Wednesday, 05 April 2017 11:54

What a Difference 11 months has made to Commerce Commission NZME & Fairfax merger Deliberations

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What a Difference three years has made to the Media Class


Out the book came on its triennial pre-election rotation shaming mission this time of the military. Broadcasters adopted solemn visages to hype the soufflé. Print columnists responded piously in their customary and secondary Pavlovian pick-up role.

The public responded. With indifference. The media class had flailed away at the usual levers. They were no longer connected.

Less than a year has passed since the two New Zealand newspaper chains first lodged their merger application with the Commerce Commission. Yet industrially it is an epoch ago. It is as if during these 11 months that the age sail had given way to steam which in turn had given way to internal combustion. Consider what has happened during this short space of time:-

  • President Donald Trump communicates directly with New Zealanders via his Twitter account. No need to buy a newspaper, or tap into a broadcasting channel. The President of the United States will communicate with anyone, anywhere with a Twitter account at the same time that he does with the rest of the world.
  • Two universities, repositories of immense content, have similarly moved into the on line news business
  • Chorus the main provider of long haul communications cables also moves into the online business, backing up the considerable existing presence in this sector of Telecom-Spark , its original parent.
  • General Motors and Vodafone entered the online general news business here.

What a difference three years makes. What a difference 11 months makes.

The free model meanwhile scythes at ever accelerating speed through the communications sector, notably books and newspapers.

In the sector at large there remains though some curious ironies. For example this week Spark’s Xtra subscribers found that accessing what they were paying for, their email service, was labyrinthinely complex, if possible at all.

While access to the Spark free news service was instantaneous.

|  From The MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  ||  Wednesday 5 April 2017   |||