Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: " To prostitute yourself to media interests is not a good way to be"

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  • Steve Curtis,

    A debt owed to Murdoch ?

    I suppose thats one way of putting it, when you havent quite paid it all off

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Should we regard full-time lobbying in the interests of a private corporation, as we have with Sky Networks (majority owned by News Corp) in New Zealand, as a form of prostitution? At very least, a hand job...?

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Proofreader's report...

    ...speculated on which might befall Murdoch’s papers...

    speculated on what might befall...

    ...which it presetly 43% owned by News Limited.

    which is presently 43%...


    Pimp my read...

    Murdoch was different from the old Express and Mail owners in the global scale of his business and in that he was “very overtly prepared to use that power … if you cross Murdoch, he will use the power of his media outlets to punish you...”

    ...let's not forget 'the bouncing Czech' Cap'n Bob or Lord Black of Crossharbour

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Ta. I recommend contacting Russell directly with our crowdsourced proofreading efforts. Hardly an enthralling read for others. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster, in reply to Sacha,

    It is great however to see 'which' having an occasional outing though.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Top show last night :)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    A debt owed to Murdoch ?

    I suppose thats one way of putting it, when you havent quite paid it all off

    Even Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has freely acknowledged the debt the rest of Fleet Street owes Murdoch for forcing technological change in the 1980s. He had to break the print unions to do it, and that got nasty – but those unions were hurting both publishers and readers by refusing to migrate from hot-metal and linotype print presses to electronic composition. Britain was already years behind in production processes by the time things changed.

    Things happened differently here. When I started at the Christchurch Star in 1981, the paper had just moved to electronic composition, via a bank of fridge-sized computers. INL had negotiated with the unions and retrained workers where necessary. It was cleaner, better work and it created a much better product.

    I was shocked when I went to London in 1986. I’d been entering and marking up copy at Rip It Up on a little CP/M computer for two years. In Britain, when I did casual subbing for music mags, it was typed, sent to the typesetters on a motorcycle courier, fetched back as galleys on a motorcycle courier, corrected, then sent back to the typesetters on a cycle courier. Fuck knows what happened to it after that.

    Of course, as Gavin Ellis noted on the show, that doesn't make up for all the bad things Murdoch did.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Of course, as Gavin Ellis noted on the show, that doesn't make up for all the bad things Murdoch did.

    No, and I know we've been on this go round before but I'm pretty fucking sick of listening to people act like the Anglo-American media's shit didn't stink before those awful Australians showed up. Murdoch's no saint, and I'm not pretending he is, but I find it hard to see much evidence that media barons spend much time getting fitted for wing and halo sets.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Murdoch didn’t invent junk food news, but he certainly perfected it.

    There’s another name - from the Yellow Journalism era - that comes to mind: William Randolph Hearst. We have him to thank for the ongoing neo-superstition known as cannabis prohibition – and for that matter, history’s second-largest exercise in attacking the symptom, the War on Drugs.

    Hearst was largely confined to the American market, but with apologies to Winston Churchill, a lie travels halfway round the world before the truth can punch in its username & password.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Coulson held £40,000 Murdoch shares while working at Number Ten

    Andy Coulson today said politicians were keen to ingratiate themselves with The Sun.
    During his testimony at the Leveson Inquiry, he admitted 'it is fair to say' that all politicians were keen to get close to the newspaper.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • StepDoh,

    What I find slightly galling is they way they are bringing the HBO model of ‘premium’ i.e. not low rent television into a premium band. I think TVNZ and TV3 are going to particularly suffer with the launch of SoHo which will have first dibs on every decent American import. It’s their first major foray into a proper entertainment channel as well. Sky1/The Box wasn’t exactly compelling viewing.

    I don’t know if they are pulling the most pernicious trick Sky pulls here, is to let a show establish itself on terrestrial, before buying up latter series. For instance Mad Men built up a strong audience on BBC Four, before recently being bought by Sky for their Sky Atlantic channel (which is only available on that platform, not even cable). Same goes for Glee & Lost, which were initially on Channel 4.

    However, if the imported programming becomes unaffordable, could that mean local production could begin to look better value for money?

    #lovethetron • Since Jan 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Even Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has freely acknowledged the debt the rest of Fleet Street owes Murdoch for forcing technological change in the 1980s. He had to break the print unions to do it, and that got nasty – but those unions were hurting both publishers and readers by refusing to migrate from hot-metal and linotype print presses to electronic composition. Britain was already years behind in production processes by the time things changed.

    Bill Bryson's Notes from a Small Island (his best book) devotes an entire chapter to his joining the office the Times on the financial desk right in the heat of that union battle. It's worth reading, Bryson suggests that the sheer militancy and bull-headedness of the print workers unions actually made it a very scary place to work at during this period.

    There's also a very acidic, yet funny, section on the fact that just before the changeover, management presented the reporting staff with a brochure of the wonderful new utopia that was going to come about as a result of the restructuring. Every single staff member apparently remembered it differently (suggestions of everything from double-time wages to a new swimming pool), but, needless to say, none of their dreams came true, and all they got were wet sandwhiches.

    As an aside, I'd like to say the Guardian's Nick Davies has become something of a personal hero. People forget that he has been on the NOTW "hacking" story for almost a decade, and for much of the time, he got little support from his peers. The Millie Dowler revelation merely broke the dam.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    William Randolph Hearst. We have him to thank for

    ..inspiring Citizen Kane. #silverlining

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood, in reply to Sacha,

    ..inspiring Citizen Kane. #silverlining

    So much so that Hearst pretty much ordered a near-complete clampdown on it. And won.

    Pauline Kael's Raising Kane, is absolutely recommended reading. As expansive, influential and contentious as the film itself (in its small-scale way), even if it is a little harsh on Welles and perhaps a __little_ easy on screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz...;)

    Sorry for the digression!

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Littlewood,

    never apologise for enriching understanding

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Chipping away at the Govt...
    Rebekah 'babbling' Brooks testifies...

    Brooks said she used to exchange frequent text messages with Cameron, including during the 2010 election campaign when the Conservative leader was still in opposition.
    "Occasionally he would sign them off LOL, lots of love. Actually, until I told him it meant 'Laugh Out Loud', and then he didn't sign them like that anymore," she said, blushing to the roots of her signature bright red curls.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Chipping away at the Govt…
    Rebekah ‘babbling’ Brooks testifies…

    Brooks' appearance at Leveson last night was tremendous viewing. As I tweeted in the midst of it, she had the awareness and easy confidence of a high-functioning psychopath.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    BChipping away at the Govt…

    Which isn’t actually what this enquiry is supposed to be about. (Anyone remember, let alone still care about, journalists wiping their arse on any concept of privacy?) It’s vaguely irrelevant reading the English papers right now when regime change in France – and paralysis in Greece – could have serious consequences the rest of the continent’s media considers worth attention.

    she had the awareness and easy confidence of a high-functioning psychopath.

    Or without being that offensive, Russell, someone who has probably spent weeks - if not months - with the best lawyers and media trainers a lot of money can hire drilling her on every possibly line of questioning.

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

  • Simon Grigg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As I tweeted in the midst of it, she had the awareness and easy confidence of a high-functioning psychopath.

    The day before I'd watched the brilliant but harrowing Herzog C4 series on capital punishment in the US. The guy who featured on the second of the three was really chilling in his slightly charming detachment from his actions.

    As I watched Brooks there was an uneasy parallel (and yes I'm aware that she didn't commit calculated murder as did Werner's target but the easy - almost disarming - emotional distance from the wrongness was the same).

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3283 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Brooks' appearance at Leveson last night was tremendous viewing. As I tweeted in the midst of it, she had the awareness and easy confidence of a high-functioning psychopath

    Sociopath came to mind for me. Thirty dinners with a PM was an awful lot -- once every six to eight weeks.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    she had the awareness and easy confidence of a high-functioning psychopath.

    Or without being that offensive, Russell, someone who has probably spent weeks – if not months – with the best lawyers and media trainers a lot of money can hire drilling her on every possibly line of questioning.

    No, I think what was on show wasn't something she learned in the last year, but what took her to the top of the organisations for which she worked. It was both highly impressive and unnerving.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    No, I think what was on show wasn't something she learned in the last year, but what took her to the top of the organisations for which she worked. It was both highly impressive and unnerving.

    Yeah I watched and saw how she had gone from office secretary to the top of the game. As a person she was fascinating and chilling. I'm happy to have half a world between her and me.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    What mystifies me is why anyone “needs” (mainly) crap TV content at all…from any source. I suspect as a society we have all gone completely overbored on ‘entertainment’…and consume far too much of it. Entertainment used to be something you did for yourself and your friends and the wealthy – occasionally – would see a show or put one on. Today, we think we’re hard done by if we can’t consume ‘entertainment’ in one form another several hours each day.

    I realised a few years ago how much being entertained was preventing me from seeing much that is in the real world…and more or less turned it off but for a handful of hours / week. First to go was sports. I don’t pay god money to watch adult play-time in leagues conjured up to provide content for Rupert Murdoch (Super 15 – or however many it is now).

    Sky? I see no need for it at all…..even if it wasn’t 43.x% owned by a lying, warmongering man I consider to be a criminal. That it is just makes it easier to not have it. I also don’t mind using the +/- $1000 / year for other purposes.

    That the National party have climbed into bed with Sky merely confirms my already low opinion of their ethical compass…and their apparent preference for serving the interests of foreign billionaires of all kinds above us mere locals...who collectively own the public media assets they are presently destroying and running down.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Steve Withers,

    What mystifies me is why anyone “needs” (mainly) crap TV content at all…from any source. I suspect as a society we have all gone completely overbored on ‘entertainment’…and consume far too much of it. Entertainment used to be something you did for yourself and your friends and the wealthy – occasionally – would see a show or put one on. Today, we think we’re hard done by if we can’t consume ‘entertainment’ in one form another several hours each day.

    I believe it's called 'prolefeed' or 'bread & circuses'. Keep the proles deaf, dumb, happy and fat, so they'll be too complacent to rebel.

    Now we just need someone to pull off a 1984 Macintosh moment (even if, in hindsight, it is an example of the Man putting the boot into the Man).

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Steve Withers,

    completely overbored on ‘entertainment’

    very nice calibre of pun....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

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