Trust the Herald enough to pay for news online?

NZ Herald is moving towards a payment model for ‘premium news’ online. Preparing for this they are advertising in their own newspaper about trust of media and news – as criticism increases over dubious news and and click-bait trivia becoming more prominent.

I just don’t trust them to provide value for money in a crowded media market.

If NZH puts in place a subscription only premium news (and views?) online service they face a real risk – removing their better news from free coverage, they may lose a lot of online readers who aren’t prepared for serious content.

So they may make something out of online subscriptions, while at the same time reduce their free-to-view audience and advertising potential.

Newsroom MediaRoom: Putting a price on trust

The New Zealand Herald has been running a smart advertising campaign for itself involving whole pages of the newspaper with just a few words in the middle emphasising its values of truth, facts and trust.

“In an age of misinformation, it pays to get your news from a source you can trust,” says one, above the gothic ‘H’ of the Herald‘s masthead.

They make you think – about who or what you should trust in the media in this age of misinformation. They should also make you think about that Herald brand, a 156 year-old totem of our media.

The reason you are likely seeing the ads now – after years of some real risk to that brand from its fine journalism being overwhelmed online by a waterfall of average tabloid clickbait – is that the Herald very soon needs to trade on its trustworthiness and factual journalism.

It is about to ask New Zealanders to start paying online for Herald content, which has for many years been entirely free on nzherald.co.nz.

Advertising and therefore revenue has plummeted in print versions of newspapers, which has made things very tough to survive in the news business. One reaction has been to cut back on staff – but fewer journalists means fewer serious investigations, less journalism, less serious news. It has become a spiral downwards.

Belatedly introducing a premium subscription service might help the Herald recover, it may stem the bleeding, or it may make things worse.  It is a big risk.

I currently work around international subscription news at the likes of NY Times and Washington Post. I avoid others like The Telegraph. I work around Politik and largely ignore NBR because of their paywalls.

I pay for some media content, but that’s largely entertainment from Sky and Netflix.

I dumped my ODT subscription a couple of years ago, but resumed that six months ago because of it’s good local content. And because It think it is worth supporting independent local media.

Later this month NZME will front up to the market with its annual financial results, and the promise of new revenues from the Premium paywall will hang heavily over chief executive Michael Boggs.

The premium content effort has an editor, Miriyana Alexander, and NZME has been good to its word and recruited a range of top-shelf journalistic talent to feed its new money-maker, while progressively trimming non-premium teams covering sports and photography.

Put your money, though, on the Herald entering the digital subscriptions market very soon. Boggs could even sign up as its first paying guest when he reveals the company’s result in the next few weeks and then watch as the revenues roll in.

I am very unlikely to pay for premium Herald content. I will just look less often at their free content, and otherwise look elsewhere.

 

Leave a comment

23 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  1st February 2019

    Proud to have never read a Herald in my life,hell it’s not even a real newspaper as Mike Hosking writes a column,so does his partner

    Reply
  2. Trevors_Elbow

     /  1st February 2019

    Herald had an article online yesterday I saw on my mobile while travelling home. Story about a Kiwi national arrested on suspicion of a terrorist act in Kenya. Looked for the story when I got home on my laptop – scrolled the main page… no link where previously it was on the main page. then used the Herald search function put in ‘kiwi arrested in kenya’ as search term… no hits…. thats odd. Repeat the same search term in google.com search box and first hit is

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12199130

    Headline is “New Zealand national Sulub Warfaa reportedly arrested in Kenya after DusitD2 terror attack”

    This is an example of one reason I don’t trust the Herald – stories disappear from promient positions and their search doesn’t return them – though they are there and web indexing has captured them… along with its pimping the poor stories that have no depth in the fact checking of the supposed hard done individuals, the other slanted reporting….

    Paywall will kill the Herald – it was the paper of record now its a thrashy, slanted and agenda driven rag

    Oh by the way PG – surprise you haven’t posted on a NZ passport holder being involved in an Islamic terror attack in Africa… who is he, is it mistaken identity or is he a radical Islamist, why does he have a NZ passport/NZ National designation???? lots of questions particular when many claim their is no radical Islam in NZ…….maybe he is a refugee who returned to Somali and was radicalised there but maybe he was radicalised here and then when offshore to commit a jihad act…. many questions, many…

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st February 2019

      I saw another ‘banner’ yesterday saying ‘shots fired motorway chase’ . That too was never followed up by a ‘real story’ so was as fake as it gets.

      The clicks must be sagging as the hot weather means less people on computer or device, so some ‘production journalist’ knows they have to meet the KPI for the day

      Reply
      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  1st February 2019

        They play all the tricks…. sudoku is good though!

        Reply
      • Chwaga

         /  1st February 2019

        The story is in this morning’s Herald

        Reply
        • Trevors_Elbow

           /  1st February 2019

          I know its still online Chwaga – but the Heralds own search wouldn’t return the story, I re-found it by using Google to scan the web and the key phrase I used drove the NZH story as the first link. Its odd that the same search term in NZH’s own search function draws a blank don’t you think?

          Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  1st February 2019

        “Dramatic video emerges of police shooting at armed motorist in Auckland

        Dramatic new video has emerged showing police shooting at an alleged armed driver at a busy Auckland intersection.

        The video was taken during a high-speed chase across the city yesterday in which the driver of a red Holden Commodore allegedly hit multiple cars, evaded road spikes and was shot at by police.

        It shows the driver being briefly cornered by police at the intersection, before escaping by driving on the footpath and the wrong side of the road.

        At least three gunshots can be heard in the video, which was posted to Facebook.”

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12199920

        Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  1st February 2019

      More on the Terror suspect – maybe he is Ethiopian originally? Second half of this report from the East African (Kenya news outlet)

      https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/3-Tanzanians-jailed-in-Wajir-over-terror-links/4552908-4958386-o76m55/index.html

      Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  1st February 2019

      More on our NZer in Kenya…..Sulub Warfaa…. Buchanan asks lots of good questions! Has the makes of a very big story….. what would have happened if he had returned to NZ undetected and decided to repeat his Kenyan exploits (assuming he is guilty as charged which has yet to be proved….)????

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12199425

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st February 2019

      The Herald search function has always been utterly useless. Most of its US coverage is WaPo laughably politically biased.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st February 2019

        I read the Herald and Waikato Times when I go to the caff that has them both for misers like me who are too mean to buy them.

        They are both fairly forgettable.

        Reply
      • Duker

         /  1st February 2019

        They use news corp for their australian news- hopelessly baised.
        What I find is that people read guardian or Wapo and scream bias when its their opinion commentators they are reading.
        Mostly the stories tell it straight , but British papers are hopelessly partisan ( left and right) that would make Pravda proud of the party line they follow.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st February 2019

      I understand the “Nzer’ wasnt involved in terror attack itself , just picked up in a crack down in border areas as he was carrying 2 NZ passports. They could have just been stolen ones that have been doctored ?

      But the news cycle goes to sleep in NZ on friday, as any thing worthwhile is held over to Sat or Sun ‘reveals’

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st February 2019

        I wouldn’t say that I don’t trust TH enough to pay for it, more that I don’t want it that much.

        Reply
  3. Finbaar Rustle

     /  1st February 2019

    News papers are only read regularly by the over 50’s.
    With all the online access news papers are old news.
    There is really only a need for local news which
    our two free community papers cover now.
    Our local daily paper has down sized 90%
    with editing and printing done in Auckland.
    The only way to survive is to relaunch
    as a 3 times a week free community paper.
    Monday. (weekend wrap + preview the week ahead
    Thursday. Mid week news preview the weekend + classifieds.
    Saturday. A bumper weekender with features..
    One of the free community papers is already
    published by the local news paper.so they are 33% there already.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  1st February 2019

      News papers are only read regularly by the over 50’s.
      More like the over 70’s, or even over 80’s, I would suggest.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  1st February 2019

        The people who read them in the caff are not that old; but we are obviously not buying them or we wouldn’t be reading them there. The people who buy them in the supermarket are not all wrinklies, either.

        Reply
  4. duperez

     /  1st February 2019

    There’ll be thousands waiting keenly to pay for the Herald online. Wonder if they’ll need to pay for Leighton Smith’s podcasts which I see they’re promoting today. Having to pay would be a good idea in that it might help him to the irrelevancy he so richly deserves. 🙂

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st February 2019

      Vietch was supposed to shift to online podcasts as well when he left …. dissapeared without trace.
      he and Smith must have seen some money in it too make a go of it. But its mostly like when Holmes left TVNZ for Prime- his audience didnt go with him.

      Reply
      • PDB

         /  1st February 2019

        Well Smith’s audience definitely hasn’t gone over to his replacement at ZB – Kerre’s show is the pits.

        Reply
  5. David

     /  1st February 2019

    Not enough of any great excitement or interest happens here to justify paying. UK media and US media have been saved by Trump and Brexit where as ourPM went on holiday for 5 weeks and no one cared because it made no difference.

    Reply
  6. bjoneskiwi

     /  1st February 2019

    Ha ha ha, trust the Herald, not likely!

    “I wouldn’t trust any of you (them) to sit the right way on a toilet seat.”

    Reply

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