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Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM, and is that a good thing?

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  • izogi, in reply to Alfie,

    As a news junkie I’m definitely spending less time on Stuff nowadays, and more time on international news sites. That must surely contradict Fairfax’s goal of attracting eyeballs.

    Maybe it’s stating the obvious for others here, but in recent years Stuff has increasingly become a prefix for "Stuff we found on the internet".

    I also like local news, and that’s really the main reason I still visit Stuff, but at least as much as that I’d like actual journalism. Stuff’s been making it harder and harder to locate the real local journalism amongst its attempts to host viral links and videos, to republish press releases as articles with almost no vetting of bias or content, and to become a dumping ground for cheap Australian-sourced filler news (front page highlight right now) with little relevance here, but probably easily available because it’s Fairfax. Then it starts partnering with highly biased groups for producing more news, like the Taxpayers’ Union, which are there precisely to take advantage of media reluctance to write its own stories, and to me that just causes it to lose all credibility.

    Also, the auto-play videos in an increasing number of stories are extremely annoying, and recently became even moreso when they decided to start playing any random video after the first one’s finished. Does anyone know if there’s a way to disable this without completely disabling Flash?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to izogi,

    You can try telling ad-block that they're ads

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Alfie, in reply to izogi,

    Does anyone know if there’s a way to disable this without completely disabling Flash?

    I haven't see Flash ads on Stuff for so long I'd forgotten how to do it. The latest version of AdBlock Plus has a great option to get rid of any annoyance.

    Fire up any Stuff page with an annoying autoplay video, right click the AdBlock logo, choose "Select element to hide" then nail the bugger. I try to use wildcards wherever possible to knock out future annoyances.

    Looking through my list of blocked items on Stuff I see this one:


    I can't guarantee that's the culprit, but it should be. If not, unblock that and try another one.

    The good news is that Flash is on the way out. Google is banning Flash ads in favour of HTML video and there's a general move in the tech world to kill off Flash altogether. That can't come soon enough.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to izogi,

    Does anyone know if there’s a way to disable this without completely disabling Flash?

    If you are quick enough you can click on "Never Auto Play Videos"
    Be quick though...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    Britain's The Independent newspaper will publish its last print edition next month as it makes a "historic transition" to digital-only format, its owner said Friday.

    Today's The Press has three-quarters of its Chchch Life stories covering the Night Noodle Markets in almost anal detail - none of these stories mention that The Night Noodle Markets are a Fairfax Events property and that this is promotion not news...
    They have finally gone too far.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    Here’s The Independent’s statement on the decision which shows their digital arm is healthy.

    Rapid digital growth in the past three years has made independent.co.uk the UK’s fastest-growing quality newspaper site. Its monthly audience has grown 33.3% in the last 12 months to nearly 70 million global unique users. The site is profitable and is expected to see revenue growth of 50% this year.

    As one of those 70m users who browses The Independent most days along with a raft of other international news sites, I’m sure we’ll see more traditional newspapers heading down the digital-only path before long.

    Despite being an avid news reader, I can’t remember the last time I bought a print copy of any paper. Probably around the same time as I wrote my last cheque.

    In my misspent youth I worked at the Evening Star in Dunedin as a mail boy during school holidays, and I loved the place. Those massive rolls of newsprint, the smell of printing ink, hot type, the noise of the huge presses churning out thousands of neatly folded copies every day, and the archives with copies of every paper they’d ever produced during the previous hundred years. It was a magic environment.

    While modern newsrooms still look similar, there’s no longer a need for the factory and logistical parts of the business as the expense involved in producing physical papers and trucking them around the country becomes harder to justify every day.

    While papers like The Independent will survive and will continue to attract an audience by focussing on quality journalism, lesser organs (such as The Press example Ian mentions above) seize the opportunity to cross-promote their other assets in the guise of news. That does their audience a disservice and in the long term that strategy must be destined to fail.

    Such blatant self-promotion without any warning or disclaimer surely breaches ethical guidelines, and I suspect a complaint to the Press Council would stand a good chance of success.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The wizards of Oz...
    Fairfax have just thrown 70 of their NZ subs to the Australian wolves (er, dingoes?):

    Fairfax Media is proposing to transfer subediting work for its Australian metropolitan mastheads from its New Zealand subsidiary to third-party contractor Pagemasters.
    A spokesman said the move would result in “additional flexibility and savings”.
    “Today we briefed the approximately 70 full-time equivalent staff in New Zealand that would be affected by a proposal to move editorial production work they perform for Australian metro mastheads to a third-party provider, Pagemasters, which would operate from both New Zealand and Australia,” he said.


    …and The NZ Herald shows that subs aren’t necessary:

    Oliver reckons the NZ Herald should be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature for christening Stephen Joyce Dildo Baggins, in reference to the sex toy thrown at him on Waitaingi Day and reinforced by our own Lord of the Rings Knight Peter Jackson, dressed like Baggins, waving a dildo flag for the American show, and giving us yet another alternative to consider.
    ... (photo Caption): "Jackson waves a new New Zealand flag with a picture of Stephen Joyce being hit by a dildo at Waitangi. Photo / Last Week Tonight"

    I mean how long has Steven Joyce been in office?
    and how many Waitangi Days have there been?
    - spelling is an overrated ability apparently!!

    further to Soper’s jumping in on Joyce’s inevitable John Oliver segment – he then goes on to revel in Key’s Letterman appearance – not mentioning the near $10,000 it cost us taxpayers to engineer that appalling ‘comedy cameo’ – this is now seen as the ‘business of politicians’, sigh….

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    our own Lord of the Rings Knight Peter Jackson, dressed like Baggins, waving a dildo flag

    The Lovely Boner?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    The Lovely Boner?

    or Bad Taste at best...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    A report last week quoted NZME CEO Jane Hastings as saying she "would not be stepping down from her position as leader of NZME". This week she resigned and is being replaced by the company's chief financial officer, Michael Boggs.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Alfie,

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Kirk Serpes,

    One of the things that came out of the Journathon was the need for a professional body to lobby on behalf of interests of all media - radio, print, TV, web, as well as the journalism schools. This is a public good, and if ad revenue doesn't pay for good journalism, the public should via government. Ofc that won't happen just because it's a good idea, journalists and media orgs will need to learn to advocate for their profession. Nobody else can do it for them.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 20 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    A fine example of reporters not serving the public was served up today by Stuff:

    There they found a clan lab (used to manufacture meth) and a secret room containing yet another lab, with two firearms and ammunition laying on the bench.

    This one sentence is such a waste of opportunity and indicator of the reporter’s (and editors) disconnection from their audience – they seek to explain what a ‘clan lab’ is – by explaining it is used to make methamphetamine.
    Not using jargon and saying ‘clandestine laboratory’, with ‘clan lab’ in parentheses and then the purpose explanation would serve better – especially as they then say there was a further secret room containing a lab – what could that be but another ‘clandestine lab’?
    a clan clan lab?

    Or do they think ‘clan lab’ means ‘gang’ somehow?
    You’d never know…

    The police are more forthcoming:

    Then having seen another Stuff ‘investigative reporter’ recently use ‘enervating’ to mean energising anything is possible…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,


    While both Stuff and the Herald provide daily examples of poor journalism, bad grammar and non-existent subediting, here's a real clanger from today's Herald. Not only did the headline escape scrutiny, but the error is repeated in the "latest" column on their front page.

    It's like nobody at the Herald cares any more.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • linger,

    When they remind us to pay our subs, we say “You first”...
    Clippings like clan are common in journalism, but do produce ambiguity, and subediting is necessary to catch these problems. But of course, that works both ways: lack of paying subscribers --> subediting cut.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to linger,

    the entropy tango…

    But of course, that works both ways: lack of paying subscribers –> subediting cut.

    …increasing mistakes > fewer subscribers happy to pay for shoddy product > even fewer subs and cheaper reporters > subscribers and casual consumers abandon hope and product > advertisers bail > death of product!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alfie,

    It’s like nobody at the Herald cares any more.

    It’s like they read PAS instead of working (or someone noticed) – they’ve fixed it now….

    <edit> Though I do note this new lead story intro:

    Two people are dead and one left fighting for his life after three separate water-related incidences over the weekend.

    'incidents' surely?
    my understanding agrees with this:

    usage: Incidence and incidents sound the same, but incidence is more often used in technical contexts, referring to the frequency with which something occurs: increased ultraviolet light is likely to cause increased incidence of skin cancer.
    Incidents is simply the plural of incident, an event: the police are supposed to investigate any incidents of domestic violence.
    The form incidences should be avoided.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    the Stuff ups continue...
    Headline news :

    French teenage girls on terror charges for alledged concert hall attack plot

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Alfie,


    Stuff does it again... on their front page of course.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Alfie, in reply to John Farrell,

    At least, for all its faults, the ODT is still a newspaper (and website) which covers a significant amount of local and regional news.

    Indeed. The dear old OdDiTy. I must admit it's usually my first call for local news in the mornings. They do have some annoying traits like editing online comments for no other reason than they can. And their moderation policy means comments can take up to 24 hours to appear online, which is crap in a digital age.

    However all that is about to change with today's announcement that they're relaunching with a paywall. This is being spun as "an exciting relaunch" of their website."

    The site is looking pretty dated and seems to have been designed for 800x640 monitors, so a refresh is long overdue. But exciting? For the accounts dept maybe.

    As far as I know this will be the first daily newspaper in NZ to implement a paywall. They're going to use a metered paywall, so anyone with a passing knowledge of session cookies shouldn't have a problem accessing content. But when Stuff and the Herald have both shelved their paywall plans for now, it's either brave or stupid for a small provincial paper to lead the way. I guess time will tell.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Ankara management...
    No solidarity with other newspapers either - Stuff don't seem to have registered that the Turkish Government has effectively taken over the Zaman newspaper.

    following on from earlier attacks on journalists:

    “The media should not have unlimited freedom. There is no absolute freedom anywhere in world media either.”

    The journalists’ prosecution comes during a crackdown on press freedom by Erdoğan’s increasingly authoritarian government.


    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Barry Soper in the NZ Herald seems comfortable with not checking his deathless prose, nor anyone else...
    he's also portrayed John Key as an arguably insane master criminal! spot on!

    But the outpouring of angst from Little was ammunition for the joker from the ninth floor. A smile as wide as Jack Nicholson's in Batman creased John Key's face as he contemplated the latest outpouring from Labour.
    Key joyously professed to not knowing where he's coming up with this staff.

    and I'm not sure how much of this following last paragraph is a direct quote and how much comment?

    One moment they come out against people with Chinese sounding names buying houses and now they don't want people with the same sounding names making chicken chop suey, he crowed and we all cringed.

    source: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11606723

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    I spy...
    Today's Press had this snippet in their Political News round up - naming the 16th US President, Andrew Hamilton as the new head of the GCSB, but at the end of the piece we find him named as Andrew Hampton - which on checking further is the correct person - rigorous fact checking just doesn't really happen at Fairfax any more it seems...
    Though they did get it right in a longer piece at Stuff main site, phew.

    So who will be the the new 'chief talent officer' at the State Services Commission?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Alfie,

    Earlier today Fairfax announced the canning of 120 editorial jobs in their Sydney and Melbourne newsrooms. This represents around a quarter of the editorial workforce and affects the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Financial Review.

    Nek minit... Australian Fairfax staff are out on strike.
    More coverage from the ABC.

    Oddly, Stuff doesn't mention this anywhere on their site. Whatever happened to solidarity?

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1440 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    what did they used to call them before ‘water-related incident’ appeared this year?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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