media turns its back on the digital age and reverts to snail mail


Yet another online media outlet  has shut off the comment section’s on their articles.At a time when media companies are struggling to survive, they should  ask themselves why their  comments hold so much ridicule and criticism.  If they do not want to see certain comments it is not that hard to moderate them.Technology makes it easy but most MSM these days do not value their readers enough to allow them to have their say.

The Billings Gazette is so backward that they now expect their readers to send a physical letter to the editor. This is as ridiculous as expecting someone to send a message via carrier pigeon. We communicate in the ” instant ” digital world. It is insulting to their readers to expect them to revert to snail mail. It is as silly as a BMW dealership telling their customers to buy an actual horse if they want more horsepower.

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Media focus on the unimportant, instead of the pressing issue of the day

In typical media fashion the focus was put on the unimportant instead of the pressing issue of the day in a recent article about British politician Boris Johnson. The purpose of the news conference was to discuss terrorism. During the discussions the US Secretary of State John Kerry asked a question about the things Boris has said in his past role as a journalist. The media of course made that small question and response the centerpiece of the article instead of focussing on the important stuff.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson says it would take far too long for him to apologise for the “rich thesaurus” of rude comments and insults he has directed at world leaders and others over the years.

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Why advocacy journalism is fraught with danger

In recent years journalists have taken to advocacy journalism, where they pick a side and push that agenda…hard. Perhaps the worst offender was John Campbell who, despite falling audiences who weren’t interested in his claptrap, kept on pushing his agendas. He ultimately got the push and is now trying the same thing at Radio NZ.

Sometimes it is the whole organisation. Like the NZ Herald which, in recent years, invested in Kim Dotcom, has run numerous and ineffective “campaigns” and generally pimps out stories handed to them on a plate by the Labour party. Their circulation is heading in the same direction as John Campbell’s ratings.

But when news organisations pick a side and constantly lose the arguments they also destroy their credibility and their audience who no longer trust them to be fair and balanced.

What’s super sad is that when I started counting all of the mainstream media reporters I respect I didn’t run out of fingers. Most of them are just what Glenn “Instapundit” Reynolds memorably labeled “Democrats with Bylines.” And that’s literally true – something like 90% of them are, in fact, Democrats. And they act like it. So when Trump refuses to play nice with them, or I hear about another round of lay-offs, the best I can summon up, if I’m in a generous mood, is a half-hearted “Meh.”

The MSM, of course, wants to have it both ways. It wants to be hailed as an institution composed of crusading truthtellers whose integrity and willingness to speak truth to power make them the cornerstone of a free society. Except most of them are really partisan hacks who lie endlessly for the liberal politicians they suck up to. Their relationship with Democratic politicians is less speaking truth to power than sexting their masters. When it comes to covering for their progressive pals, it’s “50 Shades of Newsprint” and the MSM eagerly chomps down on its ball-gag.

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It’s official: media, especially print, now blacklisted by police

This is what happens when your organisation become a crim-hugging travesty.

Police officers are being stopped from taking media calls.

Southern district police commander Superintendent Mike Pannett made the order in a staff “advisory bulletin” on March 7, an Official Information Act request has revealed.

“If you are contacted by media, especially printed media, please do not make verbal comment on any matters over the phone,” Supt Pannett’s email said.

“Please simply ask that all questions are put in an email and then sent to you. You can give the undertaking that someone will reply to those questions in due course.”

There is nothing in the directive stopping officers at crime and incident scenes from making comment and there are still daily face-to-face media briefings on weekdays.

A national media centre opened in Wellington last month.   Read more »


Chester Borrows calls out lazy media

Chester Borrows, who is one of the wets in National writes a brilliant opinion piece at Fairfax:

In my book kids come first. No matter how frustrating the parents’ situation may be. Situations of their own volition, stupidity, criminality, or just bad luck, if there are kids involved, it pushes all my buttons. I will fall over myself helping and always have. I’m big enough to admit that I probably made decisions last week that I wouldn’t make a second time. We have all made mistakes and I own mine but don’t want them thrown in my face every time I am in need of being cut a little slack. So the starting point is that if there are kids involved, they didn’t have any choice because some adult made a decision for them on their behalf. So let’s think of the kids first.

The whole premise behind providing welfare…it’s for the kids.

Now, about those families who are living in every garage in South Auckland that Andrew Little has told us about but can’t find.  Those ones we can see same time; same channel every night – are there a few questions we’d like to ask them? Hell yes.   Read more »


Now we know why the Herald won’t cover local body politics: no clicks

The NZ Herald has a revealing article today that explains why they aren’t spending much time covering local body politics. There are simply no clicks in it for them.

Aucklanders are more interested in Kim Kardashian than local body politics, if their Google searches are anything to go by.

Postal voting for New Zealand’s last local elections began on September 20, 2013 and voting closed on October 12.

Auckland searches for the term “elections” relative to total searches reached its 2013 peak between October 6 and 12, according to Google Trends.

Google rated levels of interest from low at one, rising as interest levels go up. Search interest in “elections” went from 22 to 100 in one week.

However, election interest fell short of the relative interest in reality music competition X Factor NZ three months earlier.   Read more »

Face of the day

Act Leader David Seymour

Act Leader David Seymour

A few words from today’s face of the day David Seymour about the Media.

Last week I spoke at a charity debate to raise money for the families of journalists killed for doing their job in dangerous countries. This week the so called International Consortium of International Journalists have put thousands of people in similar countries in danger of extortion and persecution by publishing details of their financial affairs, searchable on the internet.

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Media bias on environmental reporting

There are reasons almost every day to believe the media are biased and only really interested in sensationalism, controversy and negativity.

Here is an example.

A few weeks ago The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report that included some criticisms of farming and its effects on rivers.  It was negatively slanted and demanded greater action.  There were a couple of articles that followed that repeated the criticisms and together they got extensive coverage in all media with readers chipping in with negative comments.

Yesterday the Sustainable Dairying Group released a factual report on how things were going down on the farm – progress on making our waterways even cleaner than they are now.  It is useful to remember that a few years ago the OECD tested 90 rivers in its member countries and New Zealand had three rivers in the top four for cleanliness – the Waikato, Waitaki and Clutha – all in intensive dairying areas.

The latest report should have been headlines in every media outlet.  Why?  Because of the vast number of improvements achieved, because of past criticisms that got headlines and because it is a great story of Kiwi effort and innovation.

Here are a few compelling stats:    Read more »


When vigilante Witch-Hunters cross the line

By Jock Anderson

On-line vigilante witch-hunting dredged a new low this month when so-called “pop culture” website The Spinoff named a man accused of historic sexual harassment but who had not been charged.

The man immediately lost his job as a radio station host and in followup stories was named in the mainstream media, which also reported that the police wanted anyone with valuable information to come forward.

The man was forced to issue a statement in which he said the allegations published by The Spinoff were – among other things – untrue, defamatory, horrible, stressful and distressing for himself and his family.

Spinoff television editor, and former film projectionist, Alex Casey and Duncan Grieve, a New Zealand Herald television reviewer and publisher of The Spinoff, put together a series of sexual allegations made by numerous women.

The women claimed the behaviour happened primarily when they were under age.

The Spinoff named the man throughout the story but changed all the women’s names to protect their identities. How noble to take such moral high ground…

Why name him but not them?

Regardless of whether the story contained any corroborating or independent evidence to support the women’s allegations – which it didn’t – those responsible took it on themselves to be policemen, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner.   Read more »

I admit using headlines to grab your attention

I have noticed that the word ‘admit ‘ is commonly used by Media to make something look dodgy. A headline that caught my eye today is an example.

There are so many things that are true and totally innocuous that can be made to look dodgy by the simple use of the word ‘admit’. Its inclusion makes us think that the person named is ashamed or was pressured in some way to tell the truth. In some cases that may actually be correct but in others the word has been added only to make an eye-catching headline.

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