Mental Health Break

Will NZME, and Fairfax implement a paywall?

Will NZME implement a paywall?

The answer is probably yes. The reasons are varied, but one reason is that they think they have got their model right and it will be successful. Or at least APN their parent company thinks that way.

Publishers across the world are at a crossroads. There are two alternatives they face at this point: pull up stumps after investing in expensive paid content strategies deciding they’ve hit a barrier they can’t get over, or hold their nerve and look to break the subscriptions ceiling that confronts many of them?

If there was one moment that stood out at the International News Media Association (INMA) 2015 World Congress this week it was when Australian moderator, and former Sydney Morning Herald editor, Robert Whitehead polled the room full of top media executives, from around the world, on their support for paywalls.

Whitehead first asked everyone who had a paywall to stand and, in a room of 200-300 people, maybe 75 per cent stood up.

He then asked (without naming anyone) for those who didn’t think their paywall was working for them to sit. Around a third of those standing sat.

Whitehead then polled the room again asking those who had reservations or who would not recommend paywalls to another publisher to sit, leaving only those “who thought they were doing it really well”. This left only around ten newspaper executives standing.

Those left standing (and yes for the record: News, Fairfax and APN were all in the room) were representatives from the big media brands of the world: The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal.

Media brands with a deep reach who have achieved mass audience and are making it pay on the basis of their global audience.

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Map of the Day

Sponsored by What Power Crisis, click here for this week’s Solar Deal


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Lianne Dalziel cries a river of tears

Lianne Dalziel reckons she is sorry…for doing nothing.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel has made a tearful apology to residents of east Christchurch, who feel she has let them down.

Dalziel made the emotional apology on Saturday in response to hundreds of submissions from east Christchurch residents on the council’s proposed 10-year budget, known as the draft Long Term Plan. The submissions expressed frustration at the slow pace of recovery and the lack of proposed spending in New Brighton and the eastern suburbs.

Dalziel’s voice cracked with emotion as she apologised.   Read more »

Bullied out of existence by #dirtypolitics wowsers

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Some people need a cup of HTFU.  Thanks to the bullying by anti-alcohol wowsers Jennie Connor and Steve Child, a bunch of entrepreneurs have wimped out and are now in hiding.

Last week you may recall the post #DIRTYPOLITICS WOWSERS NOW HATE ENTREPRENEURS. Fairfax reporter Chloe Winter raced around getting the usual spiteful comments from Alcohol Action NZ and the NZ Medical Association chair.   Read more »

Stoush on inside Nat caucus

Richard Harman at Politik reports of a stoush going on inside the National caucus.

I had heard details of this, but not at the level Harman has. He’s been around a long time and his network of contacts is impressive. If he says there is a stoush on, then there is.

A political row within the National Party could ignite this week if a Select Committee does not make major modifications to a one of the Government’s most complex pieces of legislation which will impact every business, workplace and farm and even sports events  in the country.

The Health and Safety in Employment Reform Bill is proposing a substantial overhaul of the way businesses, workplaces and farms manage health and safety issues.

It is expected to be reported back from the Transport and Industrial Relations Select Committee on Thursday.

The Bill has the potential to anger  National’s small business and farming heartland and already its worrying some MPs.

There are reports that one  backbencher, Maurice Williamson, has already signalled his opposition to the Bill at a National Caucus meeting.

One source even suggested he could cross the floor and vote against the Bill if it was not changed.

However though one senior Minister discounted that claim he told “POLITIK” that “a number of us” agree with him on his concerns about what is in the Bill.

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President Obama – misinformed or plain stupid?

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Insurance is a sensible device for managing risk.  We use it everyday for peace of mind and dealing with unforeseeable and catastrophic events.    The premiums we pay are based on very well researched information.  The competitive market requires car insurers for example to know a great deal about various models of car, which ones are susceptible to theft, cost of repairs and much more.

It would be unthinkable to have annual premiums where the cost exceeded the amount agreed to be paid out.  Or would it?  President Obama thinks its OK.

In a recent speech to the military he outlined his plans for reducing CO2.  His aim is an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.  The costs of achieving this are horrendous, even if you use the most optimistic calculations.  One government-based assessment has it at US$13,000 trillion – whatever that amount is.   Reality says it is impossible to even hazard a guess that is going to come in close.  We know from Germany’s very short flirtation with renewable energy, that electricity consumers there are now paying three times more than they were.  The USA situation is potentially much worse, because of their greater dependence on fossil fuels.  And that’s just one aspect of the cost.  An even greater cost is the loss of food production to ethanol production.  Who really cares though about starvation in Haiti or Sudan?  Certainly not the well-fed, cosseted, do-gooder alarmists.  The US Navy has already calculated that biofuels will cost more than four times their present fuel budget.

The proponents of “doing something” are not concerned about the cost.  They argue any cost can be justified.     Read more »

Sign of the Day

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Photo Of The Day

Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images. JONESTOWN, GUYANA - Dead bodies lie around the compound of the People's Temple cult November 18, 1978 after the over 900 members of the cult, led by Reverend Jim Jones, died from drinking cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid ; they were victims of the largest mass suicide in modern history.

Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images.
JONESTOWN, GUYANA – Dead bodies lie around the compound of the People’s Temple cult November 18, 1978 after the over 900 members of the cult, led by Reverend Jim Jones, died from drinking cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid ; they were victims of the largest mass suicide in modern history.

The Jonestown Nightmare

It’s Flavor-Aid, Not Kool Aid

 “‘Alert! Alert! Alert! Everyone to the pavilion!’ The Rev Jim Jones was on the loudspeaker, summoning the members of his People’s Temple to their last communion. Dutifully, they gathered round; some of them, without doubt, knew what was in store. ‘Everyone has to die,’ said Jones. ‘If you love me as much as I love you, we must all die or be destroyed from the outside.’ Mothers grasped their children to their breasts. Jones ordered his medical team to bring out ‘the potion,’ a battered tub of strawberry Flavor Aid, laced with tranquilizers and cyanide. ‘Bring the babies first,’ he commanded.”

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Should the Labour party be put down?

There are questions over the validity of continuing on with the Labour party in the UK.

While it’s always bad manners to intrude on private grief, I think I have a useful suggestion for the Labour Party; one that could save it a great deal of bitterness and heartache over the next weeks and months, as it struggles to find a new leader and image. For there is an alternative to the coming painful internecine struggle between Peter Mandelson, Len McCluskey, the Unite General Secretary, Jim Murphy, the former Scottish Labour leader, and the various contenders for the Labour leadership: why not just wind up the party altogether?

In the 115 years since it was founded as the political wing of the trade union movement at the Memorial Hall in Farringdon Street in February 1900, Labour has rendered the British people a few signal services. It supported Winston Churchill’s premiership during the Second World War, playing a key role in forcing Neville Chamberlain’s resignation in May 1940. It created the National Health Service eight years later (though quite what Clement Attlee and Nye Bevan would think about the taxpayer forking out for breast enlargements and sex-change operations doesn’t bear contemplation). It also produced many fine, patriotic Cabinet ministers such as Ernie Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Jim Callaghan, George Robertson and John Reid, and many sound defence ministers such as Roy Mason, John Gilbert, Bill Rodgers and David Owen. But the Labour Party’s time as a useful force in British politics has now passed.

Quite possibly its time has passed here, too. Josie Pagani has frequently stated that Labour has lost its branding. Here is why.

All the key societal indicators are moving away from Labour – even its brand name is wildly outdated. Fewer people regard themselves as working class today than at any other period in history, with 71 per cent self-identifying as middle class. Class-consciousness is considered passé by the new generation attaining voting age; first-timers this time around apparently didn’t give a hoot where David Cameron went to school, for example. The percentage of people identifying themselves as Socialist is the lowest it has ever been, hovering around the early teens.

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