Posts by Craig Ranapia

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  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    If one reporter plays clean, stays out of people’s personal lives etc, what’s their editor going to do when every other media outlet is reporting it with abandon and getting all the sales and page views?

    Well, interesting you asked that question. How’s joining the race to the bottom working out for the BBC? Not terribly well, as it turns out.

    The BBC’s controversial coverage of the police raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home was approved by the deputy news director and came amid increased pressure in its news operation to beat rivals to exclusive stories.

    The decision by BBC News to film and broadcast the search of the singer’s home live from a helicopter flying above his £3.5m Berkshire residence prompted accusations of a “witch-hunt” and comparisons with the worst tabloid excesses.

    Hope the scoop was worth the BBC getting raked over the coals by MPs, again.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Never mind the quality ..., in reply to DeepRed,

    Safe to say there’s a lot of irrelevant noise amongst the actually useful signal. Nicky Hager has just come out and said as much. As of writing this, a number of those I follow on Twitter are attempting to filter out the woffly stuff.

    Nah, I've been blocking on principle anyone posting stuff from Whaledump because I had a horrible feeling something like that would happen. And, honestly, I can't really muster much sympathy for Nicky Hager -- who I find it hard to believe is so naive he didn't see all this coming. The Law of Unintended But Entirely Predictable and Ugly Consequences is a bitch, and not just for Cameron Slater.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to andin,

    No its not. But is this all we (I mean us with no influence, outside of casting a vote) can expect?

    No -- but it actually requires work because cynicism is a much less painful and prolonged default than expecting better, holding people to account, and even dealing with the inevitable disappointments, failures and a full measure of straight out fuckery.

    It's that moral maze, I guess: Expect nothing and you'll never be disappointed, because nothing is exactly what you'll get. But it's such a small life, isn't it?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I guess awards might have their uses, but I don’t think they’re a great loss if they don’t happen. In general, great work speaks for itself and doesn’t need approbation to back it up.

    You're quite right -- good work is good work. But while The Booker Effect is one hell of a slippery beast to pin down, I really doubt Eleanor Catton's British publisher did a 100,000 hardback reprint of The Luminaries immediately after she won out of sentimentality, and I can't recall how it's shifted for VUP here, but I keep thinking well over a hundred thousand which is no small beer.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to llew40,

    Well, putting myself into the shoes of Canon, as a corporate sponsor I think they were quite right in their initial insistence on sticking to the separation of sponsor from judge – after all, who would want to be a part of an awards process where sponsors had an influence on the judging?

    Exactly -- like Russell, I'm struggling to see the rationale for giving him the damn thing but putting that on Canon makes as much sense to me as boycotting NZ Post because you're offended by this. I don't think I'm the only person who'd be severely displeased if NZ Post tried to manage the brand of the book awards they sponsor.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this,

    [Update: For the record, I note that Farrar now denies the allegation in Dirty Politics that he organised the “Princess Party”, though he did attend. As to why writers sometimes choose to remain anonymous, such as me on this occasion, look no further than the climate of intimidation created by the Nats’ attack politics machine. Who needs that kind of filth, I don’t.]

    Oh, FFS… I’m not even. Really… I read the post (stupid me) and the comments (really stupid me), and really should feel at all surprised the well being of any women just... stopped being important almost immediately. Cover your ears Myles, but that would have made me bilious with sadness and anger if it just wasn't exhaustingly predictable. Abuse victims < Men with political points to score.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Thanks Russell, and I’ll happily grant that I don’t think Keir was being malignant either. Just somewhat careless, and it would sheer hypocrisy not to note I’ve been there myself. With bells and noddy hat on.

    Which is really just a morally elevated way of saying “everyone does it”.

    Oh, pish tosh. Everyone doesn’t do “it”, but yeah I’m sick of hearing “but X. is better than Whaleoil” because that’s saying little. Yeah, The Standard and Kiwiblog are better than Whaleoil because at least I didn’t have stalker bait personal information posted with the racist and homophobic abuse or the allegation that I “endorsed” a (blessedly ex-) American legislator who sent obscene texts to teenage male interns.

    That’s true as far as it goes, but I’m still in no great rush to send Messers Farrar and Prentice thank you cards any time soon. Nor do I feel any need to back off my long-held position that they consistently fail to take any real responsibility for the often foul comments on their own sites and I wouldn’t feel a whit of sympathy if they ended up on the thick end of a defamation settlement.

    You can still be pretty bloody bad and need to lift your game without being a total garbage monster.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Russell Brown,

    What are you saying? That journalists should never accept leaks and tips from politicians?

    That's wishful thinking on my part, but a good start would be for the Press Gallery to make it SOP to open visits from politicians with "This is all on the record and attributable." I expect that would lift the quality of such 'leaks and tips' enormously, as well as give us silly peasants a chance to decide how much weight we want to put on the person doing the speaking.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to Carol Stewart,

    It’s over to you, Pete, to identify a left-leaning blogger with even a tenth of the venality and vindictiveness of WhaleOil.

    I feel kind of icky agreeing with Pete (sorry, Mr. George) but if our baseline is "not as bad as Whaleoil" that's a depressingly low bar you can clear without lifting your feet. And for the record, I've been smeared by the gutter trolls at both The Standard and Kiwiblog. They were equivalently fucking revolting. At least David Farrar has, to his credit, finally got out of utter denial mode but I'll believe it when I see it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: We can do better than this, in reply to ,

    Which, well, highly tasteless and offensive if it’s true, and therefore a bit off to be retailing without evidence, but I leave to the reader to judge how it compares to smearing victims of sexual assault etc.

    Oh, Jesus... Could you take a moment and really think about what you just did there?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

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