RNZ: ‘Is the ODT going OTT?’ #paywall

ODT 15.3.16 'ODT Online relaunching with paywall' p3 (1)Mediawatch: ‘The ODT not exactly over-selling the “exciting relaunch” of its website in last Tuesday’s paper.’ –ODT 15.3.16 (bottom, page 3)

### radionz.co.nz Sun, 20 Mar 2016 at 2:40 pm
RNZ National – Mediawatch
Will NZ’s biggest paywall plan yet pay off?
By Colin Peacock
New Zealand’s biggest locally-owned news publisher is set to make readers pay for its online news. Mediawatch asks the editor of the Otago Daily Times if it will pay off, and what the paying punters will get in return.
Audio | Download: OggMP3 (11′34″)

[excerpts from Mediawatch article]

The two big news publishers in this country – Fairfax Media and NZME – still give away their best stuff for free online.

….this week the biggest publisher outside of the two main companies announced time will soon be up for its free-loading readers. Dunedin-based Allied Press told The NBR (ironically in an article behind the NBR’s paywall) Otago Daily Times had been “giving away our content free for long enough.” Fighting talk. The publication’s paywall plan is a bold move by a paper which does not often chop or change. Its design is conservative and it carries some distinctly old-fashioned local content. […] From next month, a digital ODT subscription will cost $27 a month – the same as a print subscription. Subscribers of the paper will get online access for nothing. […] But readers leaving comments on the ODT site weren’t supportive. One said he thought it was a joke: “I’m guessing the paywall starts on the 1st of April?”
….Writing for The Spinoff website, [former NZ Herald editor-in-chief] Tim Murphy said because subscribers to the paper also had digital access, a big chunk of the total audience might stick loyally with the website too. But Mr Murphy added: “It will need to have content that you can’t get anywhere else, in a voice and character and feel that you want to support because it is ‘your ODT’.”
Full Article

Fishnchip paper [fresh.co.nz]!!! ……yesterday

Mediawatch looks critically at the New Zealand media – television, radio, newspapers and magazines as well as the ‘new’ electronic media. It also examines the performance of the agencies, corporations and institutions that regulate them. It looks into the impact the media has on the nation, highlighting good practice as well as bad along the way – and it also enquires into overseas trends and technological developments which New Zealanders need to know about. It aims to enlighten everyone with an interest in the media about how it all works, how quickly things are changing – and how certain significant stories and issues are being covered. It’s also intended to be essential listening for those who work in the industry itself – as well as those who simply enjoy well-produced and lively radio.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: fresh.co.nz + alliedpress.co.nz – tweaked by whatifdunedin


Filed under Business, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Media, Name, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Politics, Project management

58 responses to “RNZ: ‘Is the ODT going OTT?’ #paywall

  1. Tom

    Could it be the beginning of the end for the ODT. All our local news. Delta, Stadium, Council issues all come from “What If”. Investigative reporting by the ODT was dead and buried long ago.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      But Tom, a good many stories start with something in the ODT that is then examined, fleshed out, errors (reporting council and SDHB spinners’ handouts without first giving them a critical sniff test to see if they smell like wholesome facts or McFurfies) and misrepresentations (eg Diane’s thorough reports of meetings where the Boy Reporter has picked out only one minor portion and ignored the meaty parts).
      Then along come the finance spin analysts, and the people who know about drains, and metal suitable for seafront railings, and local government rules and regulations, and what was said and done in the past and by whom, and where the bodies are buried.

      I can see the ODT losing the “D” and merging with the Star, perhaps Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, not a give-away, bringing the regional news in since that’s what we don’t get from the Guardian, NY Times etc, to add to or with any luck supplant the regular pages about pellet fires.

  2. Elizabeth

    Not sure many will want to pay for buried fraud and corruption – replay the problematic establishment of the American press to boost investment in the so-called great railways.

    What a ‘spread’ that was.

  3. Diane Yeldon

    ODT is still considered the news ‘authority’ on Dunedin local news by other media both in and outside New Zealand. But IMO this needs challenging locally from time to time (as on What If) to keep them accurate and honest, especially in a local body election year. I guess many of the online commenters will be missed, because they won’t be paying a subscription. On the other hand, I hope the new online edition will include all the Letters to the Editor and the cryptic crossword puzzle (presently not available online). The inclusion of the crossword puzzle just might make a sub worth my while.

    Wonder if the paywall will affect the right to post excerpts from ODT news reports online for the purposes on fair comment – something which is not usually considered to be breaking copyright. I think quoting up to a third is allowed.

    Am also intrigued to see how well Chris Morris does at the promised longer form investigative journalism. Don’t think ODT’s recent report on flood-affected Dunedin residents really comes into this category, as it was based on interviewing various (far from clearly representative) people, so interesting but ‘anecdotal’. Not strong on facts, like the fact that you can’t insure your propery against gradual land damage with anyone (not as part of ususal home insurance with affordable premiums anyway), as I found out the hard way, after being sucked in by insurance marketing about ‘peace of mind’ etc. Most damage from water will be claimed by insurance companies to be ‘gradual’. For example, if your retaining wall suddenly collapses, it will probably not be covered because the cause will be argued to be the build up of water pressure over time – hence gradual. Similarly with EQC, damage has to be directly attributable to a single identified extreme climate event and you have to claim within three months. If the problem is underground (eg a non-functioning pipe) chances you won’t even know within three months. And EQC can claim that the storm event (or even a small earthquake) was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back and that the damage had been, in fact, gradual. You can’t prove otherwise and the onus of proof is on you. So for your claim to succeed, you have to do the impossible. Nice for those who make the rules.

    As with insurance companies (whose assessors are given the mysterious name ‘loss adjusters’), EQC assessors have pope-like infallibilty. Very difficult to get your expert to successfully challenge their experts even when yours are better qualified. Think we need a return of truly co-operative ‘friendly societies’. Insurance companies are now seen to exist to make as big a profit as possible and rip their clients off. Will find any excuse not to pay out. After first tying clients up in fine print which they can’t understand. This all puts local authority negligence with water infrastructure in an even more serious light. It may become financially prudent NOT to own land and the buildings on it, if cities all round the world with aging water infrastructure under further pressure from increased and denser population and extreme weather events don’t prioritize boring old DRAINS. Cities wiil have to re-think water use too.
    But I bet ODT would never write anything like this because real, honest investigative journalism ends up being pretty much indistinguishable from activism, usually involves taking sides, making a stand and being ‘political’. Not ODT’s style of traditional, conservative supposedly ‘balanced’ journalism which amounts to fence sitting and taking care not to upset advertisers.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Diane: “… assessors are given the mysterious name ‘loss adjusters’ – what’s mysterious about that? Their job is to adjust the facts regarding loss so the insurance company doesn’t have to pay out.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “And EQC can claim that the storm event (or even a small earthquake) was merely the straw that broke the camel’s back and that the damage had been, in fact, gradual.”
      ACC is notorious for the same shady practice. The fact that your wall was standing pre quake, or you used that leg without pain or limping before you fell, makes no difference, they claim that because it had unseen, unfelt damage that had no effect on function, the quake and fall are not the cause of damage therefore they get out of paying. I’m more and more of the opinion that NZers need more firearms, to help thieving bastards to concentrate on what’s the right way to behave.

  4. Calvin Oaten

    Interesting to read Barry Stewart’s comments re the investigative journalism headed by Chris Morris. Not sure if the first effort was indicative of its efficacy or just a first sampler. If so, it failed to deliver. The heading led one to believe it was to be a detailed expo of the June 2015 South Dunedin flood. Apart from the sad experiences of two households in the Glen Rd catchment, that was it. No insight into the real story, which was the flooding of South Dunedin and the reasons behind it. Where was the blocked mud tanks and pump intake screens? Where was the introspection of the Mayor’s sea level rise claims as prime cause? Where was the serious interviews with the DCC people challenging their ‘spin’ ?
    Overall, if that’s the first example of the ODT’s investigative journalism then it would get barely three out of ten as a mark. And that only for sentiment.

  5. Elizabeth

    Alerted to this pearl. Good grief.
    The “self promotion” —sanctimonious posturing and total inappropriateness.
    Sailing in the wind and puking all over her own bib.

    [whatifdunedin has taken screenshots of the Facebook entry for posterity]

    For those having problems viewing the Facebook image above, copy this into your browser, minus the space:

    https://www. facebook.com/crjintymactavish/posts/1029265667140896

    • Hype O'Thermia

      Brown-nosed greeny bends over backwards for election campaign funds?

      • Elizabeth

        How could one even think such a thing. [Dave’s out at Smith Palace]

        Or is he. Is she.

      • Elizabeth

        Have the happy couple promised more funding to the stadium….

      • Uncalled for, H. Really, it’s as if JM is the representative of all local govt venality. Not so. Don’t give Daughters of Dunedin such a tough time. Just sayin’.

        • Elizabeth

          brownestudy, important, I suggest, to attend occasional full council and standing committee meetings to gauge obsequious behaviours and need of elecution lessons, in action – rather than simply depend on the video record. A great deal of time is spent out of seat conferring and contriving with the likes of Kate Wilson and the mayor (as well as GSOs) while other Councillors are speaking. It is distracting as it is precocious, and manipulative as it is rude and disrespectful. Little sense of meeting decorum. That’s before I comment on ridiculous content of the politics and unnecessarily long-winded speeches attended by condescending treatment of staff (to thank them from on high). It is all rubbish. When chairing, the chair ought not to be there to push individual agendas and views, but frequently does in deliberate style characterised by a false goofiness – wiles, not business-like rigour….. since that is completely absent. We ‘received’ a fantastical prolonged speech on the success and good works of the CCOs (six monthly reports) as fortunes sank (no dividends to offset rates) with Delta in particular standing to lose ratepayers +$20M…. No financial nous whatsoever. You probably don’t want me to start in on gross ineptitude with cycleways and council strategies. Or influence, it appears, about climate change resulting in peculiar unscientic statements following the South Dunedin flood event.

          Attempts to crawl up the back paragraphs of local media’s cheque books, it seems. Very substantially INAPPROPRIATE for an elected representative. Tremain could successfully localise his creative licence better than I can type disdain.

          [speaking direct to camera, I am –Tilda]

    • Calvin Oaten

      Could it be that Jinty has got doubts of her re-electability, and sees journalism as perhaps a plan ‘B’? if so, she has certainly ingratiated herself with the ODT, to the point she might end up there. Probably a good move on reflection, as she adds very little to the council intellect quota. Mind you, that cupboard is bare anyway. Lifestyle pages would suit her fine. There she could express herself, regularly demonstrating the latest muffin recipes using eco friendly ingredients like dandelion and dock leaves. As she develops her culinary skills who knows what wonders could be in store for her devoted readers? Bicycle powered cake mixers and juice extractors? I’m warming to the idea so would definitely consider continuing my subscription.

      • alanbec

        Oh, for heaven’s sake, Douglas Sirk. J MacTavish is an accomplished filmmaker, her work shown on screens in NZ. Graduates don’t need to be City Councillors just for something to do, or to work for linear type, neither do their careers need to be speculated about by we aged.

        • Elizabeth

          Don’t be in love.

        • alanbec

          Lurve? Lurve got nothin’ to do with it. You don’t lurve people you don’t know, even if is acceptable to personally disparage politicos we don’t know. Lurve? Hm. The City would get a shake up if an Auckland fem poet, writer, songwriter and promoter became a Councillor. The malls’d all have soundstages.

        • Hype O'Thermia

          It’s great she’s so talented and can have her pick of careers. Good luck to her, may all her dreams come true, long as she moves on from being a city councillor or any other species of politician in NZ.

  6. Gurglars

    So she should thank the ODT. If they printed the truth about the losses, stupidity and bad choices on spending that this group of councillors has approved, they would all be out of a job.

  7. pb

    The way papers went lemming-like to free online content astounded me. Where’s the revenue? An ODT paywall may boost revenue from loyal readers, but the market isn’t big enough to turn the damaged u-boat to surface. The hull is breached and she’s going down to the bottom of the briny. I sort of like the ODT as a paper too, as far as papers go. Apart from the wild opinion pieces masquerading as news.

    There is so much content on the internet, and so little time to consume it.

    It’s fascinating watching the iPhone-driven industries – Uber, Airbnb, iTunes, Netflix, Amazon – consume the old business models. A slow burning conflagration, dampened by cheap debt.

  8. Peter

    The in depth stuff the ODT reports on usually is found in the Opinion Pages with material researched and commented on by contributors. People like Gwynn Dwyer or Chris Trotter can be relied on to look below the surface and provide balance. I am at times impressed that Chris Trotter is able to critique the Left, but wonder why we don’t have a ‘From the Right’ commentator who does the same.(Matthew Hooten?)
    Chris Morris is so far from this league of journalism that the new Insight feature is a joke. Calvin’s comment on the first report on the South Dunedin flood is a case in point. Morris interviews a few chosen people and reports what they say and if he (the editors) don’t like what they say, they twist what they said into an angle that suits their purposes. I know Bev has been screwed this way so many times by the ODT, it’s not funny. He enjoyed it when she laid all the information on a platter for him so he didn’t have to do the donkey work.
    At best, Morris, as the council reporter, only provides a starting point for local political news. From there you have to sort out the biases and judge what he hasn’t reported on.
    To be fair it is not just the ODT that is struggling. The Sunday Star Times has become such an appalling rag, it is not worth buying. Even the ODT looks better by comparison. A shame because not so long ago the SST was a great paper.
    It seems to be a race to the bottom with these papers as they report too much pap and not enough substance. Is it not fair to say that this partly explains why their readership is heading south? The light human interest stuff is nice, but I can live without it. I enjoy reading about local politics, but in the Age of the Soundbite, local politicians’ credibility is low along with the others.

    Change can be stirred up, behind the scenes, to give these characters a proper shaft when they deserve it. You don’t always need the help of the media….a lot of which is bloody useless anyhow.

  9. Peter

    I have been thinking, with this new paying for online editions, blog sites like this don’t have to put up the article as is currently the case.
    Bloggers out there can source the paper from elsewhere, name and date the article, quote parts from it, and make comments, from which others can contribute. In that way, payment to Allied Press is circumvented.
    Do you have other suggestions, Elizabeth?
    Also there is nothing stopping others doing their research and posting it here. After all the media pick up factual information from blog sites as opposed to purely opinions. (Though I note the ODT publishes blog opinions at times to pad out their reports.)

    • Elizabeth

      Peter, I am a retail (shop) buyer of the ODT because they won’t deliver to my apartment – I therefore pay over the ‘odds’ in any case. As we know ODT doesn’t use all the in depth material that NZ Herald provides for ODT use…. and we know social media is extremely efficient for local and international news and happenings so I don’t really see a problem when ODT goes to the paywall ‘disenfranchisement’ set up. ODT wasn’t coping during the Christchurch quakes, case in point.

      I’ve been really impressed by how RNZ News is picking up in quality and frequency of news reporting lately.

      What if? is flexible enough to produce workarounds.

      • pb

        I am not sure how whatif gets revenue to pay the staff (labour of love?), but journalists can no longer write left wing opinion pieces and be confident the advertisers will pay. They hitch their world view to a medium that is meant to catch the eye of consumers. That well bled horse is dying before their eyes. A question is how does a journalist write, and still get revenue from advertisers, who still have the cash, but no longer see the benefit in traditional media. Advertisers now want journalists to write content direct for them, disguised as news. That must cause more sleepless nights for the self-anointed saviours of society. Sit down, ditch the che Guevara T-shirt, and write me copy, or I won’t pay you. Double LOL.

        • alanbec

          Where were you, 1976?

          There are no ‘Saviours’ of left wing persuasion in mainstream media. TV primetime is right wing editorialising, when they Henry/Hosking the channels. Choosing to tar the rag with inference of corruptible venality, you ignore the really good reporters, clever writers, H Spiers, Tom Mack, DL, the Health Reporter. and the editorial assistant, who advises us, in professional terms, that the letter sent to the ed is a load of hogwash.

  10. Diane Yeldon

    On further reflection, even the cryptic crossword doesn’t tempt me to pay. Can get plenty of those free elsewhere.

  11. Gurglars

    Jobs numbers. The chief propagandist of the DCC recently noted an increase in jobs. Just how many jobs will be lost when the ODT goes to paywall? Or has been lost in the past few years. There is no point in employing a large staff if there are fewer readers and therefore advertising revenue diminishes.

  12. Elizabeth

    Saturday’s ODT (26 March) told me something.
    As did last Saturday’s newspaper.

    That is:

    ODT’s “new commitment to long-form investigative journalism” is completely floundering. The local newspaper has not set itself apart, it is so far from being Murray Kirkness’s daily tour de force at the New Zealand Herald – where real journalists know about real investigative reporting and real WRITING, and godsakes REAL Audience – that I seriously question its continued use around my cod fillets and juliennes.

    Scores thus far-
    Week 1 – ODT Insight NIL
    Week 2 – ODT Insight NIL

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “Long-form investigative journalism”
      “Long” by itself doesn’t qualify.
      Short, concise, incisive. I’d be happy with that as an alternative.

  13. Elizabeth

    Thu, 12 May 2016
    ODT Editorial: Adapt, collaborate, or die?
    OPINION The significance of the proposed merger of two rival New Zealand media giants cannot be underestimated. Australian parent companies Fairfax Media and APN are talking about whether to merge the New Zealand arms of their businesses – NZME and Fairfax NZ – into a major listed media company. At this stage, the companies are only “in discussions”; there are a various hurdles ahead, including Commerce Commission approval.

    Further, a closing pronouncement (which indicates that ODT, weirdly, is still in the vacuum, it still doesn’t get the power of social media in “free space”):

    We all need to go back to the future to a certain extent: back to valuing journalism and the work that goes into producing content – and back to paying for it (on whatever platform). Now more than ever, in an age of spin doctors, gatekeepers and public relations staff, we need a healthy, competent, independent and well-resourced media.

    Our role is as a public watchdog, but the public has a role to play, too. “Us and them” is an outdated concept. We’re all in this together – and have the power to make it better, not worse.

    I’m not sure they have ever been in this “together” where it should have involved outing DCC for diabolical rip-off of ratepayer funds, worth in the 100s of MILLIONS of Dollars.

    What part don’t they understand at MSM @DUD.

    • Gurglars

      The ODT can’t even see that the DCC, Delta and the mismanagement of Dunedin is a terrific opportunity for them. Other cities’ paper owners (probably Fairfax) would pay for analysis.

      The Guardian, New York and others would also pay because their cities have the same problems – incompetent management by overpaid executives who, do not have specialist knowledge to warrant any premium.
      It is a world wide problem, bureacracy paid more than the income creators.

  14. Elizabeth

    Allied Press’ newsrooms will collaborate in producing news and video for online, terrestrial television and print editions.

    Fri, 13 May 2016
    ODT: ‘Exciting’ media development
    Allied Press has unveiled plans to launch a multimedia news hub in Dunedin covering news and events in the South Island from North Canterbury to Invercargill across multiple platforms. The initiative – Southern Media Partnership – was announced yesterday, with NZ On Air confirming Allied Press, publisher of the Otago Daily Times, was allocated $396,821 to launch the news hub.

  15. Elizabeth

    Check out the ‘new white space’ at ODT Online, turning tabloid like the rest ?


  16. Hype O'Thermia

    Since the odt comments section has been mortally wounded in the rebranding, would What If consider having an “ODT, readers’ responses to local press” section where comments are censored only for the same reasons as posts to the rest of What If?
    Uncensored discussion with a minimum of editorial interference is so valuable, especially now with local body elections coming up soon.

    August, September, OCTOBER! Getting closer.

    • ODT Watch

      Hype. The stories the ODT don’t allow comments on helps us read them like a book.
      A good source has informed that things are not going well at the ODT and restructuring….redundancies….are planned.
      Barry hasn’t worked miracles. The slide has been ongoing for awhile now. Well, it’s hardly a surprise. They need new blood at the top.
      On the radio front RNZ is now riding a wave over commercial radio stations, The Edge being the only station upfront.
      John Campbell puts it down to their professionalism and working on solid stories not trash like The Kardashians.
      Hello, ODT? Your smug self satisfaction that your paper is up with the play is unjustified.
      It is amazing the Smith Brothers can’t recognise deadwood. It’s their money behind the paper.

      • Hype O'Thermia

        Comments used to appear very soon after being sent, unlike Letter to Editor in print, which seldom turned up till the topic had vanished along with the fish and chips it ended up wrapping. That’s what made odtonline comments so lively and relevant and worth checking and contributing to. Now there’s apparently NO comments-page. Length and goodness knows how many other factors are regulated, moderation appears to be beefed up according to https://www.odt.co.nz/comment-guidelines. Moderation to avoid breaking the law is understandable, but this seems OTT. And why length? The interweb is really really big and no trees have to die.

        • Elizabeth

          But you can easily find on the home page what happened a 100 years ago.

          Think of all that recent history they can now shove a red carpet over *mind explodes*.

          Dave Cull de Mayor has inadvertently sold ODT to Darkest Communist China.

          This is like The Perfect Dream LOSS of Comments – HOW to not sell more newspaper or digital subscriptions.
          ODT now designs itself as Very Handsomely Underprepared for THE ELECTIONS.

          What if? Dunedin views have been hiking with Delta and South Dunedin issues, this on top of steady growth. We are free, voluntary, carry no advertising, and are increasingly dependent on other sources and media for free and investigative content.

          However, we should always give support to journalists such as Vaughan Elder and Eileen Goodwin. Nice people. Professional. Valued.

          The new ODT Online format is much harder keep your eyes on. The layout design is so naff as to resemble Fairfax. Tabloid-nasty and slow to navigate for NEWS not bumph – page crowding and odd prioritisations of content and links.

          I could write an essay.
          Maybe it’s better on smartphone I haven’t checked, my eyes have gone numb. Snow blindness.

          [would be very frightened of being the Editor that killed the only independent newspaper left in New Zealand, poor Barrage Stewart, RIP]

        • Peter

          I used to comment at ODT Online under a pseudonym to add to the mystery and circumvent…..Oh, it’s him. Let your views speak for themselves. Though ODT know who it is.
          Now I more rarely do so. I noticed this in time and thought nothing of it. Just disinterest.
          Is it possible the stopping of online comments is a cost cutting measure? It must take time reading and editing. Elizabeth would know!
          Yes, this move won’t help the ODT.

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    How do others feel about the increase in video clips in news which is supposed to be New, Now, Enhanced experiences? I go for words whenever they are available, I read faster than I can listen, and too much of the visual content adds nothing. E.g. TV news, “We cross now to XY-Z reporter filmed outdoors somewhere that adds no extra information, telling a story that could have been told indoors, in the studio, at less expense and with no diminution of content.

    • Peter

      Well, l guess it is what they say than where they say it, Hype.
      Sometimes the banter between the reporter on the ground and those back at the news desk is too much. Gives the likes of Hosking more time to air his vanity and show off his under age jeans.

    • Mike

      I find that watching video requires a different sort of attention than skimming or reading a print article does – switching takes time and energy, I tend to avoid watching clips while I’m doing my web surfing, it’s hard work and I’m lazy

      • Hype O'Thermia

        How true, Mike.
        And it takes a long time compared with reading, and you’re stuck watching the screen which means it’s less convenient than listening to radio or a podcast on a portable device. Few videos in news sites add anything. An exception was the sinkhole in Australian couple’s section, pieces actually fell into the water and the hole got wider. An extraordinarily enlightening video. (The bar isn’t very high.)

  18. Gurglars


    The photo of the fish at the head of this thread was not taken at the SDHB, Compass or any person’s place of work or home that has anything to do with same.

    This is real fish

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    Have you seen the rules for commenting on ODT’s facebook page? Have a look at the last one!

    We reserve the right to remove any comments or posts that include the following:
    Offensive language
    Personal attacks of any kind
    Spam or advertising, including links to irrelevant sites
    False, misleading and deceptive information
    Clearly off topic content
    Profanity, obscenity or vuglarity
    Content that is likely to offend or insult based on race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
    Content that infringes on copyright
    Other comments or posts that Otago Daily Times staff deems inappropriate

    Isn’t that last one a doozy?
    “If you can’t say something we like you ain’t saying it here at all.” Add in the need to avoid anything LIKELY to offend, in this age when “I think therefore I am” has given way to “I take offence therefore I am validated” – and what have you got? 1960’s Women’s Weekly’s Over The Teacups, that’s what.

    • Elizabeth

      So they want Scout’s Heaven. Where humour and satire are dirty words. And Prescription rules.

      They died right there but really they been on a ventilator for too long.

      • Peter

        In days gone by news rooms were full of energy and smoke filled the rooms.
        Now the ODT feels like the yellow stained ceilings left behind. Their latest so called innovation is to update the website, but in the end it is all about news, breaking it, not following the leader.
        Instead we have the likes of Chris Morris sitting behind his computer making up stories. Last Saturday’s classic stadium advertorial is a case in point. He decided what he wanted in the story and he wanted those he interviewed to fit in with his brief.
        Bev sussed his twist and wasn’t going to oblige, which obviously pissed him off.
        Saying that not all ODT reporters are like that and still have professionalism and ethics. The ‘director’ of the ODT Insight….joke ..who are his staff?… could learn something from his colleagues.

  20. Gurglars

    Has anyone noticed that the concept of free speech is actually DEAD.

  21. Mike

    It’s not a good start, current front page is headlining with

    Man charged after car shot
    A Wanaka man has been charged with ill-treating an animal after a cat was shot.

  22. Calvin Oaten

    As I am rapidly approaching a stage of profound deafness, radio and video clips are of no use to me. I had up till recently appreciated the ODT online comments facility. The ODT hard copy, not so much. It seems to have, over recent times lost its way as a community communicator. The business of DCC and DCHL are vitally important to the welfare of Dunedin’s citizens but any in depth reporting is lamentably absent. One can only ponder as to why this is so, but the standard of journalism suggests it is doomed to become (if not already) a tabloid and a joke. But for ‘What if?’ and it’s free flowing and intense concerns re the likes of the Stadium (it’s reason for being) and this latest debacle over Delta’s decidedly shady activities over recent years, aided and abetted by a dysfunctional and ‘iffy’ mayor and council (we won’t mention staff), the consolidated debt burden and a general malaise prevailing over the city, it would all go unseen publicly. A total disaster and the ODT has failed abysmally.

    • Hype O'Thermia

      “I had up till recently appreciated the ODT online comments facility.” It’s a real loss. It was a regular go-to for me, for reading and commenting on. Often a thoughtful comment sent me back to read an article I’d skipped earlier because it looked dull or blandly non-news.

    • Peter

      Good comment, Calvin.
      I believe the ODT’s financial position and reputation would rise dramatically if it gained a gutsy reputation for exposing the crooks and charlatans amongst us. The consumers would dive for the hard copy wherever it is sold.
      Not sure where it is now, but Mountain Scene in Queenstown had such a reputation and was a must read I hear. Allied Press now owns it so I suspect it has gone limp in Edgartown.
      Likewise DScene for a while made, for the ODT, a real competitor despite being a minnow weekly. Its reporters were hungry for tips for real stories. Not the drivel we saw last Saturday.
      Being 150 years old is not necessarily a good thing unless some kind of weird nostalgia is your thing. Papers live..and die…..and something fresh and vital is born.
      Maybe the owners who are getting on now, should sell the paper, make their money on what’s left of it, and let a new crew take over.

  23. Calvin Oaten

    Just why you would pay for the bland yesterday’s news as generally presented baffles me. I guess time will be tha judge here. Could be too late for the ODT. These things tend to spiral and down mostly.

  24. Elizabeth

    Anybody in paper ownership or editorial control as the owners seem to be (sorry Barry! move over!) are independent enough to sell Cull as third-term mayor, obviously.

    The beyond-reasonable-doubt evidence of newspaper pap [this is no criticism of the citizenship process or the new citizen pictured]

    ODT 4.8.16 (page 5)

    2016-08-04 18.33.15[phoneshot supplied]

    In general:
    Beware the Furry.


    • Journoman

      I have heard a few comments around the block that Julian would like a change of Mayor, but……
      I suspect this is misinformation. Dave is the ideal fit for those who want the Ancient Regime to continue. He may have made stuff ups, which they acknowledge, but he is their man.
      Saw this news clip (illustrated).
      What next? Dave pulling some old dear out of the rough surf at St Clair while he happened to be walking along?

  25. Elizabeth

    Then today’s ODT editorial ‘Local goverment changes’ which had useful moments before full collapse of authority at last paragraph…. the resort to a ‘Do something!’ rather than to put the real options before us for consideration through this or following editorials, is a bankrupt editor.

    1. Local governments already share services regionally.

    2. Local control is power.

    A pity then, flagged up by wanton, immense ongoing losses of the Stadium project, crippling losses from blithe unlawful activity at Luggate, Jacks Point and Noble Village at Yaldhurst (Delta/DCHL), the scandalous $138m (public and private losses) of damage caused by DCC infrastructure management failure at South Dunedin in June 2015, the scandalous loss of +++152 vehicles via Citifleet across vastly more than ten years – the full circus that is Dunedin City Council – that DCC is a sort of “liability” the leaders of other councils are, behind their hands, saying to Dunedin people, is a bit of a laugh….in the sense of ‘what the hell is happening there’ ? Amalgamation material, DCC ? – you have to be joking, right ?
    *ho ho snigger

    • Peter

      Amalgamation might bring some economies of scale for some services, but do we really think Waitaki and Clutha residents would want the load from our stuff-ups shared around?
      We have a Clutha connection and from what I can see we have a good,solid Mayor in Bryan Cadogan and a better performing council which knows what sound priorities mean. I actually feel positive about the CDC which is more than what I can say about the DCC.

  26. Gurglars

    I agree, Brian Cadogan should be offered a sum just under the salary cap to change clubs.

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