Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Mathematics

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  • linger, in reply to Islander,

    [Haden was] a draconian spelling & grammar person

    who, unfortunately, was very often wrong about grammar
    (as prescription so often is).
    I particularly enjoyed one article of his that argued, at length, that that wasn’t a proper relative pronoun.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 873 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to linger,

    one article of his that argued, at length, that that wasn’t a proper relative pronoun.

    Yeeek!

    But I’m now very sure we are not speaking about my Frank - but probably Hebe’s Frank-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to linger,

    (as prescription so often is).

    Indeed, and I recommend Language Log's prescriptivist poppycock tag for hours of fun reading descriptivists rip into prescriptivists and their non-existent rules that they themselves frequently break.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2008 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Took one look at that site and tiptoed very quickly away...lest I waken grammar
    demons (they're the older female ones...)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Ah well, fair enough.

    An awful lot of what is written there is directly relevant to my job, and almost every academic writing textbook I've come across has been full of prescriptivist poppycock - and almost all American for some reason. I suspect correlation rather than causation. So it's a good bit of letting off workplace steam for me, and perhaps a bit less destructive than some of the less than subtle corrections I've made to old books that colleagues have come across.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2008 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to linger,

    Haden was often wrong, but that didn't stop him arguing . I remember especially bloody exchanges over the use of Maoris rather than Maori.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2569 posts Report Reply

  • Fran O'Sullivan, in reply to Luke Williamson,

    Luke - You will have to refresh my memory.
    By recollection there are few front page stories that I have written in the Herald written by me that would have been accompanied by a graph. Please elucidate.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Fran O'Sullivan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Craig - I care a lot and if I err, ensure a correction occurs.
    I don't recall Luke's beef - but it is interesting that he recollects I did respond to him. This is something I often do as a matter of courtesy.
    Sounds like I simply disagreed with his view - he didn't like that.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • john Drinnan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    A senior player in a government political party is assigned to a gatekeeper role for a series of public issues documentaries examining public spending priorities. You are drawing a long bow finding a conspiracy by APN ( and presumably myself) over ad dollars, when it is just the media doing its job. Fact is s0me people in the broadcasting industry are very quiet questioning NZ On Air and its processes - for the understandable reason that they don't want to annoy their main source of revenue. That's a good reason for someone to keep an eye on political appointees to broadcasting agencies.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Point of fact, Merc: Unless I’m seriously confused, TVNZ7 has no advertising revenue to misrepresent because it don’t carry any ads other than internal promos. In this discussion, it would be wise to be more than usually careful about avoiding the very sin Coleman’s being accused of.

    I don't think you read me right. For media all value is based on TARPS how that value is interpreted defines the sale value, ad revenue or not and station promos are construed as value. TVNZ must deliver to it's shareholders, simple, and it's share holding minister.
    Wisdom, you demand wisdom?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • john Drinnan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Thanks for the link. I'll throw myself on the fire with a third response in two days, (i'm sick - too much time on my hands)

    If you have a media column in the Herald you have got to expect stick - that is what comes from working on a big paper

    People write in both good and bad each week.

    The abusive ones tend to be anonymous, so I suppose I should applaud Craig for giving his name.

    But he seems to have given a hatred for the paper - which is rite of passage at PA and The Standard - a personal edge when it comes to me.

    His major beef seems to be a perceived bias he sees against his friend Russell - he has mentioned it in Hard News several times before. The idea clearly strikes his fancy.

    But please. what is this all about?

    In five years I have probably mentioned Russell ad Public Address maybe half a dozen times and I have only once questioned his journalism- over the Powershop advertorial (along with David Farrar and Al Thompson

    Outrageous (how could you ... outrageous I hear you ask)
    Russell is a high profile blogger and media commentator.
    I've disagree with viewpoints and approach but it has never been personal.
    But there seems to be a view that mentioning Public Address in other is insulting and objectionable unless it saying how great it is .
    In contrast I have been accused regularly in Public Address of incompetent journalism. Even researchers who quoted the Herald media column were criticised recently for their poor judgment. This blog alone accuses me of stealing credit for stories, (wrongly as I pointed out) from other journalists and doing a job on public funding as part of a pact with my employers at APN.
    Its all a bit mad.
    I'm big enough and ugly enough to take criticism - it goes with the job.
    But Craig - getting personal does Public Address no credit. You should play the ball and not the man.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to john Drinnan,

    John; we don't always agree on everything but there are people who appreciate you raising questions about Sky's unfettered, unregulated place in the broadcasting landscape--asking questions which politicians seem reluctant to ask.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2285 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to john Drinnan,

    But Craig – getting personal does Public Address no credit. You should play the ball and not the man.

    You know what, Mr. Drinnan, I'd be willing to accept a morals lecture from you if you hadn't greeted the commission of Media7 with a rather shitty passive-aggressive insinuation that the host (and my friend) was some Labour Party apparatchik.

    It will be presented by veteran commentator Russell Brown, whose Hard News blog on the Public Address website frequently defends the Government and is a counter to David Farrar's National-friendly Kiwiblog.

    In particular, Hard News has been a strong supporter of the Government approach to the Electoral Finance Act. But it is understood that the new Media 7 show will have a number of participants.

    But I guess that's another case of political interference that's neither "here nor there", right John? And as Russell noted at the time, it wasn't even an accurate characterization of his views on the EFA. (Might have been useful context to note Public Address is a group blog that doesn't have a Borg-like editorial line on anything.) Never mind.

    I'm not well disposed to people who (in my view unfairly) attack the personal and professional integrity of my friends, and it was only fair to acknowledge that colours my view of your column.

    But, to take one example among many, I didn't really think the front-page attack on Ladyhawke as some kind of celebrity corporate welfare queen that appeared under your by-line was *cough* somewhat misleading.

    As I said, you and your paper are perfectly entitled to have editorialize against public funding of television, music and the arts in general to your hearts content. Just be honest about it. Insinuating a member of the NZoA board is guilty of direct political interference in funding decision, then airily saying it don't really really signify? Not playing the game with a straight bat (to use another sporting metaphor), and if you take it personally the solution is yours. Don't play those games under your by-line.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Apropos of everything, the recent (Feb 9th) article from The New Yorker "The Art of Fact-Checking" reviewing the book "The Lifespan of a Fact"

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 854 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    for a weekly cume of 207,000 to be a quarter of a monthly cume would require 2007,000 new viewers each week. ie. 2007,000 individuals who had not watched in any previous week(s) of the month in question. However, once a viewer has been counted they are free to then watch for the rest of the month, as this would make no difference to a monthly cume. This would be unlikely of course, as we would expect the number of new viewers to decrease with each week of the month.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to john Drinnan,

    Even researchers who quoted the Herald media column were criticised recently for their poor judgment. This blog alone accuses me of stealing credit for stories, (wrongly as I pointed out) from other journalists and doing a job on public funding as part of a pact with my employers at APN.

    Thanks for coming and debating the issue, John.

    I was really referring to this part of your column last week:

    TVNZ news bosses went out of their way to keep Guyon Espiner on Q&A, emails seen under the Official Information Act show.

    Espiner resigned as TVNZ political editor and had intended to work in Auckland.

    When NZ on Air cut funding to Q&A, TVNZ offered to trim it back from 38 episodes to 36 episodes “and with that can ideally secure Guyon and keep the series within budget – giving him sufficient work to be gainfully employed,” the emails said.

    The line “emails seen under the Official Information Act show” is such an odd, passive construction. Why not simply acknowledge that, as was the case earlier on in this developing story, the OIA requests were made and the correspondence published by Tom Frewen? That would have been courteous. I didn’t accuse you of “stealing” a story. That would be silly.

    As others have noted, it’s not really appropriate to attribute everything everyone says in a discussion here to “Public Address”. The comments are made by individuals.

    To be honest, I think on occasion you have unduly personalised things you’ve written about my work, most notably in the passage quoted by Craig. That was a shitty thing for one journalist to do to another: I’d spent nearly a year developing the show with Brian Holland and to have it implied that the show was commissioned as some sort of political favour was really out of order. (It also came on top of a series of digs about me being a lefty, which extended to an absurd and baseless prediction that I would be approached to stand on the Labour list.)

    As I said to you at the time, you only needed to pick up the phone and ask and you’d have been better informed.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Fran O'Sullivan,

    Craig – I care a lot and if I err, ensure a correction occurs.
    I don’t recall Luke’s beef – but it is interesting that he recollects I did respond to him. This is something I often do as a matter of courtesy.
    Sounds like I simply disagreed with his view – he didn’t like that

    Hi Fran. I think Luke's view was that the way the information was presented was actually incorrect, rather than it being a mere matter of opinion.

    Hopefully he can recall a few more details.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks for coming and debating the issue

    I appreciate both Fran and John joining the conversation. Good on you.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16470 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    I appreciate both Fran and John joining the conversation. Good on you.

    Ditto - and if Fran and John are still around, I think I can speak for a few people around here in saying this:

    I'm tough on you guys because neither of you are irredeemably stupid. (Certain Herald columnists I wouldn't be so generous towards.) You also have one hell of a platform simply by carrying by-lined columns in not only the biggest newspaper in the country, but effectively the monopoly player in New Zealand's largest market.

    To quote Spiderman's Uncle Ben: With great power comes great responsibility. It would be really nice if Auckland was London or New York (or even Sydney), but that's never going to happen - so you guys are it, and we should all expect a lot.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11859 posts Report Reply

  • john Drinnan,

    We have a different view of honour among journalists.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to john Drinnan,

    And WE, the ANZ reading public, have another very different view of journalists…

    It is NOT favourable.
    Honour certainly doesnt come into it, at least in my personal experience.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to john Drinnan,

    We have a different view of honour among journalists.

    I presume this is a response to what I wrote above.

    Clearly, we do have a very different view of journalistic integrity, factual accuracy and other matters. I could say more, but it’s probably best to leave it at that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18693 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I’m tough on you guys because neither of you are irredeemably stupid. (Certain Herald columnists I wouldn’t be so generous towards.) You also have one hell of a platform simply by carrying by-lined columns in not only the biggest newspaper in the country, but effectively the monopoly player in New Zealand’s largest market.

    Hear Hear Craig!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5988 posts Report Reply

  • john Drinnan, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Jesus you'll be quoting Jefferson next

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to john Drinnan,

    I prefer to keep the Woolf from the dour.

    To write weekly, to write daily, to write shortly, to write for busy people catching trains in the morning or for tired people coming home in the evening, is a heartbreaking task for men who know good writing from bad. They do it, but instinctively draw out of harm's way anything precious that might be damaged by contact with the public, or anything sharp that might irritate its skin.

    VIRGINIA WOOLF, The Common Reader

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2119 posts Report Reply

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