Cracker by Damian Christie

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Cracker: Bloggers: Pr*cks, Ars*holes, B*st*rds and C*nts

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  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I wouldn’t describe it as a holiday, but as a life experience it beats 3 days in the office.

    Yeah that's it exactly. The trips are hard work. And sometimes you don't perform as well as you'd like for various reasons (giving a good talk when your body is telling you it is 2 am and you should be asleep is non-trivial). But I wouldn't trade them for anything. So complaining that they are too hard and they mean my work isn't as good as it could or should be is not really going to wash with most folks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Islander,

    everytime I travelled overseas, I came back with a chest infection.

    Same here. Sitting in an air conditioned lecture theatres with people from everywhere in the world carrying every virus in circulation ... just don't tell Health and Safety or they'll ban conferences.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    just don’t tell Health and Safety or they’ll ban conferences.

    Just ban Conference Centres and have them out in Stadiums in the fresh air!

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    ... have them out in Stadiums in the fresh air!

    Heh, Queenstown in winter might be a bit of an ask.

    And yes the conference is quite deliberately in ski season so we can attract overseas speakers.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    the conference is quite deliberately in ski season

    It is said, when Frank Lloyd Wright was told his roof leaked over someone’s desk, he erplied “So move the desk” ;)
    also sad, sad that you need the ski season to attract you Science types to enhance the Science.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    You can’t really be taken seriously when you complain.

    Sure you can. I don't know if you've been keeping up with the media news, but there are plenty of senior political journalists on the same rung of the career ladder as Armstrong who've been laid off (or strongly encouraged to jump first) by newspapers with a "sinking lid" - i.e. they're just not replacing people who leave, especially if they're expensive mid- or senior-grade reporters.

    You know what the practical consequences of that are? If newspapers cover things like APEC at all (which I wouldn't assume), the expectation is that fewer people have to file more copy to feed the insatiable beast. And a lot of somethings have to give -- forget about spending half a day working on that backgrounder, or building contacts, while your junior covers that press stand-up that probably won't give up a meaty story... but has to be covered anyway. Never mind that you're not on your A-game while puking your jet-lagged guts out, there will be time to micro-nap when you're dead!

    Who's going to notice - or care - if you just re-jig a press release or two? What does it matter if overseas news eventually ends up being a half page of wire grabs and half-arsed churnalism?

    That needs a slightly more serious and nuanced response than "Harden the fuck up, whiny bitch."

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That needs a slightly more serious and nuanced response than “Harden the fuck up, whiny bitch.”

    As someone - Russell? - pointed out, if you've got time to write a tourism story while you're there too...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Damian Christie, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    there are plenty of senior political journalists on the same rung of the career ladder as Armstrong who’ve been laid off

    Also, unless this has been happening in the couple of days I've been in Sydney, I'm not sure who these plenty of people are you're referring to - please illuminate (I'm being serious here, I have no idea).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    serious and nuanced

    To be serious. The correct response to this problem is to come out and declare that your employer (The Herald) is failing to provide the resources to the the job properley. It would have been to correct to respond to the criticism by saying ...
    "you are absolutely right, what I produced at APEC was below the standard expected of a journalist of my experience, unfortunately I was simply unable to do the job required of me by the New Zealand public because my employer failed"

    Instead we got "bloggers are mean to me and it's not fair because my job is so hard ...."

    So I will stand by my opinion that failing to accept and understand criticism is a fatal flaw and Armstrong should never have written the piece nor should it have been published.

    The nuance is that understanding how to learn from criticism, even when it is poorly delivered (which this was not) is an essential skill if you wish to become good at whatever task you attempt.

    The nuance is that the failure is almost certainly at the hands of The Herald which is not applying the journalistic resources necessary to do a good job, but I can hardly blame Armstrong for not highlighting that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    It still annoys me that people don’t know what a “Blogger” is, especially if they is one.
    The word Blog is a contraction of “Web Log”, a page of HTML linking to other web pages you have been looking at. The purpose of the web log is to inform others that you are savy to the workings of the World Wide Web and understand how to link to other pages thus proving what a superior being you are. These people are often referred to as Cunts.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    These people are often referred to as Cunts.

    You know you posted that on a blog right?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    You know you posted that on a blog right?

    Yeah but Damian's a good cunt eh?

    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    there are plenty of senior political journalists on the same rung of the career ladder as Armstrong who’ve been laid off (or strongly encouraged to jump first) by newspapers with a “sinking lid” – i.e. they’re just not replacing people who leave, especially if they’re expensive mid- or senior-grade reporters.

    Good point.
    Can't you just see Tim Murphy enthusiastically tweeting about an article in which Armstrong lambasts the Herald for laying off staff and bemoans the plight of the MSM in straitened times? Nah?
    Me neither :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    You know you posted that on a blog right?

    You should hear what he says about builders.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19680 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Sacha,

    When you feel like a nail everything conspires to get you hammered.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Damian Christie,

    there are plenty of senior political journalists on the same rung of the career ladder as Armstrong who’ve been laid off

    Also, unless this has been happening in the couple of days I’ve been in Sydney, I’m not sure who these plenty of people are you’re referring to – please illuminate (I’m being serious here, I have no idea).

    I know quite a few who have been expecting a bullet for years; and quite a few more who have been encouraged in various ways to leave. Fact is most New Zealand print outlets cannot pay too many seniors a decent wage and still make a profit. Other media seem to have a better ability to do so. But for print that has been the case for 20 years at least.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2895 posts Report Reply

  • Ken Martin,

    Good blog. I might start watching TVNZ news again if they employ hacks of this calibre. Re John Armstrong venting his spleen: in the sunset of his career, has he started taking nasty pills to ginger up his spiels? Petty is not a good look!

    Lower Hutt • Since Sep 2012 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Damian Christie,

    I’m not sure who these plenty of people are you’re referring to – please illuminate (I’m being serious here, I have no idea).

    Not here – you’re better placed for local media gossip because (unsurprisingly) most media outlets don’t exactly play up their own lay-offs. But it strikes me as fair comment to say that if you’re going to let a razor gang loose on a newspaper you go for the (expensive) low-hanging fruit and don’t replace them. It’s hardly the media story of the century, but the New York Times has just “reassigned” it’s classical music critic of 35 years to “general cultural reporting". At least he’s still got a job, because at least one senior in-house counsel isn’t that lucky. I’m all for “first we kill all the lawyers”, but I’m not sure the Times really wants a shallow bench when it comes to “news department legal matters, from story vetting to fighting First Amendment cases.”

    Fact is most New Zealand print outlets cannot pay too many seniors a decent wage and still make a profit. Other media seem to have a better ability to do so. But for print that has been the case for 20 years at least.

    Abba-solutely fair call, Hebe. :) I just can't help but wonder if it's penny wise, but pound foolish to decide experience, skills and institutional memory are luxury items. I'd say that's what adds value to newspapers. Then again, I'm not Warren Buffet putting my money where my mouth is.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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