Yesterday’s Papers

Richard Harman writes about the state of the main stream media.

The number of copies of New Zealand daily newspapers sold over the past five years has plunged by 23%.

Newspaper circulation figures obtained by POLITIK show the situation is even worse for weekly newspapers like the Sundays and the National Business Review.

Their total copies sold have dropped by 52%.

These drops are obviously a consequence of the internet.

Therefore it is perhaps surprising that the largest drops have been among provincial papers with the Waikato Times, the Manawatu Standard and Bay of Plenty Times all recording drops of over 30%.

Among the weeklies, the Sunday News is down by 49% and the NBR by 38% to just 5402 copies.

And it is a weekly that has shown the smallest drop; the Herald on Sunday is down by only 3.7% while the Otago Daily Times, the Wairarapa Times Age and the Greymouth Star have all recorded relatively small drops around 10%.

The country’s largest paper, the NZ Herald is down 21.8% to 130,937 copies.

It dominates the New Zealand newspaper market with the second largest selling daily paper, The Dominion Post, selling 63,009 copies.

With thee exceptions of a few independents like the Otago Daily Times (34,112 sales) the country’s papers belong to either APN or Fairfax groups and both have big news websites.

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The Media’s bunny boiler obsession with John Key’s son

I feel for John Key’s son I really do. He should not be targeted by the Media as he is. No other child of a New Zealand Prime Minister has ever been splashed across the media in the way that he has. There has always been an unwritten rule that politicians’ children are off limits but with John Key’s son not only has that rule been broken it has been stomped on so many times that it is now dust.

Any excuse is used for using his photo. In this article the subject is not the lead photo, John Key’s son is. The misleading headline above the photo makes the reader assume that John Key’s son is the New Zealand teen with a billionaire backer when in fact it is someone else entirely. John Key’s son’s involvement in the story is a minor detail that would not even be commented on if John Key wasn’t his father.

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Play my game to prove a point

**Please do not speculate on actual suppressed details currently hinted at in the press, only play the game – lest you want to be banned permanently from commenting.

When there is a name suppression case our media give the minimum of info, but there is a real danger that the general public can narrow it down until the finger is pointed at less than five people. Because of this it often leads to some of those under suspicion going to the media to exclude themselves which of course narrows the field even more.

 To make a point about how easy it is to speculate with only three facts I have made a short game for you. I will provide the mystery person’s exact age, their profession and one achievement just as the New Zealand MSM have provided for the current person with name suppression. Unlike the MSM however my clues are just a game and the people revealed by the clues do not have name suppression.

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Knock me down with a feather, I agree with a newspaper editorial

A newspaper editorial  challenges our laws on suicide reporting.

News media in other free countries would be amazed at the restrictions on reporting deaths in New Zealand by suicide. For a long time it has been against the law to even call such a death by its name until after an inquest, usually months later, and even then only if the coroner permits. The most we may legally report at the time of the death is there are “no suspicious circumstances” or “police are not looking for anyone else”. Readers no doubt draw the right conclusion; circumlocution soon loses its point.

The euphemisms are ridiculous.

Not before time, Parliament is considering a bill to relax the restriction. If it is passed, it will become lawful to refer to a “suspected suicide” before an inquest is held. But in other ways the law is being tightened and one of them would restrict references to historical and overseas suicides. When a suicide bombing occurs overseas it may be illegal to report it in this country, according to Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler’s reading of the bill as it has emerged from a select committee.    Read more »


Nicky Hager’s anti-freedom attack on media and democracy


Nicky Hager has as good as admitted that he essentially threatened journalists who worked or shared with me in an interview with one of his enablers Toby Manhire, who has written up the interview at corporate shill site The SpinOff.

I wrote a book about one area of politics, and there is absolutely no doubt that things have changed quite a lot. For example, at the time I wrote that book, quite a considerable number of journalists and news organisations were in extremely unhealthy relationships with this rightwing attack blogger, who was acting as a tool of various commercial interests and also of the prime minister’s office, for covert attacks on their opponents.

Most of those journalists have stopped doing that. Many of those media organisations have more or less apologised publicly for getting caught up in it. If one book can do that, I’m really happy with it, and that’s not the only change at all.

Think about that for a minute.   Read more »

Face of the day


Labour MP Chris Hipkins is calling for gun advertising to be regulated.

Today’s face of the day Chris Hipkins is campaigning for the removal of advertising for a legal business selling legal products, and shows once again Labour’s propensity to chase any passing car. My boss says, “He should stick to drinking pink cocktails and chasing teenage bunny boilers at university.”

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Another reason to ditch Sky TV [POLL]

Over a week ago I ditched Sky television.

I unplugged their box, removed all the cables, cancelled payments and haven’t looked back since.

I’m done with Sky TV and their high handed attitude to customers. They offer all sorts of inducements to sign up and then once you are a customer they set about ignoring you. Well for me it is over.

One of the major reasons for my dissatisfaction with SkyTV is their high handed arrogance and that has been demonstrated very clearly in their attitude to media commentary from

Sky TV have decided to boycott Throng because Regan Cunliffe dared to sing from a different song sheet.

Sky TV who have raped the pockets of television viewers and sports lovers for decades are also in receipt of subsidies from NZ On Air to the tune of nearly nine and half million dollars…and they don’t want to be accountable for that? Read more »

Dear Diary, today I broke the law and just can’t believe I’m in trouble. I’m a journalist!


Dear Diary,

I just can’t believe it. All I wanted to do was to prove that there is a legal loophole that allows people to buy firearms online. That’s a good thing right? That nice union guy Bob told me how to fill out the form in order to get the gun. He wants to arm the police and thought it would be a good idea if we ran a story that proves it is really easy to order a gun online.

He was right, it is easy but I must admit our first attempts were total failures and had to be edited out.

The first time I didn’t provide a signature from a Police officer and they wouldn’t take my money and refused to process my purchase. The second time the firearms license number that I provided was checked and found to be a fake so again my purchase was declined.

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Telling the Truth about Fran O’Sullivan and Dirty Politics

Following on from my post this morning

After Nicky Hager made these claims the usual suspects took to Twitter and protested far too much.


Fran O’Sullivan didn’t rate a mention in Hager’s the book about me called “Dirty Politics”. She should have. In a usual two faced fashion, she chastised Rachel Glucina last night for her ethics when only last week she congratulated her on Twitter for her new venture Scout. Also unlike Fran O’Sullivan, Rachel Glucina never passed me anything back to run hit jobs on her behalf for her own personal vendettas.

Farn-Glucina Read more »

Is this Quiz designed to make everyone who takes it wrong?

In my search for another interesting quiz for Whaleoilers to take I came across one created by UK media. The purpose of the quiz is to address what they believe are common misconceptions about migrants and refugees arriving in Europe. While I do not dispute their statistics regarding the exact number of migrants arriving in each place I do question the terminology they use.

For example they use the term ‘ bogus’ asylum seekers and then use legal language to dispute the public’s    ‘ misconception ‘  that many of the migrants are not true refugees. By using this term they avoid looking at the statistics of how many so far have been found to be terrorists and what percentage that apply for asylum have been rejected. These are statistics I would really be interested in seeing. I suspect they were not included in the quiz because they would not support the narrative that the Public has it all wrong and that migration is not a threat to Europe.

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