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NZPA axed

Written By: - Date published: 7:46 pm, April 6th, 2011 - 20 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: , ,

The New Zealand Press Association is to be closed down:

NZPA to close down, 42 jobs will go

The New Zealand Press Association, the organisation that services newspapers with news, is to close down after more than 130 years. The organisation will wind up its operations within the next four to six months and 42 staff are set to lose their jobs. …

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said he had been told last week that there would be some job losses at NZPA.

“APN sources tell me it is Fairfax who want out of NZPA,” 3 News political reporter Patrick Gower tweeted this afternoon.
For as long as newspapers have been rolling off the presses in New Zealand, NZPA has been providing content for them.

It was set up in 1879 and on the companies website today it boasts of sending out a thousand pieces of information every 24 hours from stock exchange reports to news pieces to international news wires.

A few weeks ago, there was talk that APN and Fairfax would stop NZPA selling stories to other outlets because they didn’t want their websites losing traffic to the TV and radio websites but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.

I’m no media insider. Why does Fairfax want out of NZPA? What I do know is that I see NZPA credits on a lot of the good reporting in this country. We’re losing a valuable resource.

By way of blogger solidarity, a shout out to Danyl from Dim-Post. His wife is one of NZPA’s lead political reporters. Hopefully she and others will find work within the industry.

Too many people losing their jobs in this country. Too many.

20 comments on “NZPA axed ”

  1. BLiP 1

    The less news, the more ads, the less knowledge, the more control. Rock on the fifth estate, your job at The Standard has just become more important.

    • Agreed BLip.

      No doubt there will be more stories about movie star drug addictions and who is separating from who and how much the separation agreement is worth.  And there will be more about the best restaurant and who is sleeping with who.  And there will be even less analysis of the issues that really matter.

      I am sure the Standard can cover the gap.

      My condolences to the reporters who struck  me as a professional decent group.

      • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1

        Blogs can’t fill the gap where a press agency used to be. That’s just silly. APN and Fairfax are going to have a hell of job filling this particular gap and they employ hundreds of content providers.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          Agreed, Pb. A bunch of people scratching together posts in their spare time (and kudos to them for doing so) is not going to replace a professional news agency whose standards of reporting, and particularly impartiality, have been above reproach for more than a century.

          Like it or not, the contributors to this blog – and any other – have an idological viewpoint. They’re perfectly entitled to of course, but that makes their contributions akin to the OpEd pages, not the news pages (though blogs can and do break news occasionally).

          Likewise other MSM “news” outlets fail abysmally. Name an NZPA reporter (aside from Danyl’s wife, because you’ve just been tipped off). Unless you’re a media type, you probably can’t – and that’s the point. NZPA is about the last refuge of reportage that realises its reporters aren’t the focus of the story, the news is. And that shows in the lack of bias and hype.

          We will be poorer because of this, thanks to Fairfax. No doubt some Fairfax executive thinks this is a great way to improve the bottom line – cuts are always the first refuge of the stupid. The only way they’ll learn is if their readership falls even further and we tell them why.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Why does Fairfax want out of NZPA?
    Asset stripping profits for absentee foreign owners.

  3. Ben 3

    Be great to see (bad news aside) at least one of these quality journos put their skills to use in an innovate new-world way like so many have had to do abroad.

  4. prism 4

    Newspapers which have come under the Fairfax control now have fluff pieces picked up from USA papers, recipes from USA, etc so less NZ input and news.   Our local paper cut out a popular crossword prepared by local people who had been doing it for years despite complaints.   Doing things for ourselves is what toddlers insist on, we in this country seem to be regressing beyond that to the gormless.
    Other publications have deteriorated.  The NZ Womens Weekly used to have a variety of content about NZ and what people were doing. Now it’s glamour and clothes and lifestyle.  The Listener this week features a story on renovation of houses for goodness sake!   It used to get its teeth into the real happenings in the wider community.   Now they seem to be catering to the prognosticators of future trends who said that nesting was going to be a big thing.  And navel gazing, and polishing one’s capital assets.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Doing things for ourselves (as a society) is how we grow our society. By shifting all the “doing” elsewhere as we have been doing over the last 3 decades we stop growing.
      No wonder people are leaving in droves – NZ is becoming more boring with each passing year.

      • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1.1

        Its a slippery slope, lose your institutions, lose your cultural identification, lose all your creative talent off-shore. Why would anybody with and pretensions for cultural or intellectual development want to stay when its all rugby, reality TV, crime stories and children/animal human interest stuff.

        • Vicky32

          Absolutely true! I don’t want TV2 at all (except for Fringe which is buried at 22.30, and then  only because I can’t find the DVD) and I watch as little of TV3 and 4 as I possibly can. Prime and TV1, which are the only channels that play anything at all, that is not American pap, such as the endless cop shows!

          • Vicky32

            That should be ‘I don’t watch TV 2, at all, but yes, I don’t want it either. Do they have anything non-American other than Shortland Street?
            I am reminded of a Malcolm Evans cartoon I saw years ago.. the caption was “so you can see more of New Zealand on air”. Lying on the floor in front of the TV, were two children, a boy and a girl, looking wrapt and bug-eyed at an American flag. This to me explains why two teenage girls at St Lukes were putting on televisual American accents, and why people under 20 say “different than” and refer to the toilets on planes as “bathrooms”.

          • Carol

            I watch a bit from most of the FTA channels, and a fairly diverse lot too, from US popular dramas to more marginal UK & Aussie shows.  The Good Wife, on TV3 is a cut above most US shows – tightly scripted & with loads of interesting twists & turns, ethical dilemmas, political manipulations etc.  And I like Fringe too.  The Circuit on Maori TV was excellent, though I didn’t get to see a lot of it. I have liked Aussie shows Rush, Homicide City & Tangle.  The UK teen-focused show Misfits on FOUR tonight is kind of bizarre, but it has some underlying critique of class issues, and can be funny.

  5. Lew 5

    R0b, Karl du Fresne has the background.

    In a nutshell, it’s duopoly wars; Fairfax hated the fact that it was supporting an agency which supplied content to its competitors (the fact that that tide of content in fact lifted all boats apparently being irrelevant). 

    Another factor is that Fairfax co-owns AAP, the Australian version of NZPA, with News Ltd and sundry others. It’s likely the backbone journalism provided by NZPA will be needed for the papers to maintain anything close to their present standards, and so I think it’s probable that AAP will branch out into the NZ market (twitter and blogs are no substitute; our local newswires like Scoop are better, but it’s a big job). While this expansion won’t necessarily help Fairfax get one up over News Ltd in the Australian market, it will provide Fairfax with a comparative advantage over APN here.


    PS: When did yous break HTML URLs, or am I just useless?
    [Bunji: fixed your link – dunno if it’s a generic problem]

    • felix 5.1

      Lynn broke them. You have to use the childproof linkmaker machine, bloody nanny-state.
      It’s HTML gawn mad!

      • lprent 5.1.1

        That is ok. I will have an ability for old fossils to go back to hammering out HTML soon. Problem is that I put the facebook ‘Like’ in today and the site immediately went mad*.

        TVNZ7 is also closing.

        *Mind you it helped with the case for getting a new server when a change put in in the late afternoon caused the largest number of page views in a single day for the site.

    • lprent 5.2

      Sorry, I started to do a play around with facebook in a few spare minutes today (I was waiting for a sz to send some data via a serial port (urrgh)). Facebook has gone a wee bit exponential. It was up to five and a half thousand referrals

      So I haven’t put up the various bug fixes up for the editor because I don’t want the server to stop.

    • r0b 5.3

      Interesting – thanks Lew.

  6. Sookie 6

    A sad indictment on New Zealand. Most civilised countries have a press association. I wonder what the Otago Daily Times will do, they’re the only independent newspaper in NZ to my knowledge (and yet still pretty crap), and they use NZPA a lot.

  7. Carol 7

    One of the NZPA services that was highlighted on the Morning Report interviews today, was that it provided much needed reporting on NZ Parliament, government committees and politics generally.  It seems to me that a lot of these activities are available still, but in an undiluted form eg  on TV, radio direct broadcasts from the House, on websites like Parliament Today.  So maybe the thing NZ Bloggers & social media can do is provide selected links foregrounding some of the most important political activities each day – much like the Play of the Day posts of videos and Hansard transcripts that Trevor Mallard has recently started on Red Alert.

    • PeteG 7.1

      A good time to look at streaming and archiving of select committees? More scrutiny versus opening them up to more political grandstanding.

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