media

Face of the day

Tom Haig PPTA Blogger and critic of Charter schools

Tom Haig PPTA Blogger and critic of Charter schools

Today’s face of the day is Tom Haig a blogger at The PPTA Blog

Screenshot-Facebook

Screenshot-Facebook

Tom appears to be a master in the Art of ‘ Dirty ‘ Politics. Nicky Hager has explained to us all what Dirty Politics is. It is when someone whose views he does not agree with successfully influences public opinion by getting their stories/narrative into the Mainstream media.Tom has clearly achieved that as his blog post on the $100,000 Waka story went live on the exact same day it broke on the New Zealand Herald. Collusion? You betcha.

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Looks like the mainstream media has found a hurricane to piss into

The mainstream media are so far up their own fundament they are actually still in denial and believe that they are still relevant to most people.

Witness the way they have carried on, especially the NZ Herald, in the past weeks over John Key’s silly fetish with hair. Trying to milk the story for all it was worth, which was frankly about the same as a soy latte moccahino at Rosies of Parnell.

The White House press corp are another case in point.

Over the last six years, a confluence of forces have eroded the foundation of the relationship between the White House and the reporters who cover it most regularly. Financial pressures have reduced the number of news organizations committed to daily coverage of the White House and to participating in its cycle of pools, briefings and trips on Air Force One. And technologies including Twitter, YouTube and livestreaming of events mean the White House can communicate directly with the public without going through the traditional media that still dominates the Brady Briefing Room.

In fact, through Twitter and its whitehouse.gov website, the White House already operates something akin to its own news agency, and the president gives much more face time to niche media outlets such as MTV, Telemundo and BuzzFeed than to the reporters who camp out in the West Wing day after day.   Read more »

News IS Entertainment

Much was made about John Key describing Campbell Live as “entertainment”…failing entertainment but entertainment nonetheless.

The left-wing were agog…how dare they call Saint John’s show entertainment…yet that is precisely how people consume news these days.

A recent article at Baekdal on wider media trends explains why. But the news segment is fascinating:

What about TV news? Is that dead? Well, this one is tricky.

Dedicated news channels like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News are not really something people watch because of the news. They are more a form of entertainment and as such fit perfectly with the 2.8 hours of leisure TV per day.

As such, neither of these (nor their European counterparts) are in any real trouble. There will be changes commanded by the nature of on-demand TV (and the internet in general), but no real ‘disruption’.    Read more »

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Comment of the day

George makes some interesting points in the General Debate today:

It is shameful that when an event, regardless of its significance occurs involving those in the media, it is splashed all over the publications as if it was of the utmost importance. So Campbell Live is to be axed! News yes – public hysteria no.

A programme that rates 2% of the potential audience being axed is not that significant for 98% of the population but the media don’t get it. If it involves one of their own they truly believe we care. It is the socialist way. Failure is tolerated, failure to deliver is tolerated, continuing to support poor performance is tolerated as is its campaign to reinstate failure.

This is why socialists should never run this country.

If TV 3 was funded by a socialist government, Campbell would have been knighted.

Private enterprise sees through the sham and deals with it. Thanks MediaWorks, you have done 98% of the population a favour.

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Where is the public interest in knowing the details of a suicide?

If a coroner decides that a death is suicide, the only information that can be made public is the person’s name, job and address and the fact that the death was self-inflicted.

Under the proposed reforms, the media will be able to report a death as a “suspected suicide” before a coroner’s inquiry is completed, if the facts support that conclusion.

The Chief Coroner will be able to grant an exemption for a suicide to be reported on if satisfied that the risk of copycat behaviour is small and is outweighed by the public interest.

Media Freedom Committee member Clive Lind said that unlike the tabloid press overseas, New Zealand media had generally been responsible in reporting on suicide.

He said the changes were “a step forward” but added that if the facts clearly showed a death was suicide, reporters should not have to call it “suspected”. This was the practice in most other similar jurisdictions.

Media Freedom Committee member Clive Lind isn’t allowing for the serious erosion taking place in our media.  Overseas media, for example, do not hound their governments for operational details on national security matters. Nor do they publish details of troop movements or photographs of special forces personnel where individuals are easily identified.   Read more »

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NZ Media want to know who our troops are, here’s why they shouldn’t

Yesterday Fairfax ran a piece about the secrecy over who precisely from our Defence Forces would be sent to Iraq.

They seem to think that they should know who they are.

They are wrong and here is why.

Islamic State has posted online what it says are the names, United States addresses and photos of 100 American military service members, and called upon its “brothers residing in America” to kill them.

The Pentagon said after the information was posted on the Internet it was investigating the matter.

“I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” a US defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Saturday.

“We always encourage our personnel to exercise appropriate OPSEC (operations security) and force protection procedures,” the official said.   Read more »

There was once a time when media understood operational security

The media are hankering after the identities of Kiwi troops being deployed to Iraq.

One can only assume that they want to put these soldiers and their families in even more danger. Instead they turn it into a story about the NZDF being secretive.

The media disgusts me.

The Government is keeping a tight lid on the identities of the soldiers being deployed to Iraq to ensure the safety of both them and their families from what it calls a barbaric terrorist group with “broad tentacles”.

The New Zealand Defence Force’s reconnaissance team has already arrived in Iraq and next month Kiwi troops were expected to be deployed to train Iraqi soldiers in the fight against Islamic State (IS).

While the threat to soldiers and their families shouldn’t be a worry on a “daily basis”, Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee told TVNZ’s Q+A it was enough of a concern to warrant protecting the identities of all those being deployed. Read more »

Why Fox News is winning

The left-wing likes to criticise Fox News.

Sure it has its faults but the most important thing is its audience and they know that.

Tom Bevan at RealClearPolitics explains:

There are plenty of reasons that explain Fox News’ ratings dominance over the past decade and a half, but a new poll from Quinnipiac University sheds light on at least one major factor: trust. When voters were asked “Whose news coverage do you trust the most?” Fox News beat out all other television news organizations – on network and cable. Here’s a look at the results (the numbers on the X axis are percentages; “don’t know” responses are not shown):

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Is Buzzfeed the most important news organisation in the world?

Quite possibly it is.

Of course mainstream journalists will scoff at Buzzfeed but it is undeniably successful in ways that the editors at Fairfax and the NZ Herald can only dream of.

Why is that?

Let’s look at the past paradigm…which ironically is still the current paradigm in the mainstream.

Like a great many such things, some of journalism’s most precious ideals were the happy result of geography and economics. That is, in any given geography, the dominant newspaper tended towards a natural monopoly for two reasons:

  • When it came to costs, the ownership of expensive printing presses and distribution channels made entrance difficult for potential competitors
  • As for revenue, broad-based advertising, at least in the pre-targeting era, naturally flowed to the channel with the greatest reach

The interaction of these two economic realities made newspapers fabulously profitable and veritable cash machines; the editorial side, meanwhile, freed from the responsibility to directly make money, could instead focus on things like far-flung bureaus, investigative journalism that in many cases took months to develop, and a clear separation between the business and editorial sides of a newspaper. The latter was important not just for the avoidance of blatant corruption, but also because it imbued the editorial side with a certain responsibility to focus on stories that deserved to be written because they mattered, not because they were sensationalistic.

This last point was best exemplified by The New York Times’ famous slogan, “All the news that’s fit to print” and by the paper’s legendary Page One meetings where editors would pitch stories for inclusion on the most valuable real estate in journalism. It’s important to appreciate that this was more than just a slogan and meeting; there are important assumptions underlying this conceit:

  • The first assumption is that there is a limited amount of space, which in the case of a physical product is quite obviously true. Sure, newspapers could and did change the length of their daily editions, but the line had to be drawn somewhere
  • The second assumption is that journalists, by choosing what to write about, are the arbiters of what is “news”
  • The third assumption is that the front page is an essential signal as to what news is important; more broadly, it’s an assumption that editors matter

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Andrew Sullivan’s last blog post on media and blogging

Andrew Sullivan has quit blogging. He suddenly announced his retirement about 10 days ago and has quickly wound down to yesterday’s last day of blogging.

His last blog post is about one of his first and echoes my thoughts on the medium perfectly.

Thirteen years ago, as I was starting to experiment with this blogging thing, I wrote the following:

[T]he speed with which an idea in your head reaches thousands of other people’s eyes has another deflating effect, this time in reverse: It ensures that you will occasionally blurt out things that are offensive, dumb, brilliant, or in tune with the way people actually think and speak in private. That means bloggers put themselves out there in far more ballsy fashion than many officially sanctioned pundits do, and they make fools of themselves more often, too. The only way to correct your mistakes or foolishness is in public, on the blog, in front of your readers. You are far more naked than when clothed in the protective garments of a media entity.

But, somehow, you’re liberated as well as nude: blogging as a media form of streaking. I notice this when I write my blog, as opposed to when I write for the old media. I take less time, worry less about polish, and care less about the consequences on my blog. That makes for more honest writing. It may not be “serious” in the way, say, a 12-page review of 14th-century Bulgarian poetry in the New Republic is serious. But it’s serious inasmuch as it conveys real ideas and feelings in as unvarnished and honest a form as possible. I think journalism could do with more of that kind of seriousness. It’s democratic in the best sense of the word. It helps expose the wizard behind the media curtain.

I stand by all those words. There are times when people take this or that post or sentence out of a blog and make it seem as if it is the definitive, fully considered position of the blogger. Or they take two sentences from different moments in time and insist that they are a contradiction. That, it seems to me, misses the essential part of blogging as a genuinely new mode of writing: its provisionality, its conversational essence, its essential errors, its ephemeral core, its nature as the mode in which writing comes as close as it can to speaking extemporaneously.

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