Posted by Guest on March 31st, 2012
Missing in Action: The Wisdom of Crowds in New Zealand
by Alan Wilkinson
Are New Zealanders well served by our mainstream print media websites? The two major ones are APN News & Media’s NZ Herald and Fairfax Media’s Stuff.
As the Internet brings the world to our screens at the click of a mouse, we have access to worldwide news from any international source we choose. So it is inevitable that the role of local media websites is changing from the print versions. Rather than try to compete with the major international news gatherers or simply relay world news from them, our local media have to add value by selecting items of particular interest and relevance to New Zealand. A cursory scan of the world news on either the Herald or Stuff websites shows the impact of this localisation and loss of general coverage in favour of human interest trivia with a scattering of regional and NZ interest stories.
At the national and local level, the coverage is much more detailed, competitive and complete. The Herald website is more directly accessible, while most of Stuff’s coverage is buried deeper in regional or sectional web pages. Obviously print journalism everywhere is under financial pressure as readers switch to online sources rather than buying paper versions, and as advertisers follow suit. Furthermore, the Internet provides direct access to the best expertise on specialist subjects. General journalists cannot hope to compete at that level, nor can their newspapers generally afford such expertise. In consequence, where local news stories require specialist input or insight our media are generally limited to what can be obtained readily and for free. So it is patchy in both coverage and quality. Read the rest of this entry »