NZ Herald

Weeping or celebrating? I don’t think the Herald knows either

Have a look at these two stories from the NZ Herald today:

celebrates

and;

weeping Read more »

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John Roughan on Hager’s preciousness

John Roughan makes a few telling comments about Nicky Hagers ongoing preciousness.

The day police searched his Wellington home he was in Auckland giving lectures at the university, so he ought to be able to tell us more about the fear gripping the faculties. I think it is time he did some regular reporting and told us the actual experiences of those “chilled” academics and the voices that have been “closed down”.

Like a real journalist, Hager says he will refuse to co-operate with the police in their attempt to discover who hacked Cameron Slater’s computers and stole his private emails.

“I believe the police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand,” he said. “It matters to all people working in the media who could similarly have their property searched and seized to look for sources. People are less likely to help the media if the police act in this way. The police want people to respect their role in society; they should in turn respect other people’s roles in society.”

It always embarrasses me when we react hysterically like this. To the public we must sound precious, irresponsible and unprofessional. People know we have a job to do and so do the police.

The reason we reserve the right to refuse co-operation with criminal investigations is, as Hager said, because informants may be afraid to talk to reporters in confidence if they think we will comply. But we tend to garnish that practical reason with a great deal of self-righteousness about the public’s right to know.   Read more »

A watershed moment

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Fran O’Sullivan

I think I will have to calm Cactus Kate down this afternoon, this has never happened before.

It has always been the other way around. Given the vagaries of time zones I suspect it may be difficult to get hold of her especially as it is Saturday, which follows Friday night.

Nevertheless, I really wouldn’t want to be the journalist who spilled her guts and published private conversations with Cactus. Who on earth would now ever speak or chat with Fran O’Sullivan in what you may have thought were private conversations? She has shown a willingness to publish those private chats in order to protect her own hide.

I suspect things are going to get messy.

The journalist sounds like she is protesting too much and covering her own arse.

I would have thought discretion was the better part of valour, since the very people she has slammed in her article are yet to give evidence (as witnesses, not as participants, “a distinction that will not be lost on sensible readers”) to the inquiry.

I note that O’Sullivan has relied on Cactus properly doing a search in Gmail for her name.

Bad mistake Fran, given that Cactus has a terribly short span of attention when it comes to IT matters because she has always had staff to do work for her, then I suspect she probably got bored after the third emails and thought to herself, “that’ll do, Fran will be OK with this, time for one of those famous Hong Kong brunches”.

O’Sullivan really should have checked her calendar when making a request that required concentration and accuracy…word for the wise…Saturday comes after Friday night, and everyone knows what happens in Lan Kwai Fong on Friday nights, which is why extensive brunch buffets on Saturday have copious quantities of booze soaking food.

I pity O’Sullivan for gobbing off in the media ahead of three other people having to give evidence to the inquiry.   Read more »

A word on native advertising

Sorry to quote Andrew Sullivan twice in one day but he makes another very good point, this time on the media jumping boots and all into that they call native advertising.

Native advertising for those who don’t know is advertising dressed up as news….masquerading as an article.

I’ve been warning for a while that when established journalistic outlets whore themselves out to corporate propaganda through “sponsored content”, they are playing a mug’s game. The only reason these companies are paying these media outlets to disguise their ads as editorial copy is because they can still trade on those outlets’ residual reputation. But as native advertising cumulatively undermines that reputation, magazines and newspapers will lose their luster. Instead, corporations will simply fund and create their own pseudo-journalism directly, and cut out the middleman altogether.

This isn’t some future specter; it’s already here.

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Yesterday’s papers

Newspapers continue to decline.

Who wants yesterday’s papers?, the Rolling Stones asked in 1967, and the question is still valid.

It seems the answer is “nobody in the world”.

Clay Shirky writes about the ongoing demise.

Journalists have been infantilized throughout the last decade, kept in a state of relative ignorance about the firms that employ them. A friend tells a story of reporters being asked the paid print circulation of their own publication. Their guesses ranged from 150,000 to 300,000; the actual figure was 35,000. If a reporter was that uninformed about a business he was covering, he’d be taken off the story.

This cluelessness is not by accident; the people who understand the state of the business often hide that knowledge from the workers. My friend Jay Rosen writes about the media’s “production of innocence” — when covering a contentious issue, they must signal to the readers “We have no idea who’s right.” Among the small pool of journalists reporting on their own industry, there is a related task, the production of ignorance. When the press writes about the current dislocations, they must insist that no one knows what will happen. This pattern shows up whenever the media covers itself. When the Tribune Company recently got rid of their newspapers, the New York Timesran the story under a headline “The Tribune Company’s publishing unit is being spun off, as the future of print remains unclear.”

The future of print remains what? Try to imagine a world where the future of print is unclear: Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide “Click to buy” is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really.

Meanwhile, back in the treasurer’s office, have a look at this chart. Do you see anything unclear about the trend line?

adrevenue

Contrary to the contrived ignorance of media reporters, the future of the daily newspaper is one of the few certainties in the current landscape: Most of them are going away, in this decade. (If you work at a paper and you don’t know what’s happened to your own circulation or revenue in the last few years, now might be a good time to ask.) We’re late enough in the process that we can even predict the likely circumstance of its demise.

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Face of the day

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Dorothy Lee Barnett,

A former North Shore woman charged with kidnapping her daughter has been extradited to America.

She is face of the day because after reading the article I realised one thing. I am sexist. Because she was the mother of the baby I immediately assumed she must have had a good reason to do what she did but in fact no such evidence was mentioned in the article. I then asked myself how would I have reacted if it was the Father who had done it? I realised that I would have been furious that he denied the Mother the right to be in her daughter’s life for 20 years. Not only that but she would have had 20 years of heart ache not knowing where her daughter was or if she was safe. I then realised what a horrendous thing it was.

I also have seen the horrible things parents have done to each other after a break up. I have seen them use their children to hurt the other parent. What if this was the ultimate punishment that Dorothy doled out to her husband, the pain of never being a part of his daughters life?

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Face of the day

David Cunliffe

David Cunliffe

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Post election Prebble

The Letter just came in and among some of the more amusing items (ACT has a strong brand?), these items deserve a wider audience?

TVNZ, TV3 and state radio called this election wrong.

The credibility of our news services has taken a huge hit.

Night after night TV and radio told us John Key was a liar.

First “Dirty politics” and then claims of mass surveillance were given not just top billing but saturation coverage.

The news blogs are going to be the big winners.

This election has been the clearest example yet of the main stream media picking a winner and doing everything they could to make it happen.  Radio New Zealand, TV3 and the NZ Herald had nailed their colours to the mast for such a long time, changing gear was no longer possible once they realised they were backing the wrong horse.

Sadly, it’s been seen as a left v right issue, when it’s really been a right v wrong issue.  By picking sides, and as it turned out, very much the losing side, these media organisations have lost customers and credibility.

Look at the numbers for Campbell Live since Hosking joined Seven Sharp.

Look at the NZ Herald subscription numbers while they are desperately trying to push others out at cost to keep their numbers up.

Viewers are turning off.  Paywalls have been postponed.   Read more »

Do disclaimers on native advertising work?

As the NZ Herald and Fairfax move to extend their already considerable investment in native advertising, the advertising made to look like journalism, there is growing evidence that their disclaimers don’t work.

The disclaimers are what news executives like Tim Murphy and Shayne Currie use to justify their extension of native advertising.

While publishers are producing and running sponsored content in greater numbers, one thing they haven’t figured out is how to effectively label their output. Some publishers are particularly overt about it, while others are content with making readers work a little bit harder. And no one’s quite sure which approach works best.

The real challenge is that a lot of those disclosures may not be all that effective. A new study from analytics platform Nudge found that the most common native ad disclosures are actually the least effective at helping readers identify their content as ads. Sponsored content using disclosure techniques like the home page buyout (used, for example, by The Wall Street Journal) and the persistent disclosure banner (used by Slate) were only identified as ads by readers 29 percent of the time.

In contrast, Nudge found that over half of the 100 people it polled were able to to identify ads that featured disclosures within the content itself. In-content disclosures are rare compared to the other techniques, though.

Nudge’s conclusion: Some publishers may be going out of their way to label sponsored content, but readers are barely noticing them, thanks to banner blindness and small labeling. Ben Young, CEO of Nudge, said that this is more than publishers staying honest in the eyes of the FTC. Bad disclosure can actually hurt brands, too. “Effective disclosures mean effective brand recall,” he said.

[…]    Read more »

Wednesday morning mailbag

Some good work going on out there.  The Ground Crew rules!   Some more coming later today too, but check this one out:

Cam & team,

Seeing the Herald are running an-anti Key line I thought I would provide this Herald analysis for you. Please use / discard as you see fit.

At the start of they election campaign I thought I would analyse both your content and that of the Herald.

You are open and honest about your affiliations, which is why I read you, but the Herald holds itself up as the bastion of the Free Press here in New Zealand.

A Yeah right moment if ever we needed one.

So every day I screen captured the Herald politics headlines and the trend became apparent after only 1 week.

1/ Every story on Key is either negative or connected with dirty politics.
2/ every picture is showing strain / ageing or funny face.
3/ David Cunliffe is taken at his word and NO questioning of anything he says.
4/ Right aligned minor parties are ridiculed, Left aligned are paragons of virtue
5/ Dotcom features almost exclusively as a “white Knight” character. Everything he says is true, everyone else is wrong. Read more »

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