Tag: Journalism

Down Time In Provincial Print

Caption: The art deco Daily Telegraph building symbolised the steady, secure nature of provincial newspapers in the 1980s.

An old journalist colleague of mine, Mike Johansson and has a unique take of the changes facing print media. He started out as a cadet reporter at the now defunct Napier Daily Telegraph in what is now remembered as a strong and stable era for New Zealand print journalism.  Provincial newspapers were buoyed by classified advertising and had enough resources to sustain a rounds system that covered local news with some detailed understanding. He also worked as a sub-editor at The Press, in Christchurch, in what was, in retrospect, a golden era.

Johansson earned a Rotary scholarship to the prestigious S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University in Upstate New York and after that he made a career nearby at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester owned by the giant Gannett Corporation.

“In 1986 when I landed in Syracuse, readership was in very slow decline,” he says.

Continue reading “Down Time In Provincial Print”

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ

Shhh … Secret Squirrel Thank heaven for unnamed sources

The Guardian wrote this week

“Deep antipathy to Hillary Clinton exists within the FBI, multiple bureau sources have told the Guardian, spurring a rapid series of leaks damaging to her campaign just days before the election.

Current and former FBI officials, none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record, have described a chaotic internal climate that resulted from outrage over director James Comey’s July decision not to recommend an indictment over Clinton’s maintenance of a private email server on which classified information transited.

“The FBI is Trumpland,” said one current agent.

This atmosphere raises major questions about how Comey and the bureau he is slated to run for the next seven years can work with Clinton should she win the White House.”


Secrecy has become entrenched in institutions while they promise transparency. We have come to rely on anonymous sources to tell us what is really going on. They can expose dysfunction at powerful institutions – as it did with the Guardian report (above) about FBI antipathy to Hillary Clinton.  It seems like personal views in influencing the use of state power right on the eve of an election. It could aid the election of a dangerous man, and that sense the secret policing agency is anti-democratic.

Shhh - Secret Squirrel
Shhh – Secret Squirrel

The use of anonymous sources look like increasing rather than shrinking, as institutions claim transparency while taking steps to shut the public out. We know that if people in the FBI and security agencies and big corporates people also leak – about one another and sometimes about private citizens. Media organisations can lap that up as well. It’s the new media world and it requires a lot of faith in journalists at a time the profession is in deep doo doo.

Continue reading Shhh … Secret Squirrel Thank heaven for unnamed sources

× Featured

Fight Club: Sky versus TVNZ