Welcome return of old friends

It is only natural, when you see old friends after a disturbing absence, that you give them a quick once-over to satisfy yourself they are okay.

Last week I cast a concerned eye over the New Zealand Listener and the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly – having seen neither since April – and was mightily relieved to find that they are, indeed, okay.

The new owner, Mercury Capital [which this week renamed Bauer Media Australasia as Are Media], had announced they would appear again in September but, as the month slid by, I was beginning to wonder not only when but whether they would re-publish. 

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NZ journalists as ‘useful idiots’?

A significant fact about the 2.4 million names on the Zhenhua database of foreign individuals is that few of them are people with deep links to China or interest in the Communist state.

The men behind the revelation about the database, Professor Christopher Balding and Robert Potter (co-founder of Canberra security firm Internet 2.0), say this points to the likelihood that the Overseas Key Information Data Base (OKIDB) is only one of a number of linked databases.

If there is a separate set of records for China’s close associates, is there another for journalists? 

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We could all do with a laugh

Last week I suffered a rare bout of depression. I was pursued by the Black Dog due to a situation over which I had no control. It wasn’t the Coronavirus pandemic but that didn’t help. Nor did the news media.

I negotiated my way out of the darkness with the help of my wife, my brother and a good friend. I realised most of the stresses in my life – like editing a newspaper – had been matters over which I could exercise a measure of control and my black mood was caused not by the current situation but the fact that I couldn’t fix it.

The depression lifted with the realisation that I had to rely on others to resolve the issue.

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A better foreign owner for TV3 in an uncertain future

It was an open secret that MediaWorks was negotiating to sell its television arm to Discovery. Now that sale has been confirmed. Yes, it’s substituting one foreign owner for another but TV3 will be better off as a result of the sale.

The US-based Discovery group has an established record not only in subscription TV but also in linear broadcast. It is the owner of free-to-air channels across Europe including Norway, Sweden, Italy, Poland, Germany and the UK. Its digital portfolio includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Turbo/Velocity, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Oprah Winfrey Network in the United States, Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, which carries the Olympic Games across Europe. Last year it signed a partnership deal with the BBC.

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