Bernard Hickey has created his own sort of buzz for his new website www.journalism.org.nz
Hickey is taking his begging bowl out to the public to pay for his news. After one day he has wowed only 99 people in the public to lift their fingers to a mouse. It will be a long road to get them to part with their credit card details.
Here is where I stopped and had a moment of reflection. I always thought Hickey was at least the majority owners of interest.co.nz. Apparently not. The company that trades as the website is wholly owned by businessman David Chaston. The NBR claims it has “the whole story” but they’ve stopped short of saying the obvious that the Whale can.
Weasel words for – the sponsor is p*****, this will smooth it over.
So here we have Bernard Hickey slaving away as a serf for how many years building and fronting interest.co.nz past its inception as an interest rate site, writing about business, making prediction and comments about the suitability of others to run businesses and all the time since 2008 he never had an equity interest? What?
And now Hickey appears to us all to have chucked his toys out of the closet, what do we make of interest.co.nz?
I have had whispers around publishers that the alleged asking price is $2-3.5 million as a tyre-kicker expression of “interest”. Based on what valuation model I do not know so I cannot for the life of me work that one out. It looks from the outside like the company did not even have a restraint of trade on their front person.
Hickey said in his Red Radio
uninterrupted advertisement interview that he has had “long chats” with Russell Brown (is there any other kind?) and Selwyn Pellett was providing ”logistical support around technology needed to produce this and legal issues”. Which are weasel words for – Pellett is Bernard’s new boss. Where Pellett goes we know Labour goes. He even sits as a “critical friend” on their review committee and even called loudly for Goff’s head to be rolled when Labour could actually have done so. Pellett is not so much a major funder of Labour (yet) but a major mouthpiece pushing for policy direction to help himself primarily under the general guise of “exporting” and of course more corporate welfare.
This new website is a vehicle for the left. Perhaps terminally slow paying Scoop and Russell Brown are going to join forces for a one stop SuperBlog of whining high-pitched left-wing c*** calling for higher taxes and a left-wing government while “exposing” the evils of big business all the while link whoring off them. Martyn Bradbury should be free to join in the fun too if real estate sales slow down due to this whole “housing affordability” crisis.
The wonderful thing about journalists, and what I actually enjoy about them is their bitchiness and vigour in protecting their turf. You have to handle them I have found rather niiii……cely and in a co-operative fashion. Within hours of the announcement by Hickey, I had half a dozen tips about the new operation and what has happened at interest.co.nz. In public they are all patting Hickey on the back. True to her normal form, Fran O’Sullivan is one of the only old school journalists honest enough to front in discussion groups defending Hickey’s attack on journalism in a form of attack of her own.
Hickey thinks it will be all fun and games and “nice guys” but he may find that the NZ Herald is not too keen on his new venture. Why give Hickey a high profile column and free-reign to build his profile when you are launching your own new tabloid format that Hickey has directly attacked and you have your own investigative reporters and business section?
We aim to gather a group of supporters able to fund, build and flesh out a community of journalists and the platform they need to report, analyse and publish the news that matters. That means investigative, probing, enterprising and explanatory journalism, rather than celebrity-driven churnalism and PR.
New Zealand needs a strong and vibrant fourth estate that challenges, probes, questions and holds to account those people, institutions and forces that affect the lives of all New Zealanders.
The Whale’s advice to anyone thinking of getting involved in writing for this new venture is pretty simple – do not make the same mistake Bernard has made since 2008.
Hickey is planning to promote both his and Pellett’s anti foreign-ownership, pro-corporate welfare, financial doomsday, pro-tax reform and pro-Labour/Union stories.
At least get paid properly.