A friend this week sent me a link to a TED talk by a very wise man. Michael Sandel is Professor of Government at Harvard University, where he teaches political philosophy. His TED talk focused on the increasing failure to recognise the worth of honest work. Here is a link to the talk:
It brought to mind a graduation address I gave at the Auckland University of Technology 15 years ago. It is on a similar theme, although not expressed with Sandel’s eloquence. Nonetheless, I thought I would dust it off and share it with you.
Magazine closures and mass redundancies threw the New Zealand industry into a state of shock and uncertainty. From it could emerge a new media landscape. New Zealand can be a model for vibrant sustainable titles if it capitalises on the qualities that already drive our media entrepreneurs. I took part in a FIPP Insider webinar discussion of the possibilities with Magazine Publishers Association executive director Sally Duggan and, from London, the CEO of the periodical publishers international body (FIPP), James Hewes.
A Zoom presentation by Dr Gavin Ellisdelivered to the Ponsonby U3A on 12 June 2020
The bad news is that journalism has taken a body blow during the Covid-19 crisis. And, like so many in my age group, the damage has been caused not so much because it tested positive to Covid-19 but because it has underlying health issues.
Since the announcement that the country would move into lockdown, close to 600 people employed in the news media have lost their jobs: 237 when Bauer closed down its entire New Zealand magazine operation, 200 from NZME including the closedown of Radio Sport, and 130 from the beleaguered MediaWorks (but not from TV3, because MediaWorks was trying to flog it off). AGM closed three architectural magazines. There will be others that passed without notice.
Blame for the layoffs and shutdowns was laid at the feet – probably more appropriately the spike protein – of Covid-19. And it undoubtedly played a part. Media company cashflow during the lockdown declined by up to 70 per cent. But it was by no means the complete story. Continue reading “That existential crisis again”→