The Sunday Star-Times

Media’s Thelma and Louise strategy

With talks of a merger between NZME (publisher of the Herald) and Fairfax surely they will be considering the name “Ferald” for the new organisation?

Two of New Zealand’s largest media companies have confirmed they are in talks to merge.

The Australian parents Fairfax Media and APN said on Wednesday they are in “exclusive discussions to merge their NZ businesses” and list on stock exchanges on both sides of the Tasman.

The New Zealand businesses are Fairfax NZ and NZME respectively.

Between them, they publish Stuff, The Sunday Star-Times, The Dominion Post, The Press (Fairfax NZ), and the NZ Herald, Hawke’s Bay Today and Herald on Sunday (NZME), and other newspapers and magazines. NZME also operates radio stations including NewstalkZB and Radio Sport.    Read more »

The wrong-headed righteousness of Jonathan Milne

Jonathan Milne is the editor of the Sunday Star-Times and his editorial today under his name is just ridiculous.

He like the other media luvvies jumping to the defence of Heather du Plessis-Allan misses the point and gets things utterly wrong.

I run short of adjectives to apply to Gun City owner David Tipple. This week, his store sold a .22 rifle to Story journalist Heather du Plessis-Allan, seemingly without even a modicum of basic checks. As part of an undercover sting, she used a fake name, a fake gun licence number and a fake police officer’s name to find out whether it was as easy to obtain a mail-order rifle as the Police Association claimed. Such a journalistic exercise is ethical and legimate, when the public interest is high.

And the immediate response from police, in tightening the rules around buying firearms, confirmed a very real issue of public safety.

But Tipple’s intemperate response was to turn the blame for his store’s dangerous failings on the journalist who blew the whistle, threatening to mount a private prosecution. This is hypocritical coming from a man who’s done jail time in the US for breaches of gun laws.

Tipple, in his inability to recognise his store’s critical errors, is plain delusional.

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Let’s see the commitment of the DomPost editor to no ads on Sunday

To prove how commercially stupid the DomPost editor is and demonstrate the contempt they hold their shareholders’ interest in this organisation that survives on advertising, he thinks it’s a great idea having a Sunday ad ban.

The Government is widening its attack on commerce-free Sundays and public holidays. It moved to allow Easter Sunday trading, and now it wonders whether to scrap the ban on broadcasting advertisements on Sunday mornings and at Christmas and Easter.

The arguments are the same – why persist with these odd exceptions to the all-pervasive rule? – but the politics are different. Plenty of voters want to be able to shop on Easter Sunday. Very few want more ads on TV. Making advertisements truly wall-to-wall throughout the year might make for “consistency”. The viewer’s irritation would also increase.

In this case the tiny religious lobby is backed by a great secular majority. All can unite against the final victory of commercial yawp.

The DomPost editor could make a start by committing to remove all ads from Fairfax sites on Sundays as well as from the Sunday Star Times. This would be a strong move against “commercial yawp”.    Read more »

Can Fairfax even get its lies straight?

Fairfax Media has some issues.

Last month their CEO denied there were job losses looming at the media organisation.

Yesterday, Fairfax Media announced 185 editorial positions would be disestablished, while creating 160 new ones.

Fairfax Media owns the Waikato Times, The Dominion Post, The Press, The Sunday Star Times, and many other newspapers – and the website

New jobs will be created in what the company calls “a transformational programme”, but staff will have to apply for them.

Ms Boucher insisted the proposal would result in more editorial staff, not fewer.

“Under the proposal we’re not going to end up with any fewer people than we have today, we’re actually going to end up with more editorial staff – particularly in reporters.”

Ms Boucher said that from an editorial staff of roughly 650, she expected 12 more editorial positions would come from the proposed restructure.

She said the restructure was about a news room created with positions suitable for a newspaper business re-setting for a digital news strategy.

Ms Boucher said customers were increasingly accessing news online, so the company was figuring out how they could best keep up with the changing face of news media.

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The sanctimony and hypocrisy of the NZ Herald

Quite apart from their propensity to make stuff up at the NZ Herald they also possess weapons grade sanctimony and hypocrisy. They play Dirty Media but pretend they are holier than thou.

They are running a campaign using a tainted journalist and someone who trades in private and personal data to run allegations against the NZ Government for spying.

They are laundering information on behalf of a traitor, Edward Snowden, and assisting Nicky Hager, perhaps New Zealand’s most prolific spy and holder of other people’s data.

They write editorials decrying the situation but their editor was involved in his own spying against a competitor.

In 2009 Currie was sued by a former assistant editor of the Herald on Sunday for unjustified dismissal. Reporter Stephen Cook, who helped Currie launch the tabloid, was sacked in 2008 after two drug squad detectives visited the Herald on Sunday offices looking for him. Cook had reportedly been seen at an address, which was under police surveillance. On the day the case commenced Currie faced further scrutiny when the New Zealand Herald revealed examples of industrial espionage, including allegations he sent a reporter to the rival Sunday Star-Times’ print site to obtain advanced copies in a bid to get stories for his own paper. The allegations were again reported in the Sunday News and Sunday Star-Times branded “unprecedented spying”.  

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Panty sniffers


Panty sniffer number one has a thing for American government employees’ underwear. He just can’t get enough of it. The more he sniffs the more he is shocked that skid marks not only exist but in some cases are downright disgusting. He considers that he is doing the American public a service by revealing the details, ( the dirty, smelly details ). He rejects the title ‘Panty Sniffer’ which suggests that he is in some way perverted for having a fixation with other people’s underwear and that he is a criminal for rooting around in other peoples dirty laundry searching for stains and other unsavory marks.

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Giovanni Tiso’s fondness for “Grandpa” Stalin

A reader emails about Giovanni Tiso’s affectionate tweet about Josef Stalin.

Thought you might be interested in this – something I saw a couple of weeks back on Twitter, but was waiting for a friend of mine to get back to me about before I fired it your way.

Basically, twitter’s self-appointed adjudicator of self-righteousness, Giovani Tiso, made a joke about referring to Stalin as “grandpa” in a thread about photos of politicians when they were younger.

I thought it was a little off colour joke to make given Stalin’s brutality, but to check I wasn’t being hypersensitive, I flicked it on to a friend of mine on Twitter whose family is Russian to see what he made of it and asked if he could jot down his reaction. I thought his reply hit the nail on the head:

“Its bloody disgusting to joke affectionately about Stalin being grandpa. Would Mr Tiso be happy if anyone else making a similar joke about Hitler, Pol Pot or some other genocidal maniac from the 20th century? He’d be the first to kick up a big stink about how inappropriate it was.    Read more »

Sunday Star-Times – friend of the crims

Some free advice for the Sunday Star Times.

If you want to stop losing readers at an alarming rate, quit writing stories which are sympathetic to hardened criminals, while at the same time avoiding any discussion about the victims of their crimes.

In the latest example we hear lots about the crim’s life being ruined, but not a thing about the misery she caused.

A violent criminal has had her 15-year jail sentence reduced by three years after judges deemed she was too young for such harsh punishment.

But Amy Jayne Opetaia’s 12-year sentence means she could still spend more time behind bars than many killers and the country’s worst fraudsters.

Opetaia was 19 at the time of her Bonnie-and-Clyde style crime spree with then boyfriend Quentin Tinau Stephens. The pair’s drug-fuelled crimes included burglary, kidnapping and a series of violent street robberies.  Read more »

Sunday Star-Times following Truth again, as HRC continues to act for a pedophile

The Sunday Star-Times is following Truth again, this time over the dirty pedophile running a Taupo motel that is described as ” the perfect choice for the whole family”.

We spoke to the pedophile earlier in the week so it is good to see Sunday Star-Times reporters buying Truth so they can follow up. We named the pedophile, we published his photo and we named his place of work.

Meanwhile the Sunday Star-Times does add a tiny bit more to the story, it appears he has lied to the Privacy Commission and the Human Rights Commission.

The serial paedophile at the centre of a name suppression stoush between the Human Rights Commission and the Sensible Sentencing Trust appears to have lied on oath about his job status and where he was living.

The man also lied about his identity when approached by the Sunday Star-Times last week.

The paedophile, who claims he has name suppression for sexually assaulting young girls but cannot produce a court record to prove it, denied he was the man in question when confronted at his workplace.  Read more »

Incompetent business reporting by the Sunday Star-Times

A Guest Post by Whaleoil Business Correspondent – Winslow Taggart:

The Sunday Star-Times committed an outrageous slur on one of NZ’s best run companies today, by linking Ryman Healthcare to industrial relations issues in the retirement village industry.

In fact, by the end of the article, it turns out that Ryman has above average wages in the industry, has no industrial relations issues, and is only in the spotlight because it makes a lot of money – more than anyone else in the industry.

The Slowly-Sinking-Tabloid breathlessly reports that Ryman has made $84m in profit, slyly implying that this is because service worker wages are being ripped off.

In fact, Ryman’s large profits are because of its winning formula of constructing its apartment and village complexes in-house, building to scale (their villages are larger compared to other retirement village operators) and gaining profit on the re-sale of units. For those who don’t know, retirement village operators are mostly property developers who also happen to provide health care to residents. Much of their cash flow comes from unit sales and crucially – re-sales. Wages for nursing care would be a relatively minor part of Ryman’s cost structure.

The Slowly Sinking Tabloid also gets a nice hearty quote from a deluded union hack on the evils of Ryman making money. Says Alistair Duncan from the Service and Food Workers Union:

“Is aged care a service to the community, or is it a business? If you’re making a profit, why is that, when aged care is an extension of the health care we give people?”

The SFWU should STFU. On his logic, we should start underpaying doctors and surgeons because they profit from healthcare too. The health care system would fall over tomorrow if the unions decided health funding priorities.

The real reason the SFWU hates Ryman is because Ryman pays its staff more relative to other retirement village operators – and as a result, there is practically NO SFWU or other union presence in Ryman Healthcare villages. Other operators who pay less, like Oceania, have a strong union presence and recent industrial relations unrest.

Come to think of it, that’s probably why Ryman do so well – no nasty marxists to fuck things up and make life unpleasant for residents.

Utterly incompetent reporting by Michelle Robinson. She should hang her head in shame.