Gavin Ellis is a media consultant, commentator and researcher. He holds a doctorate in political studies. A former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald, he is the author of Trust Ownership and the Future of News: Media Moguls and White Knights (London, Palgrave) and Complacent Nation (Wellington, BWB Texts). His consultancy clients include media organisations and government ministries. His Tuesday Commentary on media matters appears weekly on his site www.whiteknightnews.com
UPDATED: White Knight News has become Knightly Views. Nothing changes but the name – a move made necessary by unfortunate associations. The old URL will still bring you to the site but please amend saved links to www.knightlyviews.com
Knightlyviews.com emphatically has no connection with any white supremacist organisation and utterly rejects any the doctrines of hate to which they adhere. The knight image envisaged here is a chivalrous champion and one prepared to ride to the rescue of (in this context) journalism and the principles for which it stands.
The current image depicts a knight slaying a dragon. The previous knightly image on the banner was the white knight from the Lewis chess pieces, carved from walrus ivory in the late 12th or early 13th century (probably in Trondheim, Norway). Such a shame that his good name has been sullied by bigots.
I have always despised white supremacists and now it’s personal.
Their misappropriation of symbols and language has hit me right in the website.
When I started whiteknightnews.com I drew on the subtitle of a book I had written about alternatives to traditional media ownership as ways of sustaining journalism. That book was called Trust Ownership and the Future of News: Media moguls and white knights. I don’t need to tell you about the media moguls, but the white knights were the people who were prepared to ride to the rescue of journalism. Continue reading “A victim of white supremacists”→
New Zealand Herald publisher NZME should be afraid. It remains to be seen whether it should it be very afraid.
The abrupt exit by company chairman Peter Cullinane last week was the first move against the company by Australian fund manager shareholders but it will not be their last.
Cullinane resigned only hours before a shareholders’ meeting at which he was up for re-election and later conceded that “it recently became apparent that I didn’t have the support of significant Australian fund managers.”
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”→