Posts by Matt Nippert

  • Hard News: Wikileaks: The Cable Guys, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Russell,

    I found the same thing. That Dagestan wedding report, and the hilarious Qadhafi dissection featuring Ukranian blonds and flamenco dancing show real insight crunched into a short space.

    There's a parallel here with the Reserve Banks' info dump regarding South Canterbury Finance. I've followed the falling of that company for the last couple of months, but the best piece of writing on how Hubbard managed the firm came from a banker following an May 2009 visit.

    It's genius stuff, and if anyone's wanting the inside juice on a finance story that's still doing my head in, you'll could do worse than tip your had to Bollard's man Andy Wood.

    Who'd have thought bankers and diplomats produced such good copy? A pity their readership usually probably numbers, literally, only a handful.

    Looking ahead, academics are going to feast on this for years- usually you're only able to do diplomatic post-mortems decades after the fact when secrecy legislation reaches its horizon.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Swine flu and swearing,

    Graeme just delivered a masterclass in why you shouldn't spend a few minutes to edit posts.

    Dang.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Swine flu and swearing,

    For a true masterclass in swearing and scriptwriting, check out this gem from The Wire. There's precious little dialogue, exempting prefixes and suffixes, outside glorious f-bombs.

    cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: No news is good news,

    Ahem. Jolisa actually linked to the closure of the Tuscon Citizen . It's a double tragedy, really: the obituary pages are getting swamped, and there's hardly anyone left writing for them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: No news is good news,

    Getting back to the start of Jolisa's post, noting the decline of Seattle's Post-Intelligencer , there's a column from Dave Barry on the same subject that gives - perhaps - cryptic reference to the state of the media in this part of the world.

    Atop the Post-Intelligencer building is a rotating 10m diameter globe. It's rusted, to be sure, but still spinning. Metaphors aplenty for journalism perhaps - but P-I managing editor Dave McCumber notes some parts of his neon world have fared worse than others:

    “There’s a hole in New Zealand,” Mr. McCumber said.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Field Theory: Mother Dog!,

    Nerds have always had the last laugh in sports - they write the history. While sports writing in New Zealand has almost always been of the jock match-report variety, overseas there are some masterful depictions of beautiful games by outright nerds.

    Ben Thomas mentioned David Foster Wallace. Check out his ode to Roger Federer - an adaptation of the lovingly-titled Roger Federer as Religious Experience: How One Player's Grace, Speed, Power, Precision, Kinesthetic Virtuosity and Seriously Wicked Topspin Are Transfiguring Men's Tennis .

    Michael Lewis is also great. I'm no fan of College Football, but this piece got me interested in an eccentric coach and plays known as "shotguns", and Lewis' writing on schoolyard giant Michael Oher is compelling blend of sociology, biography and the evolution of the NFL power game.

    And, dude, last years' Faulkner-winning novel was about cricket .

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: No news is good news,

    The accompanying interactive Homicide Map is also cool, in a grisly, black stat, kind of way.

    If Keith Ng met David Simon in an LA bar, this map could settle arguments over how many killings with knives there are on Tuesdays, or what the preferred killing method for victims aged over 50.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: No news is good news,

    Stewart: A club of one is the most exclusive club of all.

    Paul: The best commentary I've seen on murder reporting is in the LA Times . Or, rather, their murder blog. With 1000 killings a year in LA (cf 50 in New Zealand), it's one of the busier corners of the web.

    And in a brilliant case blending of web and print, the one-year anniversary saw this column published in the main paper:

    Choice excerpts:

    The more the killings stacked up on the blog, the more absurd the old media criteria for selecting one homicide over another seemed. Thirteen-year-old boys nearly always made the headlines of The Times' print edition, but 14-year-olds were a tossup. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds were more likely to make the cut if they were girls.

    And:

    Media coverage matters. In September, news broke that a 23-day-old baby had been killed by a stray bullet in the LAPD's Rampart Division. More than twice as many detectives were assigned to work that one case than to the division's 15 other 2007 homicide cases combined. Arrests were quickly made in the baby's killing. But as of January, some three-quarters of those other Rampart cases remained open.

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Busytown: No news is good news,

    Hell, I work (or rather worked, until I was credit crunched) in the media - and even I don't buy paper copies. I personally administered one of the thousand cuts that is seeing the industry - and myself - bleed dry.

    Of course there is one exception. I do fork out hard currency for the Economist.. Apart from fantastic Latin headline puns, that mag also buys you into a strange, but highly-educated, club. You'd be surprised at who gives you knowing glances when on the bus or in parks while reading the bible of classical liberalism.

    cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates),

    David,

    I can't speak for Lucy, but I've been inside Pare (including D block and the child sex offenders wing), Rimutaka, Auckland Central Remand, and also the new women's facility down in Manukau. While the recently-build facilities have that "new building" smell, they are uniformly dreary places.

    Even in lower security levels the basics of life are rigidly prescribed. You eat when you're told, you exercise when you're told, and contact with the outside world has more hoops than a seven-ring circus. Most inmates are terrified of each other and - as you point out - if they find this place better than home, serious questions need to be asked.

    However, your answer to some inmates finding life better on the inside than on the outside seems to be make life on the inside worse. (Given you seem so jealous of their "central heating", would you let them freeze to death? Which, really, is the only alternative. Unless you want individual bar-heaters and a blowout of the electrical bill.)

    When, really, if you did the alternative - trying to make improvements outside of prison - you'd achieve better results. The principle problem with the New Zealand prison system isn't its lack of harshness. It's the near-complete lack of follow-up rehabilitation. You're thrown in jail, then abruptly let out to live the same lifestyle and with peer group that led you to prison in the first place.

    So, David, why is the recidivism rate so high again?

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20 posts Report Reply

Last ←Newer Page 1 2 Older→ First