Mass media

Press Council extends membership to bloggers

The Press Council has announced that they will extend their coverage to bloggers.

Oh dear someone is going to have to amend their submission to the High Court.

The only problem I have is the two EPMU representatives on the Press Council. I believe that in extending these provisions they need to have two bloggers on the council too. Perhaps is now time to formalise the Bloggers Union so that representatives can be appointed to the Press Council.

The Press Council is to offer membership to new digital media and gain additional powers to deal with complaints against traditional print media.

The moves follow a review of the Press Council by its main funder, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, which considered recommendations by the Press Council and a report last year by the Law Commission.

The Press Council was established in 1972 to adjudicate on complaints against member newspapers. Newspaper publishers decided to include magazines in 1998 and the council’s mandate was further expanded in 2002 to include members’ websites.

Current chair is former High Court judge Sir John Hansen and the council has a majority of non-media industry members.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association editorial director Rick Neville, who chairs the Press Council’s executive committee, said most publishers felt the time had come to strengthen the Press Council’s authority, and to extend its coverage to handle complaints against digital media, including bloggers.  Read more »

Alistair Thompson makes a liar of Selwyn Pellett, hasn’t resigned, continues to mislead media

Yesterday the media were reporting that Alistair Thompson had resigned from Scoop Media.

Parliamentary Press Gallery journalist Alastair Thompson has resigned from his role at Scoop after it was revealed that he was working for Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party.

The major owner of Scoop Media Selwyn Pellet had this to say:

Scoop Media owner Selwyn Pellett said: “We had no idea of the extent of the involvement until Cameron Slater’s blog today.

“We knew he was considering some involvement and the discussion was ‘you can’t do both jobs’. You can’t be an editor and be actively involved in Dotcom’s party.”

He added: “It is disappointing. There is no ill-feeling with Alastair. This is his passion and it is what he believes in and wants to do.”

Mr Pellett said Scoop would not be “rewriting history” by going back over Mr Thompson’s articles to check for any favourable coverage of Dotcom or his party.

“I’m not aware of what he’s written since he registered the domain name in December. But clearly he’s no longer independent on that particular subject.”

This morning however Alistair Thompson is unrepentant and laughing in the face of his former boss (or current boss as the case may be).  Read more »

Jonathan Marshall runs one up the SMH

Jonathan Marshall has taken the Sydney Morning Herald to the Australian Press Council and won.

It’s a bit like the “I bet he was registered” posts I run about registered teachers. The SMH along with many other in the media always shield themselves with the “we’re a member of the press council” argument.

Congratulations, f*ckwits…that makes it all ok then. Actually no it doesn’t, as the SMH has just found out.

The Press Council has considered a complaint about an article headed, “Maverick who likes to bend the rules” in The Sydney Morning Herald on 2 October 2012. The article focused on some of the activities of Jonathan Marshall while he was living in New Zealand before becoming a journalist with a Sydney newspaper. Mr Marshall had recently reported controversial remarks made by a well-known speaker to a dinner arranged by a political club at a Sydney university. His report had led to wide media coverage of the issue and of his conduct in attending the dinner and recording the speech.

Mr Marshall complained that the article inaccurately said that while in New Zealand he had approached a university student and “asked him to lie to university officials in order to gain private information about a fellow student”. He also said the article’s claim that his “journalistic exposes back home were occasionally unbalanced by a sort of manufactured tabloid trashiness” unfairly suggested he had built a career on made-up stories. He complained that he was given no opportunity to comment before the article was published.

It’s not just Len that is a dodgy rooting ratbag

Ratbags never like seeing the results of their handy work in the press…including Gwyneth Paltrow

Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow apparently doesn’t subscribe to the believe that all press is good press, as the actress is likely furious that Vanity Fair is going ahead with a planned feature about her months after she sent an email to her famous friends imploring them to ignore calls from the magazine.

“She sort of forced my hand,” VF editor-in-chief Graydon Carter told The Times of London of Paltrow’s email. “We started a story on her. We have a very good writer and it’ll run.”  Read more »

Why ending anonymity online won’t make blogs a better place


Pete and Travis have performed wonders in cleaning up the discourse here at Whale Oil Beef Hooked. At first we discussed the light use of the ban hammer to rid ourselves of genuine trolls, or people who failed to take the clear warnings. Now I pretty much leave them to it.

I do prefer a light hand and I think they get the balance right.

Some journalists, notably Fran O’Sullivan and other commentators here and world wide think that the answer to increasing civility is removing anonymity of commenters. I disagree…especially when we are discussing sensitive subjects, like mental health issues or cannabis then having anonymity allows people to share personal experiences they otherwise might not have shared if not anonymous.

The Guardian has an article about the move of the Huffington Post to remove anonymity for commenters and they note that it won;t work as they believe it will.

Using real names is often cited as the magic pill to prevent this type of unpleasantness. Putting aside the important point that implementing such a system is technically complex and virtually unworkable, anyone who has watched two friends mud-slinging below a Facebook status update knows real identities don’t bring instant politeness.  Read more »

Does innovation create or destroy jobs?

I found this interesting piece on the decline of print media jobs being replaced by social media jobs.

It asks whether or not innovation create or destroy jobs?

The rush of new ideas and new technologies can turn formerly rock-solid companies into sand that melts away even as we watch.  The sale of the Washington Post is a case in point. By making that deal,  the Graham family is acknowledging that they could not see a good strategy for survival.

We know what will happen next: Fewer journalists will be working at the Post a year from now than today.  The Grahams allowed the operation to run mammoth losses which Jeff Bezos, rich as he is, will not tolerate.  Many people will suffer.

But remember this: Old industries can decline even as new jobs growth. In fact, the field of journalism is going through a massive innovative spurt that is creating jobs even as others are being destroyed. About a month ago I did a post on exactly this subject, where I looked at unpublished BLS data and help-wanted data from The Conference Board.  Here’s what I found:

  • Employment at newspapers is  down about 5% over the past year.
  • The number of help-wanted ads for “news analysts, reporters, and correspondents” is up 15% compared to a year ago.
  • More people are telling the BLS that they are working as a news analyst, reporter, or correspondent compared to a year ago.
  • Roughly half the want-ads for news analysts, reporters and correspondents contain the words ‘digital’, ‘internet’, ‘online’, or ‘mobile’.  Read more »

Nate Silver leaves NY Times, takes his blog to ESPN

This is big news. Nate Silver has packed up his blog at NY Times and moved to ESPN. His traffic will go with him. That is the nature of blogs where personalities are followed not mastheads.

Nate Silver, famous for his eerily accurate election predictions, is dumping the Gray Lady for the network of Keith Olbermann. The math wizard is taking his FiveThirtyEight blog — which was a must-read during the 2012 presidential election — and jumping ship to ESPN, reports his former co-worker Brian Stelter in The Times. Silver will now write and crunch numbers for the sports network while also “most likely” contributing to Keith Olbermann’s new show, according to theTimes report. In what is a classic Times-ian understatement,  Stelter writes, “[Silver's] departure will most likely be interpreted as a blow to the company.”

To which one might say: ya think?   Read more »

Finally 3News gets the international recognition it deserves..

How to make The Herald look world class…

The Huffington Post thinks that 3News dog attack animation is the worst news graphic ever.

Jock Anderson on Truth

Jock Anderson has written a eulogy (probably the best word for it) on Truth at NBR.

It is worth the read.

New Zealand journalism has much to thank Truth for.

With news the hoary old tabloid was not publishing this week, and unlikely to again under its current ownership, a cornerstone of independent crusading journalism fell.

Make no mistake – the Great National Weekly has been a social force to be reckoned with, in whatever incarnation it has appeared over 126 years.

Truth pioneered investigative journalism, delving deep and long into the murky affairs of the powerful, privileged and corrupt.  Read more »

Poor old Al Gore, missed out on his tax break

Al Gore just trousered a cool $100 million by selling his beleagured cable TV channel to Al Jazeera. The ex-vice president turned climate change ‘expert’ hits pay-day!

After years of trying to sell Current TV, co-founder Al Gore hasfinally found a buyer for what some critics have lambasted over the years as America’s least watched cable network: Al Jazeera. Yet while the purchase price, which was undisclosed but reported at between $100 million and $500 million, may ultimately pay off for the pan-Arabic news network, it comes at quite a cost. Even the low-end of that price range suggests that Al-Jazeera paid more than $4,500 for each of the network’s viewers.

When Current was launched in 2005, it focused on airing user-generated videos in 8-minute segments. Seeking a larger audience, it then gradually move into producing long-form narrative video journalism and reality and documentary programming. For the last couple of years, it tried to position itself as a left-leaning broadcast alternative to the cable news channels.

Yet by 2010 the network was averaging only about 23,000 viewers a day. By comparison, the CW network averaged more than 200,000 viewers a day during the week of Dec. 23, 2012.

It is reported that the deal was for around US$500 million meaning Gore trousered around US$100 million. A nice pay day but it might have been more.

Read more »