If you change out Telegraph for NZ Herald you will realise the same malaise is besetting our biggest paper in NZ.
Speaking as one who spent most of his journalistic career on the Telegraph – I joined in 1988 and worked variously there as an obituarist, diarist on the (defunct) Peterborough column, and arts correspondent – I can’t say this affords me anyÂ Schadenfreude. I loved the Telegraph: for at least two decades it was the only paper to which I subscribed because its generally pro-small-government, pro-tradition, pro-personal-responsibility, pro-freedom, pro-country politics aligned most closely with my own.
But I can’t pretend it isn’t good news for the operation here at Breitbart London. And to understand why all you have to do is look at some of the comments below our posts.
Many of them come from disgruntled ex-Telegraph readers, furious at the studiedly centrist direction their paper has taken, yearning for more of the red-meat conservatism and/or libertarianism which these days they can find almost nowhere in the UK mainstream media but which is Breitbart’s raison d’etre.
It wasn’t always this way. And it didn’t need to be this way. Not so long ago, the Telegraph had a secret weapon in the form of the superb, incisive, tell-it-like-it-is blogs section established by Damian Thompson. Thompson’s unspoken ambition – in sly defiance of the print paper’s increasingly centrist stance – was to create a kind of UK online answer to Fox News. To this end, he recruited a roster of some of the finest right-wing commentators in the business which, at various stages, included: Thatcherism’s living conscience Lord Tebbit; MEP Dan Hannan; Toby Young; Douglas Murray; Ed West.
I was on the list too and, for a period, Telegraph blogs was the only place to be. At least it was if you thought that the media desperately needed a counter to the almost overwhelmingly left-wing online narrative provided by HuffPo, Slate, Salon and the Guardian’sÂ Komment Macht Frei. It was, indeed, like the Telegraph used to be in its glory days, only more colloquial, funny, snarky and up-to-the-minute topical. The traffic was huge; and growing. For example, when it helped break the Climategate scandal, its post garnered over 1.5 million hits.
Iâve never posted on your blog before, but the mainstream media has been getting me down so much lately I felt I had to speak out.
It seems to me that the MSM is duty bound to ensure any one party never has enough of a percentage of the popular vote to govern alone. To me it seems that if one party nears 50% the MSM suddenly pulls out articles theyâve been sitting on for months – beat us to death with them, until the party the articles are invariably about is eroded to below the threshold of being able to govern alone.
I believe in free speech, but I believe that if you are attempting to speak to the masses – we should at least know the colour of the soap box youâre standing on. Itâs ridiculous to accept there is no media bias, when those writing the articles day after day seem to follow party specific lines.Â Read more »
I’ve had a few like this in the past few days. It is from a new reader and we welcome new readers.
He does raise some valid points but what do the old hands think, beyond the obvious that this polite new reader has no idea about my politics.
I have recently ‘found’ WOBH and find that it … as well as mainstream media … seems to be distracted with the unimportant.
Where is the ongoing and cutting analysis of TPPA, for instance. To have American BIG business dictate and TPPA countries lose their sovereignty, is surely more urgent than jumping on the ‘change the flag’ bandwagon, or publishing a photo of Mr Cunliffe’s screwed up face, or Scooping Scoop.Â Read more »
People, okay mainly left wing tossers with their heads jammed up their fundament, claim that this website is rubbish or a sewer not by what is written on it but by what is in the comments. their site is better, smarter or more erudite because we have nicer commenters is the answer.
Of course it is petty jealousy fuelled with an unhealthy dose of intellectual snobbery. The market speaks andÂ the market decides if you’re good enough not some pompous leftwing snob’s idea of what people should say or think.
The FTâs former correspondent at the European Parliament used to ask me the same question at every press conference. âSo does this mean you voted the same way as Jean-Marie Le Pen?â
Itâs amazing how many people want to judge a proposal, not by its merits, but by its incidental supporters. We need only state their implication openly â that you should drop an otherwise sensible idea because someone you donât like agrees with you â to see how absurd it is.
Yet people carry on doing it. Itâs the phenomenon that lies behind Godwinâs Law, the observation that all Internet discussions, if allowed to run long enough, end with comparisons to the Nazis. Hitler didnât like trade unions! Hitler banned foxhunting! Hitler was a vegetarian! Hitler was an atheist! Hitler was a Catholic! Hitler was a pagan!
Now thereâs a new variant of the phenomenon: judging a blog by its comment thread. Again, the absurdity should be obvious. Bloggers are not responsible for what happens after they have posted. Those who comment most aggressively are more often than not hostile to the writer. The word âtrollâ didnât originally mean, as is often thought these days, someone who is rude and unpleasant; it meant someone who used an assumed identity to discredit someone else.Â Read more »
He is not from my side of the political fence but he is a good writer and journalist…though with Judge Blackie’s ruling could now be considered to be outside the description.
There are good reasons to dislike and despise Slater and his style of journalism – and Judge Blackie seemed thunderstruck that Slater writes and publishes stuff on his computer, all by himself – but the problems only begin to multiply when you start to decree who is or isnât legitimately within the journalism club. The same Law Commission report had gone on to argue that regardless of any style and balance issues, bloggers do enhance free speech and a free press, and are entitled to media privileges. Slater is relying on the protection of sources’ conditions stated at Section 68 (1) of the Evidence Act. Touchingly, the Evidence Act goes on (at 68:5) to define âa journalistâ but does so entirely in passive terms:
A journalist means a person who in the normal course of that personâs work may be given information by an informant in the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium.
Leaving aside the particulars of Slaterâs case for a moment…is this really what we would want to call âjournalismâ? Namely, the printing of stuff that other people give to us? This peculiarly passive image of journalism omits the active, creative news-gathering role – and the conscious selection that every news outlet indulges in as to what items (among all the various bits of information âgiven by an informantâ) that it chooses to print, what prominence it affords them etc. etc. Journalism never has been passive. Largely for ânews as entertainmentâ reasons of commerce, the mainstream media is being remarkably un-passive in how it goes about this business. Increasingly, it is blurring the lines between passive reportage and overt commentary, and most noticeably in its coverage of political news and events. Slater may be no oneâs ideal of a journalist – but to assume there is some clear, bright line between him and the rest of the blogging/journalism pack is self-delusory. Readers are adults. They can read around Slaterâs agenda just as they can read around theÂ Heraldâs âbias.â Or mine. Fairness and balance are aspirational goals, not givens. Some try a bit harder to achieve them, thatâs all. Â Read more »
[I]s Cameron Slater entitled to the same privilege to protect sources that other journalists have?
As the NZ HeraldÂ reports, the owner/operator/author of NZâs most widely read blog is being sued for defamation. The plaintiff has formally asked him whether he knows the name of his source. (You might have thought that the answer to this might simply be âyesâ.Â But I guess thereâs an obvious follow-up). Slater has refused to answer on the grounds that he is a journalist, writing for a news medium, and therefore does not need to reveal his source. This rule is contained inÂ s68 of the Evidence Act 2006.
Note a couple of things. First, in order to get this source protection, Slater has to show that his blog is a âmedium for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observations on news.â
The law is aa clear as that…and simple, it is a wonder the judge made the ruling that he did.
[T]he judge ruled that he doesnât even get that. This is because:
Whale Oil is a blog site. It is not a news medium within the definition of s68âŠ of the Defamation Act. It is not a means for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observation on news.
The judge gives very little reason for this conclusion. It seems a very questionable one. Whatever you think of WhaleOil, itâs hard to deny that he breaks news stories, and that he writes commentary on news. When you factor in the requirement that the courts are supposed to have regard to rights of freedom of expression under the Bill of Rights Act when interpreting statutes – and thereâs a respectable argument that protecting sources facilitates the flow of important information – then there seems a powerful argument that this section ought to be construed widely enough to encompass at least some bloggers.Â Read more »
New Zealand blogs became more prominent and influential during 2013, finds theÂ JMAD New Zealand Media Ownership Report 2013. There are 280 ranked blogs, and the top political blogs record high visitor numbers. To be ranked, blogs must have a publicly accessible site meter that tracks visitor numbers.
While the financial ownership of New Zealand media has increased, and mainstream media become even more commercial, interest in public interest journalism is increasing.
âIt is not surprising that citizen journalists and bloggers have started to take a more active role. The blogosphere is thriving right now because it provides an alternative to commercially focused media,â saysÂ AUTÂ communication studies lecturer Merja Myllylahti, author of the report.
Myllylahti says controversial stories in 2013, like the Len Brown scandal (broken on theÂ Whale Oil Beef HookedÂ blog), the Andrea Vance phone records issue and the passage of legislation expanding the powers of the GCSB, have also contributed to active blogging culture.
âSome recent government actions, like the expansion of GCSB powers, can be seen to threaten media freedom. Therefore it is good to see that the New Zealand media is looking for new ways to raise issues, and bloggers are gaining in prominence.â
The top ranked New Zealand blog,Â Whale Oil Beef Hooked, has more than doubled its visitor numbers since September 2012 to 762,184 visitors per month, and the second ranked blog,Â Kiwiblog, has 397,034 visitors per month. Â Read more »
Party polarization has raised the stakes in elections. And polarization combined with the growth of partisan media options has created an incentive for party leaders and activists to discredit the mainstream media among their supporters. Party leaders convince their partisans in the mass public to resist informative messages from the mainstream media and ideologically hostile outlets, and instead rely more on ideologically friendly new outlets.Â In doing this, they can help to inoculate their supporters against voting for the other side.
I’m not sure that our political parties do this yet, but certainly this occurs within the commentariat, including blogs, where newspapers especially are described by an alleged political slant. Variously you will here the NZ Herald described as a pinko rag, or from the other side as a Tory rag. Of course the opinion is coloured by the world view of the commentator.
Political scientists have documented the tendency of people from different parties to have perceptions of reality that reflect their partisanship. Put simply, when a Democrat is president, Democrats tend to think that national conditions are better than Republicans do, and vice versa. I find that this trend is much larger among those who distrust the institutional media.
There are many from the left who think that the NZ Herald is a shill for National. I don’t believe this is a fair assumption. I do think it is fair though to say that the Herald has tabloided itself and is populated by journalists and columnists whose world-view is a little rose-tinted when it comes to political colours. But the paper itself isn’t bias one way or the other.
With blogs at least you know what side they are on and so you look at what they are saying through that prism.With newspapers and television there is a thinÂ veneerÂ of impartiality, but long termÂ watchersÂ and readers soon discover the political persuasion of the players.
As usual the mainstream media are publishing union press releases without doing any fact checking. The meat workers union has Eddie at the Standard promoting their lines, and as everyone knows Eddie is the kind of coward who refuses to disclose who he or she is.
KnowingÂ what a bunch of liars the MUNZ were I wondered if the Meatworkers were as big a bunch of liars and decided to find out. Unlike mainstream media journalists who repeat press releases that fit their ideology I actually investigate, so I made some calls and found out the following details. This matched nicely with some of the useful information that has been coming through the tipline from disaffected union insiders.
Reading between the lines the Meat Workers Union of Aotearoa are as big a bunch of thugs as the Maritime Union of New Zealand. hey are certainly helping each other in their campaigns.They want to preserve conditions from a 1993Â collective agreement, which has its foundations in the 1960s. The union wants to preserve the 1960s rights, while the modern world has free trade and a floating dollar.
In typical union fashion they have taken exactly the same stance as the port workers. They won’t make any compromises on conditions that would allow processing plants to run more efficiently, costing companies and New Zealand in a tough export environment. Give the union the opportunity to receive increased pay to work on more efficient killing chains they will want the pay but still keep the same old killing efficiency.
Thanks to some useful information from the tipline I have some very interesting Union promotional material. This union is an extremely militant, reactionary and politically active group, who fight National about as hard as they fight employers.
Expect too to see Labour’s own version of Michelle Boag, Helen Kelly, turn up for some union bullying. As more information flows in I will counter the media spin that is starting to flow the way of the mainstream media via professional militants like Simon Oosterman and Helen Kelly.
Self-employed Aucklander Richard Henry should teach a course in management speak. The 26-year-old says he “thrives on the creative industries and robust debate, and aspires to better the world en route to the finer things in life,” and his “entrepreneurial edge, grounded understanding, and core ethics” will get him the top job. Moving forward.
Hmmm…âentrepreneurial edge, grounded understanding and core ethicsâ. Let’s look at his core ethics.
First up his by-line is “Getting frank is about keeping it direct, honest and evident.” We will be doing just that. I’ll be direct, I’ll be honest and I will produce evidence.
Sometime back in 2007, Rich Henry was setting up Get Frank, an online magazine for blokes. With his partner Mitch Hall, he contacted numerous âcontent providersâ, that is a nice term for people who write stuff. He asked if he could use the occasional article from the content providers. He even had one of his staff discuss financial terms for the use of the material with content providers. Â That content provider kept the email as terms of their engagement:
In fact, as our advertising grows we will be offering allÂ contributors the chance to take 50% of all advertisingÂ revenue from their page(s) on a CPM basis.
I was one of those who was offered these terms. So was Cactus Kate and content was also taken from other content providers such as Kiwiblog. I am yet to go through the whole site but from an email today from Rich Henry, he confirms that in fact 100% of the content of Get Frank is sourced from other content providers and that they provide no content of their own.
Through my own monitoring, I have noticed increased usage of my content. So I decided to have a wee chat with Rich about his site and the use of my content.
Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
I had given permission for Get Frank to use my content on a limited basis. But there were no links as required, attribution was tenuous and worse still, he was breaching the non-commercial aspect of my licence agreement. What I didn’t give permission for was for them to make truck loads of cash off my content.
Cactus Kate and Kiwiblog donât publish specific licencing for their content and as such are protected completely by total copyright provisions. Â Cactus Kate eventually lost patience with these thieving prats and withdrew her permission for Get Frank to use posts of hers because of the way they were manipulating images on the re-posts.
Get Frank carried extensive advertising, some of it is intercompany related with other enterprises of Richâs to give the impression he has substantial backing. The advertising on Get Frank is booked by Adhub, who it transpires also an investor, to the tune of over $50,000 in Get Frank.
In my discussions with Rich Henry regarding his breaches of mine and other content providersâ copyright, we discussed just exactly what revenue he was making for Get Frank.
Rich confided in me that revenue for the site exceeds $10,000 per month, or more than $120,000 per annum. All from advertising Â - and all booked on content that Get Frank doesnât provide themselves and has lied to those who asked, about the profitability of the earnings derived from the collective âcontent providersâ. Those of you may snigger now that Rich was accepted on to The Apprentice earning that as a paltry sum while making out he is an internet guru. Â I wonât be so unkind, the Sorcerer is struggling to put together $120,000 to pay his creditors at the moment.
I pointed out to Rich that he was in fact stealing from all of us.
We wrote the content, he took it on the basis he was currently unprofitable and would pay for the content when he made the expected profit, sold advertising on that content and then pocketed the loot without actually paying for the content.
His response to my concerns was as follows;
Good to catch up last week.
I have placed some decent thought into it and have also run past the team here.
Like a number of offshore models rather than publishing unique to getfrank content our value proposition and core model is that we offer contributors a free marketing tool / platform, in which we republish a taste from their full offering to position our contributors as the expert destinations and for some an added extension to their online voice.
As discussed last week the page impressions that we generate for each post in the editorial section a revenue split will be nickle & dime and just chewed up in administration, and with further thought and discussion around our model we’re just not going to be able to derive enough value to justify paying a lump sum for that content either.
Given the massive profile you’ve built over 2010 I fully appreciate that the whole free marketing proposition may be of limited value for you, and fully appreciate your reasoning if you choose to end the contributing relationship.
Please forward this email onto the other bloggers within the union, if they they could please email me direct I’ll be more than accommodating.
It’s been great having you on the site, and if you see any other way we can combine forces definitely let me know.
As you can see I was talking with Rich on behalf of the Bloggers Union which, as you know, is compulsory, and acts on behalf of all bloggers or (as Rich calls us) content providers. Â I also see it as a duty to other content providers on Get Frank that we collectively ensure compensation for our work.
As you can also see Rich Henry has admitted that not a single piece of his content is provided by him or his team. They take content from others, like me, like David Farrar, like Cactus Kate and numerous other non-blogging contributors, and they put it on their site then sell advertising on our content. They keep all the loot and then when approached about it claim it is all too hard to distribute half the revenue as promised that content providers collectively were offered, thanks for coming, feck off. Well Iâve got news for Rich Henry and it is all bad.
What Get Frank is actually doing is stealing our collective content and selling that which they didnât produce. Â Imagine what would happen if say The Listener pretended to be poor and stopped paying for content? Â Columnists would soon pack up shop and rat the publication out for what they are – thieves.
Old media often bemoans the copy-and-paste habits of bloggers and self-professed citizen journalists, alleging that the âre-reportingâ they do is more akin to plagiarism than journalism.
Smarting under these kinds of accusations, the blogosphere eagerly took up a story writer Monica Gaudio posted to her blog Wednesday evening in which she described how a for-profit print magazine called Cooks Source published a 5-year-old post she had penned for the blog Gode Cookery. The article was published without Gaudioâs permission.
A friend who had seen the article wrote to Gaudio congratulating her and asking her how she had gotten the article published in the magazine, which has a circulation of about 20,000. âThis was news to me, as I hadnât ever heard of this magazine before,â she said.
According to Gaudio, she contacted the editor of Cooks Source to inquire about the article (which is about the history of apple pie) and how it managed to appear in the magazine. At one point in the exchange, Gaudio said, the editor asked her what she wanted, and Gaudio replied that she wanted an apology to appear both in the magazine and on the magazineâs Facebook Page, as well as a $130 donation (a sum that equates to about $0.10 per word of the piece in question) to be made to the Columbia School of Journalism.
The editor, who said that she has three decades of experience editing for The Voice, Connecticut Woman Magazine and other publications, responded that since everything on the web is considered âpublic domain,â Gaudio âshould be happy we didnât just âliftâ your whole article and put someone elseâs name on it,â a common occurrence on college campuses and elsewhere, she notes. She goes on to say that the article âwas in very bad need of editing, and is much better now than it was originally.â In fact, she says, âWe put some time into rewrites, [therefore] you should compensate me!â
As it has with other incidents of private injustice â such as the case of Mary Bale, a.k.a the âCat Bin Ladyââ the web sounded its displeasure loudly, flooding the magazineâs Facebook Page with thousands of derisive comments (apparently, the original Facebook Page was hacked and the magazine has since been forced to relocate) and Twitter with the hashtag #CrooksSource.
And what happened to Cooks Source? Well it went tits up after its advertisers abandoned a known thief. Â Get Frank offered its content providers 50% of the advertising they generate. Â Whether that is Whaleoil, David Farrar or any of the non-blogger contributors, he owes half the revenue to the content providers.
Now back to Rich Henry. Even if you take his emails and his lackeyâs email at face value, he could argue that his site isnât making money and so he canât cough up the dosh. There is a slight problem with that, and it is Rich Henryâs propensity to skite.
I launched the site, with 40k of personal loans and 60k of my parents money to see no one visiting and only a couple of months liquidity left.
I came through it by:
Dropping out of fulltime work at PricewaterhouseCoopers to work on the venture fulltime to try and save it. I was very lucky to secure Shane Bradley as an Angel Investor, and three years since the light bulb moment the ventures finally cash flow positive.
We wonder quite where the 100k of start-up capital went, it seems to be an enormous sum to spend on promo girls and sponsor events around town to make Rich look like daâ main man of Auckland online media,
More importantly in October 2008, he acknowledges that the site is cashflow positive. Where were the revenues for the content? Nowhere is where…well, actually they were in Rich Henryâs pocket.
Richard is now 25 and the magazine attracts more than 50,000 readers per month. He describes it as a website for intelligent, professional men.
Nice…he gets the same traffic a month that I get a week and he has the audacity to claim that he was helping me and other content providers like Kiwiblog and Cactus Kate out!!
In March 2009 he was blabbing about his stellar success;
The website is aimed at intelligent, professional men â it has the highest concentration of 18-39 year old male readers in New Zealand, and more than 72% of its audience have a household income over $60k a year, according to Nielsen Online. It has managed to attract long-term premium advertisers such as Â Continental Car Services and Amstel Premium Beer â not bad for a site Â that drove its owner to the brink of bankruptcy.
For the first two years, Rich poured all his spare time, money and energy into the project. Winning $5,000 and a trip to Sydney in Nescafe Bigbreak bolstered Â both his Â confidence and credibility â and eventually led him to resigning from his day job to devote himself full time to the venture.
Within two months, and with bankruptcy pending, he met Shane Bradley of finda.co.nz, who brought with him resources in the form of both money and contacts. Rich threw himself into completing the content proposition, establishing key commercial relationships, and constructing the re-design of the site.
Now, two years on from that initial meeting, Richâs passion and confidence are still there and they are beginning to prove well founded.
âWe just keep on growing. We started 2008 with 10,000 unique visitors a month. Weâre now looking at 70,000 â thatâs nearly twice as many people as were at the Big Day Out this year.â
It is hard to believe Rich would ever lack confidence. Completing content proposition…hmmm…I wonder if he actually wrote down on the post-it notes that he is so fond of quoting, that he uses âSteal Contentâ as the content proposition.
I wonder how his advertisers like Continental Cars, Amstel Premium and Jack Daniels feel about his theft of our content to enable him to fill his pockets. Â Probably the same way Veuve Clicquot and the NBR felt when they shafted social media in a small competition recently. Â Nervous. Imagine the innovative and creative ways that New Zealand bloggers could destroy those three brands along with Get Frank?
âIâve got a million things to do, with a completely open canvas on how to deliver on each one of them. Working for yourself means everyday is an opportunity, and yeah, Iâm loving it.â
Yeah, I just bet you are loving it…stealing other people work and fobbing it off to advertisers on pathetic traffic statistics and keeping all the money…I just bet youâre loving it âŠuntil now. Â Sunshine being the best disinfectant on corporate criminals.
In a shock double elimination, the 26-year-old Aucklander and Meena Chaggen were sent packing after the boss, Terry Serepisos, accused them of duplicity.
Duplicity…look it up. If anyone knows duplicity when he sees it that would be Terry Serepisos.
duplicity (countable and uncountable; plural duplicities)
Intentional deceptiveness; double-dealing.
Rich Henry was fired from The Apprentice for duplicity….which is how he conducts business with Get Frank and Adhub.
And donât you just love Rich Henryâs last word on the Apprentice.
I’ve got my website and that’s just screaming ahead at the moment. I’ve got 25,000 people on the newsletter and that just continues to build. It’s a men’s magazine and we do about 35 articles a week. So yeah, it’s all really exciting.
âWe do about 35 articles a weekâ…..what a liar…duplicitous even.
So what do we do about Get Frank and Rich Henry?
Well, I for one want all of my content taken down. Itâs stolen after all. Iâm pretty sure that other Bloggerâs Union members will request the same. Then Iâll spread it around just what sort of thief Rich Henry is, endeavour to contact every single one of his content providers and show them this page, along with his advertisers. Â New Zealand mainstream media loves knocking down failed Apprentice contestants on their business failures. Â Even repeaters get paid for their content, they get pippy when their own content is stolen and re-sold for profit elsewhere. Â Very pippy. Ask Barry Colman what he thinks of people who steal content.
I really think that he should be providing penalty payments and residuals in compensation for the work he has stolen.
Members must behave with Integrity in all professional and business relationships. Integrity implies not merely honesty but fair dealing and truthfulness.
16. Integrity is a quality of overriding importance for all members of the Institute. Integrity implies not merely honesty but fair dealing and truthfulness. It is membersâ adherence to the fundamental principle of Integrity that allows the public to derive their trust in the accountancy profession. It is also the benchmark against which a member must ultimately test all decisions.
17. Integrity can accommodate the inadvertent error and honest difference of opinion. However, Integrity cannot accommodate deceit or subordination of principles, values and standards.
18. Integrity is measured in terms of what is right or just.
19. In the absence of specific rules, standards or guidance, or in the face of conflicting opinions, a member should test their decisions and actions against the following questions:
Am I doing what a person of Integrity would do?
Have I retained my Integrity?
Rule 13 is going to hurt too.
Any member who has reasonable grounds for suspecting defalcation, fraud, dishonesty or other unethical behaviour by any other member is under a duty to make a confidential report immediately to the Chief Executive of the Institute.
Bummer, the Whale will not be the issue here, Rich stole one content providerâs work – who just happens to be a member.
Rich Henry is a thief, a plagiarist and a liar. He is also now blacklisted by the Bloggers Union and anyone associated with him. De-linking and Cease and Desist action is taking place.
Never Fuck with a Blogger (NFWAB) especially if that blogger is me.