Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: What rules are these?

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  • Gary Young, in reply to stephen clover,

    I beg to differ.

    Glenfield • Since Jun 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    From stuff.co.nz on May 10, 2013

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/culture/performance/8654143/Lorde-NZs-newest-pop-star

    includes quotes such as

    She seemed to come out of nowhere. In just two months Lorde, who plays Wellington for the first time tonight, has become the Kiwi pop star everyone's talking about. The only one yet to talk much is the teenager herself, 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O'Connor.

    and

    Eight weeks ago, with minimal promotion, the Auckland teenager's single Royals went into the New Zealand charts at No 1. Her The Love Club EP of five tracks went into the album charts at No 2. This week Royals is at No 4, having gone platinum with sales of more than 15,000 copies.

    The Love Club EP is at No 8 and was downloaded 60,000 times for free before going on sale on iTunes.

    and

    What has been refreshing about Yelich-O'Connor is that, with little in the way of promotion or hype, the response has centred on the music itself.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Dylan Reeve,

    In broad terms they do prefer “crap” – in that is sells more copies or rates higher, whatever the metric.

    You are right of course, but it's worth bearing in mind that crap is cheaper. So part of the selling more copies is because Womans Day (aka crap) according to my internet searching (honest!) is $4.30 an issue, Metro Magazine is $9.90.

    Crap when it comes to the written media is also much quicker to consume. Probably why a lot more instant noodles would be eaten than 3 course dinners.

    Although in this thread it's not even writing we are talking about. It's photo's which can take a few seconds to roll the eyes over and say "cripes, she's let herself go!"

    A damn site easier to take some pics like that than spend days traipsing through the savannah to get some wildlife shot that took a day to set up and wait for.

    http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/whats-on/exhibitions/wildlife

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Chaz, I deleted one of your messages. I don’t want this thread to be the source of a campaign. Contact Runting via his Facebook page if you like, but maybe don’t drum it up here.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Good point on hypocrisy Russell, is that while paparazzi can make a case (of sorts) that they are simply supplying a market demand, it's a bit rich for the likes of this guy, or his supporters, to cry foul about his own treatment. And while it's a part and parcel of the industry in which Lorde works the dynamics at play here are undeniably troubling - as someone said, middle aged guy following minor. Hard to argue with creepy.

    Am also troubled - for different reasons - by media coverage of Stephanie Key and her art. It's hard to see it as of legitimate media interest except in relation to her father, and I find the use of anyone's children in relation to the 'real' media subject unedifying to say the least.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to llew40,

    Am also troubled – for different reasons – by media coverage of Stephanie Key and her art.

    Yeah, there was a worthwhile story there about cultural misappropriation (and a very interesting context that sits in within New Zealand art history), but instead there was leering concern trolling about the Prime Minister's "raunchy" daughter and her "soft porn". As I said on Twitter yesterday, I personally find passive-aggressive slut-shaming and referring to Stephanie Key as "John Key's daughter" as opposed to an adult woman with her own identity and accountability for her work offensive too.

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

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Couldn't have put it better, Craig.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    I'm going to lay my cards on the table and admit to thinking justice has been done when I read about a paparazzo being punched or having his or her camera broken.

    I should re-emphasise that I'm not demanding a change in the law -- the fact that we can photograph events in a public place is an underpinning of a free press. But we sure as hell should be able to discuss the ethics of any particular case.

    This behaviour is exploitative and is in the nature of harassment. If journalistic ethics were initially present they have long since been overridden by financial considerations.

    New Zealand should introduce French-style restrictions on the sale and publication of photographs taken without consent of the subject. It wouldn't be hard. People shouldn't need to obtain a court order to get a photographer to fuck off.

    People in Lorde's position (because this isn't just about Lorde) should have readily understood and easily implemented legal protection.

    Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • AdamPope,

    I wonder how the early-80s New Zealand Party leader Bob Jones' attitude would pass muster these days...

    http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/eyewitness-news---bob-jones-punches-reporter-rod-vaughan-1985

    He should do a special offer on celebrity boxing lessons.

    London • Since Jul 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to AdamPope,

    Angle management…

    …celebrity boxing lessons

    Keen angler that he is Sir Bob, was merely protecting his fishing hole.
    Which reminds me National has made a selection for ‘fighting’ the Sydenham/Wigram seat in Chchch.
    - National obviously has a secret Southern fishing spot that they find their candidates in, deep tarns cut off by the receding glaciers bear strange fish…

    But hey! Any man who can singlehandedly and unarmed take on, and defeat (with the feet) 30 baseball bats in one minute*, while juggling a Toy shop and a dojo has to be smarter than a sack of hammers, right?

    But please don’t vote Karl in, his website says he really just wants to spend time with his young kids, after his long career in forging businesses…
    …and could the delicate woodwork of Parliament withstand the flying feet and baluster breaking style of Varley if he gets a runghold?

    see:
    varleyconsulting.wordpress.com
    and more at:
    karlvarley.co.nz

    and from last year a prescient piece from the ODT

    *or should it be bi-footedly??
    see the ’smashing video here:

    somewhere a little league team cries…
    (but note how he only kicks at the thinnest point - quite the strategist...
    I seem to recall some kerfuffle about having to weigh (or even X-ray) them all, as they were worried a bat with a steel bar in it may have got into the batch)

    Crusher Collins watch your back,
    there’s a new boy in the ring!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Jeez! I wish I hadn't clicked on his site, for it made my head spin. What an extraordinary septic tank load of gobbledygook. He might be better employed in the firewood industry.

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

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to WH,

    This behaviour is exploitative and is in the nature of harassment. If journalistic ethics were initially present they have long since been overridden by financial considerations.

    New Zealand should introduce French-style restrictions on the sale and publication of photographs taken without consent of the subject. It wouldn’t be hard. People shouldn’t need to obtain a court order to get a photographer to fuck off.

    People in Lorde’s position (because this isn’t just about Lorde) should have readily understood and easily implemented legal protection.

    Yep, hitting paparazzi in the face would be attacking the symptom. Hitting them in the wallet, on the other hand...

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

  • bob daktari,

    I think the word paparazzo and paparazzi should be vanquished in relation to these contractors, its meaning whilst apt isn't widely known and as such the term seems to justify/validate their professional choices

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 540 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    That Sunday Star Times editorial is self-serving gibberish.

    The stakes might seem small (if only because it's not you or I being chased about) but that piece has no business influencing public discussion on privacy rights.

    Since Nov 2006 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Old Hack,

    Well Russell, I'm not going to get too far into your argument with the SST; their editorial was not very elegantly constructed. I do, however, have a serious issue with your post. Fair enough if you want to slag off Runting, feel free, but your readers do have a "reasonable expectation", to borrow that phrase, that you should do so without misrepresenting the facts.
    Here's part of what you what you wrote: "Let’s just back up the truck here. Last year, Lorde wasn’t simply snapped “on the beach with her boyfriend”. The photographer followed them miles out of town to a family bach and then further to a remote beach. She was 16. And after the pictures were published in Woman’s Day magazine, they were republished internationally, in some cases in a context that any reasonable person would find offensive."
    I can tell you that the pictures taken during a bach holiday were taken on a beach crowded with dozens of people. It was not remote. They were next to the bach, next to a busy picnic ground and car park. No one was followed to the bach or the beach. The pictures were taken this year, not last. Lorde was 17, not 16. Those are the straightforward factual errors. As for the "context" of publication being offensive to any reasonable person, I'd be interested to see what you mean, but the pictures themselves, I would suggest, were not offensive at all. No one at the beach seemed offended by what happened on the day and nor should they have been. So, if recording or photographing inoffensive events taking place fully in the public gaze is beyond the pale, we are all in trouble. If a photographer becomes responsible for the "context" in which his pictures are subsequently used - and again, I'm not sure whether you are referring to newspapers, magazines or random Twitter users pinching them from the web and adding their sometimes unpleasant remarks, then we are in even deeper trouble.
    You, and I'm quite certain many of the angry critics on your comments pages, may well say that the errors I've pointed out don't change your views. Fine. Pap pictures offend some people for a variety of reasons and you're all entitled to say so. But I do think that if you set yourself up as an influential media commentator you have a duty to make every effort to find out the truth of the events that so horrify you. On this occasion, you failed, which I hope will trouble you as much as it does me.

    Auckland • Since May 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Old Hack,

    I am a visible minority where I live. My daughter blends in better than me, but becomes just as visible as me whenever I'm around. I can tell you, it is invasive to have people talking about you right in front of your face as if you are an object for public discussion, even more so when people start taking photos of you, even more so when they don't bother to seek your consent for those photos. It is especially irritating when there is a minor involved (and so what if Lorde was 17? Still a minor).

    There is a hell of a difference between going about your business in a public place visible to everybody and perhaps winding up in somebody's photo because you happened to be there as they pushed the button, and being specifically targeted by a photographer as you are going about your business in a public place simply because of who you are (or in the case of myself and my daughter, simply what you look like). I only have to deal with racist pricks taking photos of my daughter so they can go home and tell their friends and family "Hey look! I saw a little foreigner today! And she's so cute!" (and yeah, pretty mild form of racism, but she's getting big enough to start noticing this Othering), but in the case of Runting vs. Lorde, Runting was deliberately photographing her to make money for himself.

    Or just imagine this: One day you're in the queue at the supermarket bored out of your brains waiting for the person in front with three trolley loads of junk food and a bizarre insistence on examining the minute, intimate details of every item on the docket with the check out operator before finally getting out of the way so you can buy your stuff. To while away the hours as you wait, you pick up one of the magazines on the rack in front of you, not even really paying attention to which one, Womens Day, Womens Weekly, The Listener, whatever.... Then you realise that emblazoned on the cover in big, gaudy letters is "Exclusive! Old Hack at the beach in a bikini with boyfriend!" and pictures of you and said boyfriend at the beach. Sure, you were in a public space, but it's not like you were planning the Ukrainian invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh* or dumping toxic waste or otherwise doing anything of public interest. Sure, some of the public may be interested in what you get up to in your spare time, but you hanging out at the beach is not likely to threaten NZ's political stability or property values in Taumarunui**, so why the hell do photos of you going about your life as you see fit need to be broadcast to the world? And what kind of freak goes sticking their lens into other people's private lives and selling the resulting photos to publications of dubious merit and worse quality?

    *just in case it's not obvious, that is a deliberately silly example.
    **more examples not to be taken entirely seriously.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Old Hack,

    I can tell you that the pictures taken during a bach holiday were taken on a beach crowded with dozens of people. It was not remote. They were next to the bach, next to a busy picnic ground and car park. No one was followed to the bach or the beach. The pictures were taken this year, not last. Lorde was 17, not 16. Those are the straightforward factual errors. As for the “context” of publication being offensive to any reasonable person, I’d be interested to see what you mean, but the pictures themselves, I would suggest, were not offensive at all.

    Yep, the date is an error – the pictures were taken in January and my memory was that it was the month before. I’m happy to own that.= and have annoated the original post thus.

    I can tell you that the family did believe they had been followed in the way I described and were really upset about it. It’s a bit disingenuous to say that “no one was offended” when they clearly were.

    I won’t link to it, but, among others, TMZ’s coverage of the pictures was hideous: a bunch of dudes yukking it up over whether anal sex was legal for under 18s in New Zealand.

    I’ve repeatedly said that I don’t want the law to be changed and that the right to take photos in a public place underpins a free press.

    I’m saying that telling a teenage girl to suck it up when she explicitly says she’s feeling “extreme fear” is shitty and disingenuous. No one has to behave this way and people who pretend they’re the victims when they’re called on their behaviour don’t impress me.

    How would you respond if your 17 year-old daughter said she was scared by the man following her and taking pictures? It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Old Hack,

    But let's say you're right and the taking of the bikini pictures was entirely opportunistic, on the part of someone who just happened to be at the same beach at the same time.

    Do you see a 17 year-old star and her boyfriend enjoying some time together, away from her months in the international spotlight and think "that's cool - it's nice they can spend some time together"?

    Or do you take pictures of her in a swimsuit and sell them to the highest bidder?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    There are literally hundreds of magazines, websites and TV channels almost exclusively dedicated to this, so there certainly is a lot of interest by the public (not the same as public interest, I guess).

    Which always makes me think "Why the fuck? What is wrong with you people? are your lives so miserably hollow, fatuous, empty and worthless that you need to constantly live your pathetic little lives vicariously through so called celebrities?"
    Notice I only think this, if I were to have said it out loud at the supermarket checkout I may well be pushing up the proverbial daisies by now. I suppose it is just a more socially accepted form of porn and if that is the case then the likes of Runting are no better that "up skirt" photography perverts and the consumers of their filth just as guilty of enabling as child porn downloaders.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Well put

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 615 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Old Hack,

    Light fingered...

    No one at the beach seemed offended by what happened on the day and nor should they have been. So, if recording or photographing inoffensive events taking place fully in the public gaze is beyond the pale

    From these statements I assume the writer was at the beach that day, and could ascribe actions and reactions to all involved. (no mean feat!)
    Was one of these people wearing a huge sign saying:
    "I am harvesting photons reflected from other beings, which I intend selling into a willing system of image traffickers. I am happy to live off the likenesses of others with no concern about sharing the profits made from the recording of these hitherto inoffensive events that I am taking, uninvolved, unasked, out of context to the world "

    Beyond the pale?
    Definitely voyeuristic, with or without the 'fence' to go beyond or peer over...
    Definitely opportunistic and calculated...
    and to what end?
    Money!
    What greater good could there be?

    Sad, troubled, soulless little man,
    a 'vampyrrhic' victory if ever I saw one...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Complete tangent, sorry, but I thought this little article potentially interesting to other geeky types: 'Royals' has inadvertently hiked Maybach's online advertising rates by over 200%.
    Googling 'Maybach' (apparently a luxury car) spiked up so fast after 'Royals' became a hit, the company has been paying more than double the rate for their on-line advertising. The rates are based entirely on clicks, with no way of differentiating potential buyers from curious fans. (The old saw about any publicity being good publicity must surely apply to some degree - Maybach may even be quietly pleased. But it's another indication of how wobbly the on-line ad market is. 'Clicks' may be easily measurable, but it's bloody hard to work out what they measure.)

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2108 posts Report Reply

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