Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Improving quality by cutting service

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  • Paul Campbell,

    There's lots of other things you can put in bug wheelie bins - for example one can fit two students - it's not always such a good idea

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    oh yeah - and I need a subeditor

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Holly Johnson,

    Here's an example of APN's new-era of sub-editing, from the lead story on the current front page of the Herald's website. A full-stop and a comma would make a big difference, plus there's a "who" missing as well:

    Mr Bolger also chairs Kiwibank and New Zealand Post Finance Minister Michael Cullen said the country was lucky to have Mr Bolger had played a major role in success stories of State Owned Enterprises.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Holly Johnson,

    Whoops. "New era" shouldn't have a hyphen. It just confirms that everyone needs a sub-editor.

    Auckland • Since Jun 2008 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's tempting to suppose that Fairfax looked at APN and thought ""well, they got away with it …"

    The market isn't being quite so generous. I'm not really up on the sharemarket, but surely isn't not a good thing when your shares fall from 4.91 to 3.83 inside of three weeks? There's a different between cutting fat, and taking to your core business like Freddy Kruger after a crystal meth binge.

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

  • andrew llewellyn,

    Why don't recyclers take polystyrene anyway? I thought it could be recycled.

    And didn't the Celts bring the rat here in 1120?

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    back in the mid 70s I had a summer job working in a paper - in the last days of hot metal - it was a wonderfull place that sadly really doesn't exist anymore - at the time computers were on the horizon, everyone was nervous but they had a string union .... within 10 years everything had changed - what those subs do today used to be done by 4 people - a typesetter, reader, copy holder and sub. Now days the first 3 have been replaced by publishing software and spellcheckers - I doubt they can completely do away with someone deciding where to put stuff on the page

    But perhaps they could fire the guy who writes the headlines with the really bad puns - that might be a step forwards

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Donald Matheson,

    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

  • Gareth Ward,

    Perhaps burying the Iran story is because they know it's saber rattling? I'm fairly certain that if the Israeli armed forces were actually "secretly" planning a strike, it wouldn't be all over the Associated Press. The rattling in itself is a bit of a story though I suppose...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1727 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Here's an example of APN's new-era of sub-editing, from the lead story on the current front page of the Herald's website.

    The Herald's great for fuck-ups by subs. I've got a couple of favourites.
    One was this, and another was here in the coverage of the '06 blackout of Auckland where it was claimed that "Trains stopped stranding hundreds of commuters..." (bottom of the first page) My, how public transport in this city has improved!
    A friend saw "Rifles to carry rifles" in an article about the police arming themselves. The screen-cap proof is on my computer at home.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Stanley Pointen,

    Holly, and here's another from the Herald of 28 June 2008: "PM's blocking of disabled carpark 'unacceptable', says pensioner." Did the PM block a carpark? No. Was the PM aware of what her security detail were doing with the cars outside the venue? No. Does the PM drive herself? No. Did the police apologies? Yes. Does the headline imply the the PM has little regard for the little people, like crippled pensioners? Yes. Is this quality journalism? Over to you.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Perhaps burying the Iran story is because they know it's saber rattling? I'm fairly certain that if the Israeli armed forces were actually "secretly" planning a strike, it wouldn't be all over the Associated Press.

    When it comes to the Israelis, never underestimate how far they'll go. They bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor, remember. They adhere closely to "The best defence is a good offence."
    The US needs to tell them to pull their collective head in, which of course won't happen. If Israel does bomb Iran, it will get ugly. Iran will, rightly, treat it as an act of war. They'll almost certainly retaliate. Israel has nuclear weapons. Iran doesn't, but it quite likely has other WMDs. If Israel uses a tactical nuke, which I've seen suggested, Iran will probably respond in kind. Or Israel will discover that it's covered by millions of extremely angry Muslims. Both possibilities are likely.

    If we think that USD140 oil is painful, wait until it breaks USD200 on the back of Iran shutting off its supply to the world, possibly backed up by other Islamic OPEC members. I wish you were right about it being sabre rattling, and if it were anyone other than Israel I'd be inclined to agree with you, but because it's Israel it's very hard to rule out the possibility that it'll happen.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    My fave headline was from the ODT 25 years ago "Police stoned during IRA raid"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Fairfax already uses "Stuff" to impose what might be described as a centralised editorial interface. The CanWest newspapers in Canada (canada.com) provide a pointer to where this leads. The same folks own TV3 and C4 here in NZ (and may still own many radio stations?). It looks a lot like Stuff.

    Canoe.ca (Owned by Quebecor) have, in contrast, centralised much of the editorial functions so that local newspapers might write a portion of the leaders and opinion pieces, but most are distributed through the chain from the hubs or the centre.

    In either case, the formula is nails in the coffin for diversity of opinion, lost from cities years ago when newspapers became a local monopoly and now being choked off nationally as 50 newspapers speak - effectively - with one voice on topics aligned with the owner's interest.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    This one's live on the Herald site right now:


    Funeral service theft 'extremely low' - police


    What a relief. I thought I ran a high risk of having something stolen at the next funeral service I attend. But apparently, that's highly unlikely.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 264 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    As for Iran, the same steps are being followed now by Bush and the Israelis as were followed prior to invading Iraq.

    The IAEA is being used as a propaganda tool by the US and Israel. The IAEA have said they have found nothing that supports any claim Iran is working on a nukes. To his credit, Mohamed El-Baradei has said he will resign in if there is an attack on Iran.

    The US and Israel talk about iranian nukes as thought they were a proven fact when there are from anything resembling a proven fact. US media appear to have been prevented by their owners from learning any lessons from the lies Bush told prior to invading Iraq.

    For example, CBS News, in the US, owned by Westinghouse, a major weapons contractor, always talks about Iranian nukes in its news copy as though they are a proven fact.

    Israel conducted a 100-aircraft dry run of an attack on Iran over the Mediterranean two weeks ago.

    Bush visited Olmert in Israel. A couple of weeks later, Olmert visited Bush in the US and used the opportunity to speak at AIPAC demanding the US attack Iran.

    Just so happens a senior US admiral is in Israel this week.....and so on. Military liaison is set to high-rotate right now.

    last year, the US Congress approved $400m to support what are essentially terrorists activities with Iran. Cars and mosques have been exploding ever since.

    I've been blogging on the steady build-up for weeks now. The progession is clear. The time table appears to be set for some time after the first of August. Maybe an "October Surpise" to take the wind out of Obama's sails and put McCain over the top.

    Murder seems to be OK if it helps you win elections.

    There will be a big surprise and we will all wonder where it came from.....having ignored the many warning signs for months now.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If you want to talk about headline writers making the case for random workplace drug testing, is it an urban myth that the New York Post once ran a front page headed HEARTS GO OUT TO BRAINLESS BABY? (To which the only sane response is, "You're dead -- baby still has no brain. Wasted effort all around, isn't it?")

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

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "And didn't the Celts bring the rat here in 1120?"

    Scott won't give you credit but are always quick to take it ;)

    Massey thought he was from Israel - these dudes need a Geography lesson.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Israelism

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Israel conducted a 100-aircraft dry run of an attack on Iran over the Mediterranean two weeks ago.

    Wasn't it a drill for long-distance operations, as opposed to some firm plan for attacking Iran? Not that the two are exactly distinguishable at this stage (Israel's only long-distance target right now is Iran, after all), but to be thoroughly pedantic and all.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • dc_red,

    Holly, and here's another from the Herald of 28 June 2008: "PM's blocking of disabled carpark 'unacceptable', says pensioner." Did the PM block a carpark? No. Was the PM aware of what her security detail were doing with the cars outside the venue? No. Does the PM drive herself? No. Did the police apologies? Yes. Does the headline imply the the PM has little regard for the little people, like crippled pensioners? Yes. Is this quality journalism? Over to you.

    Yes, that was particularly disgraceful. By Monday the headline had changed to: "PM shocked at claim motorcade blocked disabled parks". But the damage was done I expect.

    Now, if it had been Key and his security detail ... "Hero Key no match for feckless pensioners"? ;-)

    Oil Patch, Alberta • Since Nov 2006 • 706 posts Report Reply

  • Alison McCulloch,

    There's a v. funny critique of the sacking of sub-editors (aka copy editors in the U.S.) here:


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/19/AR2008061902920.html

    Since Feb 2008 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    Matthew: As far as i can tell, it was the Pentagon that told the NY Times it was a practice run for attacking Iran. That's why they leaked it.

    http://africa.reuters.com/world/news/usnL22601515.html

    Citing unidentified Pentagon sources, the New York Times said on Friday more than 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 jets took part in a long-range Mediterranean exercise this month that appeared to be a rehearsal for real missions over Iran.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    <quote>Holly, and here's another from the Herald of 28 June 2008: "PM's blocking of disabled carpark 'unacceptable', says pensioner." [...] Does the headline imply the the PM has little regard for the little people, like crippled pensioners? Yes. Is this quality journalism? Over to you.<quote>

    This was disgraceful. In the same vein was the Herald's (erroneous) campaign against the nanny-state in defence of dimmer switches and chandeliers. Non-incandescent options are available. While wringing its hands over dimmer switches, the Herald overlooked the fact phasing out incandescents will mean a 20% power saving. That is 20% of 6.5GW average daily use. One Project Aqua was to be 520MW.....so now we don't have to build THREE Projeect Aquas.....worth $2 billion AND we get to save $500m in power charges. Total saving: NZ$2.5 Billion approx.....and several rivers.

    The herald made that look like a bad thing if dimmer switches were in any danger.

    Does anyone need any more proof of significant, ongoing bias against the present from the Herald?

    I don't even vote for Labour. But a corrupt press is the enemy of everyone.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    the Herald overlooked the fact phasing out incandescents will mean a 20% power saving.

    Is that overall power savings? Asking because the long life low watt bulbs claim 80% saving.

    IMO, "they" should phase out anything over a certain wattage, regardless of what sort of bulb.

    And I checked, you CAN get long life, low watt chandelier bulbs (the most excellent Light Bulb Man in Wellington has many different types.)

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

  • andrew llewellyn,

    But dimmers are toast. The end of civilisation is nigh.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2075 posts Report Reply

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