So dead tree books aren’t dead yet?


Here’s a bit of a surprise, especially to the book sellers

The number of books sold over Christmas rose by 10 percent, and sales for the year were up by eight percent.

The chief executive of the Booksellers Association, Lincoln Gould, said there had been a significant turnaround, with the trend for book sales climbing. Read more »


Face of the day

Today’s Face of the day is a man of courage, a man who stood for freedom of expression, a man who persisted in the face of danger. His body guard was not able to save him or the others at his newspaper. I honour him, and them today and I challenge us all to not let their deaths be in vain. We too must be brave. We too must stand strong against this worldwide threat against the freedoms that we hold so dear.


Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier Photo: AFP

Stephane Charbonnier, editor of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, was among four cartoonists killed in the Paris massacre which left 12 people dead in total.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Thomas Hoepker

Photo: Thomas Hoepker

Photographs Can Speak A Thousand Words, But Without A Narrative Device Framing Them, They Are Mute

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The Herald and their Whaling Crusade

An email from a reader.

I’ve been following your ongoing stoushes with the Herald with interest. What’s been puzzling me for some time is why the Powers That Be at the Herald would allow their employees to keep putting the paper’s reputation at risk by publishing what can only be described as tabloid journalism.

Part of the reason, I concluded, is that the paper’s owners, APN, are safely offshore, across the Tasman, and happy to allow business as usual as long as the money keeps flowing.

So is it? I compared the oldest earnings report I could find, pre-APN-ownership (1999), when Tony O’Reilly’s Independent Media Ireland reported earnings from NZ operations of 28 million Euros EBITDA (approx. NZ$56 million at the exchange rate at the time).

Last fiscal, APN reported NZ EBITDA of A$53 million (call it NZ$59 million).

So – earnings up 5% in 15 years. Not great, but no doubt it looks pretty good in the context of a disintegrating newspaper industry.

So how is the Herald (the largest single item in the APN NZ portfolio) managing to sustain this revenue stream?

I’ll let you into a little secret: it’s not from circulation revenues. I’ve compiled a year-by-year chart?of the Herald’s circulation over the last 15 years (the numbers aren’t perfect because the newspaper industry is quick to sweep its past under the rug, preferring that you focus only on the last couple of years of numbers, not see them in historical context — but Google is my friend, enabling me to find at least one number for each year).

herald-circulation Read more »

Ever sent a TXT? Congrats. You’re now a publisher

This is what happens when common sense is abandoned for a little bit of cerebral gymnastics in a court room

Your private text messages are officially “publications” and writing something objectionable could land you in jail for 10 years according to a landmark ruling.

The ruling was made in January after lawyers sought to have a man’s sexual text messages to a 12-year-old girl classified as “objectionable publications” so he could be prosecuted for distributing banned material.

NetSafe chief technology officer Sean Lyons, whose organisation advises on digital safety, said “the fact they’ve said you can now call a text a publication – that’s a big deal. It’s another case for all of us in our increasingly connected world – here’s another one of these ?stop, think and check’ processes before we create content.”

Taihape man Ricky Walker, 35, was originally prosecuted for performing indecent acts on children after he admitted sending explicit texts to five girls, all friends, aged between 11 and 13.

However, a judge stopped the prosecution, saying texts alone could not constitute the charge.


They keep going on about privacy and the GCSB. ?I tell you what, if person-to-person TXT messages can be considered non-private and a “publication”, what is to stop the law from declaring emails publications as well?

Think about it. ?Nothing you ever wrote and sent is protected by privacy now. ?? Read more »

Press Council extends membership to bloggers

The Press Council has announced that they will extend their coverage to bloggers.

Oh dear someone is going to have to amend their submission to the High Court.

The only problem I have is the two EPMU representatives on the Press Council. I believe that in extending these provisions they need to have two bloggers on the council too. Perhaps is now time to formalise the Bloggers Union so that representatives can be appointed to the Press Council.

The Press Council is to offer membership to new digital media and gain additional powers to deal with complaints against traditional print media.

The moves follow a review of the Press Council by its main funder, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association, which considered recommendations by the Press Council and a report last year by the Law Commission.

The Press Council was established in 1972 to adjudicate on complaints against member newspapers. Newspaper publishers decided to include magazines in 1998 and the council’s mandate was further expanded in 2002 to include members’ websites.

Current chair is former High Court judge Sir John Hansen and the council has a majority of non-media industry members.

Newspaper Publishers’ Association editorial director Rick Neville, who chairs the Press Council’s executive committee, said most publishers felt the time had come to strengthen the Press Council’s authority, and to extend its coverage to handle complaints against digital media, including bloggers.? Read more »

Jonathan Marshall runs one up the SMH

Jonathan Marshall has taken the Sydney Morning Herald to the Australian Press Council and won.

It’s a bit like the “I bet he was registered” posts I run about registered teachers. The SMH along with many other in the media always shield themselves with the?”we’re a member of the press council” argument.

Congratulations, f*ckwits…that makes it all ok then. Actually no it doesn’t, as the SMH has just found out.

The Press Council has considered a complaint about an article headed, ?Maverick who likes to bend the rules? in?The Sydney Morning Herald?on 2 October 2012. The article focused on some of the activities of Jonathan Marshall while he was living in New Zealand before becoming a journalist with a Sydney newspaper. Mr Marshall had recently reported controversial remarks made by a well-known speaker to a dinner arranged by a political club at a Sydney university. His report had led to wide media coverage of the issue and of his conduct in attending the dinner and recording the speech.

Mr Marshall complained that the article inaccurately said that while in New Zealand he had approached a university student and ?asked him to lie to university officials in order to gain private information about a fellow student?. He also said the article?s claim that his ?journalistic exposes back home were occasionally unbalanced by a sort of manufactured tabloid trashiness? unfairly suggested he had built a career on made-up stories. He complained that he was given no opportunity to comment before the article was published.

It’s not just Len that is a dodgy rooting ratbag

Ratbags never like seeing the results of their handy work in the press…including Gwyneth Paltrow

Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow apparently doesn?t subscribe to the believe that all press is good press, as the actress is likely furious that?Vanity Fair?is going ahead with a planned feature about her months after she sent an email to her famous friends imploring them to ignore calls from the magazine.

?She sort of forced my hand,??VF?editor-in-chief Graydon Carter?told The Times of London of Paltrow?s email. ?We started a story on her. We have a very good writer and it?ll run.?? Read more »

Magazines in decline,except in one category

The publishing of dead tree version of magazines and newspapers continue to decline…except for one category that is

It hasn’t been a particularly great year for magazine circulation, but one category is shining as a beacon of hope for the American publishing industry: guns.

American Rifleman and America?s 1st Freedom, both of which are benefits of NRA membership, saw their circulations increase 14 percent to 1.9 million and 8 percent to 545,019, respectively, in the first half of the year versus the year-ago period. Handguns and Guns & Ammo, published by InterMedia Outdoors, saw their circ jump 16 percent to 137,648 and 7 percent to 416,224, respectively.? Read more »

Jock Anderson on Truth

Jock Anderson has written a eulogy (probably the best word for it) on Truth at NBR.

It is worth the read.

New Zealand journalism has much to thank?Truth?for.

With news the hoary old tabloid was?not publishing this week, and unlikely to again under its current ownership, a cornerstone of independent crusading journalism fell.

Make no mistake ? the Great National Weekly has been a social force to be reckoned with, in whatever incarnation it has appeared over 126 years.

Truth?pioneered investigative journalism, delving deep and long into the murky affairs of the powerful, privileged and corrupt.? Read more »