Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: NZME and you

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  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Sacha,

    There’s no reason a levy like that could not be distributed through a vehicle like NZ on Air, but with less control being ceded to boadcasters/publishers

    Reckon it needs to be thought through a little better. NZ on Air has been a poor model in many ways.
    And I feel ‘contestable funding’ generally is also a poor model – as pretty much anyone who’s tried to build a science career in NZ based on it will readily concede. Intermittent or project-based payment works ok for some things and some people. But it’s not going to give us reliable daily news- like eg RNZ.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp, in reply to Cameron Pitches,

    I look after a large number of content sites and the busiest one may have brought in more a few years ago but googles systems keep changing and a good day is more like $5 US. That is for a site which has 40-50,000 visitors a month. There are not many sites in NZ that do more than 50,000 a month. The google ads total is closer to $150 a month at that level. Sponsorships can add more but the glory days are gone ( or very much diluted.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 363 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    I propose levying his communications. Jesus, could communication be one thing that doesn’t have the government’s finger right up it? They’re already scanning it all. Now we have to pay them for it too? Just to maintain something older that people who use it won’t pay for, and those that don’t use it have found another way for? Gah!

    More on Dr Thompson’s proposals. His full paper is available at VUW.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    Dismissing other people’s solutions is easy.

    Proposing workable ways to address this issue is what is need.

    I could have been nicer. But I don't think that means I have to be nice about a really bad idea, just because I personally haven't proposed a better one. You could propose to solve world peace by killing cats. Do I have to propose an alternative to convince you this is not a good idea?

    Neo-liberal economic views on the dead weight of taxation are highly debateable

    I'm not exactly coming from a neoliberal perspective to say that taxing something unrelated is hardly the best way to raise money for some service. Taxing bandwidth to support journalism is as arbitrary as taxing petrol for it. Except that petrol already has a taxation levy system in place, and isn't growing at a high exponential rate, so it wouldn't be quite so expensive or impractical, or unfair. I'd rather pay tax for the air I breathe than my bandwidth, because at least the air I use is constant, and you could argue it's a common good I'm taking from, unlike data flowing down a wire that I'm already paying for the use of, and indirectly the installation and maintenance of, something not being done by the government in the first place.

    As an alternative, it seems fairer to me just to slap it on the current tax take as is, rather than invent arbitrary new taxes with new admin overheads that involve winding back the unlimited bandwidth clock to the bad old days. If it's a common good it should be paid for out of the common tax pool. If it's not a common good, then it should be user pays, and if it dies, well, so be it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to llew40,

    I think there are a lot of exceptionally talented people around the world who have been grappling with how to respond to the digital disintermediation of media

    I agree. I don't for a second think the job is easy, but that's no excuse to pay very high salaries for very average performance either.

    I have a suspicion we are looking at the end of newspapers and TV. Nothing about the way people search for and consume content fits with those old models of content supply. The problem is that in losing those traditional content supply modes we are losing access to things we need as a society.

    I don't think we are seeing any sign that the traditional channels are even trying to maintain those things like journalism that are valuable to society. To me that suggests we have to stop worrying about those traditional channels and figure out an alternative that naturally as part of its core embeds those things we value. That's as opposed to the current situation where those things we value were always considered a cost.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Thompson, in reply to Sacha,

    Google Doubleclick for Publishers aka DFP is a Google Product which is wonderful and provided for free to publishers - and one which saved us a lot of money when it was made free. Google provides a heap of wonderful free tools notably Analytics which Scoop and countless other news organisations use.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 220 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to BenWilson,

    As an alternative, it seems fairer to me just to slap it on the current tax take as is, rather than invent arbitrary new taxes with new admin overheads that involve winding back the unlimited bandwidth clock to the bad old days. If it’s a common good it should be paid for out of the common tax pool.

    Then how to guard it against hostile anti-intellectual forces and prevent it going the way of TVNZ6 & TVNZ7? The BBC and ABC are facing that very problem. That was one of the points raised by Dr Thompson in the report mentioned above when he canvassed funding options for a new public broadcaster.

    At the Save TVNZ7 meeting before the channel's closure, he ruled out a return of the broadcasting fee on grounds of unworkability, and a voluntary ‘tip jar’ model wouldn’t have attracted enough revenue.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    An illustration (sic) of what happens when your newsroom is emptied out:

    Herald runs an online story about the flag, and the NZ First claim that it looks like a Nazi design.

    A quick search of Getty images and they come up with the requisite photo ... of the Federal Republic of Germany. Oh dear. Ambassadors have been recalled for less ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to BenWilson,

    I’d rather pay tax for the air I breathe than my bandwidth, because at least the air I use is constant, and you could argue it’s a common good I’m taking from, unlike data flowing down a wire that I’m already paying for the use of, and indirectly the installation and maintenance of, something not being done by the government in the first place.

    And arguably, at the moment there is no mechanism for the client, when content is requested of the publisher, to at that point say "oh, wait. this is more content than I wish to purchase for this topic". Infact, if people were taxed on downloads, the incentive from the publishers is to make everything full screen video to increase the amount being downloaded.

    I am happy for general taxes (everyone pays/ guaranteed minimum income), I am happy for levies on usage (paywalls/ micropayments), but I am intrinsically unhappy with the idea of a system where the amount you are levied is pushed to you by the people benefitting from the levy.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    unwanted aspirations...

    I’d rather pay tax for the air I breathe than my bandwidth....

    No!
    Please don't suggest such a thing.
    Not even in jest!
    Morphic resonance, synchronicity, human rapacity and all that...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    here are not many sites in NZ that do more than 50,000 a month. The google ads total is closer to $150 a month at that level.

    Yep. I used to comfortably pay for decent hosting using google ads even on my small sites, but it stopped being worth the hassle a few years ago. By the time I quit I wasn't make enough out of the ads to justify the admin overhead of having to click the "pay me" link once a year. That model is gone.

    I do think some kind of levy to pay for public broadcasting is needed, assuming we're allowed to do that any more (has Key signed away our ability to do that yet?) And tying it somehow directly to purpose seems to be necessary. But possibly not sufficient if the recent Australian arts experience is anything to go by (Minister stepped in and took much of that funding from the long-term planners and gave it out himself using "what I like" as the apparent criteria... and specifically excluding anyone who had annoyed him by expressing dissatisfaction)

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1193 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Swain, in reply to Alastair Thompson,

    Sorry to derail the thread... can I ask about Take Back the News?

    Will the New Scoop be just the current Scoop site with the content described at takebackthenews.nz ? Or will it be a new site? And when is it scheduled to be launched?

    I understand (and like!) the concept, I just don't get the specific what and when.

    Japan • Since Apr 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Attachment

    Just for fun, I compiled a Venn diagram of the NZ media landscape, with a few overseas examples included for comparison. Feel free to suggest corrections and additions.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Attachment

    From today's Herald.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1377 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    To me that suggests we have to stop worrying about those traditional channels and figure out an alternative that naturally as part of its core embeds those things we value. That's as opposed to the current situation where those things we value were always considered a cost.

    Yes. The benefits have to be part of the evaluation, not just the costs. So long as the public and state allow media outlets to retain the privileges of journalism while they dismantle its practice, the equation will not be in our favour.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19667 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    Deep throat…

    From today’s Herald.
    The would-be assassin, an inconspicuous piece of pineapple, was thwarted by Hosking’s colleague Martin Devlin, who saved him with the “Heineken maneuver."

    Does this make Martin Devlin a ‘Dole Budger’?
    and nice of them to make light of the Heimlich Maneuver…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7881 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to David Hood,

    Without wanting to make this a copyright thread that will never die,

    Somebody call?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2929 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to nzlemming,

    Somebody call?

    Copyright is evil and should be abolished. Art yearns to be free…
    You can sing for your supper but I won’t buy you breakfast, lunch or tea…

    /gets popcorn, sits back in anticipation…
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to David Hood,

    Cut back HTML and cache stuff to make mobile devices go faster? Deja vu like it’s 1999.

    (For added retro-points, they could convert the markup into binary at their servers).

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

  • simon g,

    NZME. Fairfax. Mediaworks.

    Fearlessly dedicated to bringing you all the big stories ... about each other.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1319 posts Report Reply

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