Brian Edwards Media

New Zealand’s Next Top Ratbag Newspaper

 

The Herald’s decision to publish the names of the final six contestants in TV3’s  New Zealand’s  Next Top Model  programme was petty, mean-spirited and unnecessary. The story had nothing newsworthy about it,  other perhaps  than in revealing a particularly nasty streak in the paper’s editorial staff.  Even that will barely be news to most people. 

At present there are still 12 hopefuls in the televised competition. Since we now know the names of the six finalists, we also know the names of the six who won’t make it.  What purpose was served by spoiling viewers’ enjoyment of the programme for the six weeks it will take the  outed losers to be sent home, is beyond me, except to allow Herald reporting staff to tee-hee behind their hands in the toilet.

They  will have spoiled things too for the outed girls, each of whose survival over the coming weeks can scarcely be celebrated by them or the viewers who now know that their hopes and dreams are bound to come to nothing.

Almost more cynical than publishing the names was to tease the story with a large photo of one of the six finalists top left on the front page with the text EXCLUSIVE PICTURES – Top Model final few revealed  A3 and a small diagonal banner bottom left with the words SPOILER ALERT. The sole purpose of that was of course to whet your appetite for what was on Page 3. Which meant, if you think about it, that if you didn’t want to know who were the ‘final few’, you couldn’t turn to Page 3 at all or probably even to Page 2 opposite.

All in all this was just a piece of gratuitous nastiness on the part of the Herald, which I happen to know [SPOILER ALERT]  is a shoo-in to win this year’s award as New Zealand’s Next Top Ratbag Newspaper.

Congratulations guys!

 

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22 Comments:

  1. yes, I thought the same thing. There seems to be a real “them and us” thing going on with The Herald at the moment, in terms of other media being competition. Of course they are, but you don’t go stealing content. You out do them by finding your own news stories and presenting them well, don’t you?

  2. There is unease amongst Herald management… timely unease I would think.

    • There is unease amongst Herald management… timely unease I would think.

      Indeed. And a very senior Herald journalist tells me there is considerable unease among Herald staff about the direction the paper is taking.

  3. The Herald is just getting worse with every passing day.

  4. Some of that concern should be directed at the bile spewed by their gossip columnist.Obviously the lawyers scrutinise it for libel,but the sheer spite of some comments is quite quite breathtaking.There is a Facebook site in retaliation.

  5. Since we now know the names of the six finalists, we also know the names of the six who won’t make it.

    Well I certainly don’t. Why do you?

    :-)

    • Well I certainly don’t. Why do you?

      Because there are 12 finalists as of today and their names are published in almost every popular magazine and newspaper in the country and all over the Net as well. Time to get your nose out of your law books, Graeme? And Judy and I also watch the programme which is the highest rating show on TV3.

  6. But, you can always rely on the Herald to respond to the clarion call for Public Service. (Eh, wotchoo mean by that?)
    How about — our MPs screwing the taxpayer with the housing rorts, and cynical abuse of their generous travel-and-perks allowances? What about rip-off artist, Ken Baguely, shafting the ratepayer, from behind, with his Bus Lane rorting? The venal finance companies and construction of leaky homes, and the misery wrought by these scandals? All kept in the public domain, thanks to the Herald.
    Yesterday’s article, by Fran O’Sullivan, was a wonderful piece inflected with flourish. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10668591

    The Herald is the touchstone of the Nation’s moral consciousness. But it doesn’t hold the exclusive rights. It does get it wrong, at times: cue to the Pacific non-event earthquake. And the revealing of the winner’s name of New Zealand’s Next Top Model, was not good (of which, I have absolutely no interest).

    The Herald is not Perfect and it never will be. It will always have its detractors and critics (and, yes, we need them), but in the greater scheme of journalism, I think, it makes a good fist of it.

    @ Ben: It was lovely to see Chris Carter — looking real chipper — on TV. He’d just completed a 2-hour workout at Les Mills. The TV reporter was made to look breathless as he tried to keep up his running-interview with Chris’s power walking. We have a whole new definition for: “speedy recovery”.

  7. After a lifetime of reading the Herald I finally cancelled my subscription this year. I’ve come round to the fact that it is not worth buying any more, so now I just read bits and pieces online.

    I’m sick of the screaming tabloid headlines, mean-spirited editorial and hysterical columnists. That was the feedback I gave (and more) to the poor lady whose job it was to ring up to try to talk me into buying it again.

    I note the price for the paper edition went up recently, I hope it’s because there’s plenty of people out there like me who won’t pay money for this rubbish any more.

    • After a lifetime of reading the Herald I finally cancelled my subscription this year. I’ve come round to the fact that it is not worth buying any more, so now I just read bits and pieces online. I’m sick of the screaming tabloid headlines, mean-spirited editorial and hysterical columnists.

      You may be interested to know that I’m now getting private emails from some very senior Herald journalists – who will remain forever anonymous – who entirely agree with what you are saying. They also mention the descent under the current editor into tabloid journalism.

  8. That is interesting Brian, but not really surprising. At the risk of sounding like an old crusty I think journalism is going to hell in a handcart. I used to live in Australia and I miss the intelligence and analysis of ‘The Australian’ in print. Though I have to say Media7 does a good job here on screen, and I also mostly enjoy Native Affairs on MTS, as it offers a different perspective on news stories. I’m sad to see an old warhorse like Cameron Bennett leaving TVNZ, perhaps he, and others like him, could jump over to the Herald and bring a level of professionalism back into their news. I think the video stories on their website could do with some help from a pro like Cameron.

  9. Just a thought. Does the Press Club still exist? Goodness but there were some characters with real spine who frequented that den. Probably not.

    • Does the Press Club still exist? Goodness but there were some characters with real spine who frequented that den.

      Amen to that. When I came up regularly to to film in Auckland it was before the days of cellphones and email. No problem. Just turn up at the Empire after five, move on en masse to the Press Club, off to Tony’s for a steak, back to the Press Club. It was all accompanied by wide-ranging debate on all manner of subjects, interspered with wild arguments, wise-cracks, witticisms and cynical wisdom. And then I would be escorted back to my hotel by a gallant band of legendary journos. Hmm – maybe we reeled and railed a little on the way, but damn, we were good! Ahhh, them were the days.

    • Just a thought. Does the Press Club still exist?

      Good question. Does someone have an answer?

  10. I read in the Manawatu Standard this afternoon that the two sisters of a man found dead near Feilding with his wife and father-in-law this week first heard the news of his death when a reporter from The New Zealand Herald knocked on their door and told them.

    If that is true (and the story is on the Standard’s web site) then I think that’s appalling.

    Is scooping the competition that important?

  11. Here is the quote:

    “Lynda was first told about her brother’s death by a New Zealand Herald reporter who knocked on the door of her Palmerston North home on Monday night.

    “She was considering laying a complaint about the paper’s conduct with the Press Council.”

    • Here is the quote: “Lynda was first told about her brother’s death by a New Zealand Herald reporter who knocked on the door of her Palmerston North home on Monday night.
      “She was considering laying a complaint about the paper’s conduct with the Press Council.”

      That really is appalling, Paul. And yes, the woman should certainly lay a complaint with the Press Council. Sadly, the Council has no powers to punish. We actually need a body in New Zealand that can penalise newspapers and magazines for this sort of atrocity.

  12. I agree with you Paul, the Herald seems to think death knocks make good copy, when they are really just intrusive and voyeuristic. This quote from the Herald on Sunday about the Carmen Thomas case appears to be another example:

    “The news that Carmen is probably dead has shocked her family. Told in England last night, her aunty Carolyn Lavagna said: “This is horrendous. I am in shock. This is terrible.”

  13. Well, it’s been more than 20 years since I worked in the newsroom of a daily newspaper in New Zealand. So, perhaps I am out of touch.

    ‘Door-stepping’, as I believe the practice was called then, was virtually unknown, and I can remember editorial expressions of revulsion against it.

    I thought it was against the journalists’ code of ethics.

    Any journalist reading this from Australia, and whose memory goes back far enough, might be able to confirm that in the late ’70s or early ’80s the Australian Journalists’ Union passed a resolution against the practice, and specifically voted that any reporter who refused to ‘doorstep’ could not be sacked or subjected to retaliation.

    Sorry for the long sentence there.

    But that was when Ocker reporters were increasingly questioning the practice, and some were refusing to do it.

    Three years ago I ran across a former colleague I hadn’t seen for 30 years. As a young reporter she had gone to Australia and got a job on a tabloid there.

    Her first job was a ‘doorstep’. Thirty years later she recalled it vividly, and with the same sense of revulsion.

    If the Herald’s editor and his deputies think that ‘doorstepping’ is vital to the community’s right to know, then it would be fair to ask Tim Murphy and Shayne Currie and John Roughan and any of the others who make decisions at The New Zealand Herald: “How would YOU feel if a reporter knocked on YOUR door and told YOU that YOUR family member had been killed — and asked ‘HOW do YOU feel about it?'”