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Speaker: About That Telescope

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  • Paul Williams,

    Okay, the generalisations are annoying me now too. I can't speak for Australia, but there's fine work in the NZ print media every week. You can't just dismiss the whole field.

    I'll accept that my comment was too broad a generalisation, but the balance in print media tipped along while ago I believe (radio less so). When last in Wellington, I honestly thought someone had pinched the middle pages from the DomPost and had to count them to be sure; most of the articles contained very little that wasn't in the media release or involved more than one or two phone interviews. After about page four, and half a page of commentators, the paper was mostly quarter page adverts. That's pathetic for the daily paper of the capital.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    But it's not so much that, I can't speak for others but I thought that there was something about the tone that was a bit off, not the least in the presumption that we should care.

    Righto, I accept you were all irked, even if still not quite getting why. That's why I asked the saintly Fiona to read it all, but she didn't really get it either.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    (radio less so)

    Well, one radio station in particular. The most visionary editorial decision in the past couple of decades at Radio NZ has been to put real weight behind the rounds system. So you have the likes of education correspondent Gael Woods, who really know what they're talking about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Incidentally, one of the better podcasts for news in Australia is ABC's background briefing. This one, on the banking crisis, and this on the media's reporting of the crisis are particularly good.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    So you have the likes of education correspondent Gael Woods, who really know what they're talking about.

    Agreed, I dealt with Gael a number of times over many years and she's nothing short of expert.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I can't speak for Australia, but there's fine work in the NZ print media every week. You can't just dismiss the whole field.

    I think you sort of can. The odd good journalist and the odd good report are one thing, but at the end of the day, are we well served by the newspapers in this country? do they provide substance, balance, promote a robust cultural and political conversation? I really don't think they do. David Fisher, whom I recall from his time at the Listener, is a fine reporter. Brian Easton, Diana Wichtel, Russell Brown who at the time was still there, are great columnists. The magazine had some good reviewers - but it was still awful. Its general tenor, the editorial line, was a lot of pandering bollocks; they had already rid temsleves of some of their best people and others would soon leave. Run in that particular way, journalism in this country is a business structurally designed to promote the self-obsessed ramblings of a DuFresne or of a Ralston (who *could* be a really good commentator, if it was ever asked of him), and grind down and spit out a Denis Welch.

    Ditto the Dominion Post. It has a few good journalists to be sure, but on the whole, as a product, it's bloody embarassing. And I think it's a major problem, much as newspapers might be on their way out. I don't think that the kind of service they provide is easily replaced by other media.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Not according to this report:

    Don't trust that guy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    and grind down and spit out a Denis Welch.

    In other media gossip, The Listener is now looking for another deputy editor ...

    That'll be four in five years, I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ralston (who *could* be a really good commentator, if it was ever asked of him

    He certainly could. He's capable of very fine writing -- he just doesn't do nearly often enough.

    Also for the list: Philip Matthews, not least because he wrote the only really good newspaper story about political blogging in New Zealand.

    But even after thinking about it, I can't think of a newspaper columnist who really excites me at the moment. Not even Finlay Macdonald, who I regard as a gifted editorialist The political columnists give me a headache. I blame the internet.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Wain,

    Donna Chisholm and Simon Wilson in Metro. I'm far keener on all of them than any old columnist.

    Hey, you said weekly. Which I'll conclude includes dailies... and I should add John Roughan and Colin Espiner for politics in their dailies.

    most of the articles contained very little that wasn't in the media release or involved more than one or two phone interviews

    That's the problem, takes too much work and staff have all been slashed... the commercial newspaper model, revenue's too low for the shareholders.

    Though, having said that, The Dom(Post), The Press and, oh heck, all of them really, have been shite for ages.

    Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Rex Widerstrom,

    Sacha:

    Journalists are truly regarded up there with car delaers, it seems.

    Ahh you'd love the irony-fest we're having in Australia. Briefly, The PM is in all sorts of bother over having accepted a rusty clapped out ute as a "mobile electorate office".

    Claims are flying around of forged emails, corruption at Treasury, political influence-peddling by car dealers and so on. It's all explained here for anyone really interested.

    Anyway, one defence the PM wheeled out was some statement by the head of the MTA saying he hadn't been a naughty boy at all.

    Which led one wit to comment it was perhaps the first time a politician had relied upon a reference from a used car salesman.

    Incidentally, the media have done the expected an appended a "-gate" to the whole thing, making it "Utegate".

    Yet when Rudd was tossing round money, first to beneficiaries and then to anyone who'd filed a tax return (inlcuding the since deceased and those now overseas) in an attempt at economic stimulation, could I get one journo to run with "profli-gate"? Could I heck.

    Perth, Western Australia • Since Nov 2006 • 157 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Don't trust that guy.

    Good luck with that. His sources are impeccable.

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    The ODT is still a good local newspaper...and Simon Cunliffe can write incisive stuff-

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

  • Paul Williams,

    That's the problem, takes too much work and staff have all been slashed... the commercial newspaper model, revenue's too low for the shareholders.

    I expect that's a significant part of it. Advertising surely generates the majority of revenue and circulation is best served by sensationalism.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    . Which I'll conclude includes dailies...

    Ok spanner in the works, why because I can... John Stewart Daily Show. Yeah yeah, I know it's TV but I was looking on TVNZ7 and then wandered....

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

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Mine eyes have seen the glory...

    No one made you all read it.

    Russell, now that's just plain silly...

    We trust you, and would hate for you to have been used or manipulated to present an unbalanced view...
    Perhaps you need to publish verbatim Cook's version of events and any corroboration of information passed up the chain...

    For something that wasn't gonna be taken into evidence for the Cook case, the above Speaker Post smacks of "Ass-Covering" - even if it was just "out-of-work" friday night hijinks and drinks...
    Many an actual misdemeanour has sprung from such inebriated innocuous behaviour...

    ...and he did take the telescope over there, and he did admit to breaching privacy by occasionally Peeping and Peering by Night (still a crime in the Summary Offences Act 1981) - so ok maybe it wasn't into a dwellinghouse - but with journalists' hours it may as well be at times...
    and in some ways it was a Burglary (see the Crimes Act 1961 No 43, section 231) - they did enter a building, albeit with their eyes, but arguably under 231 (3a)

    entrance into a building or ship is made as soon as any part of the body of the person making the entrance, or any part of any instrument used by that person, is within the building or ship;

    so is data on the optical nerve a part of one's brain / body...?
    - no one made them see stuff though I guess...

    I especially enjoyed this smack in the chops to fellow journalists - picture editors - throughout the country:

    "...but have you ever tried looking at a newspaper and guessing the content of a story by its picture? It can't be done, or at least, not in a way that would give real benefit to a competing journalist."

    all in all I think he just shot himself in the foot,
    shame he had it in his mouth at the time...

    ahh well - I guess this is why people join the police - for better work stories...

    once again
    nothing to see here
    move along please

    yrs
    Old Bailey
    Libran

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Obama is one thing but it's not a good sign when I envy the Aussies their PM.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19413 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Rex - I was in Australia for a week or so when that ute-gate story was playing out and Rudd handled it so masterfully, including on Rove, that by the end of the week Malcolm Turnbull was sinking fast.

    I watched and read as much as I could in my brief time in Oz and there is some great TV there (lots more political analysis). But wasn't as impressed with the papers - much the same formula as here and only slightly more content. Saw some on TV we only have as voices here, such as Phil Kafka-whatsit who got some bright circus school students to act as political commentators.

    Channel 9 broadcast from snowy Queenstown for several days in a slightly patronising but still enjoying themselves kind of way.

    Incidentally, the Wallabies (minority interest sport) were staying in the same hotel and I noticed that Robbie Deans looks younger and happier in the green and gold.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3110 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Not according to this report:

    The offspring and I just watched that, and she said: "Not sure what to think of that; a bit too much self-mockery."

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3119 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Gio:

    You're kidding me, right? Information isn't entertainment. A nation needs good neswpapers capable of sustaining a robust political and cultural conversation. In New Zealand there are none. You don't think it's a problem?

    The 4th Estate has become the 5th Column.

    Frank Mott defined yellow journalism as having 5 distinguishing features:

    * Scare headlines in huge print, often of minor news
    * Lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
    * Use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudo-science, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
    * Emphasis on full-color Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips (which is now normal in the U.S.)
    * Dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system.

    Mott made his arguments in 1941, and unfortunately they still ring true today, if not more than ever.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5328 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Yes, you weren't the only one, but I was surprised by the response.

    I thought it was well known that many of the readers of this blog hold the major dailies, radio and television networks in very low regard. New Zealand's media now seems to consist mainly of sex, violence, sport, and advertising.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "seems to consist mainly of sex, violence, sport, and advertising."

    And all of them frequently confused with each oither...

    Anybody else just plain irritated with that Auckland newspaper twice mispelling "formerly" today? Probably not (sigh: informally joins the ranks of curmudgeons...)

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

  • giovanni tiso,

    I thought it was well known that many of the readers of this blog hold the major dailies, radio and television networks in very low regard.

    For the (broken) record, I am quite partial to National Radio.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    For the (broken) record, I am quite partial to National Radio.

    You might not have been in New Zealand, when National Radio was called 1YA, and old fogies would listen, with little knitted blankets on there laps.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3865 posts Report Reply

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