John Drinnan’s piece on Freed puzzles me:
When will website be Freed
The much-vaunted Freed website is still under lock and key. It has been nine weeks since it started advertising for numerous staff – including “drone operators”. Freed has been tempting writers with generous financial packages to work on what has been given the rather antique label “Whaleoil 2.0”.
Yes, Slater has found a rich backer for an ambitious media site. Martyn Bradbury describes it as “a new weaponised news media … he will bend and push the boundaries of attack blogs into a whole new realm of horror”. Mind you, Bradbury said much the same when Slater became editor of The Truth, and we all know how that turned out.
I’m surprised that anyone is prepared to put significant funding into Slater’s track record. But what surprises me even more is Drinnan’s apparent enthusiasm for the prospect:
Despite Slater’s cruel streak, Freed is said to be “neither left nor right”. The overriding ideology will be a love of click-bait items, such as Slater’s attack yesterday on the “bludgers” lining up for food at the Auckland City Mission.
In my opinion the most viable funding source will be for Lentino to pick up the role of PR blog, allowing firms to buy opinions. That will depend on traditional media being drawn to Freed in search of strongly worded views.
Yeah OK – that’s the dirty politics model that you’re celebrating John. Why exactly? You really want journalism to head further into the gutter? You really want to become pawns to paid attack politics? WTF?
Increasingly there is a crossover between paid content and editorial.
Yes there is, and that’s a Bad Thing. Here’s a thought – instead of slobbering over the prospect of Freed, why not recommend that journalists ignore it? Why not strengthen your profession, not to mention the health of the Kiwi body politic, instead of rushing to undermine both?