Ewww…that’s sounds positively disgusting, particularly from Janet Wilson’s perspective but nonetheless she has written a very good post about Fran O’Sullivan’s idea of opening up NZ on Air to even more contestable funding.
As is to be expected from such a media professional she provides solid evidence as to why “new media” including blogs needs to be included in the contestable funding model.
Internet based news and programme providers have every right to shriek at NZOA, “Show me the money!”
If anyone doubts internet sites lack journalistic nous and quality check on interest.co.nz and Bernard Hickey’s recent great yarn about how this country’s biggest privately owned dairying operation (they own 22 farms) is allowing dozens of calves to starve to death on one of it’s farms in the central North Island.
Hickey’s story comes complete with a whistleblower, graphic video footage and a MAF investigation that oddly seems to have come to nothing in terms of the animals’ welfare.
MAF investigated the claims but has not prosecuted. Fonterra continued to accept Crayfar Farms’ milk despite widespread claims of its mismanagement and animal welfare issues.
What’s unusual for web-based journalism is that, for once, the reporter and a producer got up from their computers and went into the field to investigate. And what they found is a good investigative story of the kind once practiced by the mainstream media before staff numbers and budgets were cut to the bone.
The story gets added zest with an altercation with the farm’s manager and his (alleged) assault on the producer, the ubiquitous Bryan Spondre.
Let’s put to one side the vexed media question of the owner of New Zealand’s biggest dairy farm consortium having done a shockingly abysmal job of damage control. (Media 101: begging someone not to do a story because of damage to the dairy trade’s international reputation but obviously doing little or nothing to put the situation right is just plain hopeless).
Hickey produced a scoop that was eagerly followed by TV ONE’s Close up and RNZ National’s Morning Report, the NZ Herald and others.
Perhaps the most interesting part is that Bernard Hickey has long been regarded with suspicion and resentment by some in the mainstream media, who curl their upper lip at what they see as his self-promotion and entrepreneurial approach to the news business.
This is the kind of investigative story that would merit NZ On Media funding.