There’s still a Government somewhere

Jami-Lee Ross has dominated the news over the last couple of days and that looks set to continue. However there is a Government still. I have had to go looking for news about them.

The Honourable Dame Annette King will attend the 12th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Leaders’ Summit as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy in Brussels this week (18-19 October).

Small Business Minister Stuart Nash is encouraging the Australian and New Zealand public to provide feedback on a joint electronic invoicing (e-Invoicing) initiative that will save businesses time and money.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Anthony Simpson as Ambassador to Italy.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Matthew Hawkins as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

The Film Industry Working Group has reported back today, providing recommendations on restoring collective bargaining rights to film production workers, says the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway.

Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced the third and final agreement in principle has been reached for new air ambulance services that will be safer, better and firmly focused on patients.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage today announced that the Department of Conservation (DOC) will close 21 tracks across kauri land to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback.

Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced the next steps to promote new investment in the horse bloodstock industry.

Dumbed down news and shallow opinionating by celebrities

We all know how dumbed down the news has become, how sound bite and click bait and chat show dominated it has become. Pablo at Politico is scathing of it in detail, particularly the shallowness of editorial and opinion writing,  in Peddling drivel.

Over the last decade or so there has been a pernicious two-track trend in NZ media that has not only resulted in the dumbing down of the “news” and public discourse in general, but the substitution of informed and considered debate by shallow opinionating by celebrities and charlatans.

The ‘celebrities’ are often self made media marketing constructs.

In NZ the two big players are Mediaworks and NZME. The former controls TV3, Radiolive and various pop culture radio stations. NZME controls Newstalk ZB, the NZ Herald and various pop culture outlets. It has connections to TV One (at least when it comes to newsreaders), while the Mediaworks TV News platforms appears to episodically share personnel with Prime News. Fairfax Media is also in the mix, holding a portfolio of print and digital vehicles.

Because the NZ media market is small and saturated, the “race to the bottom” logic for getting readers/viewers/listeners in a shrinking print advertising market is akin to the “bums in seats” mentality that pushes academic administrators to demand easing up of marking standards in university courses.

Although in the latter instance this creates a syndrome where unqualified people are admitted, passed and receive undeserved (and hence meaningless) degrees, in the media realm this means that scandal, gossip, “human interest” and other types of salacious, morbid, tragic and otherwise crude and vulgar material (think of terrorism porn and other prurient non-news) have come to dominate the so-called news cycle.

This is accelerated by the presence of social media and 24 hours global news networks, which makes the push for original content that attracts audiences and therefore advertising revenues increasingly focused on sensational headline grabbing rather than in-depth consideration of complex themes.

In the editorial opinion field what we are increasingly subject to is the often inane and mendacious ruminations of celebrities, “lifestyle’ gurus  or media conglomerate “properties” who are used to cross-pollinate across platforms using their status on one to heighten interest in another.

That squeezes out op-ed room for serious people discussing subjects within their fields of expertise. What results is that what should be the most august pages in a newspaper are given over to gossipy nonsense and superficial “analyses” of current events.

It must be what people click on so they keep[ getting bombarded with it.

…The Herald also offers us the received (and sponsored) wisdom of lifestyle bloggers  (“how to have the best sex at 60!”) and buffoons such as the U Auckland business lecturer who poses as a counter-terrorism expert (she of the advice that we search every one’s bags as the enter NZ shopping malls and put concrete bollards in front of mall entrances), gives cutesy pie names to the (often sponsored) by-lines of real scientists (the so-called “Nanogirl,” who now comments on subjects unrelated to her fields of expertise) or allows people with zero practical experience in any given field to pontificate on them as if they did (like the law professor who has transformed himself into a media counter-terrorism and foreign policy “expert”).

That extended sentence oozes personal angst – Pablo is a real media counter-terrorism and foreign policy, who one might presume doesn’t get called on by media much to share his expertise.

The pattern of giving TV newsreaders, radio talking heads and assorted media “personalities”  column inches on the newspaper op ed pages has been around for a while but now appears to be the dominant form of commentary. Let us be clear: the media conglomerates want us to believe that the likes of Hoskings and Hawkesby are public intellectuals rather than opinionated mynahs–or does anyone still believe that there is an original thought between them?

The only other plausible explanation is that the daily belching of these two and other similar personages across media platforms is an elaborate piss-take on the part of media overlords that have utter contempt for the public’s intelligence.

I think that a significant part of it is that intelligence isn’t the target market. People who don’t see things critically. and don’t think much about what is shovelled in front of them, are more susceptible to being sucked in by all the advertising.

The evening TV news and weekend public affairs shows are still run as journalistic enterprises, but the morning and evening public affairs programs are no longer close to being so. “Human interest” (read: tabloid trash) stories predominate over serious subjects.

The Mediaworks platforms are particularly egregious, with the morning program looking like it was pulled out of a Miami Vice discard yard and staffed by two long-time newsreaders joined by a misogynistic barking fool, all wearing pancake makeup that borders on clownish in effect.

Its rival on state television has grown softer over the years, to the point that in its latest incarnation it has given up on having its female lead come from a journalistic background and has her male counterparts engaging as much in banter as they are discussing the news of the day.

The TV3 evening show features a pretty weathergirl and a slow-witted, unfunny comedian as part of their front-line ensemble, with a rotating cast of B-list celebrities, politicians and attention-seekers engaging in yuk yuk fests interspersed with episodic discussion of real news.

Its competitor on TV One has been re-jigged but in recent years has been the domain of–you guessed it–that NZME male radio personality and an amicable NZME female counterpart, something that continues with its new lineup where a male rock radio jock/media prankster has joined a well-known TV mother figure to discuss whatever was in the headlines the previous morning.

What is noteworthy is that these shows showcase the editorial opinions of the “properties” on display, leaving little room for and no right of rebuttal to those who have actual knowledge of the subjects in question.

They are largely talk shows promoting ‘personalities’/properties, using selected news as props.

These media “properties” are paid by the parent companies no matter what they do.

It’s part of their job description. There is nothing on the line but ratings and future employment negotiations.

Non-affiliated people who submit op ed pieces to newspapers are regularly told that there is no pay for their publication (or are made to jump through hoops to secure payment).  That means that the opinion pages  are dominated by salaried media personalities or people who will share their opinions for free. This was not always the case, with payments for opinion pieces being a global industry norm.

But in the current media environment “brand” exposure is said to suffice as reward for getting published, something that pushes attention-seekers to the fore while sidelining thoughtful minds interested in contributing to public debate but uninterested in doing so for nothing. The same applies to television and radio–if one is not a “property,” it is virtually impossible to convince stations to pay for informed commentary.

Should expert analysis of news and current affairs be a paid for commodity? That risks getting the opinions of the lowest bidders.

…people of erudition and depth are increasingly the exception to the rule in the mass media, with the  editorial landscape now populated in its majority by “properties” and other (often self-promoting) personality “opinionators” rather than people who truly know what they are talking about.

Rather than a sounding board for an eclectic lineup of informed opinion, editorial pages are now increasingly used as megaphones to broadcast predictably well-known ideological positions with little intellectual grounding in the subjects being discussed.

I thought that editorials were either the opinion of the editor, or more commonly a composite opinion of the editorial board or team. Has that changed?

With over-enrolled journalism schools churning out dozens of graduates yearly, that leaves little entry room and few career options for serious reporters. The rush is on to be telegenic and glib, so the trend looks set to continue.

Style over substance, with new recruits being a lot cheaper than seasoned old hacks. With radio and print media branching out into video presentations, and with the multi-tasking across platforms of the personality properties, and with the continued fragmentation of media, this is likely to continue.

This is not just an indictment of the mass media and those who run and profit from it. It undermines the ability of an educated population to make informed decisions on matters of public import, or at least have informed input into the critical issues of the day.

Perhaps that is exactly what the media and political elites intend.

I don’t think it’s a plot involving media and politicians, it just suits both their aims to dumb things down.

Most of it revolves around marketing. They are selling sound bites and trivial entertainment in order to buy business or votes.

Modern capitalism doesn’t work well with news telling or informing democratic choices.

Spiralling into a crescendo of crap

News is important to many of us. Therefore media must be important to us, because they provide us with most of our news.

But there seems to be a growing amount of trivia and opinion and unjustified sensation – I don’t know if this is by proportion or just because we have access to many more news sources. Probably both.

Damian Grant writes about Using a playmate to separate the signal from the noise.

This refers to the headlines of a ‘playmate’ naked on Mt Taranaki on a day that the Commerce Commission turned down the proposed merger of two major media companies.

I’m not a fan of the Commerce Commission. I’d like to drag it to the top of a mountain and leave it shivering naked in the cold, but the impending collapse of our news media raises a serious question; does news matter?

I’m not sure that our new media will collapse, but it is certainly going through significant change.

Statisticians have a term; the Signal to Noise Ratio. This refers to the amount of useless data that obscures the signal they are trying to see.

Reading the paper is an exercise in filtering stories about naked girls on a mountain from actual news that will have an effect on your life.

I don’t think it’s quite that simple. There is a growing lack of differentiation between news and entertainment. They even call what would have been current affairs programmes shows now. The show must go on.

Currently the media is spilling billions of pixels and a small lake of ink on speculation about the upcoming election. Are you better informed as a result of reading this speculation, or would your time be better spent walking the dog and waiting for the final result?

I think most people have very good political filters. That’s why media tries to portray boring administration of the country as sensational scandals. Probably with little success most of the time.

Worse than the noise, much of what we read is actively misleading. A car crash story creates the impression that car crashes are a regular occurrence, stories about a housing crisis can easily mislead readers to thinking that there is a housing crisis.

Media and opposition MPs frequently cry wolf about crises.  A major problem with this is that the occasional genuine issues of real concern are easily ignored as same old crap.

The object of the news media isn’t to provide news, it is to entertain and, on occasion, create its own news and controversy by, as an example, deliberately using a mountain’s colonial name in order to generate outrage.

But they end up promoting their own generated ‘outrage’ as further news, or at least other media does to create their own stories.

It was unusual this week to see genuine outrage by some media over how Newshub presented their story on the leaked Pike River video footage. This was an exception.

There’s an old media saying “if it bleeds it leads”.

Obviously there is no news in reporting that thousands of people travelled by car without incident or accident. Crashes and crime are news.

But how news is presented, or over-presented, creates an unbalanced perception of how bad things are overall. And it seems to be snowballing as media tries to make more noise to attract attention.

And there seems to be growing problems of use of ‘fake news’.

Perhaps they should be trying to improve their signal, but the don’t seem to get that message.

Signs are they are spiralling into a crescendo of crap.

Paying for news?

The massive move of media online, and the creaming of profits by international giants like Google and Facebook, have had a huge impact on traditional news gathering and distribution.

Good journalism costs money. It used to be subsidised by general advertising. That model has been demolished.

There is a resistance to pay for news online, in part because there are so many free alternatives – there is no compulsion to pay.

If the Herald or Dominion Post disappeared would most people on Facebook even notice?

Possibly not, but it would be to the detriment of the country, unless alternatives filled the news gap.

Should we pay for our news?

I don’t subscribe to any news service. I gave up my ODT subscription a couple of years ago. I gave up my Sky subscription last year.

I found that I was hardly reading the newspaper (ODT) so it wasn’t worth spending around $26 a month for. I got most of my news from a wide variety of sources online.

And I resented Sky forcing me to pay about $1000 per year when I only wanted a tenth of what they provided.

I haven’t subscribed anywhere else because it is too expensive. A single subscription might be good value if that’s where I sourced most news from, but I regularly read 20 news sources and forums, actually probably more than that. Full subscriptions for them all would be ridiculously expensive.

I would be prepared to pay for news if my money could be spread over multiple suppliers, and it wasn’t too expensive.

I think the biggest problem with traditional media is that they think they can apply their old model of one subscription to a vastly different, very fragmented media world. That’s where they are failing.

I don’t have an easy answer, but if news is to be paid for then a different way of doing things is required.

I never used to read the Herald or Dominion. Now Stuff and NZH online might provide me with about 10% of my news and information, so I’m not going to pay full traditional level subscriptions to both of them, and to a bunch of other providers.

They don’t seem to understand this.

Traditional news companies are too focussed on trying not to lose current subscribers paying full price, but they are gradually losing them and advertisers anyway. And they are not attracting business from part time readers and viewers.

It would be difficult, but a country as small as New Zealand could get radical and set up a universal system of micro payments for pay per view.

I don’t know if that could work.

But I know full subscriptions for fractional use, more obtrusive advertising (I usually just close pages that are too annoying and go somewhere else) and too much trash are failing and will always fail.

If news is too expensive or too hard to view I won’t go there.

If Fairfax and NZME had merged and set up a news pay wall demanding a full subscription I simply wouldn’t have used them.

I don’t actually need news. I can go on holiday and miss a week or two of news and survive quite easily. I can dump Sky and survive quite easily.

It’s actually good to not have to choose between a barrage of crap just to get a small amount of content I actually want.

If media companies want to survive and thrive that need to stop thinking through their traditional subscription lens and understand how us the readers and viewers see things.

The NZME/Fairfax merger didn’t appear to address this at all. They seemed to think if they were big enough they could demand full sized subscriptions, but they would still only be a fraction of what is available.

Available media has become very fragmented. Fragmented payments are probably the only way of getting people to pay what it is worth to them.

NZME and Fairfax merged would have been large, but would still have provided just a fraction of New Zealand’s news.

I would be happy to pay for good news and for good journalism, but not on traditional terms. I would want to spread it across multiple providers.

 

The ‘new news Sheriff in town’

Fortune magazine reports on an advertising stoush involving Kellogg and the controversial US news site Breitbart.

Kellogg to Stop Advertising on Breitbart Over Values Difference

Cereal maker Kellogg said on Tuesday it would stop advertising on Breitbart.com, saying the far-right news site’s values conflict with its own.

The popular site, until last summer run by Steve Bannon, one of President-elect Donald Trump’s top advisers, has been criticized by many as having a racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic slant. Kellogg’s move stemmed from customer complaints, according to the company, which makes popular cereal brands like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies.

“We regularly work with our media buying partners to ensure our ads do not appear on sites that aren’t aligned with our values as a company,” a Kellogg spokesperson told Fortune in an e-mail statement. “This involves reviewing websites where ads could potentially be placed using filtering technology to assess site content. As you can imagine, there is a very large volume of websites, so occasionally something is inadvertently missed.”

Fortunecould not immediately reach a Breitbart representative, but the site slammed Kellogg for the move, telling the Associated Press in a statement that Kellogg’s move was “to its own detriment” given the size of its readership. According to ComScore, the site had 19.2 million unique monthly U.S. visitors in October, significantly up from a year earlier and a record for the site.

Kellogg’s move was an act of “economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse” and is “as un-American as it gets,” Breitbart said in its statement to AP.

Some claim that the way that Breitbart operates is not very ‘American’.

Other brands have also pulled ads on Breitbart, including Allstate, Nest, EarthLink, Warby Parker and SoFi, according to Digiday. Last week, AppNexus deactivated Breitbart News after an audit of the site’s content determined that it violates the advertising network ban on hate speech.

Advertisers can and should choose who they want to associate their advertising with.

Whale Oil sees similarities with it’s own problems with advertising and revenue in Advertising is New Media’s Achilles heel.

Advertising revenue is Whaleoil’s Achilles heel too, which is why we have introduced our new subscription model.

When you subscribe to Whaleoil you get the benefit of google ad-free content while helping to bullet-proof Whaleoil from left-wing attacks on our advertising revenue.

And from advertisers choosing who not to be associated with.

Breitbart News is the new News sheriff in town and is expanding rapidly but the establishment who preferred the old News sheriff still have a few bullets in their arsenal. If they can’t beat the new News by being better they will instead try to beat it by crippling it economically.

It is a bit like the ageing Sheriff with arthritis trying to get rid of his rival not in a gun fight but by talking the local store into refusing to sell him any supplies for his ranch. He might be the better gunslinger but how long can he last without any supplies?

A quaint martyrish metaphor, but business is business when it comes to advertising.

With your support , we can ensure that Whaleoil becomes the new News Sheriff in town.

Hardly new – Whale Oil has been firing shots at old media for a decade. And this ‘News Sheriff ‘ has a bit of a tarnished star.

 

Not very popular

Queen Elizabeth’s record reign has received some media coverage here, but it doesn’t seem to be particularly popular. Current ‘most popular’ news on New Zealand sites:

NZ Herald:

HeraldMostPopular

Stuff:

StuffMostPopularTVNZ:

TVNZMostPopular

3 News:

3NewsOthersWatching

Radio NZ:

RNZPopularGoogle’s current NZ news:

GoogleNZNews

Royalty doesn’t rate at all.

I’ve had a quick look at UK news sitesThe BBC has a semi prominent item, the Guardian a minor mention. Go to The Telegraph if you want major coverage.

TelegraphQueen

Cartoonists and when amateurs try broadcasting news

There’s a much wider range of people breaking news these days, or trying to. Trying to beat the crowd or beat up on the enemy a bit too hastily has risks.

On Wednesday at 1.12 pm Bryce Edwards tweeted:

Fairfax shocker: most cartoonists being sacked. Fairfax provincial papers to become uniform with 1 cartoonist.

The next morning at The Standard – Then they came for the cartoonists

Written By:   Date published:11:34 am, June 17th, 2015
Categories: cartoons, Media – Tags: , 

Kill off Campbell Live. Drive Mihingarangi Forbes out of Maori TV. Sack a bunch of sub-editors. Then they came for the cartoonists…

They displayed Edward’s tweet plus another:

The death-march to a ‘platform’ of ‘user generated-content’ and royal baby photos continues https://twitter.com/bryce_edwards/status/610902786943815681 

There are currently 58 comments on that thread, all rubbishing the current state of Fairfax and the media in general.

But The Standard, Mclauchlan and all the commenters seem to have failed to check the story further, and ioncluding failing to notice a continuation of Edwards’ twitter exchange.

?? Last changes to cartooning were last year and reflected a decision by editors to choose the best for readers.

Boucher is Executive Editor for Fairfax Media.

I’m going on what 2 reliable Fairfax insiders have told me today. But is saying the cartoonists are all safe

Last revision of cartoonists was a year ago and nothing current planned or being discussed.

So that was a clear denial of any changes to cartoonists from Fairfax’s Executive Editor and will have been noted by Edwards.

And also on Wednesday:

We’ve confirmed our new newsroom plans today. 159 roles to go and 174 new editorial jobs created. We’re hiring at ,

But Mclauchlan and in particular The Standard repeated the story anyway, the following day. And there’s no sign of any correction – they may still not know the story looks like being false.

The alternatives to old media aren’t filling the vacuum very well yet.

Bloggers rushing to reinforce their agendas with whatever pops up will probably never be a great replacement.

Can Scoop survive with crowdfunding?

Scoop has beein looking at howe to re-invent itself as a news resource site, and in an attempt to re-invent it’s financial support they are seeking crowd-funding. The Standard posted on this (yes, I read about it there and not at Scoop):

The team at Scoop are re-inventing themselves via a public conversation on the state of the media. They now have a crowdfunding page up at Pledgeme:

We plan to transform into a not-for-profit media organisation held for the benefit of all NZers, accountable to the community of news communicators and consumers it serves

Scoop is seeking one-off funding of $30,000 to enable this transformation

If you value independent news and investigative journalism please go and give them a hand at Pledgeme

I think Scoop is a very useful research resource but I don’t think it’s seen much as a go-to site for keeping up with things as they happen. I sometimes got to Scoop to try and find things I can’t find elsewhere but don’t see it featuring in the social media daily news buzz.

There’s a link to a promotional interview:

Transcript:

Jesson Wood from Scoop News here outside Parliament with Scoop editor Alistair Thompson. Al, Scoop is launching a crowdfunding campaign, what’s that all about?

Thompson: Scoop is undergoing a transformation, from a private business into a not-for-profit media organisation held for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Wood: How will a not-for-profit media organisation benefit New Zealanders?

Thompson: As the largest online news publisher Scoop is a key part of democracy. We’ve been publishing the public statements of anyone and everyone for almost twenty years, making the political process accessible to everybody.

Wood: It seems like Scoop has a strong foundation, so why go out to your crowd?

Thompson: The news business in New Zealand is in a bad way. Online revenues are falling, budgets are being slashed and standards are slipping. The public is justifiably concerned about the situation, especially in the wake of the Dirty Politics revelations.

So Scoop is building a new kind of news organisation for the twenty first century. We need to change the way we do news, building a news business that’s owned by the public, for the public that will ensure accountability and a better understanding of the implications of media ownership.

Wood: So what does this all mean for Scoop and it’s readers?

Thompson: Scoop is planning on moving forward to a more sustainable business model. This means working with new partners to make our public offereing even better, and build a better news products for our paying clients.

To kick this all off we need thirty thousand dollars. This money will be used to prepare a new legal framework, bring fresh people into the team, and support a re-focus, and support a re-focus in Scoop’s business.

If we exceed our target then extra funds will be used to optimise the site for mobile devices, something we know our readers want.

Through this crowd funding project Scoop is seeking to give online news in New Zealand a significant head start. If the next fifteen years is anything like the last fifteen years then independent ethical on-line news is something that New Zealand is going to continue to need.

Unfortunately that sounded like a party political broadcast for a minor party. It only preaches to the loyal. Alastair is more journalist than marketer.

The appeal for crowd funding is an interesting exercise but the crowd who are inspired to contribute might be sparse.

There is a definite need for independent news coverage, and especially in depth investigation and analysis. I hope Scoop can discover a recipe for survival.

I think that a one-stop-shop approach is one of their problems. Scoop is more like a library than a news broadcast.

Perhaps they should consider separating the news database and have several focussed front end sites targeting different more popular online markets. They may have already considered this.

I’d like to see Scoop survice but it’s not going to be easy.

Ok, after this I thought I had better go to Scoop and see how they are promoting this.

Scoop Is Crowd Funding – Help Scoop To Fly In 2015

There’s some heavy duty reading on that page. I might have more of a look sometime but right now I have to go and check out what’s happening in the news.

Has Bryce Edwards manufactured news?

No, he has prompted some blog opinion and then summarised it.

Whale Oil is acting upset about Bryce Edwards asking for bloggers to write on a specific topic. Edwards tweeted on Thursday:

I’m writing a Political Roundup for tmrw on ‘National’s overconfidence problem’. Any bloggers wanna address this issue, so I can link?

That’s a bit unusual, Edwards usually does round-ups of news and opinion that’s already published.But more widely it’s common for journalists to seek opinions that go with a story they are doing, it’s a core function of journalism.

The resulting column went online at NZ Herald – Bryce Edwards: National’s overconfidence problem  -and NBR yesterday.

Whale Oil blogged Herald and Bryce Edwards manufacturing news again today:

So there wasn’t any copy for him to use on his chosen topic so he went out and begged for it…to create the impression that there was over confidence and arrogance amongst National. He had nothing..and so begged for copy. And so his dutiful obedient left wing followers all piled in to help him with his column.

And concludes:

Bryce Edwards might be ab academic, but with his columns for the Herald in election year he is increasingly partisan, and in this case he has manufactureed his content and aided conveniently by a compliant and obedient left wing of the blogosphere.

So how bad was Edwards’ column? His opening paragraph:

Voters like politicians to be confident – and the National Government is certainly obliging at the moment with supreme self-assurance. In politics, however, there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and any successful government risks tipping into overconfidence, with its associated pitfalls. It could be argued that signs of arrogance are emerging at the moment for National.

It can always be argued that a Government is showing signs of arrogance and overconfidence, right through their term. They are natural occurrences in a bubble of power. They are a potential danger in an election year so it’s reasonable to examine them.

Cameron Slater has long campaigned against standards at NZ Herald and this is a continuation, plus he makes the point…

I’m not upset, merely drawing attention to the double standards of people like Bryce Edwards who accuse me of manufacturing issues or stories and then go and do it themselves aided and abetted by useful idiots who can’t see when they are being manipulated.

Everyone commenting on politics constructs/manufactures their articles and posts. There’s just different ways of doing it. As Whale Oil well knows, he’s at the forefront of constructing political narratives.

See previous post: Overconfidence versus undercompetence

What type of commenter are you?

Buzzfeed details the The 12 Types Of People You Find In News Website Comments

  1. The free speech martyr.
  2. Captain Satire.
  3. Freelance accountants.
  4. The Resistance.
  5. That bloke who just spends an awful lot of his time thinking about gay sex.
  6. Definitely, definitely not racists.
  7. Jazz bigots.
  8. Pedant’s
  9. The people who don’t realise websites can have more than one thing on them.
  10. The ones whose points are fatally undermined by the fact they also filled out the “location” bit of the comment form.
  11. Anybody who says “methinks”.
  12. …and commenters with reasonable, informed, well-argued points that illuminate the issue and bring fresh perspectives to the debate.

You need to read and view all the details, you’re sure to recognise some.

I’ve seen many of these types on news sites and blogs.  I could put quite a few names to most categories.

Like everyone else I think I’m a 12 of course.