A victim of white supremacists

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”

How afraid should NZME be?

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

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.”

He said the obvious reason was the depressed share price. Continue reading “How afraid should NZME be?”

That existential crisis again

A Zoom presentation by Dr Gavin Ellis delivered 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”

Perils of (literally) shooting the messenger

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

 

There is something alarmingly wrong in a democracy when police physically attack journalists and its politicians normalise verbal abuse of the media. But, if we are not worried because it’s happening half a world away, we should be.

We need to worry because there is a far-reaching corrosive effect in what is happening in the United States and shown daily on the news feeds and social media accessed by many in this country.

The agreement that allows newsgatherers to bear witness on the public’s behalf is a fragile thing with strictly limited legal force. It is an understanding between media and the public but the average person on New Zealand streets has little comprehension of either its purpose or importance. Continue reading “Perils of (literally) shooting the messenger”