Super-injunctions make an unwelcome appearance

One could be excused for feeling utterly confused by a court story in the Weekend Herald the Saturday before last, but none of the blame lies with the publication or its reporter.

It was bewildering because it related to an attempt to apply a total ban on publication of any details of the case to which it related. And it extended to reporting that the injunction against publication had even been sought.

That, in my book, is called a super-injunction. That is also how the Herald described it.

A super-injunction is an interim injunction which not only restrains publication of information which concerns the applicant and is said to be confidential or private, but also stops publicising or informing others of the existence of the order and the proceedings. That is the ‘super’ element.

Such an injunction was sought after Herald senior journalist Kim Knight contacted “a New Zealand institution” in relation to a story she was pursuing. The Weekend Herald said the plaintiffs were “alleging it [the Herald] was about to publish potentially defamatory allegations” about an overseas individual.

The Herald did not reveal the name of that individual for two reasons: First because it was covered by the application for an injunction and, secondly, because the individual alleging potential defamation had not even been named in court documents made available to Herald publisher NZME. The paper says it does not know his name, calling him a “mystery man”. Continue reading “Super-injunctions make an unwelcome appearance”

NZME reaches a milestone some thought impossible

NZME has reached a milestone: Its digital publishing business is now profitable on a stand-alone basis. That means it can cover its newsroom and editorial costs without relying on its print operations.

The publisher and broadcaster highlighted the landmark in an investor presentation last week that was a commendably wide and deep appraisal of the group’s current and future prospects. At the same time, it gave some useful insights into the country’s overall news media landscape.

It was common knowledge that NZME’s digital strategy was tracking in the right direction but there were still a few surprises in the two-hour session that included a 150-slide PowerPoint presentation. Continue reading “NZME reaches a milestone some thought impossible”

Back to the future to train the next generation of journalists

There was a back-to-the-future aura around a full page advertisement in the Otago Daily Times last week. “Want to be a journalist?” it asked. “We’ll help you get there!”

The advertisement stated the ODT’s owner, Allied Press, was looking for five cadets “who have what it takes to be journalists in their South Island home town in 2023”.

It signalled its return to the sort of in-house cadet scheme that was standard practice in New Zealand when I started my career in journalism in 1965. Continue reading “Back to the future to train the next generation of journalists”

Time to heed warning signs on regional press

The disclosure that Stuff is to drastically reduce its regional newspaper local reporting staff came as a shock, but I fear that worse is to come for this sector of the media.

Our regional newspapers are following a path which, for counterparts in Australia, Britain and North America, has quite literally led to nowhere.

The pattern established here by both Stuff and NZME – staff cuts, shared content, reduced frequency, and closures – has a familiar ring to anyone in the regional media in other English-speaking countries.

But first, let’s recap on what emerged last week. Continue reading “Time to heed warning signs on regional press”