Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Whale Oil Joins The MSM

The way we choose to receive our news is changing rapidly.

A couple of weeks ago our region experienced a reasonable sized earthquake (apologies to Christchurch residents as this was a tiddler in comparison to what you have experienced). Instead of  adopting the wussy "drop, cover and hold" technique, I instinctively reached for my iPhone to check-out Twitter. I was instantly gratified with fellow tweeters' pithy comments confirming that I wasn't alone. After adding my own enlightened comment to the Twittersphere I was able to extract all I wanted to know about the quake including the exact location, magnitude etc.

Only a few days ago we were greeted with news of pending doom in the United States (No, this time it wasn't poll results showing Obama's likely re-election). Deadly cyclone Sandy was about to gatecrash into the US East Coast. My first reaction was to head for Google and was soon directed to a selection of  live cyclone web cams that included views from the top of the Statue of Liberty to a desolate looking Times Square being lashed with rain to the bemusement of a few hardy camera wielding tourists. 

Newspapers aren't dead yet, however for many they serve as a quaint tactile headline summary of events that have already been viewed online or on television the day before.

Newspaper companies are creating some quality and timely content online and are even starting to regularly point readers of newspaper print to their online channel for the latest on evolving stories or for more in-depth detail and supporting media.

Blogs have encouraged the crowd sourcing of news and opinion and are now regularly becoming the first to publish breaking news. Blogs are also written by real people that unashamedly have opinions and political bias - unlike the MSM that have a pretense of being unbiased, while emphasising certain facets of a news story to guide opinion.

Just how media companies are going to manage the decline of print, source/shape content and monetise online content is yet to be made clear.

Maybe the man behind New Zealand's number-one blog, Cameron Slater from Whale Oil has some ideas?
Internet shock jock goes mainstream

“Wellington, you’re on notice – be afraid.”

New Zealand’s number 1 news and opinion blogger Cameron Slater has today been appointed Editor of the Truth.

Truth is New Zealand’s last remaining Kiwi-owned national newspaper which this year turns 125 years old.

Slater has been brought on board to fundamentally change the way newspapers deliver to their audiences. Newspapers worldwide are in decline, due, Slater says, to a tired old business model that no longer works.

“We’re not going to spend $4 million on a paint job and then deliver the same tired old paid-for shit.

“Most of the media in this country is weak, and it’s paid for. The integrity in news went ages ago.”

Slater is adamant that the backbone of New Zealand – the people who work – are not getting a fair shake from government or the system. He aims to change that.

“Each and every one of us has got an investment in NZ Inc, and the majority of the people in charge of the place are taking the piss out of our investment.

“We’re going to keep the buggers honest. There’s no better disinfectant than sunlight.

“To use a tired phrase – if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, so Wellington, you’re on notice – if you’re having a lend, we’re coming for you!”

Changes will be rolled out over a period of months and will include both print and a 24 hour news website to support the paper. Slater aims to alter the approach to news presentation significantly.

“We took the pulse of the nation, and it had nearly bloody died.

“No bastard wants to read old news – they can get that online. We’ll be more of a views-paper that promises to deliver REAL news, REAL opinion.

“The people are numb from the eyes down with the diet of PR’d crap they get now. I will not do it to them anymore – it’s not right.

“I assure you – the little paper that could still can!”

There will be further announcements regarding contributors and editorial direction.

Slater’s first issue will hit newsstands on Thursday 8 November 2012.

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