I recently scored a slot on Red Radio, Planet FM’s regular slot for Labour Party sorts in Auckland. I have had a couple or three interviews myself and I believe it is an important medium to consider. If radio, particularly talk back radio, drives us around the bend then the response should be to not complaint but to provide an alternative.
For my first show I thought I should interview someone who is very rarely interviewed but who has perhaps arguably had more of an effect on left wing politics over the last decade than any other person, the Standard’s own Lynn Prentice.
Researching what to talk about was a trip down memory lane.
History will show that the Standard first post appeared on August 15, 2007. It was a post titled Get your story straight John written by All Your Base. It had a total of 2 comments and it had 5 unique views.
The site was in part a response to Kiwiblog. The left, particularly the trade union movement wanted an alternative voice. And so the Standard was born.
Ten years later there is still Kiwiblog, and the Standard as well as Whaleoil and The Daily Blog as the major political blogs
Whaleoil has clearly seen better days. The Daily Blog has not lived up to the aims of its founder. Kiwiblog still rolls on although the advertising, not to mention the comments, are a real turn off.
Looking back on the past decade the Standard has performed pretty well. At its zenith in 2015 it had 5,700,000 individual page views. Last year it was down a bit but was still at 4,700,000.
Posts follow three basic types. There are the general posts to allow for discussion of any sort. There are the breaking news type posts where the wisdom of the collective can analyse and update news as it develops. And there are the slightly longer philosophical posts where writers present analysis and comment one current issues.
Lprent and I discussed some times when in my view the Standard really stood out. They included:
One other matter that we discussed was the demise of David Shearer’s leadership and how the Standard has been blamed, unfairly in my view, for this happening.
I believe the site has also had a major role to play in the Labour leadership campaigns.
Authors and commentators almost overwhelmingly supported David Cunliffe in 2013 and this was arguably reflected in the actual result. And in 2014 when Andrew Little was elected support was more muted and [again reflected the result].
Lynn and I had the chance to discuss the future of the site. We thought that as long as the site gets a good supply of authors it can keep rocking along.
The site itself I believe offers a rich historical repository of contemporary New Zealand politics. If you want to understand what has happened during the past decade from a left wing perspective then this site is a good place to start.
Proposals for suggested changes and critiques all welcome.