Posts by Donald Matheson

  • Access: A letter from Aunt Daisy about…,

    Thanks for posting this, Aunt Daisy (and good to hear you're still alive and kicking).

    TracyMac, what is the Fairfax archives story? Has someone written about that in detail? It'd be good to gather together these pieces of our broken media and image archive story.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Polity: Hidden Costs,

    I've supervised PhD or so 20 students and, almost universally, they have dark moments like those you're talking about. A big part of the supervision job is support – getting people to design meaningful goals, to pace themselves and to look after themselves. We are better at that than in the past and - in my corner at least - we don't enrol PhD students that we don't think can get academic or similar jobs at the end of it. Really important we talk about all this, so thanks for the post.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Big Chill, in reply to mpledger,

    We have a shield provision in Aotearoa New Zealand, in the Evidence Act, that gives journalists the right to withhold information, unless a judge rules that there's a public interest demand for it. It gets complicated there too, though. A journalist is defined as 'a person who in the normal course of that person's work may be given information by an informant with the expectation that the information may be published in a news medium'. I wonder if David Fisher would be a journalist in that definition, as the work he's doing here is writing a book? Nicky Hager would't anyway. Definitely a weird and worrying hole in the protection of journalists. I've no legalistic braincells, but I'd have thought the judge could at least have made noises about the intent of the law here, which surely is to give some privilege to journalists not just to certain publications.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Regulate What?,

    I don't think the model of journalism is a good one for regulating blogging (or discussion fora or social networking sites or Twitter posts from cellphones or whatever). Most blogger codes of ethics sound like they're written by people wanting to be journalists, and many of the more interesting and valuable blogs are good precisely because they go beyond journalism's ideas of how to do public knowledge. So that's setting any regulation up for failure or at least enormous conflict.

    It gets really difficult too because most of these media cross over between people's very private talk and more public-oriented stuff. Would be like regulating the content of telephone calls.

    Seems to me the best approach, especially as the actual media that people do this talk in are changing all the time, is to rely on (and fine tune) general legal frameworks on free speech, hate speech, defamation, suppression, and all the rest, which have been catching up with the likes of WhaleOil, CYFSWatch (that Google got there first and took the site down, from memory).

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Changes and appointments,

    Hey Joe - just caught up with your comment, well, attack, on us poor souls at the university. Couldn't let it go without saying no, anti-plagiarism software's never been a substitute for marking, but it helps a lot of students work out how to write properly. I think it's fabulous. And yes, we're doing our bit teaching students about how the broadcasting world's turning upside down, well, Sky-side up. Peace and love, Donald

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Changes and appointments,

    I don't really care about where RNZ plus TVNZ7 is based, if that were to happen, but I do care about 1) the loss of public service broadcasting culture which RNZ has and which has disappeared from TVNZ and 2) the ghettoising of TVNZ's public service media. I also don't like moves that prepare TVNZ for sale, or more of the restructuring mentality that's tossed TVNZ around from one thing to the next over the past 20 years or so. There's more to this than just the media gossip about who's losing their office.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Undie Wankers,

    Seems to me that rich kids are no more, no less likely to drink and do stupid things than others in society. At university and other tertiary institutions, the drinking just gets a bit more organised. This isn't, for me, a moral tale of privilege but of the role alcohol plays in our society's ideas of fun.

    I have to say that the police didn't impress me that much - if they had good community relations with the students associations, they could have worked with student marshalls, who would surely have created much less tension with the partying students. If you treat something like a riot, turning up in full gear, and making threatening statements beforehand, you're likely to get one.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Improving quality by cutting service,

    Re the media science centre run by the Royal Society and some of Russell's mates:

    I wish them well, but hope they can broaden their efforts beyond just promoting scientists to also involving more people in scientific knowledge generation. The big problem for scientists may be getting publicity so they can push for the research funding that's always in short supply. But the big problem for the rest of us is too much 'science knows best' talk which feeds a spiral of disengagement from scientific knowledge.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: TVNZ on Demand actually…,

    I'm impressed too - all seems to work very well and has started with a good amount of material. One of the few instances I can think of, too, where copyright restrictions have done us a favour. Al least for now, wall to wall Aotearoa New Zealand programming. Wonderful.

    I wonder, though, why TVNZ's sticking to the TV format so closely. Overseas (e.g. BBC, America's ABC) the thinking seems to be that people are much more likely to 'snack' online, particularly the younger people who are major users. Could we not have programmes broken into meaningful chunks as well? Expensive new initiatives in broadcasting are also on dangerous ground when they don't give people new content. I'd have liked to be able to do more than catch up on programmes (oh, and, watch TVNZ promoting itself with director interviews). I suppose it's expensive enough as it is.

    I look forward to seeing user generated content too - TVNZ as a public service broadcaster, could do with engaging in a bit more two-way traffic.

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2007 • 10 posts Report Reply