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Monday, January 07, 2013

Is Pattrick Smellie's optimism for journalism as vacant as John Key's aspiration for NZ?

I like Pattrick Smellie, he is one of our better journalists and was well deserving of the Air New Zealand –British High Commission business journalism scholarship award this year but his optimism for journalism after the anal horribilis of 2012 seems misplaced.

Smellie rightfully notes the financial pressures now being exerted on media by the multi-national corporate shareholders who demand higher profit margins regardless of the damage it does to the quality of news (and those pressures will only continue to multiply for journalists), but 2012 wasn't just about the economic stresses of the craft, Smellie's sunny disposition ignores the real challenge mainstream journalists faced, and that was of narrative authority.

2012 was a battlefield between bloggers and journalists, John Armstrong, in a terribly misjudged attack on two of the country's best bloggers (Gordon Campbell & Bryce Edwards) started the fight. Keith Ng righteously took HoS & John Hartevelt to task over their ridiculous National Standards rankings and the manufactured leadership coup at the Labour Party conference showed the stark difference between what the journalists saw and what the bloggers saw.

Journalists no longer have the only word on the events, bloggers critique and counter those views/facts/perceptions which provides a genuine online counterweight to them. John Key was advised during the tea pot scandal to attack the media because Nationals polling told them that NZers hated the media more than they hated Key, that cultural dislike has been built over decades of cynicism towards corporate media.

An industry that loses their economic model while being downgraded in influence hardly sounds optimistic.



At 7/1/13 8:22 am, Blogger Robert said...

I do think the media at large has failed to represent the community and will pay the price for having been captured by the capialists and advertising agencies

At 7/1/13 8:25 am, Blogger Robert said...

I do think media at large have failed to represent the views of the community and been captured by capital and ad agencies - they are now paying the price as technology allos peope to move past them.

At 7/1/13 12:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A good illustration of the decline in media standards is the current situation in the US.

1983: 90% US media was owned by 50 companies.
Present: 90% US media controlled by 6 companies.

Current FCC rules prevent anyone from owning a newspaper and TV station in one market to prevent a skewed perspective. However the FCC is preparing to abolish that rule.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is prepared to purchase the LA Times and Chicago Tribune from Tribune Co which faced bankruptcy in 2008, the largest in the history of US media.

Notice, interest was expressed in purchasing these papers since October 2012, pre-election.

Analyse the following story:


Murdoch’s News Corp donated larger sums to the Obama campaign as opposed to Romney.

$58,825 Obama - $2,750 Romney.
$504,162 to individuals, Super PAC’s and candidates in 2012. Eight of the top ten recipients, Democrats.

Even though Murdoch’s media outlets naturally are pro-Republican and campaign accordingly.

It all seems a case of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

Notice during the holiday lull, directly post-election, the FCC proposes abolishing the old rules that would have prevented Murdoch from purchasing the LA Times and Chicago tribune.

If successful, Murdoch will have a foothold in the three biggest media markets in the US; New York, LA, Chicago.

Now imagine in the back room discussions of the TPPA, the secret agreements being facilitated.

Since the agreement will make it easier for US corporates to expand their interest here, with MediaWorks facing large debts, could we expect Murdoch purchasing MediaWorks along with a possible sale of TVNZ?

If so, however further could the TPPA assist in placing this country under a full Murdoch media blackout? The public being feed exclusively a diet of Fox News type programming, bias media, skewing minds with right-wing ideology in favour of the corporates.

There are already TVNZ-Sky TV partnerships in effect; the majority shareholder of Sky TV is Murdoch’s News Corp.

Imagine quality media when you have someone like Gina Reinhart the world’s richest woman at $19 billion with the largest shareholding in Fairfax Media which operates: The Dominion Post, The Christchurch Press, The Sunday Star-Times and over 60 community newspapers.

How can you possibly expect any positive influence from such people when you have bizarre, ignorant tirades such as this one?

‘Drink Less, Work More’, Billionaire Tells Non-Rich.

Expect any difference with Shearer? Who dined with Sky TV CEO John Fellet at the home of Sky lobbyist Tony O’Brien last year, not forgetting the attempt to muzzle Labour party member’s blogs critical of the party.

With proposed laws such as ACTA, SOPA and PIPA backed by corporate interests and the possible ramifications on freedom of the internet, along with the Copyright Amendment Act and a PM ready to bend over backwards for the corporates, as illustrated with the Hobbit and the Dotcom fiasco. Dissent on the web is under threat.

Who knows what’s in the TPPA that may sound its death knell.

At 8/1/13 8:42 am, Blogger Phil said...

Business is pulling the strings on puppet Key. Who is representing the interests of the individual. Sky TV,Fairfax,Murdoch, Fulton Hogan,Fletchers,Todd etc are running the show. The government is just a facade, a front for corporate interest. New Zealand has become a poorer country in front of our very noses. 50,000 Kiwis have voted with their feet last year alone. This government is failing us in so many ways.


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