Comment of the Day

Yesterday I posted about the herald interviewing their own staff member and green activist Max Coyle.

Bart commented:

A few months ago, I stopped buying the Herald, as it was becoming obvious to me that the standards were dropping, and that a once eminently readable broadsheet has now become a travesty, a tabloid gutter rag. Having travelled and read some of the very well written and informative papers around the world, and especially in Australia, it is apparent that the correct response to the onslaught from the digital media is to actually increase the quality of the product, not dumb it down and make it pretty and colourful! However, some idiot with a degree in marketing or some such, a person not unlike Mr Max Coyle, one suspects, has decided that the primary purpose of the fourth estate must be to fill in all those annoying spaces between the advertisements! End result, APN now have an absolute dog of a product, an editorial staff less interested in reporting the news than spinning it, and a public that they treat like an ill-informed unthinking mass, a blank canvas on which to sketch thier ideas as to how we should think. 

Well, here’s the surprise. That ill-informed unthinking mass is not as ill-informed as you would think. Not only that, but the internet is actually allowing us to share and exchange information without the lefty liberal editors trying to put spin on it. In short, we can see through the bullshit. The end result is that the credibility and integrity of journalism has taken a battering, and shows no sign of improving soon, unless they return to the reporting of facts, untarnished and unembelleshed, and where an opinion is expressed, then it should be as part of an opinion column, not edited in to a story.
And as for interviewing people who work for the paper and presenting it as news, well, when you do things to yourself, if some contexts that would be referred to as masturbation, and like masturbation, it’s is pleasant for a little while, but ultimately futile, non productive, and all you are left with is an embarrasing mess to clean up!


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  • opusx

    Brilliant. The only way forward for rags like the Herald is to cull pretty much the entire staff, and begin again with a new culture of fact based, non-politically motivated reporting. Or, just release the product as an advertorial. But then, who would bother reading it?

  • Euan Ross-Taylor

    Really well written and considered comment. I believe this comment reflects the belief of many commentors here. Thanks Bart.

  • Whafe

    Agree, fantastic comment, so well written…. Indeed reflecting the opinions of more people than the NZ Horrid would think…. The Ego’s bouncing off of the offices in the NZ Horrid must be astounding, for no one it seems within the 4 walls of the NZ Horrid is taking note….. More fool them….

  • GazzW

    Memo to Tim Murphy & Shayne Currie:

    ‘You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.’ – Abraham Lincoln.

    An old altruism but oh so true in this information era. We just don’t need to read the spin of a ‘twenty something’ AUT grad. Just report the facts. The NZ Herald is a gratuitous insult to our intelligence.

  • johnbronkhorst

    If we go to a party and get cornered by some guy who has an opinion on EVERYTHING (which is ok), that decides, for the next 4 hours, to share it with you (which is not). We call him a bore. But if he writes it down in a news paper he is a journalist?

    • opusx

      One thing I have learnt over the years is that I know very little. Truth is open to interpretation. Opinion is generally self serving. Fact is only complete when one believes it. Research is sponsor funded. The list goes on. We are an information based society, enlightened but flawed in one all important way: we are human.

      • johnbronkhorst

        You are assuming one thing.. That,,, regardless of opinion belief or actual fact, that they didn’t LIE deliberately! ie not human error…but human dishonesty!

        • opusx

          Oh, they lied all right. My reply to you was agreement about your comment on the part scenario. Really just meant I am always learning. And open to other viewpoints. In no way endorsing the plonk era at the horrid!

        • Euan Ross-Taylor

          I agree John. I don’t like the ‘we are human’ argument. It seems to be an excuse for liability for our flaws.

          • opusx

            I guess my post was not clear. The human condition is generally one of self serving. How we choose to ‘behave’ is where we are all different. I agree with everything John said, was more commenting on the party scenario he proffered. In that I believe we are always learning. But when it comes to bullshit, don’t worry I’m with you guys on that one.

  • Chris

    Call it what it is, fraud, pure and simple. The Herald did this to create news that did not exist. They sold a product that didn’t exist.

    Anyone up for making a police complaint?

    • Euan Ross-Taylor

      an interesting perspective.

    • Time For Accountability

      Do I remember correctly that Campbell live had to withdraw and apologise for manufacturing false news after a BSA complaint?

      • Patrick

        If only his father had withdrawn at the critical time

    • sheppy

      Good luck with that one, it’ll probably end up in the ignoring pile alongside the many election time complaints against the toxic Labreens

  • Time For Accountability

    What happened here is the employer and two employees conspired to manufacture publish and distribute a false story with the intention to knowingly mislead voters away from a sitting governing political party to another political party.

    The fact that one employee has already attempted to mislead the Waikato Times and influence voters to vote Green makes this affair even more scurrilous.

    Was the Green Party candidate employee acting alone or under instructions from the party.

    There is a pattern of similar behaviour from the Green Party that does not settle well with voters.

    I challenge to Herald to disclaim the article and apologise for manufacturing in house news and stand the employees down.

    I challenge to Green Party to confirm if they were involved or disclaim the actions of their candidate.

  • LesleyNZ

    Great until the last paragraph. Some of you are so obsessed with the word masturbation and the act of masturbation. An unnecessary comparison.

  • Lion_ess

    Such is the state of New Zealand’s mainstream news services. On a lighter note, Cameron might like to take a look at what’s become of TV One’s Breakfast. Is it comedy, wall-to-wall infomercials, a three-hour show about “whacky weather-men” – whatever it is – it cringeworthy. Even the presenters look embarrassed with the mindless, outdated format. Hats off to Rachel Smalley and TV3’s firstline, personally I think this is one of the best news services on free-to-air tv.

  • Bafacu

    Perhaps Cam could take it over and rescue it before it becomes terminal – there is still a little time left (but not much)

  • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

    I think over the next five years, as the baby boomer throwbacks retire from these overpaid jobs, public discourse will change completely. The younger generation don’t think like this. They see it as a sad load of reactionary denialism.

    • pukakidon

      You are right they vote for the green watermelons.

      • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

        After they’ve seen them for what they really are they will change their tune immediately.

  • Bad__Cat

    I do remember when the New Zealand Herald was THE source of news. Back then, “believing it because it was in the paper” wasn’t a sign of gullibility. It quoted sources such as Reuters, and if it wasn’t sure about some fact it would say so.

    Old habits die hard, and I kept loyally subscribing long after I should have.

    It is tragic that a fine old lady has turned into a $5 whore.