Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Strange days for journalism

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  • dc_red, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Reading further into the Monthly article, there seem to be uncanny anti-Federalist political parallels between Western Australia and the Canadian province of Alberta.

    I'm not sure what if anything you base that on. Apart from a handful of cranks who still whine about the long-defunct National Energy Program (b. 1980 d. 1987) and curse the name Trudeau, there's no anti-Federalism here that I can detect.

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Lilith __,

    as opposed to canal-boating #tow

    Also trawling :-)

    And under the bridges live ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    just on the question of NZ media in China, I know for sure that a prominent NZ columnist has been up to China several times this year akready and has written extensively in the main daily print publication here on trade, politics, business and media interests between China and New Zealand. And she does this every year. Usually alongside ministerial visits. With complete editorial independence.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Steve Withers,

    If she dumps her shares and the value crashes….she could probably buy an even larger chunk of the company at firesale prices.

    Something that is very, very legally-questionable, since it amounts to market manipulation. Whether a regulator would try and prosecute it is a different story, but even the weak regulations in NZ would provide grounds for a criminal investigation if someone dumped stock and then bought more stock at the resultantly-lower price. After all, if you're trying to gain control of a company so that you can turn it into your private echo chamber it's of benefit to you to own more shares and thus exert more control.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    If Gina Rinehart dumps 20% of Fairfax the price will fall, but not because Gina Rinehart is dumping 20% of Fairfax stock

    That would make it the first stock-dumping in history where the very fact of the dumping didn't depress the price, I suspect. Supply and demand, Angus. A sudden, massive increase in supply always results in a decrease in price. There's a reason that stockholders who're cashing in some of their holdings after an IPO, for example, release only small quantities, and that's to avoid depressing the market price.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    That would make it the first stock-dumping in history where the very fact of the dumping didn’t depress the price, I suspect.

    IIRC, last year News Corp's share price took a sharp dip just on rumours that Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud (the largest individual shareholder after Rupert Murdoch himself) was going to sell his 7% of voting shares.

    Yes, I know it's blindingly obvious that share markets are not entirely rational places but I'd not feel good about my retirement savings being invested in a company where major investors are doing the rodent disembarkation dance.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    When GM sold 20% of Subaru in 2005 (during an economic boom) it got USD315million, when Toyota acquired 7.8% of Subaru in Oct-2008 (during a global recession) it paid USD311million. The share price of Subaru more than doubled after 20% of it was dumped.

    Ah, now I see your "logic". What happened to the share price immediately after the 20% sell-off? Did you do any accounting for inflation?

    When we talk of the stock value falling with 20% of the company being dumped on the market, we're not talking about a period of three years we're talking about a period of a few weeks. The value depression will occur nearly immediately and could take years to recover.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Richard Llewellyn,

    Really? Because I'm not seeing much coverage as a result of all this, and that's not from a lack of looking, and I have the impression that Kiwis tend to be woefully uninformed about China, and yet our government is sending a lot of people over here and they keep talking about expanding trade and attracting Chinese investment in NZ and building relationships. And several times this year I have gotten more information about the visits of central and local government officials to China from Chinese government websites than from NZ media.

    On the other hand, there's plenty of media resources given to telling us everything we never really wanted to know about the antics of celebrities.

    Having said that, I did appreciate Fran O'Sullivan's take on the Shanghai Pengxin bid for the Crafar farms. Actually, I found the Herald's approach to that affair quite refreshing - it was nice to see just how much farmland has been sold to North American, European and Australian buyers without generating any public outrage compared with how much Pengxin was trying to buy.

    So, I dunno, I guess the potential is certainly there, but it would be nice to see fewer resources devoted to exposing the most intimate details of people who are famous for... something or other.... and more resources devoted to issues that might actually be kinda important for New Zealand's future.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Chris - don't disagree at all, maybe Fran is the exception that proves the rule, but I know for a fact that she works very hard in this space and does some good work and its pretty much all there if you want to find it. I think the issue is partly resource-related, in that very few media outlets can now afford to send reporters offshore or can spare the time for reporters to research our governments engagement offshore. And media fragmentation between nightly 'news' and thoughtful analysis is a topic for another argument. My experience has been that in general, if asked, a Ministry will be more than happy to explain why a Minister is going overseas. There are a few other good columnists around, e.g. Rod Oram, who take a good analytical look at some of the macro issues, but often do it from something of an academic distance, or from an NZ-centric perspective which can sometimes differ from reality on the ground as I am sure you are aware.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard Llewellyn,

    she works very hard in this space

    Also involved beyond her role as a journalist, which leads to some interesting framing in her writing.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    When we talk of the stock value falling with 20% of the company being dumped on the market, we're not talking about a period of three years we're talking about a period of a few weeks. The value depression will occur nearly immediately and could take years to recover.

    Recover?

    The world is awash with liquidity right now, if this is a good solid investment the price will rebound within a couple of weeks.

    Well anyway Matthew, there could soon be a great number of Fairfax shares available at much lower than todays prices. You 'll be borrowing a bit of capital and buying up large presumably. After all on todays low interest rates you'll make a killing when the shares "recover" and soon you will be debt free. This will be your opportunity to prove you opinion correct and mine completely wrong - and make a sweet profit. Fill ya boots.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Richard Llewellyn,

    My experience has been that in general, if asked, a Ministry will be more than happy to explain why a Minister is going overseas.

    Well, yes. Judith Collins is in China right now in her capacity as Minister for Ethnic Affairs. I found out about this through the Chinese media. A google.co.nz news search found me a press release on the Beehive website, which Scoop ran, a few articles on websites I've never heard of, and articles in China's English-language press (Global Times English, China Daily, etc), but nothing from what I thought were the NZ media big players. Searching the Herald and Stuff sites got me plenty about Collins' adventures as ACC minister, but nothing about her coming to China. Maybe they've since picked up the story - I haven't had a chance to check today - but experience says probably not. That's the kind of thing I'm complaining about, and this sort of thing has happened to me a lot this year.

    So yes, there are good journalists and columnists doing good work, but they're not enough.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Judith Collins is in China right now in her capacity as Minister for Ethnic Affairs

    There's a Ministry for Ethnic Affairs? Never even heard of it!

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3887 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Lilith __,

    There’s a Ministry for Ethnic Affairs? Never even heard of it!

    An Office of Ethnic Affairs, which does have a minister. It's part of Internal Affairs.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    An Office of Ethnic Affairs, which does have a minister. It’s part of Internal Affairs.

    It was set up a bit over 10 years ago early on in the Clark Govt. Compared with its Australian and Canadian counterparts, its role seems to be a lot less visible.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5423 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Recover?

    Print is a sunset industry.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    They have been running a series of regional workshops about the media coverage of issues around ethnicity.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2539 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    I note that the Fairfax board showed what ingrates they are by not giving Ms Rinehart a place. No seat for Rinehart, Fairfax chairman says.

    I must say that her statement that the touted editorial independence was already down the gurgler since the company had ordered journalists to support Earth Hour makes her almost a comic-book villain.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    It is a little weird (though not untypical) when TV3 fulfils the "role" that one would consider should be undertaken by a state broadcaster to assume.

    NZ is a strange place.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe,

    Meanwhile Rupert Murdoch considers peeling off News Limited's good bits (entertainment, tv, movies) and siloing the bad (not as-much-profitable) print sections.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Hebe,

    Tough times for print.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/news-corp-split-rupert-murdoch-paper-tiger
    Anyone keen to start an online news-service? :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    You would think they could find someone a little more ‘ethnic’ than Judith Collins. It’s like in the early 1980s when the National Government had a man as Minister of Women’s Affairs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3204 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    As Chris mentioned in his blog, she’s recently been conferred the title “family member of China” on account of her marriage to Chinese-Samoan David Wong Tung, they have a son together, so I’d imagine that brings some perspective…

    I’m liking your logic here: John Key is the perfect Minister of Tourism.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Um, I'm seeing OPM opportunities... ;-)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2896 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

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