Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Everybody has one

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  • Kumara Republic,

    It’s more like this: Hosking’s thoughts are automatically echoed in the Herald because Newstalk ZB and the Herald are part of the same company, NZME, and Hosking is one of NZME’s banner names. The company wants both to promote Hosking and reticulate traffic through its different media assets. (TVNZ is basically an add-on to this.) Over at Mediaworks, an increasing proportion of what you see and hear is also in service of another part of the company – and that will become even more the case when Mediaworks’ events venture gets up to speed. In both companies, commercial radio provides the profits, meaning radio calls the shots. If there’s a conservative influence, that’s radio.

    I sometimes wonder if overseas trends of media consolidation have arrived in NZ. It'd be worth a look by the Commerce Commission, if it hasn't already been plagued with regulatory capture.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Hosking's smug relativism ought to be irrelevant if our media regulatory system was working. He's welcome to his own stupid thoughts in his local cafe, but not trumpeted all over airwaves that come with obligations because of their power.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I sometimes wonder if overseas trends of media consolidation have arrived in NZ. It’d be worth a look by the Commerce Commission, if it hasn’t already been plagued with regulatory capture.

    Not gonna happen. Apart from anything else, being big and cross-platform might be the only way to survive and prosper in the new media environment. It's not a good time to be an indie.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Mike Hosking has a confused and self-serving column

    ...at all times.


    Why did she move on? I understand the final shot, but not the move. Mostly because I'm not paying attention, though. What's she moving to?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to BenWilson,

    Why did she move on? I understand the final shot, but not the move. Mostly because I’m not paying attention, though. What’s she moving to?

    Her main gig is as a TV producer. The Herald dropped her column for budgetary reasons.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    I'll miss her pieces. They provided a commonsense voice in an otherwise increasingly pro-government media landscape. Which TV programme is she involved with?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Fiona Mckenzie,

    Hosking is pretentiousness personified - evidenced here in his glee at being mistaken for a journalist. TVNZ needs to cease trying to dress up 7 Sharp as being part of news and current affairs then - simply call it "Hosking" , play it mid morning or mid afternoon like the other personality shows and leave analysis to people better qualified. Ugh - can't stand him.

    Christchurch • Since Jun 2015 • 14 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    This is fixable:
    - ban on foreign media ownership
    - ban on cross media ownership of a radio station, TV station or newspaper in the same market
    - levy on monopoly newspapers to fund alternative media
    - end to public subsidy (through license fee holidays, fake bankruptcies and the like) of commercial media
    - requirement that no individual is the beneficial owner of more than 10% of a media company
    - funding through NZ On Air (etc) for alternative online and broadcast journalism
    - BBC-style impartiality requirement for commercial and state news and current affairs

    That'd probably do a job. The right would scream hard, but if enacted in the first six months of a left-wing government, it'd be forgotten by the next election, and all their mouthpieces would be long gone.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    “my glass half-full view of the world might just happen to coincide with the glass half-full view of the Government” and declares himself to “have been glass half-full for about 50 years”

    Which is simply a lie, intentional or simply because he fails to remember the vitriol he spilled over the Labour government.

    From the NZHerald to the NPHerald step by step.

    Sad to see Dita's opinion missing from our media, it was thoughtful, researched and reasonable, all things that are rare these days.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    When did anyone think Hosking was a journalist? Did anyone think Paul Holmes was? And Hosking's entire career is modelled after him. He's literally taken over every position the man had.

    I'm actually completely fine with Hosking not being a journalist, and everyone being aware of that. Everyone has a perspective and we know his. Just be upfront about it and stop pretending you don't have a bias.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to James W,

    I'm actually completely fine with Hosking not being a journalist

    same - though the distinction between what he is and what some think he is has little bearing on what he gets to say to so many New Zealander's, the majority of whom don't make the distinction between job titles and opinion spewed

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    I do recall hearing Mike Hosking on Radio NZ rather a long time ago. Back then I’m fairly sure he was paid to be a journalist. Now it appears that he is being paid to be himself which is rather less interesting for everybody.

    The NZherald seems to have gone through an almost endless cycle of removing qualified staff and replacing them with “back packers” and other stop gap measures. More recently it is clear that there are no sub editors left and spelling and other mistakes just remain.

    The latest trend seems to be outsourcing stories to The Daily Mail. I was appalled this morning that the most popular story appears to be a story about a shooting at a tv channel. And that story included video of the actual shooting. Sure enough it was sourced from The Daily Mail.

    The worst thing about those stories is having to scroll to the bottom to find the source. They should get their own byline at the top so we can jus ignore them.

    It is sad to see people like Dita de Boni, Paul Casserly, Mark Webster and others whose columns have been dumped. I recall Adam Gifford and others were dumped in earlier changes of the same nature.

    What happens is that you get the “voice of privilege” rather than a diversity of opinions and ideas that a newspaper should thrive on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 368 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Martin,

    There is a distinct possibility of a lack of diversity that reflects the populace and instead a dull hum of sameness.

    What happened to Tapu Misa?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 187 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Meyers, in reply to James W,

    I'm actually completely fine with Hosking not being a journalist, and everyone being aware of that

    I hadn't realised until recently that NZ Herald and Newstalk ZB were tied in together through NZME. I sort of assumed that Hosking was getting his gig with the Herald because they thought he was good at his job, rather than just a 2-for-1 deal.

    I tried reading his column today. It doesn't even make sense, nor is it readable.

    Wellington • Since May 2014 • 56 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Russell Brown,

    he is not, as is widely supposed a journalist

    Channeling Simon Sweetman.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • David MacGregor,

    In the last phase of the previous election The Internet Party's 'Moment of Truth' promised something that it didn't deliver, sadly. But it did demonstrate that here in New Zealand we have a tendency to celebrate the messenger, no matter what the message is. Glenn Greenwald was vilified, just as Nicky Hager was, mocked loudly so that none of what they said was heard clearly - the incumbent (recumbent) media establishment colluded either wilfully or by default with the government to fill the air with chaff that bounced the signal around until all that was left was the noise. Hager's message came and went - Dirty Politics mortified us momentarily until the Kardashians had a royal baby - or whatever. Likewise Greenwald's reporting was lost in the jello wrestling bout between Key and Dotcom.
    Ironically the airways are cleared so that Hosking's message can radiate without contest in multiple channels, almost every day of the week.
    It doesn't matter that he is a shill for the far right - if he was an exponent of something that made good sense the scenario would be the same. The value of his 'share of voice', as we are wont to say in marketing, is gobsmacking. If you were to assign a commercial value to the cost of his airtime on tv and radio, his column centimetres and promoted space online it would probably exceed the advertising spend of the biggest brands in New Zealand.
    A couple of things happen as result. There is a halo effect. It makes sense to most people that, if something is in television, it is important and has credibility. As seen on TV still has caché. There is also a phenomenon called 'the media multiplier' - which was initially described by media like daily newspapers to promote their importance in planning media when TV was dominating in the early 90's. The multiplier effect describes how a message is perceived to be morecredible when it is received through more channels. A variation is social proof - the more people talking about something, the more true it must be. These phenomena amplify Hosking's credibility to an astonishing volume. It is little wonder what he says becomes the orthodoxy of the day.
    You describe the whittling away of contrary voices in media either by design or simple attrition. I got the impression that Dita di Boni was worn down as much as anything - how can one compete against the wall of sound. What happens when you talk sense but through the black mirror of media it becomes marginalised and your reasonable dissent is spun to become 'bias'.
    This walking away from the debate is what made me think of The Moment of Truth. An expression that Greenwald used to describe the effect of mass surveillance was 'a chilling effect', surveillance becomes self censorship. Whether you have chosen silence or are silenced the effect is the same. Nature won't tolerate a vacuum. There is value in the space vacated by Ms di Boni and it will be filled with a new clamour for attention and notoriety, new material to provoke shares and links, more noise and chaff to drown out the sharing of ideas and reasonable discussion. There is a chill in the air.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to James W,

    When did anyone think Hosking was a journalist?

    I fear that this does work in his favour somewhat. In the parlance of the times – citing Google:

    a person who writes for newspapers or magazines or prepares news to be broadcast on radio or television.
    “foreign journalists had been expelled from the area”
    synonyms: reporter, correspondent, newsman, newswoman, newspaperman, newspaperwoman, columnist, writer, commentator, reviewer, blogger; More

    I mean you couldn’t describe what he does as ‘high journalism’ if there is such a thing, but were the tables turned and his house raided and he pled journalist, I think that we could be fairly confident that the current judicial system would find him to be just that.

    At least, as a journalist, if he is one, there is a code of ethics he should be expected to uphold.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to James W,

    When did anyone think Hosking was a journalist?

    I think many people don’t, and some people don’t really care enough to think about it.

    For me, the fact that he’s not a journalist is a symptom of the greater problem, which is that his singular opinion on everything has effectively replaced what used to be journalism. Now there’s much less of that journalism and analysis being channelled in front of people, and much more of Mike Hosking saying "I’m fine with all of this. Nothing to see here."

    This aside, he also gets paid mega-bucks by his employers for spreading his opinion and I doubt he’s as innocent as he’d have people believe, so I have little sympathy for his taking some of the blame for the situation, even if it’s bigger than he is.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    ".......it'd be forgotten by the next election, and all their mouthpieces would be long gone."

    And so would the media platforms for any opinion outside of state broadcasting.

    Look, as someone who enjoys well expressed opinion from any part of the left/right continuum, I don't find any difference whatsoever between Mike Hosking and Dita De Boni. Both appear to express themselves wholly in cliches and are long on unsupported assertion and short on penetrating analysis.

    Media companies are not so well off, including the radio outlets, that they can afford to take strong political stances irrespective of their commercial underpinnings. If they could make money from a left wing version of Mike Hosking they would so. In fact, long ago and not so far away there was a left wing version of Mike Hosking. Her name was Pam Corkery. Her outlet, Radio Pacific, staffed mostly by hosts in or heading towards their haemorrhoid years and aimed at a comparable audience, was a power in the land.

    Dave Armstrong writes an explicitly left wing column in the Dom Post that is entirely readable. His liberal counterpart, former Dominion Editor Karl Du Fresne is also a much better writer than either Hosking or De Boni. Both spend time on the particular before going to the general which gives their writing texture and lowers the ranting ratio in each column. Maybe there is something in the Wellington and Wairarapa water?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Happening all over. Tuned into Story for the first time last night only to find a plug for the hideousness that is The Edge (both in terms of music and personality) being given a plug (during radio ratings week, of course), for it's supremely awful marriage before you meet promotion.

    We're fucked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Tinakori,

    Maybe there is something in the Wellington and Wairarapa water?

    Rosemary McLeod used to be fond of reminding her readers of her Masterton origins. On recent evidence it's high time someone turned off the bloody tap.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to James W,

    He claimed he's not a journalist but someone in his comments today suggested he should take the journalist claim out of his facebook profile as that would be confusing. I dont have anything to do with facebook or know how it works but I gather he has friends on face book who could be confused by this. Also Had enough of Hosking article in Stuff indicates the saturation we are experiencing

    In the past month, broadcaster Mike Hosking has been given a platform to voice his views 70 times across his Newstalk ZB show, his NZ Herald column and the television show Seven Sharp. He's been at the centre of programmes on the air for about 65 hours

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    her Masterton origins

    I went to Masterton once. Sample conversation:

    You're from *outside*? I've always wanted to go somewhere outside Masterton once, like maybe Carterton or Martinborough, but I've never been able to find the way.
    Is it true about oceans? And cities?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Tuned into Story for the first time last night

    I properly watched a clip for the first time on Tuesday, which turned out to be the chap who was refused entry to Rockpool because of his non-gang face tattoos. (Episode link, it’s part 2.)

    All they seemed to do was interview the guy about his tattoos, interview the bar manager who pointed at her sign and said (paraphrased) “I like tattoos but I’m allowed to judge him and can refuse who I like”, then went to another bar manager in Auckland who seemed to disagree with keeping people out based on any facial tattoos, then very briefly stated that the HRC has said it was okay to discriminate, before light oooh aah style chit-chat between the two hosts.

    Is it all this airy-fairy? For a human rights story, some actual depth and analysis would have been nice. Instead they just presented what a bunch of people said, not consulting an independent lawyer to explain things, not questioning the HRC about its statement, not investigating the claims elsewhere that he’d offered to cover up the tattoos with makeup and still been refused. I hope it’s not symptomatic of everything they’re planning to produce in future.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I am incredibly proud to out Dita as part of my #kapawhaea for the refuge. She is a kind, compassionate woman and I have always enjoyed her columns. Her words, this morning, hit me right in the heart, and it saddens me to know that her voice, and that of others like her, is on the wane.
    Newspapers are an important platform because, whether we like it or not, people seem to form opinions based on those they find in their daily rag. Those of us who don't read the paper are not the ones who are damaging this country - it's the voters who are swayed by what they read/see who are.
    Having strong voices in the MSM, in opposition to this government, is a vital component of the sea change that is necessary in this country. Sadly, they are few and far between, and so the rest of us will need to speak up louder.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

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