web analytics

Q&A with Scoop’s Alastair Thompson

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, October 30th, 2015 - 47 comments
Categories: journalism, news - Tags: , , ,

For 16 years Scoop has been making an enormous contribution to the NZ media landscape. They reckon that “the news is broken”, and they want to build a sustainable independent news organisation for the people of New Zealand.

Scoop’s Alastair Thompson will be joining us around 10am – comments will be moderated live from that time.

Do you have questions on the future of the media, public service journalism, or plans for the Scoop Foundation? Ask them here!

47 comments on “Q&A with Scoop’s Alastair Thompson ”

  1. Steph 1

    It’s clear to me that if we want high quality, independent and honest journalism, we (the readers) need to contribute to it financially. Good quality journalism does not make any sense in a media environment that is funded by very cheap (Google) advertising.

    I guess the problem is that there is a widespread expectation in the internet age that journalism (whether quality or not) should be free.

    I’m interested to read what Alastair has to say!

    • Hi Steph,

      In the Internet Age you are obviously correct that people expect the news to be free. And two decades of practice – where publishers have given their news away online – has reinforced that perspective.

      And as you say there is no longer a viable economic engine to pay for news.

      Unfortunately in discussions about the “Future of News” the discussion tends to move inevitable towards talking about what content we should or shouldn’t have rather than how to pay for it.

      Scoop has been grappling with the issue of how to sustain ourselves since we launched in 1999. For us online advertising only became an important source of revenue for us in around 2004, peaked in 2007 and then disappeared at the end of 2014.

      And at that time we decided to make an active decision to chart a new course – which we revealed on April 29th with the public launch of our “Ethical Paywall”.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1504/S00198/why-scoopconz-can-no-longer-be-free-chrysalis-update-5.htm

      This changed everything for us as it has proved to be a viable and much better alligned method to finance what we do.

      Al

  2. r0b 2

    “The news is broken”.

    How is it broken?

    Why is it broken?

    Is there any way of fixing it, or do we just give up on the “mainstream media”?

    • >> How is it broken?

      News companies have been in a continual cycle of retrenchment for nearly 30 years now. There was a hope that new forms of “digital revenue” would emerge to replace the rivers of gold in terms of print advertising (especially classified) which used to finance news. The news you see now is produced by a workforce of largely inexperienced people operating in sweatshop conditions and tasked not with delivering “news” to consumers, but rather with delivering “eyeballs” to marketers.

      >> Why is it broken?

      In the last decade and a half no viable digital revenue model has emerged and the situation is now rapidly getting worse. Without experienced news professionals on the job – the task of producing quality news, news which effectively curbs the excesses of the powerful, cannot exist.

      >> Is there any way of fixing it, or do we just give up on the “mainstream media”?

      Yes.

      1st we (Society) need to acknowledge the problem – that digital disruption has rendered journalism increasingly trivial, shallow and ineffective in holding the powerful to account.

      2nd we need to agree that Journalism is something that society needs to function (like what Russel Norman said last week).

      and then

      3rd we need to actively try to direct the mainstream media back onto the path that it should be on. This can be done in several ways:
      – An NZ On Air for news;
      – Boosting public broadcasting funding, or
      – Wholesale adoption of the new Scoop model of “Ethical Paywalls”
      – As consumers donating to, subscribing and buying services from the ethical news companies whose product we value.

      • r0b 2.1.1

        >> tasked not with delivering “news” to consumers, but rather with delivering “eyeballs” to marketers.

        Yes – and ad blockers are going to damage even that revenue stream.

        >> 1st we (Society) need to acknowledge the problem

        We the people don’t seem nearly interested enough. I don’t think we’re going to get past step 1. Are you more optimistic?

        >> Wholesale adoption of the new Scoop model of “Ethical Paywalls”

        Great to hear that is working for you!

        I think “micro-payments” is another interesting technology in this space.

        • >> We the people don’t seem nearly interested enough. I don’t think we’re going to get past step 1. Are you more optimistic?

          I think the media’s own silence on this is beginning to break. And I think interest by the Government, institutions and businesses in this issue is beginning to register. At least I hope it is.

          >> I think “micro-payments” is another interesting technology in this space.

          Micro-payments have been discussed and tried (like paywalls) for more than a decade. We tested an early version. They work best at scale and like advertising rely on mass public interest. Practically speaking that means that they are unlikely to be viable in a place like NZ – especially for public interest journalism. Simply because (as you point out) the general public aren’t nearly interested enough for the old method of media holding power to account to work effectively.

          I think the next age of media is one which involves more soft power and diplomacy than shock and awe.

  3. ianmac 3

    Can’t quite see where to ask a question.
    Anyway.
    “What will guide your choice of topic to explore given the limited extent of your resources? Will it be around Demoracy, Government, Sport, Entertainment or what?”

    [r0b: This is the place to ask!]

    • >> “What will guide your choice of topic to explore given the limited extent of your resources?

      The Scoop Foundation intends to support good journalism by:
      – Supporting the efforts of new emerging publishers to get themselves established. In 16 years of operations Scoop.co.nz has been linked to by Fairfax and NZME on a handful of occasions if that – these publications are monopolistic in their outlook and to date have tended not to support the good emerging grass roots journalism efforts of others.

      Scoop has and will continue to run headline feeds powered by RSS from blogs such as The Standard, Dimpost, Pundit, Public Address and other contributors to those who are engaging in constructive discussions.

      – Running crowd-funding appeals and doing direct to donor fund-raising activities to fund grant based investigative and public interest journalism projects.

      – Maintaining Scoop.co.nz as a hub for and publisher for quality independent journalism about all manner of subjects.

      – Helping future of news entrepreneurs set up businesses and business models to support quality public interest journalism.

      >> Will it be around Demoracy, Government, Sport, Entertainment or what?”

      Government and Democracy is our focus. We publish content about sport and entertainment but what is of interest to the public is not the same as what is in the public interest.

  4. savenz 4

    There is clear and sustained media attacks smears against the opposition members on parliament – what should they do about it, can the media be held legally accountable if MSM for example have a conflict of interest and sustained attacks for no reason are being repeatedly made on opposition members of parliament?

    • Freedom of speech is a double edged sword.

      You have the right to express your view.

      &

      you have to accept that others have the right to express theres.

      There are methods of dealing with journalism that you do not approve of when it is from reputable publishers via the OMSA (online media standards authority), the BSA and the Press Council. They are not perfect but they work.

      Finally I would encourage you to expect this sort of thing to get worse. Unfortunately that appears to be the trajectory we are on with public discourse in NZ.

  5. vto 5

    Alastair, one thing I have never understood is why the media is not required by law to disclose its interests so conflicts can be deciphered and accounted for.

    After all, our main media are owned by very wealthy foreign interests who take strong partisan political stands around the globe. As such, they are far from objective. Given the power the media has, this is crucial in a functioning democracy I would have thought.

    Why are they permitted to present themselves as objective when they are not? (also a breach of the Fair Trading Act, being misleading and deceptive conduct…?)

    Why are they not required by law to declare who they are and what their interests and positions are?

    They should be required to place a disclosure statement on the front page every day.

    Seems a massive flaw in our system

    • Your dissatisfaction with mainstream publishing is clear.

      I do not share your view that the mainstream media is completely onesided but I do accept that you are entiitled to that view.

      As I said to the previous question the flipside to your right to free speech for example here on The Standard is that others also have a right to free speech.

      The issue of media ownership is important. As mainstream private media companis; profitability and revenue collapses they are increasingly being controlled not just by their shareholders by the institutions which own their debt – e.g. Mediaworks has been taken over the the “Vulture Fund” Oaktree Capital. That said their editorial team is still one of the better ones in the country and their news service is a lot better than say “Fair and Balanced” Fox News.

      • vto 5.1.1

        Thanks Alastair but when it comes to the principles that surround the application of conflict of interest, it is the perception and not the reality that drives the rules of disclosure and the like. I think you have answered on the basis of your view of the reality and missed the perception.

        As to your point on the right of free speech, sure and that is accepted of course, but it is irrelevant to the question of conflict and disclosure.

        Your last paragraph hints at the problem “they are increasingly being controlled not just by their shareholders by the institutions which own their debt – e.g. Mediaworks has been taken over the the “Vulture Fund” Oaktree Capital.” You even state “The issue of media ownership is important”. Yet ownership of media features pretty much nowhere in the media (certainly nowhere useful for the reader). How does that work?

        I think you have carefully avoided the issue.

        • Hi VTO,

          I am not trying to avoid the question, and am sorry if that was the impression I left you with.

          You are right that the media is not at all transparent about: the problems it is facing; nor about the impact of ownership; nor about its economic performance; nor about its cutbacks.

          I wrote about this at the beginning of the year in my Reinventing the News piece under the heading “Whatever you do don’t mention the war.”>> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1501/S00058/reinventing-news-as-a-public-right-a-public-conversation.htm#6

          News organisations always project themselves as authoritative, strong, powerful. Media delivery and advertising sales are both confidence tricks. The media is the expert in seeming much bigger and looking far more powerful than it really is and talking about their agony doesn’t fit this narrative.

          When Mediaworks was agonising through the Campbell Live axing stuff it dawned on me that for readers/viewers the non-discussion of newsroom cutbacks comes across as very discordant. News institutions which demand transparency of others failing to be transparent themselves and being silent on stories which are everywhere else in the media is a very bad look.

          Plus it creates a vacuum for the socialverse, blogosphere and water cooler gossip to fill and people love talking about these things almost as much as the media hate reporting their own struggles. That said they seem to be able to report each other’s problems in a sort of competitive white-anting manner quite effectively.

          Similarly the absence of clarity around thge recent high profile restructurings at Fairfax and NZME has also resulted in people filling in the gaps for themselves, publications of leaked memos etc.

          I know this is not addressing the question of disclosure statements directly. But if anything the issue of editorial interference – which is what you want transparency about – is even more sensitive than redundancies.

          Finally ownership issues related to the media are addressed in only two places that I know of. Changes in that area are best reported probably by MediaWatch on Radio NZ and by the media team at NBR (with much of the best content on this behind the paywall.)

          Bill Rosenberg wrote this a while ago now but it shows the trajectory >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1501/S00089/news-before-profits-bill-rosenberg.htm

          And there is the JMAD reports of Merha Mehrlati >> http://search.scoop.co.nz/search?q=merja%20JMAD&sort_by=date

          Happy to address other questions you have.

          Al

          • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1

            Alistair,

            Much admire your contribution here. Your professionalism stands out and leaves me a little envious in the best possible way 🙂

            Have already contributed to Scoops fundraising and will continue to do so. I only wish I could think of some other way to lend your campaign a little more momentum.

            Best wishes.

          • vto 5.1.1.1.2

            Thanks Alastair, helps greatly to get the perspective of those at the helm. It seems complex, interwoven and politically (office and otherwise) sensitive.

            But, from the perspective at this end of the sector (the reader), things appear more simple and are taken that way when reading. As such, a front page listing or link to the ownership of the publication and its interest (political and commercial etc) is simple to place and of great benefit.

      • Grant 5.1.2

        “Mediaworks has been taken over the the “Vulture Fund” Oaktree Capital. That said their editorial team is still one of the better ones in the country and their news service is a lot better than say “Fair and Balanced” Fox News.”

        I think that is referred to as damning with faint praise..

        • I didn’t mean that to come across like that.

          I really rate the journalism of the team at TV3. Mark Jennings is one of the best news bosses in the business and provides a very strong firewall between his staff and corporate bosses as far as I am aware. This is one of the most important roles of a good editor – to act as a buffer to manage dealing with issues which are “sensitive” for proprietors.

          I might add to that the observation that I often get into trouble on twitter defending my colleagues when there are social media storms in play about this or that story. The realities for pretty much everybody operating in the news space these days is that you are required to do too much with too little with too little support and you have to be self-motivated in your work.

          The fact that the results of this are disappointing to readers is understandable, and is distressing for those who are producing the shows and publications which are criticised (often justifiably) for their mistakes.

          Pretty much anyone who is still in a senior journalistic role these days is doing so out of a sense of vocation or compulsion rather than because of the rewards that the industry delivers. There are still wonderful things about being in the news business, it is a privilege to do this work, but it is also a constant struggle.

          And the fact that so many readers/viewers/listeners appear to be so angry about what is happening, but do not understand the reasons behind the things that make them angry, makes it all the harder for those who are working hard and doing their best in very difficult circumstances.

          Al

          • Grant 5.1.2.1.1

            In that case maybe the industry should be much more transparent in its communication with the public about the difficulties they are having providing a quality in depth news/ current affairs service. One of the reasons people are angry, especially those of us who have lived as adult news consumers through the ongoing decline over the last thirty years is that it is a rare day indeed that any such admission of a decline is made. Instead we too often get the self aggrandizing promotional puffery followed by shallow gimcrack churnalism which simply doesn’t pass the bullshit test.

            Bottom line, yes, many of us are angry, both at the quality of news / current affairs, and at being treated like mushrooms.

            Thanks at least for being honest about the state of play.

  6. weka 6

    Hi Alaister, some of Scoop’s descriptions of what it is trying to do are a tad overlong and complex. Can you describe Scoop’s new organisation in two paragraphs, maybe bullet pointing the different structures within it? I’m thinking the more practical side rather than the ‘news is broken, we aim to fix it’ side (which is already clear).

    • Anne 6.1

      I concur with weka’s comment. Make it simple. 🙂

      Also can you supply a suitable address so that I can send a donation by cheque? Yes, some of us still use them from time to time. Thanks.

    • Scoop is now owed by a charitable trust (the Scoop Foundation) which has as its purpose supporting public interest journalism. This trust will raise money to help it achieve this purpose.

      Scoop.co.nz is still a company and once it returns to profitability it will pay dividends to the Foundation which will then be able to use that money to pursue its purposes.

      In the meantime Scoop.co.nz – thanks to its huge reach and influential audience – is in a position to assist public interest journalism activity being undertaken by third parties and will do so.

  7. Wainwright 7

    Alastair: The trust infographic is too complicated and unclear. Is New Scoop a news site, or an NZ on Air for journalism, or something else? How do you describe it in one sentence for a n00b who doesn’t get how the media works?

  8. Hi, sorry I am so late…… I will start answering questions now.

  9. r0b 9

    Unlike our Q&A’s with politicians the questions are all reasonable and interesting, so I will turn off moderation and comments will just go through.

  10. ianmac 10

    I wonder if we should pay a subscription to Scoop (and the Standard) in lieu of a sub to MSM. What do you think Alastair?

    • Hi Ian,

      I would definitely encourage you to do so. The most effective way you can support and encouragement the kind of media you want is to subscribe to and pay the providers of services which you value.

      Alastair

  11. whateva next? 11

    Under National government, Crosby Textor have a sophisticated strategy of undermining any opposition in the media.
    It seems that trying to counter there propoganda is endless and exhaustive, and always on a backfoot. The narrative is set by them, and the readers have already lost interest after the sensational and mostly ridiculous, headlines slating any opposition actions.
    Given that we understand what the strategies are now, could we front foot and point this out to public? as was done in UK? thereby neutralising the strategy?

    https://www.google.co.nz/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CBwQFjAAahUKEwjUyer81ujIAhWC2qYKHQ0ICBc&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Fpolitics%2F2015%2Fmay%2F08%2Flynton-crosby-wedge-politics-general-election-tories&usg=AFQjCNGlJPIWoluiT3HB0RIR63Hr27i2gg

    • Hi Wateva,

      The meta narrative behind the propaganda efforts which are being employed against the electorate is a particularly fascinating subject.

      Scoop has covered Crosby Textor extensively in the past. Particularly back around the time of the 2005 and 2008 elections.

      https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C1SNJF_enNZ590NZ590&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=site:scoop.co.nz+crosby+textor

      Since then they have gone from strength to strength and the reporter that we had who was focussed on the subject then has moved on.

      I agree very much that Crosby Textor deserves a lot of attention in NZ. They are almost certainly responsible for the elevation of Max Key into the public eye and the Flag debacle IMO. The fact they now have an office in Auckland suggests to me that they will also be involved in the “dark arts” work around next years local body elections.

      No doubt there will be some mainstream reporters who take an interest in this – as it is interesting – however given the parlous state that the news media is in I would think it far more likely that the readers and contributors to The Standard would be able to mount a more effective counter to this than anything the MSM can do.

      Plus what happens in the blogosphere tends to bleed into the MSM over time. So I would encourage you to dig in, be the media and publish the truth.

      Al

      • whateva next? 11.1.1

        “Plus what happens in the blogosphere tends to bleed into the MSM over time.”
        That is reassuring, rather than two separate worlds which is what I have been thinking.
        Thanks Al, and thanks for your response. I guess a “multi-pronged approach” is the way to go, including an anchor in Scoop. I will get onto this tonight. I will even squeeze in a quote to galvanise me!
        “Between the idea
        And the reality
        Between the motion
        And the act
        Falls the Shadow”
        ― T.S. Eliot

  12. maui 12

    This isn’t really a question, but more a comment.

    I don’t know a lot about scoop, but find my impression of it is a place where a range of organisations issue press releases. I don’t go there for news, and still use mainstream sources even though I know bias or lack of quality is an issue there. If others feel similarly, how does scoop get more on people’s radar as a legitimate news source?

  13. r0b 13

    I’m not sure how long Alastair is planning to stay, but I have to go now.

    So I’ll take this opportunity to thank him for joining us here today, and for his detailed and thoughtful answers!

    I’ve promoted this link several times on TS, but once more won’t hurt. If you want to donate to Scoop you can do so here:

    https://www.pledgeme.co.nz/projects/4175-establishing-the-scoop-foundation-for-public-interest-journalism

    • Hi rOb,

      Thankyou very much for your kind invitation to answer TS questions, and also for your support for our campaign. It is massively appreciated by myself and the entire Scoop Team.

      I will be here for another 10 minutes before I have to head away to do something for a bit. However I would be happy to continue to answer questions about anything – and will come back later today to do so.

      Scoop is linking to this thread on our Front Page so there maybe some new people joining you here through that route.

      Alastair

    • left for deadshark 13.2

      Thanks for this post rob, good luck Alastair.

  14. Hi Maui,

    I am going to cut and paste a description from this piece which explains in some detail what Scoop has been doing and why. Yes we publish Press Releases, no that is not journalism, but yes it is a legitimate news source. We are the news source that news makers rely on to know what is going on. Press Releases are unusually actionable pieces of information.

    The quote below comes from >> http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1508/S00016/scoops-futureofnews-challenge-solution-a-new-scoop.htm

    About Press Releases

    Press releases which form the bulk of Scoop’s content are a very useful form of communication.

    For starters it is clear who they are from. You can also be certain that the person who is quoted in them will stand by what they are saying (i.e. they haven’t been trapped into saying something silly, what they put in a press statement it is their considered opinion, and not just the first two paragraphs but in all likelihood every word carries some meaning otherwise it wouldn’t be there.) And, most probably, anything in a press release has not only been signed off by the people quoted in it, but also by a range of other stakeholders and governance people involved in the announcement.

    From an economic perspective Press Releases often have a team involved in their preparation including often the CEO of the organisation. They are therefore expensive to produce.

    Yes press releases are a subjective view of reality from a perspective of a particular organisation or person, but they are one which can be relied upon in most cases to be an accurate and often nuanced reflection of that subjective view.

    By contrast these days if you read something in a news article that has been written by a journalist there is a transformation process involved. Facts and assertions are interpreted, supplemented, checked and sometimes critiqued. This is also useful but in a different way.

    What Scoop’s professional users tell us consistently is that what they value about Scoop is the fact that they are able to read all the information from the source and draw their own conclusion about what is important and what it means.

    And from the perspective of a legal profession which deals in facts. Press releases are of course particularly useful, there is little danger that remarks contained in a press release will be later disavowed.

    Scoop’s Audience – Influential Professional Users At Work

    Scoop’s audience is remarkably large given that the content on Scoop is by and large pretty serious . We reach roughly 20,000 people per day, 100,000 per week and 300,000 per month. Scoop is used predominately 9am to 5pm, at work by people who are working.

    Firstly Scoop does not publish very much sports or celebrity news. Most of what is on Scoop is pretty serious. And we can also see from use patterns that a lot of Scoop usage is research based. Last week for example 30,000 different items were read by roughly 120,000 users. In the same week we would have published around 1000 items – so it is clear that use of historical material is significant.

    In addition 5000 different search queries were run on the search.scoop.co.nz search engine in the week, and Google Webmaster Tools shows us that Scoop results appeared in Google search queries between 300,000 and 500,000 times each day.

    We have extensive research into Scoop’s audience which shows that it is particularly strong among the Media, Finance and Public Administration sectors. This research also shows it includes a lot of CEOs, directors, managers and decision makers. Scoop’s audience is particularly strong in both news-makers and those who are paying close attention to what is going on.

    Many Voices Informing Influencers

    Recently as we were trying to figure out how we should evolve to survive we came up with the catch phrase “Many Voices Informing Influencers” to describe what Scoop does.

    Scoop provides a voice to all-comers across the political spectrum to debate business, social and cultural issues and we allow the community to respond in real time. Media commentator and Scoop collaborator Russell Brown has described us as “the home of the national argument”, another way of saying roughly the same thing.

    When people send material to Scoop they know they can reach an influential audience – including the media. As a result Scoop acts as a magnet to content from people who are seeking to be heard. And as mentioned earlier, for many of these would-be news-makers Scoop’s publication of their contribution to the debate is often the most high profile and important outlet for their material .

    When an item is published in Scoop it is almost instantaneously indexed by Google. And because of Scoop’s high level of authority the Scoop page results features high when people are searching for news about specific things. This enables people and organisations to ensure that their version of what is happening to them can be found alongside the interpreted views relayed via the media.

    Conclusion

    In Summary then Scoop is a piece of much used information infrastructure which has reliable served the NZ information system for a generation – and for that reason we think it is worthwhile making some effort to keep it alive and kicking and informing the people of New Zealand.

  15. Tracey 15

    I note more layoffs of journalists today and the constant refrain of lack of resources for reporting. if we count up the number of media in england for the wod cup final, there is no lack of resources.

    my question which is loosely related to the above

    By your observations are editors calling the shots on what msm choose to publish or are their hands tied by policy/edict from higher up?

    eg hagers info being releasex so easily to the police took a few days to reach msm and not until it included a loosely associated SC decision which enable more focus on potential criminalisation of hager and journos

    • >> By your observations are editors calling the shots on what msm choose to publish or are their hands tied by policy/edict from higher up?

      Editors call the shots. But they have performance objectives – eyeballs and audience engagement – which drive their choice of stories. When it comes to serious reporting – Press Gallery, Business Desk, Investigative and Round Reporters the reporters tend to be responsible for what they choose to work on. They have to justify time to editors and request space (for print) etc.

      IMO everybody is doing the best they can within the current system, but what you the readers do not appreciate is how constrained things are. If you are expected to produce 2 stories are day you have to take less time and challenge less complicated stories. If you have less time then doing challenging or novel work is more difficult.

      Human interest stories, sick baby, clever dog, angry house owner are easy. One interview, nice picture bobs your answer. Trying to understand a 300 page report into decile funding and its impact on educational outcomes takes time, experience and the product is not as appealing to the average reader. The solution for reporters facing this situation is to piece together comment from the experts/interested parties to whatever the debate is – which can also work within the timeframes and resource constraints.

      But subtle, important news is hard.

      >> eg hagers info being releasex so easily to the police took a few days to reach msm and not until it included a loosely associated SC decision which enable more focus on potential criminalisation of hager and journos

      Scoop coordinated release of the documents with NZ Herald Journalist David Fisher who I knew had great knowledge and interested in the case. We also offered the documents to Radio New Zealand who picked the story up on Saturday (the day we released the papers) to.

      I don’t think there is any connection between the Dixon case and the Hager case. I could be wrong but in the unlikely event that Clifford J rules against Hager this judgement will almost certainly be appealed.

      That said in the event that Clifford J rules against the Police it is certainly possible that they too may decide to appeal. Either way the law around police responsibilities towards protecting journalistic privilege are about to be clarified that will be helpful and important to us all.

      This is the reason Scoop requested access to the file.

      We are still hoping that the affidavit evidence of the police officers involved in the raid will be released to us and have asked for it. When/if we receive it then we will be sharing it with our media colleagues and trying to coordinate high quality coverage of the material contained within. A cooperative approach to news reporting is very much what Scoop hopes to be able to model now that it is a charitable entity. Afterall we are no longer in competition for advertising dollars with anyone.

  16. Rosie 17

    Thank you to Alistair for coming along to speak with readers today and thank you to The Standard for hosting him. It was interesting and insightful reading the questions and answers. Interesting too, on a day when I hear NZME are “merging their news departments” and approximately 15 journalists will lose their jobs.

    These days I’m relying on RNZ and Scoop for news, having almost given up on The Dominion Post and stuffed.co.nz. I also make sure I never miss The Scoop Report on Radio Active with Alistair Thompson and Grant Robertson. It’s during this interview on a Thursday morning that I get questions answered about “why” this is happening or “why” did such and such say that or whats behinds that story. etc. Sometimes Alistair and Redbird Jnr keep Grant Robertson on his toes 🙂

    The Scoop Report discussion around politics naturally flows into issues within society. This week Grant Robertson talked about his observation of how deep and widespread our issue with mental health is NZ and what little resources we have to truly improve people’s well being, and address it’s causes. Alistair followed on with his observation of causes of poor mental health within the workplace, including the public service.

    Just fascinating listening. Often candid and always honest. I will miss him when he leaves these shores in a few weeks.

  17. vto 18

    hmmmph… disappointing he hasn’t returned to flesh out his weaker pov’s

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wage growth best on record
    Workers’ have experienced their biggest pay hike on record, outstripping inflation. Stats NZ figures show median weekly earnings from wages and salaries jumped by 8.8 percent in the June year, the largest annual increase since records began in 1998 and well ahead of inflation at 7.3 percent. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Health Fund for Pacific communities now open
    Pacific community organisations are strongly urged to apply for the Pacific Community Health Fund, now open for applications. “Pacific communities know what works for our communities, and what will create positive changes to lift Pacific wellbeing for families,” said the Associate Minister of Health Aupito William Sio. “We only have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government now serving up 1 million free lunches in schools a week
    Savings for a family with two children at school of up to $62 a week, over $2000 a year Lunches now reaching 220,000 kids at 950 schools every school day A million lunches delivered a week, over 63 million in total to date 2,361 jobs created or retained The Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Seaweed innovator wins Government support
    The Government is continuing to make regional economies stronger and more resilient with investment in a project that will likely create the world’s first commercial seaweed-based nanocellulose manufacturing plant. The innovative $1.5 million project in Paeroa in the Waikato is being supported with a $750,000 loan from the Government’s Regional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • First community-led Oranga Tamariki partnership announced
    A new partnership strategy aimed at putting the decision-making and support for children in need in the hands of the community has been officially launched in Kaitaia by Minister for Children Kelvin Davis. TE ATATŪ, formed in partnership with Te Kahu Oranga Whānau and Oranga Tamariki, is the first such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Government partners with Germany to invest in green hydrogen research
    $6million investment in research into three green hydrogen projects New Zealand research teams now able to access European green hydrogen research facilities and expertise A green hydrogen research programme has been established with Germany will support Aotearoa New Zealand’s move towards a more sustainable, low-emissions economy, Research, Science and Innovation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $14.9m allocated to Māori boarding school upgrades
    Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson today announced the allocation of the remaining $14.9 million of the $20 million Budget 2021 investment into the Māori Boarding Schools initiative. The four Māori boarding schools play a significant role in the development of future Māori leaders. They have been long-standing, staunch advocates ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New High Commissioner to Kiribati appointed
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Andre Van Der Walt as New Zealand’s next High Commissioner to Kiribati. “As a Pacific nation we value our strong and enduring relationships throughout the region, especially with Kiribati,” Nanaia Mahuta said. “Our two nations share a strong partnership based on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 85,000 new Kiwis provide certainty for New Zealand businesses
    More than a third of eligible migrants are now New Zealand residents thanks to the Government’s one-off, simplified path to residence, providing a way forward for migrant families and certainty for New Zealand businesses, Minister of Immigration Michael Wood has announced. “This is great news for our migrant families and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ sends further significant deployment to support Ukraine
    New Zealand is making a further significant deployment of 120 New Zealand Defence Force personnel to the United Kingdom to help train Ukraine soldiers, as part of an international effort to help Ukraine continue to defend itself against Russia’s illegal war. It follows a completed deployment of 30 NZDF personnel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Foreign Minister visit to Niue and Tonga
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta will visit Niue and Tonga this week to engage kanohi ki te kanohi with counterparts, and progress work on Aotearoa New Zealand’s Pacific Resilience and climate action priorities. “After the disruption caused by COVID-19 border closures, this is another opportunity to connect in-person with our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Creating sustainable public transport for all
    Our new approach to public transport will: Support ‘on-demand’ public transport services Allow councils to own and operate services in house Improve pay and working conditions Deliver routes and services that reflect community needs Incentivise the decarbonisation of the fleet Workers and public transport users are at the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Welcome for Afghan human rights defenders, Government House Auckland
    As-salamu alaykum, Tena tatou katoa, Thank you all for being here today. To the Afghan human rights defenders and your family members, welcome to Aotearoa. And thank you Your Excellency for hosting us all here at Government House. We have with us today from Afghanistan, human rights advocates, journalists, judges, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech on tax changes for Build-to-Rent sector
    It’s my great pleasure to be able to speak with you about a really positive move for the Build-to-Rent sector. As you know, we announced changes last year to help steer property investors way from the existing pool of housing and toward solving New Zealand’s grave housing shortage - by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax incentives to boost long-term rental supply
    ·      Tax changes aimed at growing quality, secure rental supply ·      New and existing build-to-rent developments exempt from interest limitation rules in perpetuity, when offering ten-year  tenancies ·      Exemption to apply from 1 October 2021. The Government is encouraging more long-term rental options by giving developers tax incentives for as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt marks 350th tower in push for improved rural connectivity
    The Government has marked another milestone in its push for better rural connectivity, welcoming the delivery of Rural Connectivity Group’s (RCG) 350th tower. Waikato’s Te Ākau, which sits roughly 50 kilometres out of Hamilton is home to the new tower. “The COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the ever-increasing importance of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint Press Release: Trans-Tasman agriculture ministers discuss biosecurity co-operation
    Biosecurity co-operation topped the agenda when Australia and New Zealand’s agriculture ministers met yesterday. Australia’s Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt met with his New Zealand counterpart, Damien O’Connor, Minister of Agriculture, Biosecurity, and Rural Communities in a conference call, which had particular focus on foot and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Remote monitoring could give patients better care at home
    People could spend less time in hospital, thanks to a smart new remote device that lets patients be monitored at home, Health Minister Andrew Little says. “Technology has the potential to really change the way we do things – to do things that are  better for patients and at the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government supporting kids’ learning success
    Concrete steps to clarify inclusive, evidence-informed teaching practices Strengthen capability supports along the professional pathway  Enhance partnerships between the education system and whānau, iwi, communities Embed equitable additional learning supports and assessment tools that help teachers effectively notice and respond to the needs of students Improved student achievement is a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting prevention, preparedness and response to global pandemics
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to strengthen global prevention, preparedness and responses to future pandemics with seed funding for a new World Bank initiative, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We cannot afford to wait until the next pandemic. We must all play our part to support developing countries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Overseas investors converting farms to forests must show benefit to New Zealand
    A law change to ensure that forestry conversions by overseas investors benefit New Zealand has passed its final reading in Parliament. Previously, overseas investors wishing to convert land, such as farm land, into forestry only needed to meet the “special forestry test”. This is a streamlined test, designed to encourage ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • International visitors boosting economic recovery
    International tourism recovery well underway with higher level of overseas visitor arrivals than previously expected UK and US card spend already back at pre-COVID levels Visitors staying in New Zealand longer and spending more compared to 2019 Govt support throughout pandemic helped tourism sector prepare for return of international ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s inaugural Strategy paves way for ethnic communities
    The Ministry for Ethnic Communities has released its first strategy, setting out the actions it will take over the next few years to achieve better wellbeing outcomes for ethnic communities Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. “The Strategy that has been released today sets out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • World class aquatic centre opened in Hawke’s Bay
    The Prime Minister has officially opened the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre today saying it is a huge asset to the region and to the country. “This is a world class facility which will be able to host national and international events including the world championships. With a 10-lane Olympic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Tulī Takes Flight winners take to the wing
    The Associate Minister of Education, Aupito William Sio, has today announced the recipients of the Tulī Takes Flight scholarships which were a key part of last year’s Dawn Raids apology. The scholarships are a part of the goodwill gesture of reconciliation to mark the apology by the New Zealand Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt supports free period products in over 2000 schools within one year
    96% of estimated menstruating students receive free period products 2085 schools involved 1200 dispensers installed Supports cost of living, combats child poverty, helps increase attendance Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti today hailed the free period products in schools, Ikura | Manaakitia te whare tangata, a huge success, acknowledging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Govt boosts tourism transformation to strengthen workforce and improve outcomes
    The Tourism Industry Transformation Plan outlines key actions to improve the sector This includes a Tourism and Hospitality Accord to set employment standards Developing cultural competency within the workforce Improving the education and training system for tourism Equipping business owners and operators with better tools and enabling better work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ earns another major digital investment
    Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications Dr David Clark welcomes Google Cloud’s decision to make New Zealand a cloud region. “This is another major vote of confidence for New Zealand’s growing digital sector, and our economic recovery from COVID 19,” David Clark said. “Becoming a cloud region will mean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Changes to NCEA & University Entrance in response to COVID-19 disruptions
    A package of changes to NCEA and University Entrance announced today recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on senior secondary students’ assessment towards NCEA in 2022, says Associate Minister of Education Jan Tinetti. “We have heard from schools how significant absences of students and teachers, as a result of COVID-19, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Friendship between Aotearoa New Zealand and Samoa- “Lifelong Fri...
    Te Reo Māori tauparapara… Tapatapa tū ki te Rangi! Ki te Whei-ao! Ki te Ao-mārama Tihei mauri ora! Stand at the edge of the universe! of the spiritual world! of the physical world! It is the breath of creation Formal acknowledgments… [Your Highness Afioga Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II and Masiofo] ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New law passed to reduce gun harm
    The Government’s commitment to combatting firearms violence has reached another significant milestone today with the passage of the Firearms Prohibition Order Legislation Bill, Police Minister Chris Hipkins says. The new law helps to reduce firearm-related crime by targeting possession, use, or carriage of firearms by people whose actions and behaviours ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister sends condolences as last Battle for Crete veteran passes away
    Minister for Veterans, Hon Meka Whaitiri sends her condolences to the last Battle for Crete veteran. “I am saddened today to learn of the passing of Cyril Henry Robinson known as Brant Robinson, who is believed to be the last surviving New Zealand veteran of the Battle for Crete, Meka ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill passes third reading
    Legislation to repeal the ‘Three Strikes’ law has passed its third reading in Parliament. “The Three Strikes Legislation Repeal Bill ends an anomaly in New Zealand’s justice system that dictates what sentence judges must hand down irrespective of relevant factors,” Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “The three strikes law was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working on preliminary steps to improve support for abuse survivors
    Work is under way on preliminary steps to improve the Government’s support for survivors of abuse in care while a new, independent redress system is designed, Public Service Minister Chris Hipkins says. These steps – recommended by the Abuse in Care Royal Commission of Inquiry – include rapid payments for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Remarks upon 77th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
    Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki Online Forum 77 years ago today, an atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki. Three days earlier, on the 6th of August 1945, the same fate had befallen the people of Hiroshima.  Tens of thousands died instantly. In the years that followed 340,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt signs NZ–USA agreement launching new opportunities for space sector
    An agreement signed today between the New Zealand and United States governments will provide new opportunities for our space sector and closer collaboration with NASA, Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said. Stuart Nash signed the Framework Agreement with United States Deputy Secretary of State, Wendy Sherman. The signing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt strengthens emergency management cooperation between NZ and the US
    An agreement signed today between New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the United States’ Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will strengthen global emergency management capability, says Minister for Emergency Management Kieran McAnulty. “The Government is committed to continually strengthening our emergency management system, and this Memorandum of Cooperation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange as winter continues
    New Zealand will remain at the Orange traffic light setting, while hospitalisations remain elevated and pressure on the health system continues through winter. “There’s still significant pressure on hospitals from winter illnesses, so our current measures have an ongoing role to play in reducing the number of COVID-19 cases and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Path paved for communities to reshape streets
    Streets will soon be able to be transformed from unsafe and inaccessible corridors to vibrant places for all transport modes thanks to new legislation proposed today, announced Transport Minister Michael Wood. “We need to make it safe, quicker and more attractive for people to walk, ride and take public transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for agricultural and horticultural science in schools
    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago