Balanced politics, and unbalanced Stuff

On the eve of the election Stuff has a very unbalanced political page, favouring Winston Peters, Labour and Greens.

StuffElectionEve2017

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics

And that is negative for National and TOP.

The Herald is more general and more balanced:

NZHElectionEve2017

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=280

Very balanced at RNZ:

RNZElectionEve2017

Very good to see information for voters prominent at Newshub:

NewshubElectionEve2017

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/election.html

The two large parties dominate at 1 News:

1NewsElectionEve2017

https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/election

The Spinoff features the last pre-election poll from Newshub (asimilar result to Colmar Brunton) plus general election information.

TheSpinoffElectionEve2017

https://thespinoff.co.nz/category/politics/

Newsroom focuses on Maori (not positively), Labour and the Greens.

Overall today’s election coverage looks very balanced, apart from Stuff in particular and also Newsroom.

 

Former coroner calls to Break The Silence on suicide

The next article in a series at NZ Herald on suicide:  Let’s Talk: Former chief coroner Neil MacLean joins call to Break The Silence on suicide

Warning: This article is about youth suicide and may be distressing for some readers.

Former chief coroner Neil MacLean says breaking the silence on suicide could curb the “horrifying” number of young New Zealanders killing themselves.

“This is a drum I’ve been beating for a long time. We cannot ignore the sheer numbers and rate – it’s bigger than the road toll,” said MacLean, who retired from the post in 2015.

New Zealand has the worst teen suicide rate (officially those aged 15-19) in the world and the second worst youth suicide rate (25 and under). Our annual number of deaths has shown no signs of abating in the past 20 years.

In a special series called Break the Silence, the New Zealand Herald is aiming to bring youth suicide out of the shadows. MacLean has been one of the country’s biggest crusaders in this area and said suicide was one of the most difficult issues he faced during his almost 40 years as a coroner.

“Any unexpected death is going to produce a different type of grief, but with a suicide, particularly as it gets younger, there’s a new intensity of grief,” he said. The youngest suicide MacLean was aware of in New Zealand was that of an 8-year-old boy.

“There’s a feeling of waste, blame and anger. Everybody struggles to understand why it is when, generally the will to live is so strong, that a significant proportion of people get to the end where there is no option.”

Misunderstanding breeds fear. “It’s almost as if there’s a fear suicide is something you can catch, almost like an infection, and that if you stomp it out or ignore it, it will go away.

Some think it’s best to bury our head in the sand. Not me,” MacLean told the Herald.

During his time as chief coroner, MacLean controversially kickstarted the release of New Zealand’s annual provisional suicide statistics, allowing the public to see the number of suspected suicides for the first time.

Silence on suicide has been orthodox in New Zealand since the mid-1990s, largely because of a school of thought that talking about the issue could lead to suicidal ideation, copycat deaths or suicide contagion.

MacLean received swift criticism for releasing the statistics at the time, but stands by his decision.

“If people know what’s going on there is a better chance to do something about it. Like start talking about what we can do to help these kids.”

“The reality is, that although there are various theories of sociologists, psychologists and other disciplines, we are no closer to understanding why it is when the substantial majority of the population, including youth, do not commit suicide, and life is seen as precious, a small minority do not see life as precious.

“Despite my long experience in this area, neither do I. However, one thing I am very clear on through contact with thousands of New Zealanders, whether at inquests, lectures, talks, seminars or the like, is that our understanding in this area is still plagued with misinformation, and reluctance in some circles to open up the discussion and to face the reality of this puzzling phenomenon.

“I know from personal experience, most people want more information, particularly when someone they know is involved. What are the signs to look out for and how can they help?

“There are some encouraging signs of a willingness to open up the whole area of self-harming and self-inflicted death in New Zealand. I believe that done properly, such discussion can be beneficial and that to dismiss such discussion as dangerous and unwise is not helpful.”

Full article:

Previous articles:

WHERE TO GET HELP:

If you are worried about your or someone else’s mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.

OR IF YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE ELSE:

• LIFELINE: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• SUICIDE CRISIS HELPLINE: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
• KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757

ComCom and Dominion don’t get it

Today’s Dominion Post editorial complains The Commerce Commission doesn’t get it

Do they?

The ground is moving under journalism companies everywhere. Readers are migrating in their hordes to the web, with its endless flood of information.

Newspapers are fighting for survival, and news websites, even the most prominent, struggle to compete with the ravenous global attention-grabbers – the Facebooks and the Googles.

These are all banalities by now. It is a shame for New Zealand that the Commerce Commission has not properly grappled with them.

Fairfax needs to do a lot better grappling with the real problems facing media in New Zealand.

It ought to have seen how massive the media challenge ahead is – and allowed the companies to join, to give them a fighting chance of pushing on for years to come. Instead, it looked to the past

Bigger and bigger media companies is from the past to perhaps.

The Commission took a far too rosy view of the near future, banking on newspapers’ survival, lethargy from the broadcasters, and the continued success of the companies’ websites. But the market is in a state of near-constant upheaval.

So more innovative change is required than merging into a bigger company. That won’t address the problems – unless Fairfax and NZME thought it would enable them to just put up a pay wall. That could easily be a disaster.

Fairfax-NZME merger ruling today

The Commerce Commission will be announcing it’s decision this morning on whether Fairfax and NZME will be allowed to merge.

If allowed this would combine most of the country’s newspapers into one company, as well as the Stuff and NZ herald websites.

Stuff: Regulator set to rule on Fairfax, NZME merger

Publishers Fairfax New Zealand and NZME will find out on Wednesday whether the Commerce Commission will let them join forces.

If the merger is allowed, what would the combined company own?

The Stuff and NZ Herald websites, almost all of the country’s major newspapers with the exception of The Otago Daily Times, a raft of community newspapers and magazines, and about half the country’s commercial radio stations, including Newstalk ZB, The Hits and ZM.

It would also own daily-deals site GrabOne, video entertainment site WatchMe and majority stakes in fast-growing community site Neighbourly and internet provider Stuff Fibre.

The traditional media business model has been under severe pressure for years due to the competition introduced by widespread Internet use and dramatically diminished advertising revenues. Online advertising is dominated by Google and Facebook.

And printed newspapers are struggling to survive.

It’s easier to do crosswords online now as well as get a wide variety of news.

Whatever the decision today NZME and Fairfax face challenging futures.

Regardless of the decision this may not be the end of it.

If the ruling is ‘yes’, could it be appealed?

All the interested parties that attended a Commerce Commission conference in December would have the right to appeal.

They include Television New Zealand, Three-owner MediaWorks, and Allied Press, which owns The Otago Daily Times.

However, the costs and risks involved mean an appeal might not be a given.

And if the ruling is ‘no?

Fairfax NZ and NZME could appeal and may already have identified possible grounds.

Those grounds centre on whether it can reject an application solely because of concerns that it can’t put a value on, like media diversity.

But the appeals process on a point of legal principle could go on for years. Both companies told the commission in March that when it came to the merger “later will be too late”.

Lawyers may fiddle while newspapers burn.

Peters demands honesty of others

Winston Peters has played the media again, getting the attention he wanted when he launched a racial attack on two NZ Herald journalists – see Peters plays media with racist taunts.

And media have continued to give him a platform. Newshub ironically report on him asking for honesty in Winston Peters launches attack on immigrant reporters.

“They came out with the report saying the mass majority of immigration is not coming from Asia”

The Herald had reported:

Despite China and India being among the biggest source countries for permanent residents, they are not among the top five for direct migrant workers.

Massey University sociologist Paul Spoonley said migrant from Asian countries were less likely to get direct access to New Zealand on skilled work visa.

“They are more likely to transition to permanent residence through temporary work and study visa routes using options such as the transition to work provisions,” said Professor Spoonley, an expert on immigration.

Peters:

While it might sound like you to be Trumpesque, but when somebody like those two reporters doesn’t bother to call the one party that’s been strong on immigration…

Strongly against immigration.

…and for very sound reasons and which is being proven right every month now…

It’s not ‘very sound’ to insinuation against and directly attack Asian immigrants, which is what Peters has done for years.

…as we have for a long long time, if they don’t bother to give you a call to see whether or not you agree with what their analysis is,

They didn’t go to any politicians, they went to sociologist Spoonley and health worker Aeziel Niegos for comment. Why go to a cranky old broken record who has a history of misrepresenting immigration?

it somewhat suggests they’re biased before they start.

It suggests they were looking for a different angle on immigration rather than repeating the same old.

Now you can find that Trumpesque, or Brexitesque or any other esque you like, but this is an election period, and we expect some honesty with the New Zealand public.

Does anyone expect honesty from Peters?

Well they’re like the New Zealand Initiative, who are majorly immigrants themselves.

That’s a dirty claim, and possibly inaccurate. Here are the people from NZ Initiative, only one or two out of 14 look possibly like Asian immigrants or children of immigrants, some others will have been born in other countries, but that is irrelevant to what they do, unless Peters is trying to imply that immigrants shouldn’t try to contribute to research and discussions in New Zealand.

…and they are heavy into being pro mass immigration.

“Mass immigration” is one of the dirtiest claims that Peters keeps peddling. New Zealand has long grown through immigration, but we have nothing like unlimited “mass immigration”, that is nothing more than dishonest dog whistling.

And “heavy into being pro” is a dishonest swipe at the NZ Initiative.

And meanwhile, the Herald has in it’s other pages whole forests of information about what’s going wrong with infrastructure in Auckland. Can’t they make the connection between the two?

I don’t think anyone doesn’t see the connection between an increasing population and pressures on Auckland’s housing and infrastructure. If New Zealand wants to grow – and the population has grown for centuries – then we need immigration, and a corresponding increase in housing and infrastructure. Does Peters want stagnation?

And that’s why I make this allegation, and I’ve never had a call from those two gentleman as to what New Zealand First thinks.

So Peters appears peeved about not getting asked to comment. His views are well known and hardly news. And his crankiness and dishonesty and attention seeking are not good reasons to give him free publicity in election year.

More journalists should ignore him unless he can contribute intelligently and accurately.

No, they go to everyone else but New Zealand First, because they know we’re going to dissect their misinformation, and expose it for what it is.

They didn’t do anything close to”go to everyone else but New Zealand First” so that’s another false claim from Peters.

All Peters has done is expose himself for what he is, an attention seeking dishonest crank.

“You have two immigrants themselves as reporters for the Herald writing what is clearly misleading information [and] headlining it on the front page.

“It’s ridiculous [and] it’s misinformation.”

Peters accusing someone else of misinformation oodles irony.

His reaction to not being asked for comment, just as no other politician was asked for comment , is what is ridiculous.

As is the amount of publicity that the media inevitably give Peters when he winds up his  racist attacks.

It’s still five months until the election. It looks like it could be a long and dirty campaign.

Peters demanding honesty of others is unhinged hypocrisy.

Peters plays media with racist taunts

Winston Peters may have had a reasonable point to make about a Herald item today on immigration, but his attack on two journalists with Asian sounding names was widely criticised and deplored.

The Herald has responded with a statement from the editor.

The original Herald article: Top source countries for migrant workers are not Asian

A rise in work visas has been the driving force behind record immigration numbers but the main source countries are not from Asia.

A Herald analysis into immigration data found work visa arrivals increased from 16,787 in 2004 to 41,576 last year.

The top five source countries for work last year are the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, South Africa and the United States of America.

The United Kingdom, which made up 16.6 per cent of work visas issued, has twice as many as those of Germany on 8.8 per cent.

Australians do not require visas to work in New Zealand – the Statistics New Zealand
figures however shows people coming from Australia as their last country of residence.

A response from the journalists: Why Winston Peters got it wrong: The Herald responds to his attack on our journalists

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters today released a media statement about the Herald’s coverage of work visas and the top five source countries for work visas last year. The statement’s opening paragraph read: “New Zealand Herald propaganda written by two Asian immigrant reporters stating the top five source nations for work visas are not Asian is completely wrong and based on flawed analysis, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.” Here is the response from those reporters, Harkanwal Singh and Lincoln Tan.

A decent way to address a contentious issue by Michael Reddell: Which countries did Essential Skills visa grantees come from in the last year?

News on another immigration record: Record migration puts squeeze on housing, roads and the Government

Related video: Watch NZH Focus: Net migration to New Zealand has hit another record

 

Media failure over donation reporting?

Posted yesterday (Sunday) at 9:30 am on Whale Oil: Another big donation for National, none for Labour yet

National has scored another big donation, again from Stone Shi.

A New Zealand Herald article National gets $50k donation from Oravida founder is quoted (without being linked), dated Friday.

So, Act and National are receiving big donations. Why isn’t Labour?

Then an our later at Whale Oil: So, a rich man gave money to Labour and the Greens, yet no one reported it

Earlier today I posted about the media announcing that Stone Shi gave $50,000 to the National party and that Jenny Gibbs has given a hundy to Act.

But, what is curious is the lack of reporting over another large donation, given just a few weeks before Stone Shi’s donation.

So, just three weeks before Stone Shi donated to National, Phillip Mills donated the same amount to the Labour party. Why was there no news of this in the mainstream media?

It isn’t like it is hidden, it is just two entries down the list from the Shi and Gibbs donations.

This can only be a deliberate deception by the NZ Herald to ignore large donations to Labour and highlight large donations to National and Act. It should be noted that on 9 November 2016 Phillip Mills also gave $65,000 to the Green party. Strangely that wasn’t reported either.

The register of donations is published in the interests of transparency to the government, yet the very people who are supposed to guard that transparency have failed the public because they have only reported donations to National and Act and not also to Labour and the Greens.

This is tantamount to a corruption of our news media, willingly, by them. The Media party has an agenda, and here is a perfect example of how they mislead, this time by omitting pertinent facts.

The bias is obvious, you just need to know where to look to reveal it.

National gets a donation, it becomes news. Labour gets a donation, not a mutter, not a murmur, not a mention. That is media dishonesty.

This is gobsmacking on a number of levels.

So Slater cut and pasted a Herald article and used it to diss Labour. Then he slams the ‘dishonest journalism’ that he repeated. I wonder if someone tipped him off to have a look at the donation list himself after his initial post, or perhaps he was just fed the details.

Whale Oil still claims to be media. From About:

Whaleoil is the fastest-growing media organisation in New Zealand. Its brand of news, opinion, analysis and entertainment is finding fertile ground with an audience that is feeling abandoned by traditional news media.

They often criticise other media  – while frequently using other media’s content. They claim they are a new way of doing journalism, much better than those they ridicule.

In this case Slater used Herald content to try and score a political hit against Labour, then turned on the Herald for ‘Dishonest journalism’. That in itself is highly ironic.

But why didn’t Whale Oil report on the donation to Labour three weeks ago? It’s as easy for them to monitor Electoral Commission donation lists as it is for the Herald.

They are slamming the Herald for not reporting on something that they didn’t report themselves, until they reacted to a Herald article that they used for their own purposes.

Whale Oil shows few signs of being a media site that does journalism these days.

The Daily Blog does a lot more original content than them now.

Whale Oil has reverted to being a blog that relies on repeating other media content, with trashing of the media that feeds them being some of their only original content.

The failure of Whale Oil to report the donation to Labour earlier is a symptom of it’s failure to become a credible alternative media outlet.

‘Breaking news’ broken

I think that once upon a time ‘breaking news’ used to be occasional, bigger than normal fresh news. Online it has become a joke, a phrase to ignore. It is often just used as a way to promote click bait.

This from NZ Herald today is one of the stupidest I’ve seen.

nzh-breakingnews

Either the Herald machine is very poorly designed, or someone has no idea what qualifies as news let alone what ‘breaking’ means.

The news is that ‘breaking news’ is broken.

Toilet journalism

There have been a number of journalists involved in the gross (more meanings than one) overdoing of the Aaron Smith story.

Amongst the worse examples were the stream of clickbait articles at the Herald, Stuff apparently finding an aunt of Smith’s and asking her what she thought (apparently she didn’t know he was in a relationship), and 1 News scooping the poop with footage from inside the bog.

On that last stoop:

There will be a plaque in that Christchurch airport toilet. “This is where grown-up New Zealand journalism finally died.”

That was two days ago, journalism has been rolling in it’s grave since.

Yesterday the Herald decided to stuff up some more lives by pursuing the woman involved (the one in the toilet, not the snooping one who must be worried the hacks might turn on her).

An entire story about how a woman wanted the media to leave her alone. , do you not see the problem with that?

Someone else did see the problem:

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Toilet journalism sums it up well.

I can count 24 articles about or referring to Smith at the herald on Thursday.

On Friday I can count thirteen articles! Some of these are about the All Blacks but refer the the Smith story in them, but most are focussing on the story that wouldn’t flush.

So far today NZ Herald has five articles on or mentioning Aaron Smith.

I guess journalists churning out an endless diarrhoea of stories are ‘just doing their job’ but from what I’ve seen many journalists who have escaped the toilet assignments are despairing at what their medium has become.

Mood of the boardroom 2016

The annual ‘Mood of the Boardroom’ survey gets extensive coverage today in NZ Herald, with Leaders show more optimism looking like the lead article (I’ve just heard a pessimistic sounding Andrew Little on Breakfast).

Strong GDP growth in the past two quarters has put New Zealand near the top of the OECD pack for annual economic growth, but the good data has been tempered by concerns about growing inequality as house prices continue to soar.

Global worries also continue to undercut the optimism as nervous sharemarket investors brace for a lift in United States interest rates.

It’s an economic outlook broadly reflected in the results of the Mood of the Boardroom survey.

On the local front there is some serious optimism breaking out and that can’t be a bad thing.

Last year’s gloomier Mood of the Boardroom outlook results came as we were bracing ourselves for a dairy downturn.

There was some real concern about how the fragile economy would cope.

But with a bit of a nudge from record immigration levels, we’ve managed to keep growing through the worst of it.

Liam Dann concludes:

In the end, despite increased concern about social issues such as housing, the Government can still feel comfortable about its support base among senior business leadership.

An overwhelming majority agree the Government’s current economic management is good.

Judged on the economic environment in which most companies are doing their business this year, it is not hard to see why.

More: