You know the drill Ian: if it’s on TV news or in the Herald website it’s front-page in the Press. Nothing is important unless a power-greater-than-Christchurch deems it so.
This city hums with wonderful and/or nationally-significant stories. I find them every day without even looking, and I suspect the Press journos do too, but their readership-deaf Fairfax news controllers in Wellington turn them down as they wouldn’t have a clue and don’t care what this city’s readers want to read.
I’m not sure how well it is working (on a news or financial) level.
Absolutely fine. Allied Press also have a solid presence in Christchurch via Star Media, the owner of The Star and CTV and taking in the Mainland community newspapers and various other operations.
The rest of New Zealand doesn’t want to read about Auckland with a side-serving of Wellington. That’s why we don’t buy the papers, watch the Auckland-centric television news and self-regarding talk shows.
It’s not relevant to our lives. How much more wounding can get for a real journalist, one who is interested in other people’s lives rather their own opinions?
During the early earthquake years in Christchurch, The Press, led by Andrew Holden, did a fine job of informing, comforting and knitting together the community in the best tradition of journalism: relevant, written by people who understood and cared for the city. With that grew a renewed community loyalty to the paper.
Fairfax has squandered that loyalty with its incessant demands for more. It is no coincidence that the New Zealand company is led by one of the greyest accountants ever to cross the door of a publisher: no understanding of what it takes to make successful journalism, no aroha; indeed no experience of being a working journalist but much experience of the managerialism and cheese-paring it takes to export the still-large-but-not-as -large-as-we-want profits back to the brutish Australian masters. He does his job well and doesn’t need to understand that journalism is about humanity. For him it is about money.
The rampant greed of the media megacorps doesn’t work any more, for them because there is never enough profit, for consumers because we are treated with blatant disrespect, for journalists who live in the shadow of redundancy near every day they go to work.
So maybe we do have to start again: small, local operations that make enough to break even, that share their copy with other small outfits, even a formal sharing arrangement to broaden the scope of the news. (Hey, we used to have one of those until some bastard sold it.)
None of that is undoable in an age where we don’t even have to print a physical paper. The cost of publishing online is minimal, but to make it work advertisers need to support it, or readers need to pay, or both.
It will take a willingness to be bold in a way that a merger of huge companies – controlled by old men who, oddly, look like Clarke and Dawe – could never be. Community trusts owning media platforms are the way forward.
Out of all the New Zealand songs and videos from back then, Anything Could Happen is my favourite. It captures perfectly Christchurch in the late 70s before it got bleak.
The scenes are like time travel and the sounds are like nights out, and afternoons doing random things when I should've been at uni doing geography labs with Roger Shepherd and Steve Gleeson (sorry about those joint reports you two).
I love the video even more now the city's disappeared and, unlike most Christchurch nostalgia, there's a happy snort of recognition of my life.
Anything could happen/and it could be right now.
And it did.
Here’s Colin sitting in the cubbyhole by our new Ikea shelves last week.
I’m envious of those shelves. You’ve stacked shelf stuff any old how.
Like a quake virgin.
Min’s brother, Killigula, is an arsehole. The scratchiest bitiest – but smartest – cat we’ve ever had. He watches, intently as we do anything. He opens doors to let the dog through, he switches on lights (yep), and he runs inside and climbs people and nests in their hair.
I’m gutted about the Hills. So many layers of connection and memory that can’t I think about up there without torrential weeping. Many of my family lie there, in one way or another, and so many trees planted by all of us.
So many are burned and more will die in the coming weeks, and then we will start again, so my grandchilden and great-children can see what we had.
More tomorrow. Music today.
Got to be hyphenated.
(It's probably too late, as it is for Aleppo's children.)
It’s the Waiau quake really because that is where it started, but the way it pinged across faults and involved 10 or more faults right up to Cook Strait poses a naming problem. The North-East South Island quake?
Dead. It’s been a bigly deading year.
Slow-slip. Geological, but seems like a metaphor for Western society.