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March 30, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]


Some say down the toilet, but I do some of my best thinking and reading in the bathroom. So much so that I am pretty sure the staff and contributors get annoyed with the proliferation of media related paper products in the Salient toilet. So it isn’t going down, not just yet.

There is no other place for it though. My desk is covered with plastic animals and empty bottles. My mind is littered with the detritus of a thousand unwritten editorials.

The scary thing is I do a lot of reading at that desk. My RSS reader overflows daily with Main Stream Media (MSM) feeds:,, International Herald Tribune, Haaretz, NY Times, et al. Non-paper publications are changing the way in which we absorb the fourth estate.

Gone are the days of picking up the paper in the morning, listening to the radio news on the car ride to work, breaking bulletins cast over the PA system, and then home to watch the six o’clock news.

We are now saturated with news. We swim in a sea of information and that information is on the internet. Oh, and there is the ‘web log.’

We could talk about the rise of blogs. Blogs this, blogs that. A blog told me there are somewhere around 100,000 blogs created daily. Big ones like Kiwiblog, Public Address and Media Law Journal are fine, but I prefer not to get my news from them. I go there for opinion. Hot sweaty opinion.

Blogs have seemingly undercut MSM. Cost to set up a blog: $25 for a sweet domain name and then however much effort you want to put into it. Cost of running a weekly publication like Salient: $5000 a week in printing costs alone.

Bloggers are quick to point out that many stories have been broken in the blogosphere. Yeah, they have, but just as the printing press enabled everyone to read, the internet has enabled everyone to write.

All major mainstream media outlets have cut back, and not just the on “taxis and booze” of TVNZ. Last year NZPA, the main syndicator of news across all media mediums, cut seven of its fifty-five staff, including its sole South Island reporter. Fairfax cut 160 jobs. APN wrote off $127 million of the value of its New Zealand assets in February.

We at Salient live the high life: I feel like a Dickensian capitalist—top hat and all—when all you little kiddies come in asking to write. Ha ha! I guffaw to myself. Eat your hearts out Murphy, Pankhurst and Cavanagh: I have people queuing up to work for me, for free, and their writing is even good.

As editor of Salient, I decided three things about the direction of this small portion of the media:

One was to publish a news section that kept you informed about what was happening. Not only here on campus, but in New Zealand and the world.

The second was to provide a wide array of features to encourage thought and provoke debate about issues. Ideas to challenge you: political responses to the recession, how this campus should look and feel and how VUWSA should operate. Three was to invest time and effort into making a better news carrying platform, easier to navigate, search and easier to provide feedback and encourage debate.

The media is headed where you want it to head. Demand quality news and analysis from journalists and you will get it. Rely on blogs and we’ll end up down the toilet.


About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (11)

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  1. Kerry says:

    Rely on just what you can get in English from media outlets dominated by American media tycoons, and you may find yourself under-informed, as well.
    You get brownie points for name-checking Al-Jazeera, though. London branch run by a Kiwi…

    Like, the 3 months it took NZ media to start reporting on the Madoff ponzi scheme debacle in New York, which was in the French-language papers in December.

    Currently, there have been articles about the quantity of high-profile bankers and investment house Ceo’s who have taken the big leap, after losing most of their clients’ equity in the downturn. (Mustn’t use the S-word, except in French publications …)
    Plus quite a lot about redundancies, and people not being able to leave the UK to come home, due to inability to sell their suddenly worthless house (net worthlessness = mortgage debt higher than equity in property).

    How Key is positioning this, and how Pankhurst et al are reporting that, are a case in point of obfuscation. NZ readers have not a lot of idea just how really bad the recession is, globally.
    Time magazine’s March 23 issue goes in depth on the American perspective of Obama’s relief program, and interviews the Japanese PM on how the recession is hitting one of the former heavy-hitters of global economics.

    We are on the cusp of seeing a major change in global business patterns, a paradigm shift unforseen by this generation, and probably not to be seen again this century – interesting times, indeed.

    Keep reading those news journals on the toilet, J – it’ll save on dry-cleaning.

  2. Tanky says:


  3. the tank says:

    dont treat me like a woman
    dont treat me like a man

  4. Turdanklient says:

    ‘Keep reading those news journals on the toilet, J – it’ll save on dry-cleaning.’

    I see what she did there. She insinutated the editor masturbates on thetoilet.

  5. the tank says:

    kerry’s funny as

  6. owen says:

    Got wood Wood?

  7. the tank says:

    why do people address people they don’t know by their surname like some stereotypical 1950s high school bully

    what are you gonna do owen beat up marty mcfly lmao are you a garbage man

  8. owen says:

    Leaf me alone!

  9. the tank says:

    this is war

  10. Armstrong says:

    I actually read this while i was on the can. No shit!

  11. Mikey says:

    Sorry to hear that. Maybe you should try some laxatives?

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