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”

Crackdown on ‘mosque shooter’ videos

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

No reasonable person who had to endure even part of the Christchurch mosque shooter’s livestream video could object to a law designed to stop that sort of perversion.

The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification (Urgent Interim Classification of Publications and Prevention of Online Harm) Amendment Bill is intended to do just that. It would make the livestreaming of objectionable content a criminal offence with a potential sentence of up to 14 years’ imprisonment. It would also impose heavy fines on the owners of platforms that delay or ignore takedown orders. Continue reading “Crackdown on ‘mosque shooter’ videos”

Social media: Kid gloves or boxing gloves?

Big Q2

The Australian government is taking a tough line with social media companies like Google and Facebook over use of local news content. New Zealand is taking a softer line. I examine the moves on both sides of the Tasman on Auckland University’s The Big Q. Here is a link to the article: https://publicinterestmedia.blogs.auckland.ac.nz/2020/05/26/are-google-and-facebook-taking-new-zealand-for-a-ride-a-trans-tasman-divide-on-social-media/

 

Finally, some good media news

TUESDAY COMMENTARY

The management buy-out of Stuff by its chief executive Sinead Boucher is welcome news. It ticks the boxes: New Zealander, broad industry experience, and sound strategic thinking.

Gone are the fears of foreign private equity buyers, languishing under the diffident control of an owner that did not want it, or closure in a macabre rerun of Bauer’s treatment of its New Zealand magazines. Continue reading “Finally, some good media news”