Our Already Tiny Media Landscape Is About To Get Even Smaller


Our already tiny media landscape is about to get even smaller
The closure of Newshub later this year means our already tiny media landscape gets even smaller, making it even harder for many organisations to get the publicity cut-through they need. 

Competition for the already very limited ‘news time’ available in New Zealand is fierce.  It will become even more so when we reduce the number of news platforms later this year following Newshub’s demise. 

It also means our currently time-poor and under-pressure media will opt for the easiest stories first, increasingly bringing us once-over-lightly content that doesn’t require the expenditure of time, resource or money to publish. 

Serious news, issues-driven content, investigative journalism and macro-affairs reporting that doesn’t revolve around a political soundbite is already hard to find.  The closure of another major newsroom will only exacerbate that trend. 

The Fourth Estate is there for a time-honoured reason. The craft of journalism may not always enjoy the best of reputations, particularly with the massive uptick in clickbait, but it’s still a serious business and it serves a hugely valuable purpose. 

I remember the newsrooms of the 1980s. Noisy with the clattering of typewriters, smoke-filled (you either smoked your own or got your fix thru’ the second-hand variety), and often bastions of testosterone and just a bit of chauvinism. 

But those journos were dedicated to the job, not because it paid well, but because many saw it as a vocation. 

They had a public duty. Their role was to keep the rest of us informed. Not so much entertained, as seems to be the priority today, but abreast of events, issues and happenings in a timely and relevant fashion. 

The journos I know today still share that same passion for ‘the news’. They still see themselves as members of the Fourth Estate – there to do a job, there to hold the other three Estates to account. 

I wish all those dedicated journos at Newshub all the best.