-tank, Ken McIlroy and Dudley Kelly, teachers at Palmerston South and I think Jack Meikle all contributed to the Oamaru Labour Electorate Committee’s weekly newspaper ‘LSP’. Liberty, Security and Progress was Labour’s slogan at the time. I well remember the rush to get the draft up to Oamaru for printing. ‘The Grey River Argus’ and ‘The Southern Cross’, both permanent papers sadly folded through fiscal woes, were begun for same reason.
    May your ideas above come to early and successful fruition.

    • Chooky 10.1

      HG +100…great your Father saw the importance of a Left paper in the 1940s….they have always been important for the credibility of the Left …and now even more so to counter the corruption of the right wing controlled and bought msm

      with Print on Demand (POD)….paper publishing is a lot more market targeted with less oversupply and wastage …therefore less expensive than it once was

      Simon Collins, a journalist, I think tried to set up a Left newspaper in Wellington in the early 1990s…it was very good and a pity he could not continue with it

      ….maybe now is the time for a Left co-operative to pool resources (intellectual and financial and support market based) to try again for a Left newspaper?…

    • greywarshark 10.2

      @ Heather G
      That is good to know. Wonderful effort and determination which they must have had in spades. I suppose all information you have of those early days is all down in archives at Nat Lib or whatever. The Kurow think tank sounds good. I’ll have to look that up. What would be our equivalent these days? There seem to be plenty of RW ones around, grow like weeds.

      I wonder whether a newspaper would still be viable. Could they be transported by bus in their luggage lockers? To be uplifted by the local distributor. There wouldn’t be huge numbers and the format would probably be tabloid size with an outer and inner sheet. Once a week? Coming out on Wednesday perhaps, printed Tuesday/Wed. 6 monthly subscriptions. One lead story and headlines on line. Adverts and What’s on. Latest achievements by NZs local, nationally and inter-. Letters limited to 100 words. Letters of complaint 30 words! Good links and reviews of latest thinking.

      • Heather Grimwood 10.2.1

        No, not from libraries…I was at High School and belonged to deeply involved Labour activist family. The Kurow thinktank involved Nordmeyer the Presbyterian minister, McMillan the doctor, Davidson a teacher, and others. They gathered at home of a woman teacher Sunday nights I was told at my mother’s knee and there the beginnings of the social security policy were planned. For easy reading, the book “Nordy” gives the gist but not written at the time.
        I will never forget faces and bodylanguage of women reaching through truck window to grab relief clothing over the top of me when a toddler squashed between Dad and Nordy in front seat of relief truck they’d taken into Waitaki No 1 dam camp about 1934.

  11. hoom 11

    Mediawatch had a very disturbing breakdown of this freediving record attempt which I had successfully managed to ignore
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/20160131/mediawatch-for-7-december-2014

    The one thing missed is that this is a ‘sport’ unrecognised by any mainstream sporting authority because of its extreme danger & very high rate of fatalities.

  12. Ron 12

    Something that I have been wondering about. Anthony mentions that Bauer now own The Listener
    Many years ago when Listener was sold to APN the Masthead was retained by BCNZ now TVNZ. Its value used to appear in the balance sheet. I have no knowledge if that position was ever changed so I wonder if the Masthead of NZ Listener is now resident in TVNZ or has it somehow been disposed of with out public knowledge.
    Anyone any better information that me on this subject?

  13. Heather Grimwood 13

    To greywarshark…..yes I am publishing/have written my memories… accentuated political activism for year plus has delayed publication.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Construction starts on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project
    Associate Minister of Transport Kieran McAnulty was joined this morning by Ngāti Tama, local councillors and board members, project representatives, and community to mark the official start of construction on Taranaki’s largest ever roading project, Te Ara o Te Ata: Mt Messenger Bypass. “The work started today will make sure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Hundreds to benefit from additional maternal health support
    The Government’s Budget 2022 investment of $10.1 million over four years in maternal mental health will result in better and more widely available care for new and expectant mothers around the country. The funding will be invested to fill gaps in care identified by last year’s maternal mental health stocktake ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Planting forests that are good for nature, climate, and the economy
    Public consultation opens on how forests are managed through the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF), including: Giving local councils more control over where forests are planted   Managing the effects of exotic carbon forestry on nature Improving wildfire management in all forests. Addressing the key findings of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Trade Minister heads to CPTPP Commission Meeting
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth, Damien O’Connor will travel to Singapore this week for the Sixth Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Commission Meeting. “Continuing to build on our export growth is a key part of the Government’s economic plan. Our two way trade with the CPTPP bloc accounts ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Strong Government books leave New Zealand well placed amid global challenges
      Deficit half of forecast at $9.7 billion; Deficits as a percentage of GDP running better than during GFC Net debt at 17.2 percent of GDP lower than Australia, UK, US and Canada. Core expenses $2.8 billion lower than forecast. Increased expenditure during year due to COVID-related expenses through unprecedented ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ministers outline next phase of Milford Opportunities Project
    The Milford Opportunities Project is entering its next phase following a productive visit to Piopiotahi to hear directly from tourism operators, iwi and the unit undertaking feasibility planning, says Conservation Minister Poto Williams. In June 2021 Cabinet approved $15 million to fund the next stage of the Milford Opportunities Project, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Digital tools to make family violence support widely available
    Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan has officially launched a suite of new digital tools to support people affected by family violence. “Family violence is a scourge on our society and violent behaviour of any kind is absolutely unacceptable. We are taking the important steps to modernise ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Plan for big boost in GP training numbers
    More support is being given to New Zealand medical graduates training to be GPs, as the Government continues its push to get more doctors into communities. “Growing the number of GPs is vital so we can fill today’s gaps and make sure we’ve got the doctors we need in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 142,000 Kiwis helped by Healthy Homes Initiative
    Hospitalisations reduced by 19.8 percent School attendance increased by 3 percent Employment increased by 4 percent 100,000 interventions delivered, including insulation, heaters, curtains and repairs Nationwide rollout expected to be complete by the end of the year More than 31,000 children, pregnant people and 111,000 of their family members are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence departs for Middle East
    Minister of Defence Peeni Henare has today departed for the Middle East where he will visit New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed within the region, including in Operation Gallant Phoenix in Jordan and the Multinational Force and Observers mission on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. The Minister will also undertake ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government funds work to clean up six contaminated sites
    The Government has announced funding to clean up six contaminated sites to reduce the risk to public health and protect the environment.    “These six projects will help protect the public from health risks associated with hazardous materials, so New Zealanders can live in a cleaner, safer environment.” Environment Minister David Parker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government partners with industry to reduce agricultural emissions
    New Zealand’s effort to reduce agricultural emissions has taken a step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding by Government with agribusiness leaders, in a joint venture as part of the new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced. The Ministry for Primary Industries signed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vosa Vakaviti sustains generations of Fijians
    The enduring strength and sustainability of Vosa Vakaviti is being celebrated by the Fijian community in Aotearoa New Zealand during Macawa ni Vosa Vakaviti – Fijian Language Week, which gets underway today. “This year’s theme, ‘Me vakabulabulataki, vakamareqeti, ka vakaqaqacotaki na vosa Vakaviti’, which translates as ‘Nurture, Preserve and Sustain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Russia’s annexation attempts
    New Zealand condemns unequivocally Russia’s attempts to illegally annex Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “We do not recognise these illegal attempts to change Ukraine’s borders or territorial sovereignty,” Jacinda Ardern said. “Russia’s sham referenda in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are illegitimate, and have no legal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government provides confidence to those seeking an adventure
    With our borders opened and tourists returning, those seeking out adventurous activities can do so more safely due to the steps we’ve taken to improve the health and safety regulatory regime for adventure activities, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood has announced.  “We are seeing international visitor numbers begin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New hospital opens for Wellington children
    A new children’s hospital that officially opened in Wellington this morning offers the region’s children top-quality health care in one place, Health Minister Andrew Little says. Te Wao Nui has been built with a $53 million contribution from benefactors Mark Dunajtschik and Dorothy Spotswood, with the Government contributing another $53 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More single-use plastics banned from tomorrow
    Single-use plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and most plastic meat trays are among single use plastics banned from sale or manufacture from tomorrow. “This is the first group of the most problematic plastic products to be banned in a progressive phase out over the next three years,” Environment Minister David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to NZDF Command and Staff College
    It’s a pleasure to join you today – and I extend a particular welcome to Marty Donoghue (a member of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control) and Athena Li-Watts (interning with me this week) who are also joining me today. On the face of it, some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Milestone of half a million mental health sessions delivered
    The Government’s flagship primary mental health and addiction programme Access and Choice has hit the milestone of delivering more than 500,000 sessions to New Zealanders needing mental health support. Health Minister Andrew Little made the announcement at ADL – Thrive Pae Ora in Cromwell which provides mental wellbeing support services ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government continues to future-proof arts, culture and heritage sector
    The Government has announced further support for the recovery and resilience of the arts, culture and heritage sector as part of its COVID Recovery Programme’s Innovation Fund. “We’re continuing to secure the recovery of our arts, culture and heritage in Aotearoa New Zealand by supporting transformational initiatives across the motu,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government steps up kauri protection
    The Government is delivering on an election commitment to protect kauri in our northern forests through the new National Pest Management Plan (NPMP) for the forest giant and the allocation of $32 million of funding to back the coordinated effort, Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor and Associate Environment Minister (Biodiversity) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Russia’s Ukraine referenda a sham
    Aotearoa New Zealand does not recognise the results of the sham referenda in Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta says.  “These so-called referenda were not free or fair, and they very clearly were not held in accordance with democratic principles,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Instead, they were hastily organised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt invests in New Zealand’s wine future
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has officially opened New Zealand Wine Centre–Te Pokapū Wāina o Aotearoa in Blenheim today, saying that investments like these give us cause for optimism for the future. Funding of $3.79 million for the Marlborough Research Centre to build a national wine centre was announced in 2020, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court
    Attorney-General David Parker today announced the appointment of Colonel Craig Ruane, Commander Robyn Loversidge, and James Wilding KC as Judges of the Court Martial Appeal Court. The Court Martial Appeal Court is a senior court of record established under the Court Martial Appeals Act 1953. It is summoned by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government strengthens measures to combat migrant worker exploitation
    Offence and penalty regime significantly strengthened New infringement offences for non-compliance Public register of individuals and businesses that are found guilty of migrant exploitation New community-led pilot to educate migrants workers and employers of employment rights Implemented reporting tools successfully brings exploitation out of the shadows Take-up of protective visa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Livestock exports by sea to cease
    The passing of a Bill today to end the export of livestock by sea will protect New Zealand’s reputation for world-leading animal welfare standards, Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said. “The Animal Welfare Amendment Bill future-proofs our economic security amid increasing consumer scrutiny across the board on production practices," Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Extra measures to increase census turnout in 2023
    3500 census workers on the ground, twice as many as last census More forms to be delivered – 44% compared to 3% in 2018 Prioritisation of Māori and other groups and regions with lower response rates in 2018 Major work to ensure the delivery of a successful census in 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Shining the light on screen workers
    Improved working conditions for workers in the screen industry is now a reality with the Screen Industry Workers Bill passing its third reading today, announced Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood. “It’s fantastic to see the Screen Industry Workers Bill progress through Parliament. The new Act will strengthen protections ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mental health resources for young people and schools launched
    Associate Minister of Education (School Operations) Jan Tinetti and Associate Minister of Education (Māori Education) Kelvin Davis have today launched two new resources to support wellbeing, and the teaching and learning of mental health education in schools and kura. “Students who are happy and healthy learn better. These resources ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress continues on future-proofing Auckland’s transport infrastructure
    Transport Minister Michael Wood has welcomed the latest progress on Auckland’s two most transformational transport projects in a generation – Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections. Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have named preferred bidders to move each project to their next phase, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports local innovation in homelessness prevention
    Ten successful applicants in round two of the Local Innovation and Partnership Fund (LIPF) Close to $6 million allocated as part of the Homelessness Action Plan (HAP) Māori, Pasefika and rangatahi a strong focus Round three opening later this year with up to $6.8 million available. Government is stepping up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More medicines for New Zealanders, thanks to Govt’s Budget boost
    Health Minister Andrew Little is welcoming news that two more important medicines are set to be funded, thanks to the Government’s big boost to the country’s medicines budget. “Since coming into Government in 2017, the Labour Government has increased Pharmac’s funding by 43 per cent, including a $71 million boost ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers ACC change to support 28,000 parents
    The Maternal Birth Injury and Other Matters Bill passes Third Reading – the first amendment to ACC legislation of its kind From 1 October 2022, new ACC cover to benefit approximately 28,000 birthing parents Additional maternal birth injuries added alongside new review provision to ensure cover remains comprehensive Greater clarity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further cuts for East Coast tarakihi limits to rebuild numbers faster
    Commercial catch limits for East Coast tarakihi will be reduced further to help the stock rebuild faster. “Tarakihi is a popular fish, and this has led to declining levels over time. Many adjustments have been made and the stock is recovering. I have decided on further commercial catch reductions of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Ambassador to Colombia announced
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of diplomat Nicci Stilwell as the next Ambassador to Colombia. “Aotearoa New Zealand’s relationship with Colombia is fast growing with strong links across education, climate change and indigenous co-operation,” Nanaia Mahuta said.  “Trade is a key part of our relationship with Colombia, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 3000 more RSE workers to ease workforce pressures
    The Government continues to respond to global workforce shortages by announcing the largest increase in over a decade to the Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE), providing 3000 additional places, Immigration Minister Michael Wood and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor have announced. The new RSE cap will allow access to 19,000 workers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Sanctions on more of the Russian political elite
    Further sanctions are being imposed on members of President Putin’s inner circle and other representatives of the Russian political elite, as part of the Governments ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, says Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. “Ukraine has been clear that the most important action we can take to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Youth Court Judge appointed
    Judge Ida Malosi, District Court Judge of Wellington, has been appointed as the new Principal Youth Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Born and raised in Southland, Judge Malosi graduated from Victoria University of Wellington and spent her legal career in South Auckland.  She was a founding partner of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Visitor arrivals highest since pandemic began
    Overseas visitor arrivals exceeded 100,000 in July, for the first time since the borders closed in March 2020 Strong ski season lifts arrivals to Queenstown to at least 90% of the same period in 2019 Australia holiday recovery has continued to trend upwards New Zealand’s tourism recovery is on its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Language provides hope for Tuvalu
    Climate change continues to present a major risk for the island nation of Tuvalu, which means sustaining te gana Tuvalu, both on home soil and in New Zealand Aotearoa, has never been more important, Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio said. The Tuvalu Auckland Community Trust and wider Tuvalu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago