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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

NZ Herald regularly publishes "news" written by left-wing nutter

Patrick Cockburn is an journalist (in the "I'm working for the enemy" sense) for The Independent. Here is what he said about terrorism and the United States:
...Patrick Cockburn, a British journalist, began by angrily accusing the United States of embarking on an “old-fashioned imperial war” in Iraq and beyond.

As for terrorism, that he dismissed as “something people believe in like they believe in witchcraft. What does it mean?”

Though he was unsure of terrorism’s definition, he harbored no doubts about who was responsible for it. President Bush, he said, “is not fighting terrorism, he is provoking it.”
The NZ Herald has published quite a few articles by this guy. The headlines of the most recent:
  • US deaths in Iraq near the 2000 mark
  • Delay in putting Saddam on trial 'is damaging Iraq'
  • US electoral interference in Iraq alleged
Get the drift, readers? Shouldn't the NZ Herald be held responsible for publishing drivel from this man as "news"?

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 11/16/2005 01:14:00 pm


Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Well, considering The Independent and the NZ Herald are owned by the same company (so the copy is probably free)...

And considering The Independent, which some might argue is on the "wrong side of history", has a strongly increasing circulation.

It's just the free market at work, AL.

Here's a link to one of the stories, in the off-chance anyone is interested in reading one.


11/16/2005 04:32:00 pm  
Blogger RightWingDeathBeast said...

We are only too aware that the Independent and the Herald are financially (and ideologically) hand in glove, who could forget the nightmare of Robert Fisk on the Herald front page?

You are right about the free market (donating to the disadvantaged seems to come second to paying for limitless amounts of Bush-Hitler writings it seems). Mind you, the free market has laws against fraud, and this sort of agitprop ought to be included in the definition.

11/16/2005 06:22:00 pm  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Indeed RWDB. Can a future 30yr old sue The Independent for selling him crap dressed up as facts when he was an 18yr old?

It seems to me The NZ Herald profits from reselling cheap lies and opinion from The Independent dressed up as factual news. Sounds like false advertising to me. Should we notify the Commerce Commission? Because selling a product isn't a one-way street - the purchaser expects the product to be as advertised. Such an expectation is part of any commercial transaction. Maybe the Herald should stamp a disclaimer on it's front page before selling garbage. Are they breaking their contract with subscribers?

11/16/2005 06:38:00 pm  
Blogger darren said...

Rob is right about the UK Independent doing well at the moment.
But the reason seems to be one of size- the paper switching to a more convenient tabloid format.
Peter Preston of the Guardian seems to explain it as well as anyone else I have seen. But they have made the same point. Yes, size is everything, it seems.
Rob is also right about the role of the free market as a justification for its stance.
Britain has ten or so daily papers and the fight for market share is intense and highly competitive.
UK newspaper buyers have such a wide choice of papers and they know where the Independent stands on the issues- on the left, along with the Guardian.
However, in New Zealand, the newspaper market is somewhat monopolistic. Granny Herald has Auckland to itself. The Dompost is Wellington's paper, the Press has Christchurch.
Competition is effectively non-existent. Few Domposts will be sold in Wellington, or Heralds in Wellington, say.
New Zealand readers typically will not know the editorial stance of the UK Independent, wrongly believing that it is 'independent'.
While UK readers know that the various papers will support various political parties, in New Zealand, thanks to the monopoly status of the papers, it is widely assumed, perhaps wrongly, that the papers are largely neutral.
Thus, the Herald, if it wishes to be seens as fair and accurate, it needs to source more widely than it currently does.
Yes, there are perhaps sound financial reasons for using Independent copy, but in the interests of balance and fairness, it needs to use copy from the Daily Telepgraph, The Times, as well as agency copy.
I have seen Telegraph and Times copy in the Herald on Sunday, but typically their copy is more soft news, leaving the Indy and Guardian for the harder news.
As for the 'wrong side of history' argument, it has been well publicised in Australia that Fairfax has either backed Labor or sat on the fence in recent election which have gone to Howard, suggesting the Fairfax papers are not as close to their readers as they might be, an issue I have heard Fairfax accepts might be losing it readers and thus advertising.
I have made similar points about New Zealand's Sunday papers concerning Election 2005.
The HOS was neutral, the Fairfax ones backed Labour. Yet, with the country having a 50-50 left-right split, a huge constituency of newspaper readers are not being represented.
And this is being compounded by the Herald being so one-sided in its foreign coverage.
Thankfully, the internet and blogs means the MSM don't "own the news anymore", to quote some BBC chappie.
Thus, instead of hearing the rantings of Mr Robert Fisk, I can have Mark Steyn instead, a nice discovery.
However, as a monopoly newspaper, Granny Herald needs to know that if it tends to favour the left, there will come a point where it will piss off right-wingers so much that they will go elsewhere, and thus granny will lose readers and ad revenue.
The new media allows this.


11/16/2005 07:20:00 pm  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

"Few Domposts will be sold in Wellington, or Heralds in Wellington, say."

Are you suggesting that Wellingtonians are typically more inclined to comic books than to newspapers Darren? ;-)

You're right on the nose about the "provincial" nature of newspapers in NZ - I am looking forward to seeing a couple of them adopt a more national focus. NZ Herald has been trying to sneak into Wellington for years now. In fact, earlier this year they tried to hook us uni students on to them by dishing out free Heralds...don't think it worked. Especially as the university has now provided us with complimentary DomPosts so we can do the crosswords and sudoku in our lectures.

11/16/2005 07:47:00 pm  
Blogger darren said...

just a typo Ashley- few heralds will be sold in wellington, as you note yourself.

11/16/2005 09:21:00 pm  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

"just a typo Ashley"

Yeah, I realised that. Couldn't miss the opportunity to rib you though... ;-)

11/16/2005 09:45:00 pm  

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