A pretty average editorial

Given the Southland Times broke the Israeli non-spy story after the Christchurch earthquake, that turned out to be just freaked out students wanting to get home fast , you can say it is one of the less high-brow among our nose-diving fourth estate.  There wasn’t much mention of the damage this accusative did to our ‘100% Pure Brand’ in Israel, or among Israeli Americans.

Now we all know that Fairfax, like the Horrid, only employs ’decent journalists, trained and skilled’.  Well today’s “A pretty average editorial” shows some true ‘genius’. There’s unintended irony for you.

“A pretty average editorial” gets the Campbell Jive violins out right at the start:

“The average New Zealand business with a turnover greater than $700,000 a year spends 21 per cent of it on wages. The dairy industry, just 7 per cent.”

You can see where this is heading.  Those nasty dairy farmers need to employ a lot more people so they can have shit productivity as, I don’t know , a provincial newspaper based in Southland: 

“It’s a comparison that has been used to support the argument that the industry is under-investing in staff. But you better believe farmers will be armed with explanations of why it is folly to take those figures at face value.”

Gee, I don’t know, maybe and I am just guessing here, but perhaps dairy farms have different cost structures?  If you retail you will pay rent and labour.  If you are a mechanic, labour will be pretty big and that probably goes for  newspapers too.  If you make aluminium, even with corporate welfare, then electricity is probably a big expense.  I don’t see many newspapers buying fertiliser, drenches or needing a vet.  Maybe they should:

“In any case, you could also argue it’s nobody’s business but the people concerned, provided the laws of the land are being met regarding minimum wage payments.”

That’s funny, I thought we had the Employment Court, ambulance chasing lawyers & exploitative unions all looking for half a chance.  One reason why farming doesn’t need a cast of thousands is productivity.  Isn’t productivity, the same reason Fairfax centralised its sub-editing?  Is productivity, not the same reason the Southland Times shut down its printing plant last year, chucked away local jobs and moved them to Dunedin?

I wonder what hours those young cheap and impressionable ‘decent journalists, trained and skilled’ are expected to work relative to the low wages we’re told they are.  Katie Bradford-Crozier seems to say that:

“We work hard, have spent years studying, many of us still have huge student loans, we work late night and weekend shifts for low pay. In the end many of us sacrifice family, friends and an ordinary life to do it. You don’t do this job unless you love it.”

I wonder where the Southland Times editorial is (or the MBIE Mandarins now investigating farms), on newsrooms?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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