OUR DYING NEWSPAPERS

Our newspapers are dying and nothing can save them, sad for my generation for whom they’re an indispensable habit.

As an avid newspaper devotee, I’ve finally come to terms with this after reading the Guardian’s famous editor Alan Rushbridger’s excellent 2018 book “Breaking News”.

Rushbridger recounts how he, a died-in the wool newspaper man, bewildered by newspapers seemingly overnight collapse, also came to terms with the new reality. I found it therapeutic.

The foreign owners of our two major newspapers, the Herald and the Dominion-Post are desperate to sell. I suspect, applying our standard office building purchase approach, namely a cash settlement next week, could see the Herald bought for $30m and the Dom’-Post for even less.

If they’re smart, they’d grab the money and run for the coming depression will soon mark their value down to nil, certainly within 2 years. At that stage they’ll pull stumps and end it all.

Currently they’re petitioning the government to allow their amalgamation as one company.

I wrote in support of this in National Business Review about 3 years ago. It was rejected on stupid anti-monopolistic grounds, namely destroying competing viewpoints.

Both papers constantly present different viewpoints on issues. Today’s Dominion for example has a half-page editorial in support of Simon Bridges, currently under attack, for doing his Opposition leader’s role, namely questioning the government’s strategy on the health crisis.

But the top half has a cartoon by one of its two cartoonists, ridiculing Bridges for the same reason.

Mind you, ever since Tom Scott retired the Dom’ has struggled on this front. Its current two cartoonists are arguably the worst in history. They’re bold illustrators but have neither humour nor relevance and despoil the paper. Better to have none if they’re the only option.

But back to the monopoly issue. At the time of their fool-hardy rejection the monopolies mob ignored the salient point that the option was not one or two newspapers but one or none.

Would a single national newspaper survive? Possibly there’s a market for a serious nation-wide one of at best 50,000 sales. But recent history says it would leak circulation each year, as its readership dies off.

So here’s a tip. When something momentous occurs, while they still exist, store that newspaper away. In 30 years it will have considerable antiquity value for your grandchildren, as with coins and postage stamps, similarly disappearing in the new tech age.

POSTSCRIPT: The government has now announced a $50m grant to help the media industry through the economic catastrophe (its excessive response to the virus is largely responsible for). Most is going to the electronic media. The newspapers will be dismayed but there’s no point having taxpayers fund zombie activities.

16 Comments

One sees it in the Herald. Remarkably their target market, which they cater to ad nauseum, is a demented divorcee with two young children. Any outfit that targets such a narrow demographic deserves liquidation.

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You could have taken a harsher line with the cartoonists Bob. They’re frequently just offensive, with their blatant left bias. The funeral for the DomPost can’t come quickly enough.

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Hey Bob can you do Crosswords on-line?

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Cripes Bob, get over it. You have thousands of news alternatives now, surely you can find one or two of appeal to an aging, cantankerous Luddite? The Internet arrived with the Netscape IPO in 1995. Newspapers had 25 years of second chances and never took one of them. Now you feel sorry for the useless buggers?

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“A full 87 per cent of New Zealanders approve of how the Government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, with only eight per cent disapproving.”

Wow. CAKE FACE stands alone. So be it. We are now a society run completely on the basis of fear, and fear alone. The media have collaborated in this sad state of affairs, encouraging mass hysteria over a nasty flu.

The Prime Minister has released more details of her plan, as follows:

“The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering…— a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting — five million people all with the same face.” [1984]

Five million Ardern cake face clones marching in perfect unity is exactly what we see. It’s terrifying to behold.

Instead of a fear-based approach, disgracefully collaborated with by the mainstream media, what could we do?

“Cowardice asks the question ‘is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question ‘is it politic? Vanity asks the question ‘is it popular? But conscience asks the question ‘is it right?'” – Martin Luther King

Nailed it, Martin. The cowardly government only asks if it is somehow “safe”, and whether it is popular.

It’s not right.

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I for one am not sorry to see them go, whatever light this seems to cast me in.
Perhaps I could be accused of a coloured experience but I have found newspaper’s most slavish adherents to be spectacularly ignorant about practically everything – namely (unfortunately) my Father.
Don’t take my saying so as some sort of youthful rebellion, it is a long held dispassionate analysis for which if necessary could bring many witnesses to bare. If anything I had it figured out by age three. There are some intrinsic reasons for which no one is at fault.
Still I am the only person of my generation I know that would even look at a paper occasionally, or remotely care whatsoever at their disappearance.
With the legion faults of the media types becoming increasingly transparent – it just leaves room for better things.

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It’s near Easter, so it’s time for a sermon.

I was thinking about how lucky we are to have a Prime Minister who like to pretend she is like Jesus on the Mount.

You may be thinking that weaponizing “kindness” to smash the economy, human rights, employers, and landlords, amongst others, can’t be Biblical.
“I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” [Jesus, Matthew 10:34]

Does the Prime Minister have a Messiah Complex? You decide. Here are some of the traits:

1. Anxiety, agitation, nervousness and tension:
Yes

2. Declaration of the desire to split away from the group:
Yes. NZ stands alone with this extreme experiment.

3. A need to be clean and pure:
Yes. This is recommended for all, not just physically, but spiritually as well.

4. The need to shout psalms or verses from the Bible:
Yes. The new religion worships the academic ideologues, shouting their scripture from the rooftops.

5. Delivery of a sermon in a holy place. The sermon is typically based on a plea to humankind to adopt a more wholesome, moral, simple way of life. Such sermons are typically ill-prepared and disjointed:
Yes. Nailed it.

What has the media response been in this sad state of affairs? They are collaborators.

I leave you with some scripture:

“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

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Progress is delayed by those who cannot change. Thank God that the fixed buggers die eventually.

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Totally agree with you Bob.
Nothing beats a good long read of a quality newspaper , but the dearth of quality investigative journalists is hastening their demise.
The proliferation of what I call “what I did in the holidays” commentators , I don’t really call it journalism , is almost total now.
Damien Grant looks to be a recent casualty of the Sunday rag while Alison Mau for example and Jordan Watson , much as I often enjoy him , are still there.
Print media is chasing the lowest common denominator audience but doesn’t seem to realise that demographic is lost to them already.
That market has already moved on.
I don’t think I’ll bother to collect up old newspapers but stamp collecting is a hobby for life.
I can remember when there were at least 4 Stamp Shops in Christchurch solely dedicated to stamps and coins.
Those were the days.

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When did you start to get suspicious that there was mass hysteria over coronavirus being spread by the authorities and the media?
For me, the first indication was when NZ released the bogus 80,000 deaths figure. I’m no epidemiologist, but I pulled out my iphone calculator, and input some figures. In less than 30 seconds, I was staring vacantly at the numbers, knowing the figure was completely absurd. This doesn’t make me smart – the forecast was that unrealistic. It turns out they assumed every person in NZ would get this nasty flu, and they assumed an infection fatality rate was off the charts. The figure was so obviously wild, I would question whether the epidemiologist believed their own forecast. More likely, they were just trying to scare people.
I suppose that worst-case scenarios and personal tragedies sell newspapers.
The media campaign has revolved around promotion of fear to get people watching. The authorities and the media never wanted to get public understanding – this much is clear.
There is only one previous event that I have ever experienced where rationality, dispassionate analysis, logical thinking and perspective completely disintegrated overnight, and was replaced by mass hysteria.
This was in 1997, when I was l was living in London, and Lady Diana died.
Of course, the outcome from the Lady Diana mass hysteria was completely benign – no one died.
This time, it’s different.
Billions of people were pulled out of poverty by globalisation. The government, media and people’s reaction to coronavirus threatens these gains, and more.
I wrote comments to the mainstream media to this effect, after the bogus 80,000 figure was announced, but almost all of my posts were banned.
My suspicions only grew when the merciless propaganda masquerading as news started. We had drivel from the Prime Minister about Easter bunnies, potty training and her kids’ drawing. This may sound infantile and harmless, but actually I saw it for what it was – sinister propaganda.
In these circumstances, it is difficult to find too much sympathy for the mainstream media. Yet their role is crucial in a so-called state of emergency.
Print media should be bailed out, in my view, only as a protection against the power of the State. Hopefully next time they we have a crisis like this, they will do a bit better.

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Sir, you write, “When something momentous occurs, while they still exist, store that newspaper away”
Not sure how best to show you the visual proof of your words, I offer the latest post on my Blog. pahiatuamainstreetmadness.blogspot.com.

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Why is there only one Monopolys commission anyway

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I do not care if everyone of the so called newspapers goes broke, all they do is parrot one another and publish mostly drivel. for example; there was a story in several newspapers a while back, of one of the members of the childish mindless Australian group known as the Wiggles who broke his/her leg or something, not a story and never should be; anybody with any intelligence would not give a toss or the like of publishing the latest story line of Shortland Street – really ???… just mind numbing garbage. The so called journalists continue to regurgitate the leftist balderdash that has been implanted in their heads at our socialist Universities and there is hopefully nobody stupid enough to put money into these organisations. I doubt that the Herald would fetch $30m. I would say worthless at best; they have been giving away newspapers for years as there circulation dwindled. Good riddance there are plenty of other more diverse sources and an opportunity for new methods of “media” How will we mass communicate for the next 25-50 years ??

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Well said Sir Bob, I don’t believe we have any real print journalists anymore , only second rate opinion writers and cheer leaders for St Jacinda.
If it wasn’t for the crosswords I wouldn’t bother buying the Dom Post now.

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I told the Herald’s subscription service that I didn’t require their free samples.

Our bird had passed to that giant aviary in the sky and I simply had no further use for them.

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