Can Radio New Zealand Trust Labour?

CAPTION: Clare Curran and Carol Hirschfeld.

Labour Party plans for big changes at Radio New Zealand are in a deep hole, after the Broadcasting Minister’s errant breakfast meeting with RNZ news boss Carol Hirschfeld.
Revelations about the encounter sparked a political storm, but Clare Curran has kept digging, and said this week that “this is a democracy” and she can meet with whomever she likes.
Th upshot is that Labour should consider abandoning its broadcasting policy, or the minister. There has been a breach of trust.

Can Labour implement its transformation of RNZ + ?

Curran’s breakfast with Hirschfeld, at the Astoria cafe on Wellington’s Lambton Quay, came two days before the minister was due to meet RNZ chairman Richard Griffin and chief executive Paul Thompson. Both men are known to be sceptical about Labour’s plans.

We don’t know the topics the two women discussed. It beggars belief, though, that either of them thought the breakfast date was acceptable.
The issue of most concern, however, is not that Hirschfeld attended an inappropriate meeting with a Cabinet minister. (There are strict rules against ministers trying to influence state-owned media.) It is that she repeatedly misled Thompson, her boss, by insisting that she had merely bumped into Curran at the Astoria. He, in turn, assured a parliamentary committee that the encounter had not been not pre-arranged.

Remember, this breakfast was back in December. Hirschfeld was then RNZ’s head of news and New Zealand was in the full flushes of Jacinda euphoria. The Labour Party, in its broadcasting policy, was dangling a $38 million funding carrot in front of RNZ.

But staff say that apart from Hirschfeld, RNZ’s top management was treating the policy – for a full-scale TV channel, RNZ Plus – with caution.

RNZ was right to accept Hirschfeld’s resignation. The incident has damaged the state broadcaster, which has long tried to overcome the overblown claims that it was biased in favour of the Left.

But RNZ staff I spoke to said Curran was getting off scot-free. Given the tensions between Curran and RNZ, should the PM step in to ensure Labour’s policy can be implemented?

eGriffin and Thompson have been wary of Labour’s plans for an RNZ TV channel. But in light of the Government’s belligerence on the issue, they couldn’t ignore the policy, and Hirschfeld was appointed to a new job overseeing the development of video, with a particular focus on Morning Report and Checkpoint.

Hirschfeld – who has a background in television – is said to have been a big supporter of the Labour proposal.
Staff I spoke to shared the concerns of Griffin and Thompson. They viewed the policy as unsustainable and feared it would take resources away from RNZ’s core skill base – radio.

The number of people watching video is so tiny that the cost cannot be justified. As one staffer said: “Ever since she [Hirschfeld] got here, it has been about putting in TV everywhere.”
More video content is seen as inevitable, but television is expensive and the proposed $38 million is a drop in the ocean.

Richard Griffin Inadvertantly lied to a select committee.

Now seems a strange time to be moving into the challenging TV business.
Labour’s policy rightly addresses a need for public broadcasting that is ignored under the present commercial-focused broadcast system.
But turning RNZ into a TV channel while ignoring Television New Zealand seems irrational.
Maybe with a minister cooperating with the RNZ board, such a move could be made to work.
But Curran’s action has severely threatened the trust relationship with RNZ. It is hard to see how RNZ Plus can proceed, under this minister at least.

 

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Genter Talks Like An Activist, Not A Minister

CAPTION: It is Activism 101. But dismissing citizens as “old white men” indicates Julie Anne Genter has not adjusted to her new role.

Green Party activists have been slow to adjust to the New World Order: a Labour-led government where they are part of the ruling coalition and not just agitators looking for attention.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter epitomised the mismatch this week with her comment that “old white men” should stand down to make way for more diverse corporate boards.

Stuff reported:

Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter says old white men need to “move on” from company boards to help close the gender pay gap. Speaking to students at Christchurch’s Cobham Intermediate School on Thursday, Genter said the private sector needed to address the low level of female representation on New Zealand company boards if more businesses were to be led by women.About 85 per cent of board members were male, and many were “old white men in their 60s”.“Some of them need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent,” she said, later clarifying she had “no problem with old white men” on company boards generally.

It was a minister of the Crown talking to kids. It seems that “pale, stale males” ― as some other critics call them ― are ruining it for everyone again. It’s a bad call to dismiss a whole section of the population like that. It shows that she still hasn’t got to grips with her role.  Identity politics are not going to help resolve the equal pay issue. 

Genter is trying to be co co-leader of the Greens

I am ambivalent about the older male dominance of corporate boards. I can see the logic of encouraging more diverse people with diverse backgrounds. More worker involvement in business certainly works in Germany.

But whatever happens, the focus of corporate boards is going to remain on delivering profits to investors. Women directors will still make the same harsh decisions that men sometimes make. More-diverse boards will include clever people, but still include racists and sexists on occasion.I worry about the language used by Genter and the activist media. I’m not sure I want activists ― especially those who use terms like “old white men” ― telling businesses who they should not have leading them.

Removed from the double-speak of justification, the term “old white males” is ageist, racist and sexist. It is unnecessarily alienating.To her credit, Genter engaged with her critics. But she has an unfortunate tendency to think she knows better than everyone else and does not try to convince people she is listening. Her reaction does not generate optimism for the future. Genter is making her own bid to become joint leader of a party where deriding “old white men” and “pale, stale males” is acceptable. 

Her role as associate transport minister makes sense given her expertise in transport planning.

Genter is not alone in being stuck in the activist rut. Golriz Ghahraman and Chlöe Swarbrick have not moved on from being in election-campaign mode. Swarbrick has been accomplished as a new MP. But Genter and Swarbrick gave Parliament a firm ticking off when a majority of MPs did not back the Greens’ bid to partially legalise cannabis.

James Shaw doesn’t talk activist jargon.

They lost the vote, they screwed up. A politician’s job is to get people on their side, and they failed to do that. Likewise, the collapse of the Greens’ vote in the election after Metiria Turei’s confession about her questionable welfare and electoral issues is not blamed on a shambolic party, but on an errant media. The Greens are backed by whiny journalists and media commentators who target the hip activist audience to sell ads.

But she is a minister of the Crown and needs to talk to all New Zealanders – not just her pals on protest marches.

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Branding Checkpoint

CAPTION. Mary Wilson would have conducted a more rigorous interview with Renae Maihi.

The Checkpoint interview: https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2018633295/we-ve-had-enough-of-racism-in-nz

 

RNZ star presenter John Campbell has worked hard to diminish the worst excesses of celebrity journalism from his days at Campbell Live on TV3. The editorialising. The personal takes.

Sir Robert Jones.

This week he interviewed a Rotorua filmmaker and writer Renae Maihi who is organising a petition to remove Sir Bob Jones knighthood because of his comments in a scrapped NBR column, deemed racist by some.  In my opinion the interview was deficient. It was more about identifying the branding of Campbell and Checkpoint than it was about debating an issue. Maihi was articulate – a media person – and capable of dealing with challenges to her position. It was a debate on free speech not feelings and Campbell should have challenged her assumptions. That is what Checkpoint would have done before Campbell when “Scary Mary” Wilson was in charge.

Checkpoint has some serious wins under Campbell, but Campbell reverts to chat when he agrees with protagonists.  I understand a change in approach to the show had been recognised when senior executive Gael Woods was at RNZ. Woods was made redundant last year and has lodged personal grievance case was due to be heard by the Employment Relations Authority in Wellington in April. A different approach seems to have won approval from senior management at RNZ.

Two weeks after the brouhaha over Bob Jones’ offending column in NBR. Checkpoint revisited the issue with a Skype article on Maihi who had organised the petition with 58,000 signatures. Jones has a reputation as a stirrer and publicity seeker.

Renea Maihi – writer and film-maker.

His column that included a small segment suggesting Maori should use Waitangi Day to show their gratitude to their colonisers. Jones’ insists it was satire. It was only online for a day before the NBR responded to criricism and took it down.  Jones resigned his commission with NBR.

Jacinda Ardern has said the government was not going to remove Jones’s knighthood. In that context, the ongoing story is a debate on freedom of speech . The main problem with the column was that I was not very good. Screen grabs of the offending article were on the internet. But it’s still not clear how many people actually read it in full; Maihi  is entitled to her view. But for seven minutes on Checkpoint we had the state broadcaster examining the hurt she felt – that people were saying such things 250 years after colonisation that hurt Maori people’s mana. She felt media should not publish material that was disparaging toward Maori. She did not buy the satire argument.

“We have to be very responsible what we are putting out in the media, We want people feeling good about it. To which some would say. that’s the price of freedom of speech.

“You just get to a point where we are still having to defend out mana, and we need to sort this out because it has to stop.  Messaging is very important,” Maihi said.

So this will no doubt add to the campaign for those who believe some things cannot be said.

Campbell related to Maihi’s angst, and that seemed to colour his interview. We were treated to an insight into the morals of Campbell household which he said had a policy to “not be a dick”. But it was a soft interview on an important topic. Freedom-of-speech versus the right to not be offended. There was no debate on the premise of the campaign: That the state should punish people who say things that cause offense to others. Checkpoint did not question whether opinion should be regulated.

In my opinion, this interview was more about branding for RNZ. Signalling its priorities. It’s what you would expect from The Project. The Wireless, and The Spinoff,  not Checkpoint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anti- Snowflake Peterson Transits To MSM

 

VIDEO: A British Channel 4 debate exposed a clash of cultures. It was a good bun fight.

 

In my last post, I mentioned how some journalists promote their own personal opinions and philosophies in their media. 

The University of Toronto, where Peterson Lois Professor of Psychology.

The emergence of the Canadian academic Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor, illustrate a wider change going on.  

I won’t dive too deep into Peterson’s views and philosophy. Broadly, he attacks what he sees as tyranny of political correctness, group-think and virtue-signalling bringing down free-thinking and individuality in western societies.

He claims a “post modernist” approach to disciplines in Western universities has heightened the growth of identity politics, the tendency for people to take offense all the time “snowflakes” and the growth of “safe spaces” where students can avoid ideas they find threatening.

His views have been rejected by some academics and by Left-focused journalists, who see it as part of a right-wing agenda associated with Donald Trump, white supremacy et al. His supporters say that is nonsense.

Peterson – presents an affable face as an articulate promoter of free thinking, But critics see him as a false prophet from the ‘alt right’. For his part he attacks the radical Left wing and “radical feminists” 

The battle between Peterson and the Left came to a head a while ago in an elf hour interview on Britain’s Channel 4.

Cathy Newman is a star interviewer at Channel 4 in Britain.

Channel 4 star interviewer Cathy Newman challenged Peterson,  but most observers concluded that she lost her barracking argument with the confident and affable academic.

Peterson remained calm and logical through scattergun and sometimes sharp argument from Newman.

To be fair, Newman was doing a standard job for a journalist interviewing an academic on MSM, trying to question him on the real world implications of his world view.

It was entertaining television – that was her mission – and she was a limited by liberal assumptions. 

Newman’s views were Leftish and feminist – as is the nature of the Channel 4 audience.

Her big failure was in underestimating Peterson’s sharp mind. Her approach was to treat him as a  loopy right-wing academic.

But he is a political figure, whose sometimes old-fashioned views about self-responsibility and dare I say it, common sense, strike a chord, especially with a male audience that watches his videos on You Tube,

I find his rationale and views intriguing. I am wary of his belligerance. I suppose, a baldly masculine rational view that could turn into a cult figure.

But the more that his detractors try to pull him down – the more you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

New Zealand writer Danyl McLauchlan took  took a swing at Peterson in The Spinoff.

The Guardian produced a hit piece recently. In little old New Zealand the respected writer Danyl Mclauchlan had at him in kiwi liberal bible The Spinoff.

In the UK, the notoriously conservative Daily Mail recently produced a large and mostly positive profile of him.

Left and right-wing media seem to clustering for and against him.

Peterson growls that the “extreme Left wing” though supports things like free health care. He has a background in working class jobs, a stark contrast to many of his detractors.

Some aspects of his is mirrored by Brendan O’ Neill, the editor of a hybrid Marxist anti-liberal publication called spiked. 

As well as taking part in international debates and appearing on UK current affairs shows, O’Neill also writes for conservative media such as The Sun and The Spectator. Their views are becoming less academic and more mainstream.

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Old White Men: They Just Ruin Everything

During an introspective moment tending to the barbecue, I concluded that Society is in the middle of a revolution. We are re-assessing the meaning of “Truth” and the role of public institutions in maintaining it. It’s no great analysis, I know. The amazing political, social, technological and media changes are been debated  in all corners of the Internet. New Zealand faces the same existential issues as the rest of the world. And we are stumbling through them in our own way. 

Continue reading “Old White Men: They Just Ruin Everything”

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Let’s keep an eye on the new State TV channel

CAPTION . Can Broadcasting minister Clare Curran ensure that the new RNZ TV is independent?

channel

Call me a doubting Thomas, but I’m wary about government plans to establish a new TV channel with public broadcasting values. The National Party neglected broadcasting for nine years, and punished Radio New Zealand by starving it of funding. However,  I worry that Labour will be too hands on.

I can understand that RNZ is grateful that Labour is promising expansion with a new TV channel to run in tandem with its radio and digital arm.

But politicians have a love affair with TV, and the public should maintain a sceptical eye on how Labour runs its new low budget TV channel. Labour needs to spell out again how the new channel will be independent and non- partisan.

John Campbell will likely be a star of RNZ TV

Labour has promised  it will be independent. But we need some more details before its plans for a new public media commission are pushed into place. The surprising Labour manifesto item developed late in the piece turned swiftly into policy,  and now it has turned into action. When the policy was announced two weeks before the election, few thought Labour would win.

Labour discussions included the Coalition for Better Broadcasting and academics including Dr Peter Thompson, a media lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington.. I guess that other cultural folk and individual broadcasters would have been asked. But RNZ itself was not consulted, nor were Fairfax and MediaWorks, which have complained that the creation of another state TV channel  will make it hard for commercial channels to achieve scale.

Private sector objections are no a reason to scuttle the plan. The New Zealand public has been diddled for decdes with NZ On Air commercial TV shows ignoring the need for genuine public interest media. And journalism is in trouble. We need to be careful the government profiles a solution and does not make the problems worse. 

 

Kim Hill has TV experience.

Curran said that Labour had set aside $38 million had been set aside for the new channel in the upcoming budget. It s a very small amount given the costs associated with starting a TV channel. Curran has talked encouragingly about setting up a public media funding committee for RNZ +, distinct from NZ on Air,  to allocate funding for projects. The Ministers office says that the appointees to that Commission will decided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The makeup of the Commission – and the definition on what RNZ + will show, will decide the integrity of RNZ +.

it is essential that Labour and RNZ take a wide interpretation of pubic broadcasting and serves the wider audience – including working class people. Curran insists that the Public Media Commission will be apolitical and independent. But the public need to be sure that RNZ + does not solely become a vehicle for identity and interest groups,  and the ideological liberal view of the world that has dominated at RNZ.

New Zealand media is at a pivotal point and Labour is enjoying an extended honeymoon with the media. Globally there are big changes afoot with the growth of big social campaigns.  We need to ensure that RNZ + stands apart from ideological fashion – it remains objective and sceptical in the tradition of public broadcasting, dealing with different points of view.

Will Wallace Chapman get a TV show?

The NZ Herald reported yesterday that RNZ is already facing big challenges, in part over the costs for its existing focus on televising existing radio shows, such as Checkpoint. There have been question marks over the potential for a pro- Left bias in the RNZ digital product.

Clare Curran and Labour may do a fabulous job  creating a new  public broadcasting service, however, in my opinion,  there is good reason for the public to keep an eye on how RNZ+ develops. 

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UPDATED: Opinion is entrenched in the state TV newsroom TVNZ HAS NO EXPLICIT WRITTEN POLICY ON ITS JOURNALISTS WRITiNG OUTSIDE COMMENTARY

UPDATE, Sometime TVNZ 1 news presenter Miriama Kamo wrote an article of The Spinoff, 

TVNZ News managers said through a spokeswoman: “A number of our journalists and presenters contribute to other media outlets –  be it as radio hosts, as print columnists or panel guests. Some of these roles require personal opinions to be offered.

“We’re realistic about the fact that our journalists and presenters are people who hold personal viewpoints and there are occasions where these can be expressed and healthy debate can be engaged in.  While we don’t have an explicit written policy for our people taking on these roles, additional media responsibilities are assessed in a case by case basis to ensure the editorial strength of our newsroom, said spokeswoman Rachel Howard.

Do you remember the days we did not know the personal politics and opinions of newseaders?

Today in “The Spinoff” the sometimes TVNZ One News newsreader, Marae and Sunday host opined that people were wrong to comment about there being less animosity at Waitangi.

“Why do we praise ‘peaceful’ Waitangi Day celebrations? It suggests that agitators behaved, that they weren’t naughty, that they towed the line to allow everyone to have a ‘nice’ day.” she asked.

I tend to agree with her. But I was surprised to see that a high-profile and ostensibly independent newsreader and current affairs like Kamo presenting her personal views on politics. 

I imagine Kamo views her role as an interviewer on the current affairs programmes Marae and Sunday as justification for her taking a position. But I think news reading is special and there has never been a time when neutrality is more important. Its an old-fashioned view but her opinions in Spinoff queer the pitch for her newsreader role, in my opinion. Maybe its a one off But it’s a worrying trend at TVNZ and state broadcasting in general,

Kamo said in Spinoff

I find praise of a peaceful Waitangi Day jarring. The absence of protest is not the indicator of a successful Waitangi Day. Whether protest occurs or does not occur is not the measure of anything other than the mood of the marginalised. And if it is the measure, then it is for Māori to decide whether Waitangi celebrations were ‘successful’…. Every year, Waitangi Day is approached with trepidation – how much protest will there be, what form will it take? National leader Bill English was spooked by it, suggesting to RNZ that his decision not to attend Waitangi last year saw marae trustees organise themselves this year to see ‘dignity restored to that event’ – read, no protest. In his view, this is why the new government received a warm reception.

… the onus is not on Māori to smooth the path for others to come into their home; a home that has been, figuratively and literally, systematically dismantled and destroyed over decades. Labour too has a lot of ground to make up, so it’s good that Jacinda Ardern spoke with verve and hope for a more equitable partnership. Her warm reception reflects the historic grassroots support by many Māori for the party, the ongoing excitement around the prime minister’s leadership, but also her pregnancy.

It was a strong articulate opinion. But if she continues to be a pundit it queers the pitch for her reading the new.  I’m hoping this is not a sign of things to come. 

Hosking was never sold as being neutral – Kamo is.

Kamo objected to Mike Hosking over his arrogant utterances about the former mayor of New Plymouth Andrews Judd, It was a low point for Seven Sharp, in my opinion. TVNZ producers became too loose handling Hosking’s opinions. In some ways Hosking was less problematical. Seven Sharp was not a bulletin and there was no pretence that he was neutral, 

The state broadcaster hired Hosking to rark with a right wing viewpoints that he had promoted in other media for ages.. admittedly, she did not express her views on TVNZ. If TVNZ really valued her opinion, its surprising they don’t appear to have run them on TVNZ.co.nz website.

I’d argue that the neutrality is more important now than it has ever been

TVNZ would’ve had to give Kamo the go-ahead. I asked spokeswoman Rachel Howard about the approach. She  said that presenters giving their personal opinions has been around for years.

That is true. Paul Henry was very opinionated on Breakfast. TVNZ did not mind that while ratings kept up. Hilary Barry has liked to promote her feminist sensibilities to the world.

Now Hilary has been moved from Breakfast to Seven-Sharp, she is being replaced by Hayley Holt, the former Green Party candidate, though TVNZ says she knows her politics can’t intrude on the show,

Kamo has some strong and well- articulated views.

But I am pleased that Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie keep their opinions to themselves, as do Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts on Newsbub.

It would-be worrying in the current environment if TVNZ decides that newsreaders don’t need to be neutral. 

 

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“Bloody Proud” Hayley May Interrogate Jacinda

CAPTION: Hayley Holt on the campaign trail with the Greens.

 

I know its easy to dismiss breakfast TV and the 7pm magazine shows as fluff. But they are still a part of the news eco-system, and I worry that – based the pr5e-Christmas Jacindamania – broadcasters are prone to giving the new Labour government an easy ride.

TVNZ looks to be joining RNZ Digital in a drift to the Left, and TV3’s “The Project”  is aimed at the young urban Leftie set.

Things have changed at TVNZ. On Seven Sharp, TVNZ allowed Mike Hosking to mouth off his pro-National opinions.

He is entitled to his views, and his bias would not have been an issue on a privately-owned TV channel.

But TVNZ allowed him to take over the editorialising for a TV news programme on a state channel.

Now Labour is in power, Hosking has been replaced with Hilary Barry and TVNZ has hired former Green candidate Hayley Holt to take over her job co-hosting Breakfast.

Its odd.  A few months after Holt was the Greens was beside herself, talking about Jacinda Ardern on twitter.. 

“Sometimes I get choked up thinking about how bloody proud I am to have @jacindaardern as our PM. NZ is on the right side of history today”

She “totally” agreed with another correspondent that she loved the Prime -Minister.

 

I guess that is just social media hyperbole, but its hard to see how you leave that idolatry behind. TVNZ confirms Holt may be interviewing the PM on nationwide breakfast TV. TVNZ says that Holt – unlike Hosking – is a journalist.

I’m sure that Holt will provide the fun an fizz that is required for breakfast TV.

She has left the Green Party. TVNZ believes Holt’s politics need not interfere with her journalists role and is aware of the requirements of the job,.  

I’ll be pilloried by her legion of young fans and journalists, 

I just think that TVNZ they should try hard for the political interviews to be conducted by Jack Tame. 

TVNZ tried to convince us that the bias to the Right was okay for Hosking. Not it is doing the same hiring a former Green candidate, TVNZ ending his gig was widely applauded by Lefties. Holt may well turn out to be a great breakfast TV host, but the public deserves more care with political interviewers. With all the challenges facing journalism a former Left Candidate interviewing Labour MP undermines the credibility of TVNZ’s politics coverage.RNZ tried the same trick with a Young Greens activist interviewing Chloe Swarbrick and a Labour Party consultant opining about what question could be asked of Ardern, We don’t need TVNZ to join in.

 

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Bauer’s Paperboy Falls Over

Bauer has ended Paperboy the Auckland city giveaway.  It was launched in November 2016 and the next issue was due out on 25 January.

But in a statement, Bauer said the cost of producing the free magazine in a “highly competitive market” exceeded the advertising revenue generated … and it will no longer be published.

Bauer said the magazine “championed a positive vision” for Auckland and the move to shut it down was a tough decision.

 

 

And so, thank you Bauer, for Paperboy, your ambitious attempt to provide a giveaway weekly paper-magazine for central Auckland and its suburbs. I was only a sporadic reader, picking one up from the empty bus seat next to me, or after passing one of the inner city distribution bins. I seldom actively sought out a copy. To be honest, it seemed aimed at people who were younger and cleverer than me.

There were always some interesting stories. New magazines take awhile to become  established in their market. Bauer said it had been doing okay for he last three months.  But it was not making a profit and had not provided the advertising revenue to sustain its future. The company decided to pull out.

To its credit, Bauer had taken a risk with Paperboy. It had invested a lot to develop the title for new audience of Auckland city and city fringe dwellers, with plans to expand to other centres. This at a time when all media – let alone print- have been going through upheavals.  It’s magazine-style layout was nice, as befits a magazine company, and the stories were well written.  In my opinion the newsprint quality seemed a bit low rent  considering the subject matter.  Bauer published 100,000 copies a week, so improving paper quality might have added a lot to its production budget. But the paper quality detracted from the product and would have made it harder to make a splash with advertising.

I am probably too old for the target demographic, but I sometimes found the font size for the body type a too small for easy reading.

The upmarket home décor, architecture and the arts focus would have made sense to Bauer. That was probably the speciaist where Bauer thought the advertising revenue would come from.

Paperboy received good feedback from media folk about town and many people have lamented the loss of the magazine later this month.

But I wonder if Bauer aimed it too upmarket. For ad revenue it would have been competing against mainstream newspapers and radio stations. Editorially it appeared to aim at the clever set consumers that reads The Spinoff. Staff  are being redeployed at Bauer, and the hope is that Bauer will be prepared to take other risks in the future.

 

 

 

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Lordy Lordy, Lorde What were her managers thinking?

CAPTION: The Israeli bombing of Gaza, July 2014.

The debacle over Lorde playing in Tel Aviv says a lot about the sorry state of music industry marketing. Way back, somebody in Lorde’s management team decided the Devonport songstress should have an  image far beyond her ‘making fun’  danceable original music. She has been clever enough to support the idea, in a uniquely Kiwi kind self confidence.  She is the millennial with a mind of her own -a hero to the young, and to young women especially.

Peace !

 

Now, her managers have announced she will be playing in Tel Aviv in June, and there has been debate in the media whether this is smart amidst growing international tension of the issue of Israel’s approach. Others aligned with the Palestinian side insist it is not moral at any time and that Israel’s actions have been beyond th4e pale.  Indeed, New Zealand has played a key role in challenging Israel’s past action,  sponsoring a reprimand ion Israel n the UN, and infuriating the Israelis. The decision to juxtapose the Lorde brand with Israel at a time of growing international tensions and warnings of n infitada is strange timing. It may prove to be be another example of the flawless and deft-marketing. But, at the moment. it looks more daft than deft.

 

Stuff wrote: Fans of Lorde are calling her out for choosing to perform in Israel’s major city of Tel Aviv while the country is subject to an organised boycott movement.Lorde announced on her Twitter page that she would also perform in the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg in mid-2018.The pro-Palestinian movement, called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), calls for the “freedom, justice and equality” of Palestinians under Israeli controlWhile some fans were pleased with the news, others weren’t shy to show their disappointment.”Don’t play in Tel Aviv while they have the Palestinians under a brutal occupation! 

The decision to visit Tel Aviv follows that the US government to move its Embassy to Jerusalem. Donald Trump’s decision has been a boon for Israel. Now amidst other musical boycott. the Lorde concert is – on a very small scale – another win. I’m sure her managers will have rationale. An experienced old musician is one thing. But Why do they put a 21 year old from Devonport in that position?

Lorde might see her appearance as healing. rather than incendiary. Certainly her biggest fans will agree with her decision , no matter what it is. Fan is short for fanatic after all..

Some Palestinian activists have complained she should play on the West Bank as well as Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv will have a lot more wealthy fans than Ramallah. The best thing to hope for is that she finds somethining that turns marketing clufootedness into a smart dance move.

In any case, where is the line regarding musical boycotts? If you boycott musicians visiting Israel, should you do the same boycott of Sydney because of allegations about Manus Island? There is a danger boycott become censorship.

Nick Cave says musicians should not be bullied.

There have been other issues over musicians boycotts of Israel.Australian Nick Cave criticised the boycotts and said he was going to going ahead with his Israel concert, despite opposition from musical activists.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-peacemaking-power-of-lorde/

 

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