The free-press must remain free... and that's why we should pay for it

  • Voices
  • May 1, 2019
  • Deborah Pead
The free-press must remain free... and that's why we should pay for it

Keyboard warriors have united against news of the New Zealand Herald’s new paywall. Arguing that it is our given right to access news for free, claiming that media outlets are trying to rip us off, and bemoaning the cost of a weekly cup of coffee for access to quality news.

It’s stirring a wave of social arguments and quite frankly, it’s absurd. We need to think bigger.

When we refuse to pay for news, we undervalue the crucial role journalists play in our society. A well-funded media informs, entertains and empowers us. It holds power to account, articulates our social values and gives a voice to those who need it most. 

The reality is that it comes at a price.

Well-researched, carefully analysed news pieces take time. It requires expertise, fact-checking and editorial processes to ensure fairness, accuracy, balance and credibility.

We live in a subscription society. We pay for Netflix, Spotify and a spot in the cloud to store our holiday photos. Why shouldn’t we pay for our news too?

For generations, we accessed news only through a subscription to our daily paper. Just 20 years ago, paying for news was as normal as buying milk and bread. But suddenly we won’t stand for it?

Many of the people complaining about the New Zealand Herald’s decision probably are also concerned with the influx of clickbait and fake news. The paywall encourages fair payment for good content and represents a path forward for great journalism, and the antithesis of clickbait.

We need perspective, this isn’t the landmark announcement that the Twitter-brave claim it to be. Yes, it will have an impact for many Kiwis, but the media landscape is changing and business-as-usual is not an option. This is what evolution in media looks like. To those who feel affronted, recognise that this is just another evolution of the communications and media landscape in New Zealand and I expect there will be more changes to come before the year is out.

Let’s not forget that paywalls aren’t new. International media giants and local publications like NBR and Newsroom have operated paywalls for years. It’s a wonder the New Zealand Herald didn’t do it sooner.

So, will this have a significant impact on the PR and media relations industry? No, I don’t think it will.

There will always be an audience for clickbait and fake news – but at least New Zealanders will know that the content behind the paywall is credible and can be trusted. We can’t underestimate this in the digital world where everyone with internet access is a publisher and unresearched content is frequently passed off as ‘news’.

The paywall provides an opportunity for the media relations industry to tailor pitches more accurately. In the same way that gaining coverage in particularly high-calibre publications has always been recognised as quality PR, media relations pros will lift their game knowing the honour of landing coverage beyond the paywall.

The paywall will separate audiences and much as it separates content. Those who pay for quality content will be the ones who are most motivated to engage with it – a win for journalists, publishers, clients, PR people and readers themselves. We must never be afraid to raise the bar.

It was 17 years ago that Pead PR ran the ‘Burn and Get Burnt’ campaign for Recorded Music New Zealand showing what piracy was doing to the Kiwi music industry. As part of the campaign, I had heated conversations with certain journalists who were adamant that access to music should be free. At the time, I argued we needed to protect the value and told them their words would come back to haunt them.

I am sad to see that the fourth estate now faces similar challenges in terms of consumer expectations and recognition of value. I applaud the courage of the New Zealand Herald and other outlets for taking the hard road and charging for their very best work.

We are privileged to have a free press in New Zealand, but Kiwis need to understand that free press doesn’t mean free-of-charge – it means free from government control. If information really is power, then we need to support our journos to the hilt.

A free press isn’t free: it’s on us to pay for it.

  • Deborah Pead is the founder and chief executive of Pead PR.

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

  • Advertising
  • July 16, 2019
  • The Register Team
2 Cheap Cars fined $438,000 under the Fair Trading Act

Used car dealer 2 Cheap Cars has been fined $438,000 for its use of “warranty waiver” documents and marketing statements described as “deliberately misleading”.

Read more

Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

  • Voices
  • July 16, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Outgoing Spark CEO Simon Moutter talks transformation, diversity and leaving a legacy beyond just metrics

Simon Moutter has just wrapped up a seven-year tenure at Spark, where the changes the company has gone through under his reign are nothing short of radical. From its name change (Telecom to Spark) and its operating model (traditional to agile), to its culture (publically called out to inclusive) and its structure (monopoly brand to many). Elly Strang sat down with Moutter had a candid chat about his journey to CEO and how one of his biggest lessons was he couldn't solve a culture issue with process and strategy.

Read more

Kiwibank and 99 form new partnership

  • Advertising
  • July 15, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Kiwibank and 99 form new partnership

When Kiwibank went to market and asked for agencies to get involved with an 'unpitched' pitch process, some of the best agencies, one-man-shops and consultancies threw their hats into the ring. After a thorough process, Kiwibank has appointed 99 as its lead strategic and creative agency partner, responsible for all above the line brand and retail work.

Read more
topics
Up-and-Comers
Up-and-Comers
We give the mic to the industry's future leaders to hear their thoughts on media, ...
Insight Creative
Insight Creative
Insight Creative specialises in shaping business stories out the core insights that often lie under ...
The Stoppies 2018
The Stoppies 2018
In February (Valentine's Day to be exact), StopPress gathered the industry for an evening of ...
Follow The Money
Follow The Money
Follow the money. It’s an axiom that journalists have believed in for years and a ...
Regional Rundown
Regional Rundown
StopPress takes a trip down the country to see who the audiences and agencies are ...
Beyond the Page 2018
Beyond the Page 2018
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
In this series, brought to you by Microsoft, we talk to a conceptual photographer, illustrator ...
20/20 (tele)vision
20/20 (tele)vision
Media consumption is changing. But by how much?
The Hot List
The Hot List
Our rundown of the hottest shows, brands and creators in New Zealand media. 1. magazine ...
Cannes Lions 2017
Cannes Lions 2017
All the winners, the shortlists and the drama from this year's edition of advertising biggest ...
Merger Mania
Merger Mania
All our stories on the nation's two failed mergers in one place
Bauer Beyond the Page
Bauer Beyond the Page
When it comes to creating branded content, there are few better in the Kiwi market ...
The Indies
The Indies
Over the course of this series of articles, we look at how always-nimble indy agencies ...
AdRoll on automation
AdRoll on automation
Marketing automation is tipped to eventually become the only way advertising is traded in the ...
Game Changers
Game Changers
It’s all about PEOPLE. Join us as we discuss global insights, ideas and innovations from ...
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2015
Celebrating all the winners of the 2015 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.
Future Tense
Future Tense
In a new series, StopPress talks to a range of newsmakers currently trying to shine ...
Beyond the Page
Beyond the Page
In conjunction with the MPA, the Beyond the Page series shows how some of the ...
Up Country
Up Country
In conjunction with News Works, the Up Country series talks with some of New Zealand's ...
Sounding off
Sounding off
As part of a content partnership with MediaWorks, we've asked a few of the company's ...
StopPress Podcasts
StopPress Podcasts
We sit down for a chat with industry leaders to find out what they're up ...

Adopting an open framework to experience design

  • Voices
  • July 15, 2019
  • Edwin Rozells
Adopting an open framework to experience design

Colenso BBDO head of transformation Edwin Rozells looks into how client marketers can improve their customer experience efforts with the open customer architecture.

Read more

Broadcasting watchdog targets ‘harm’

  • Media
  • July 15, 2019
  • Radio New Zealand
Broadcasting watchdog targets ‘harm’

‘Freedom in Broadcasting without Harm’ is the newly-stated mission of our most powerful media watchdog. The BSA is also asking if broadcasting standards need to change after the Christchurch mosque attacks. This could be controversial against the backdrop of increased angst about hate speech and freedom of expression these days.

Read more
voices

Social scoreboard

Zavy and StopPress have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Radio Hauraki gets behind men’s mental health with ‘No Talk Day’

  • Advertising
  • July 12, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Radio Hauraki gets behind men’s mental health with ‘No Talk Day’

Radio Hauraki will be observing a ‘No Talk Day’ on 9 August in association with Movember Foundation New Zealand, following a similar initiative by Triple M Australia.

Read more

Gray Matters: stories, rewards, empathy

  • Voices
  • July 12, 2019
  • Graham Medcalf
Gray Matters: stories, rewards, empathy

Graham Medcalf takes a look at the week that was, covering 25 years of digital advertising, agency/client relationships and understanding audiences.

Read more

DDB’S Damon Stapleton named regional creative chief

  • Advertising
  • July 11, 2019
  • StopPress Team
DDB’S Damon Stapleton named regional creative chief

DDB Australia/New Zealand has announced Damon Stapleton’s promotion to regional chief creative officer Australia/New Zealand. Stapleton previously held the role of chief creative officer at DDB New Zealand.

Read more

Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

  • Advertising
  • July 11, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Smirnoff Pure helps Kiwis discover local artists with Spotify partnership

The music we love is made up of many influences, including where we live. In its latest campaign, Smirnoff Pure and YoungShand tapped into the unique vibes of New Zealand and set out to help Kiwis discover the music that moves the cities and suburbs they call home.

Read more

Do you think outside the box? 2019 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards Finalists Announced

  • TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards 2019
  • July 11, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Do you think outside the box? 2019 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards Finalists Announced

Back in April, NZ Marketing magazine/StopPress and the Marketing Association called for the country’s master marketers to submit their entries to the 2019 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. We can now reveal the entries that showed true out-of-the-box thinking to deliver impressive commercial results as we announce the 2019 finalists.

Read more
2019 Finalists
news

2019 Finalists

These companies have showed us their thinking and made it through as finalists in the 2019 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards.

IP partnerships: Walking in the clients shoes
features

IP partnerships: Walking in the clients shoes

Do agencies work with clients like genuine partners that invest in useful outputs and creative thinking to help brands and businesses grow? Or are they more like lawyers and accountants: a necessary contract resource? Erin McKenzie looks at IP partnerships, and how agencies and clients are sharing the load for better results and rewards. Part one of two.

Out-of-home continues to grow in Q1 2019

  • Advertising
  • July 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Out-of-home continues to grow in Q1 2019

New Zealand out-of-home media continues to gain momentum, delivering 16 percent growth in the first half of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. OMANZ members cite a range of key drivers, including the strong adoption of digital out-of-home from new categories, alongside increased spend from traditional category supporters.

Read more

Ads of the Week: 9 July

  • TVC of the Week
  • July 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Ads of the Week: 9 July

A round of applause to Stirling Sports and Vodafone.

Read more

Bauer announces new leadership line-up

  • Media
  • July 9, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Bauer announces new leadership line-up

Bauer Media has announced two executive team appointments and a number of advertising leadership roles as part of the new-look structure under new managing director Tanya Walshe.

Read more
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About

StopPress provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2019 ICG Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise

Contact Vernene Medcalf at +64 21 628 200 to advertise in StopPress.

View Media Kit