OnPoint by Keith Ng


You're going to pay for this

Remember the Kursk? This was the Stuff.co.nz frontpage, as recorded on the 16 August 2000, reporting on the doomed rescue effort. I was probably being introduced to the term "liberalism" in POLS112 at that time, and in between classes I was reporting on select committees for one of the beltway newsletters (I had to quit as I kept falling asleep, thanks to first-year alcoholism, Counterstrike, and democracy being really boring). Peering back in time, the site is doesn't appear to have changed much, but the devil is in the details - and the details are running the show.

This weekend, the EPMU is going to be hosting a conference under the banner . It's going to be held in Parliament, and speakers include Judy McGregor (former journalist, newspaper editor, academic and now EEO Commissioner), Gavin Ellis (former Herald editor), Rick Neville (Deputy CEO, APN) and assorted journalists (Simon Collins, Vernon Small, Amanda Cropp, Kathryn Ryan, Sharon Fergusson, Murray Kirkness, Kim Griggs, and of course, from our side of the electronic fence, Alastair Thompson). You can

Exhibit A: Stuff website, 2000. Exhibit B:

This is the perfect time for us, as media consumers, to think about how we want things to go down, too. How many of us have bitched about the marketing influence destroying journalism? They write about brain health, property investments and fat goddamn kids because their focus groups tell them it's relevant to their target demographics; reaching those target demographics are important if they want to sell ads; selling ads is important if they want to stay afloat. It's understandable and rational behaviour, especially when they can't get another revenue stream because classified ads have been annexed by TradeMe and readers refuse to pay real money.

We say we want serious journalism, but how many of us are willing to actually pay for it?

Invitation: Participants in the summit this weekend are especially welcomed to 27 responses Email

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