Posts by izogi

  • Polity: Four thoughts on polling in…,

    Is it necessary to validate Slater's trashy ramblings by linking to them?

    The lesson? Likely voter screens are hugely important in lower turnout elections.

    What measurable metrics are used to determine likely voters?

    Can it be narrowed down to determine likely swing voters, so that everyone else doesn't have to be bothered by annoying phone calls? Maybe not so far as to completely avoid the election. :P

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    The sad fact of the matter is, izogi, “media” workers have only ever had a very basic understanding of how STV works. That is very clear from the hopelessly incomplete and inaccurate descriptions of STV we see in our local papers, particularly around local election time.

    Also, assuming it's true, this is really depressing.

    On the surface politics often seems to be the last major topical area which local media spends any resources on. Maybe that's just because it's cheap to pay for never-ending opinion and sniggering as if the whole thing's just an entertaining tactical game. I suppose understanding the actual rules requires more investment than just making stuff up.

    I’m sure that newspaper editors, in this democracy of ours, adhere to the principle of ‘free speech’, which (simplistically), I take to mean we are free to communicate with each other, even when what we espouse is actually quite wrong. Follow-up letters from readers (often unpublished – I have personal experience of this) will give (hopefully) correct information.

    I haven't interacted with letters to the editor for ages, but I had cautiously positive experiences when I did (back in Evening Post days). Editors would often add a note to correct obviously wrong things that were published from people, if necessary, and I routinely found that if I actually followed the stated rules (length limits, etc), a letter I wrote would normally be published. By comparison, comment threads from the same newspapers are rubbish. They're controlled by anonymous moderators who seem to let random, frequently personally abusive and incorrect, comments through on a whim... and block others for no obvious reason. A couple of times now I've avoided interacting with journalists because I don't want to be subjected to the utter crap in comment and facebook threads that'll most likely flow underneath any article that's published.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    unless of course all the people you choose are eliminated, then all of your vote is still in play and is thrown away ..... as I mentioned it's stupidly difficult to rank so many different people ...

    Given most people out there seem to compare this with FPP, claiming that FPP is more simple (and therefore better), I think it needs to be pointed out that FPP also results in votes being thrown away, except that it happens immediately for everyone whose first choice doesn't get elected. STV also doesn't require anyone to rank more than their first choice, so you can quite easily make your vote about as meaningful as any FPP vote ever was. I guess the main difference in that respect is that under STV, everyone else might not be voting so simplistically.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Voting in an STV election, in reply to Steve Todd,

    The writer warned voters not to rank-order too many candidates, because “If you choose to number your preferences then your one vote can be split, supporting all of your numbered preferences depending on how the vote counting proceeds, including those that you don’t want.” (He said this had happened in Kapiti Coast – 2007?)

    As agents for informing the public I find it disconcerting enough that major media outlets frequently don't bother to fact check stuff presented as if it's objective fact, and which should be easily determined as right or wrong, before it's published in online comment threads.

    I'm not sure if I should feel any better to be reminded that it doesn't always even happen in the more controlled printed letters to the editor, let alone in an age when newspapers probably had staff who really should have been able to understand how a vote count actually works.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: On Gell-Mann Amnesia; or…, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    My explanation: for younger generations (the media market) perception now equates with reality. Often a story about popular perceptions will seem better than one that merely reports facts.

    And/or maybe the standard journalism degree doesn't necessarily impart the wide and mixed range of skills that many of us expect from a journalist. I'm sure there are always exceptions and exceptional circumstances, but perhaps it's also a consequence of very few journalists out there who actually understand how to locate, read and interpret something like a court document? Maybe it's mostly coming from hearsay, lobby group press releases, reports from others and enraged feedback from random members of the public via social media? Or not.

    After a quick google there's something which doesn't sit quite right with me when I see that Massey, for example, combines Journalism with Communication and Marketing into the same school. Wasn't there a time when news media businesses sourced their staff from places where they already had actual experience in things, and then trained them up? I guess times change.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Not doing enough,

    Also as RNZ has pointed out this morning, some of the allegations of Scarlette were never actually aired by media.

    Consequently if NZR's lawyer didn't even interview her until after everyone else, it's hardly possible they could have quizzed other witnesses about all of the allegations. If it were not already obvious, NZR clearly set out for this to be a media damage control exercise, and not a genuine investigation.

    As nobody's yet mentioned it here, here's the open letter to the NZ Rugby Management and Board Members:

    Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu also had some great things to say this morning about problems with NZ culture around this stuff.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Not doing enough, in reply to linger,

    “Collective responsibility” doesn’t mean they all actively participated – more that nobody in the room spoke out and stopped this.

    Yah. It's the refined term for "we'll all band together and protect each other so they can't assume any of us were clearly responsible". But I suppose they're "officially" talking about the collective acceptance they all apparently had for the designated straw man of celebrating with strippers, and not about the activities that allegedly occurred when that was happening.

    Many of the comments on this Stuff piece

    That's a shame. Stuff really shouldn't be enabling comments on this sort of issue on its own website, unless it's going to be serious about moderation and fact-checking of what people write. If people want to have a pub discussion of unverified hearsay and opinion about sexual assault (allegations etc), they can easily go to the pub, or to facebook, or to any other random place on the internet. Better that than directly underneath a story from a media outlet to which masses of people look for reliable information.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Not doing enough,

    This morning, RNZ seems to be reporting "the New Zealand Rugby said those claims were contradicted by independent witnesses not connected to the team".

    Is that actually true? All I've noticed reported directly, and in the press conference, is the word "unsubstantiated" or similar. To me there's a significant difference between "unsubstantiated" and "contradicted".

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    the NYT now gets more revenue from subscriptions than from advertising. While those subscriptions are still mostly print, this strikes me as yet more evidence that the paywalls are a-coming generally.

    I'm not too surprised that the NYT is able to attract such a good subscription base, especially with its national and global appeal. Could we expect the same success from smaller and more localised newspapers?

    Something I'd like to see in the internet age, personally, is some kind of consolidated subscription for content which lots of newspapers and other publishers can publish to. Modern media comes from all over the place. I don't really want to have to buy subscriptions to 50 publications, or pay a high price to download single article from each of them, just to cover all the times I stumble across interesting or worthwhile references, but I might happily pay a capped annual subscription for all of them at once.

    Are there already any systems out there which let publishers draw from a consolidated subscription according to whether the subscribers read their stuff? (Possibly not too dissimilar to what works in many public transport systems with combined ticketing and multiple operators.)

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    I'm not deeply familiar with the Herald but Stuff certainly does this gratuitously, and has for a considerable time, especially through the middle of the day. Geographically anonymous stories irritate me to no end, but I've noticed there's often no shortage of people willing to comment on them., and I guess the attention they can attract is worth gold in their advertising model.

    Post a random wire (or Reddit) story about an obscure celebrity nobody's heard of who YouTubes a video of a baby screaming on a US domestic flight, and it'll easily attract 150+ comments of kiwis arguing and screaming with each other about appropriate parenting on an aircraft. Plenty go as far as making specific judgemental statements about people and a situation of no relevance to them whatsoever. And that's not even counting the Facebook comments.

    There also seems to be a gradual shift towards dumping local Australian news on us as if it's relevant. I guess it's cheap or free given the ownership model.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 947 posts Report Reply

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