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A message for Shayne Currie and other cowards

Caroline Fourest appears on the U.K. outlet Sky News to discuss the cowardice of UK journalists and editors in not showing the Charlie Hebdo front page.

She expresses her disgust at their cowardice and  then she holds up a copy on live television, and the host obligingly demonstrates Fourest’s point:

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Liberty Scott on Leveson

Liberty Scott smells a rat in the Leveson inquiry:

  1. Phone hacking is already illegal in the UK.
  2. Attempting to corrupt a public official is illegal.
  3. Stalking was made a crime in the UK a week ago.
  4. Breaking and entering private property in the UK is already illegal.
  5. The UK has one of the world’s toughest defamation laws, which are already blamed for suppressing people speaking up about allegations of sexual abuse by public figures.
  6. In short, the vile events presented in evidence were, in most instances, already illegal.

So consider, for a moment, why new laws and a new regulator is needed to enforce that which the Police have been lax to enforce now.

So really there is no need for any additional regulation or laws governing the media…it could be argued that there should be less laws.

Some more salient facts that the more shrieky out there overlook.

  1. News International is not dominant in the newspaper market in the UK.  It owns the second most popular out of the five serious national Monday-Saturday papers, and the most popular of the five tabloid/populist papers.  Only 34% of national newspapers read in the UK are News Corp papers.  Around 8 million national newspapers are sold every day in the UK.
  2. News International is not dominant in the television market in the UK.    It owns one free to air TV channel (Sky News) compared with the state which owns ten through the BBC and five through Channel 4 (excluding another five “+1” timeshifted channels). It owns the largest pay TV provider (BSkyB in 17% of UK/Irish households), with two major competitors (Virgin Media, BT Vision). The BBC is funded predominantly through a TV licence payable by threat of criminal prosecution.  BSkyB is funded voluntarily through subscription.  BSkyB is forced by the state to onsell its premium sports content to its competitors.  About 9 million people watch the BBC’s two nightly TV bulletins every day.  Another 2.2 million watch the BBC News channel daily, while 1.5 million watch Sky News.
  3. News Corporation has no radio stations in the UK.  By contrast, the state owns 11 national radio stations and 48 regional/local radio stations through the BBC.
  4. Any form of legislation to regulate the press will require the licensing of newspapers, which was last abolished in 1644.   By definition, a regulator will be led by people appointed by politicians, by definition it will be a creature of politics.

Liberty Scott asks about motives:

Look at those asking for a regulator.  What’s their motive?  Ask why a publisher should require permission from the state to publish?  Ask if you think the Labour Party would be so keen on regulating the press if the Times and the Sun hadn’t decided to stop supporting it after the 2005 election and Gordon (“I’ve abolished boom and bust”) Brown became Prime Minister?  Ask why the BBC, which has been at the forefront of supporting press regulation, isn’t regulated by OfCom and itself failed to report on its own former stars committing criminal sexual acts, yet press regulation enthusiasts regard it to be a bastion of ethics?

Can you imagine the resistance by the pro-press regulation left against anyone daring to suggest that the behemoth of a state broadcaster (the world’s largest state broadcaster) be independently investigated and broken up because of the dominance of its influence?

Leveson has recommended legislation, to “protect press freedom”, although he doesn’t identify what threatens it.  Typically the number one [threat] to press freedom, is legislation.

He wants OfCom – the regulator of broadcasting (except the BBC, because it wouldn’t do to have the BBC regulated by the organisation regulating the private sector), to supervise the newspaper regulator.

What’s a newspaper?  Who knows.

This is from a man who has said that newspapers are “uniquely powerful” compared to the internet and social media, which probably reflects he is 63 years old, than any real insights into the media.

The Leveson Report is a doorstop.  Nothing more.

I for one tend to agree with him. No doubt Farrar will take the middle way and whine about this or that instead of standing for true freedom and deregulation.

If the mechanism to protect a free press is the shackles of regulation the we are in a right pickle.

Intelligent TV

Liberty Scott

Many of the whingers crying over the spilt milk that is TVNZ7 are crying because “intelligent TV” has died…except it hasn’t as Liberty Scott explains:

Of course, intelligent TV is widely available and seen throughout NZ.  It’s called Sky.

Sky brought New Zealand 24-hour news in the form of CNN, and more recently multiple options ranging from the BBC, Sky News, France 24, Al Jazeera, Fox News, CCTV and the new channel for nutty conspiracy theorists who are anti-American – Russia Today.  New Zealanders have never had better access to news about Australia, the USA, UK, Europe, the Arab world, China and Russia.  It also brought multiple dedicated channels for documentaries and then classic movies, arthouse movies and well as the mass market entertainment channels it supplies.

Sky started by paying the government for its first network, a series of UHF frequencies, installed its own transmitters and bought content.  It spent the first seven or eight years losing money, and now gets into around half of New Zealand homes.  People who are prepared to pay for the content it provides, which is not just sport, not just movies, but far more content than state TV can ever provide.  Now we all know Sky succeeds because of sports coverage, but nobody would have predicted what it now brings, thanks to an open market, absence of foreign ownership restrictions and absence of local content quotas.

The liberal, mainly left are now eyeing up busting Sky’s chops. Have a look at Clare Curran’s tweets if you don’t believe me:


Liberty Scott continues:

A successful business, which has brought far more choice and intelligence to NZ television that any other broadcaster, is now in the firing line from one of those who asserted that she is against braindead TV.

I’d have more sympathy if those who wanted to Save TVNZ7 had raised money to set up their own TV channel – which of course you can in New Zealand, given that there are no legal barriers to entry and there is a surplus of digital TV frequencies available on Freeview.  It is a matter of money.

The problem is that the Save TVNZ7 people don’t want to put their money where their mouths are, they want to make everyonedo it.  So when the investors in Sky, have put their money in, have done so with no taxpayer subsidy at all, have been supported by around half of the adult population in subscriptions, you might wonder why they don’t like that very much.

David Beatson has at least formed a trust, we will see where that goes…my pick is nowhere because most of the people fighting to save TVNZ7 couldn’t even afford a jacket newer than 20 years old. They will simply want to pick the pockets of taxpayers more. Somehow a television channel with three shows a week featuring Martyn Bradbury just doesn’t do it for many people.

The Bainimarama Interview

An interview by Graham Davis screened on Prime and Sky News last night.

Graham Davis is a top class interviewer. Frank Bainimarama stresses the point that NZ is more understanding than Oz.

Grubsheet’s interview with the Fijian leader, Frank Bainimarama, is being shown this weekend in Australia and New Zealand on Sky News and in Fiji in a news special on FBCTV at 7.30pm on Sunday night. In it, Bainimarama says Australia is now alone among its ANZUS partners in refusing to engage with Fiji. And he reveals fresh details of his plans to return the country to democracy in 2014.

In an exclusive interview with Graham Davis for Sky News, Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has lashed out at the governments of Australia and New Zealand, accusing them of neglecting the Pacific Islands.

Commodore Bainimarama accused former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd of neglecting the Pacific, adding Canberra’s lack of attention to the region – and especially its policy of shunning Fiji – had weakened Australian influence in the region and had created a vacuum that bigger powers were moving to fill.

He added improved relations between Australia and Fiji would only come if Tony Abbott won the next election.

The NZ Government and Murray McCully need to drop the stupid sanctions so that business people in Fiji can openly engage and help Fijian Government.

Corpse Cut to fit Coffin

The rumours have been around since this chap died in 2004 that the undertaker had cut off his legs to fit him in the coffin.

Turns out the rumours were true.

James Hines was a giant – a 2-meter, 136-kilogram preacher and funk musician so big that after he died in 2004, a macabre rumour began circulating in this small town that the undertaker had to cut off his legs to fit him in the coffin.

This week, after years of whispers, Hines’ body was exhumed, and the gruesome story appeared to be all too true.

The coroner’s office said only that it had found “undesirable evidence,” and a criminal investigation has been opened. But Hines’ widow said investigators told her that his legs had been cut off between the ankle and calf, and his feet had been placed inside the casket.

Couldn’t he have  bent him a bit in the middle or the knees or something. The coffin must have been quite a bit too short fro the drastic measure of sawing his legs off.

 

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