would be ill-advised to pronounce on their political lignment, in case they alienate a chunk of their customer base unnecessarily.
I know what you mean, but I dont have an issue with any public figure expressing their opinion about an issue they feel strongly about. The grey area becomes if/when that opinion is perceived as overtly political - and the threshold for that varies from person to person.
I'd have no issue with a David Pocock (or a Richie McCaw, or a business leader, or whomever) publicly advocating for, say, human rights, or environmental causes, or for advancement of positive outcomes for New Zealand. But if/when they publicly advocate for a particular party policy position that supports human rights, rather than the human rights policy of party X, are they going too far? Probably a direct advocacy to 'Vote for candidate X' would be seen by most as a step too far.
I personally dont have an issue with that either - people should be able to support what/who they like (and make the distinction between personal opinion and that of their employer if needed). But its very easy for this sort of thing to be politicised, or regarded as political by those who oppose a particular policy or party. The US is a classic example where public discourse has become so partisan, and so politicised, that any public pronouncements by 'famous people' is instantly viewed through the prism of party politics, and dismissed/lauded as such.
To revert back to the sporting analogy that started this thread, I'd like to live in a place where someone like Richie can have a public reckon, without anyone thinking he's a political stooge/oaf/hero [insert word of your choice]
Haydn, love that you are bucking against the orthodoxy, but will respectfully have to disagree. I think Richie is awesome :)
Politicians have been making capital out of sports people since the days of Gladiators (if not before). And its nearly aways been a little, say, uncomfortable, for the sportspeople to (at least publicly) resist the attentions of the powerful.
But there are always exceptions, Ken Gray for example, who famously (and quietly) retired to his farm rather than go on the 1970 South Africa tour. Luz Long who publicly befriended Jesse Owens in Berlin, etc etc (there must be gazillions of examples).
While I admire the likes of David Pocock for using his public profile to take stands on things like LGBT rights and environmental causes, I find it hard to hate on those sports-people who remain politically mute, or who try not to rock the boat with their inevitable political patrons.
That said, I'd have loved it if the likes of Ronaldo and Messi had gathered a group of the world's leading football players and made a public call for reformation of FIFA. That would have got the ball rolling a bit quicker .....
Poor and average managers don’t have the talent to improve the business so they improve profit by cutting costs. Part of the problem comes from poor and average quality managers. Talented managers, and yes even I believe they exist, increase profit by increasing the value of the product they produce to the consumer.
You're a hard task-master Bart! - I think there are a lot of exceptionally talented people around the world who have been grappling with how to respond to the digital disintermediation of media (and advertising, and telcos, and hotels, and taxi's and soon to be pay TV, banks, investment companies etc) but the forces against them are pretty powerful and not easily solved.
I agree that the response to digital revolution *should* be to disrupt your own business model and provide something of sufficient value for consumers to be willing to pay more for, but easier said than done (plenty are trying).
Things like having massive $$ in sunk assets, or declining consumer interest in paying $$ for a product/service, or sudden changes in regulation, or massive pressure on costs caused by the very forces they are seeking to respond to .... the constant 'more value for less $' dynamics of many industries makes growing your way to profitability hard, and scale can become the most important thing (I think it would be hard for a NZ company to do what Uber, AirBnB, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc are doing, and even they arent that profitable (yet).
Xero is one - granted (but again, focused on gaining scale not profitability at this stage)
But are there enough people like me to make it work?
I think this is the nub of it. I didnt mean to infer that getting news for free is universal. There are many people who are willing to pay for content/news creation and who respect property rights and the need for a business to be able to be profitable enough to pay its people and invest in its own future. Sadly, there are many who aren't. It all chips away at the industry viability.
But I take your point - what comes first, the valueless news or the news that can no longer command a value?
The other challenge for advertisers (and media outlets) is that, increasingly, consumers are becoming channel-agnostic, and often have news or content 'self-curated' for them by the crowd of their contacts on social media.
When FB, Twitter etc become the default channels, then investing in building an audience for content that either consumers or advertisers are willing to pay for becomes even harder. I've seen a lot of money thrown at the development of new standalone channels - not many of them deliver a return.
Another challenge is that of content rights. Its hard for a news or content business to invest in future content and in its people when, increasingly, any rights it holds in existing content are undermined and devalued by digital technologies and the ability it provides to copy or publish or share content etc across various boundaries.
A world in which it becomes easier to get things for free is not particularly conducive to being able to retain and pay for quality journalism.
Also thought that the Andy Bull article was a genuine attempt to analyse why prolonged success with this particular sport and this particular country has occurred, and it was hard to disagree with his conclusions. It is certainly a much more sensitive piece than the daft hakarena, a joyless attempt at kiwi-baiting.
It sounds kind of obvious, but keeping kids engaged and enthused (be it sport, education, music, whatever) is not given its rightful priority anywhere often enough.
Like many, I have an abiding love for the sport because of my father, and his passion and love for the local rugby community. With my father passing away when I was young, it was a way of staying close and true to what I knew of him.
My love for the game waned in the 1980's (much preferring to play a different sport myself). As a 15 year old I initially supported the Springbok tour (believing naively the stance that sport and politics shouldnt mix), but watching the tour unfold, and hearing the conversations my Mum was having with friends, and seeing the impact it was having, it was easy to fall out of love with rugby.
When I lived overseas for a decade and a half, I reconnected with rugby. Like many, it was one way to feel patriotic in a strange land and to reassert our sense of New Zealand-ness and home. Some of my favourite memories were watching the All Blacks playing in France, Australia and the UK. (unfortunately, some of my least favourite memories were also of watching some less-than-subtle All Black supporters doing their level best not to endear themselves to local hospitality)
I thought the Steve Hansen interview with Paddy Gower was extraordinary. It debunked so many painful and long-standing cliches about rugby boof-heads. It showed a level of humility and authenticity that leaders anywhere in any field could learn from. And it wasnt even about rugby. As you say, he and his team seem to represent a version of NZ modernity that I can feel proud to support.
Oh fair point, I dont think I was suggesting that this is an entirely new thing. More that at least *some* of the criticism of Scout seems to miss the point that plenty of New Zealanders like this stuff.
I personally agree with virtually everything you have said here Russell, yet ..... what does it say about us if Scout is a success?
I've long felt that, politically at least, large numbers of New Zealanders find it too difficult to believe that other large numbers of New Zealanders can hold a very different view to them. Be it on the merits of John Key and National. Be it on the preferred tactics of Labout as an opposition party. Be it on bellweather issues such as Auckland housing or refugee intakes. Be it on the merits of Campbell Live as a bastion of media independence. Social media doesnt help that level of self-reinforcement. At times (e.g. the last election) it becomes an almost wilful act of refusing to acknowledge the beliefs of others (or the lack of interest of others).
So .... what does it say if shallow recycled entertainment news is popular in NZ?
I'm aware (as others are on here no doubt) of good journalists who are - through pressures of commercial imperatives - writing much more clickbait than they used to. The traditional business model of media, under siege from digitisation, globalization, citizen journalism, bloggers, pr, social media, dying ad revenue, declining public funding, fragmenting audience interest etc etc, inevitably responds in a number of ways. One of which is to chase new ad revenue via driving click through and talkback style comments threads. Another is to cross-sell across platforms via media 'personalities'. Another is the entrepreneurial indie enterprise like PA or The Hive. I guess if you are a journo or work in media it depends on where you work. BTW, did anyone else notice the relentless cross-channel vibe from NZME towards Mediaworks? For a while there the Herald ran a negative story about the Bachelor or other MW properties every single day for about 21 days straight.
Small family footnote: our Dad - a coal mining engineer whose own dad was a red-ragger who marched - was asked to stand for Labour in the local south Wales electorate. He declined and Neil Kinnock ended up accepting the nomination.