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”

NZ media must rise from Covid blitz


‘Post-war’ reconstruction

This week New Zealand media organisations are participating in a series of workshops that aim to help them through the commercial turmoil of the Covid-19 lockdown. It is an invaluable initiative by the Ministry for  Culture and Heritage that should provide some immediate relief, but no-one should expect it to be the long-term answer to their plight.

If our private sector media are to remain standing when the nation recovers from the aftermath of the pandemic, virtual workshops need to be followed by their own version of the Bretton Woods Conference that reset world financial systems after the Second World War. Continue reading “NZ media must rise from Covid blitz”