Friday, October 9, 2009

Hmm, what's happening today?

Let's have a look to see if there are any big stories going on today. What's on the website?

Not much happening here. What about in the print edition?

Not a lot of news here either... oh wait, what's that in the bottom right corner?

Oh, that's right, the biggest individual tax avoidance case in New Zealand's history just ended with pretty much the most damning ruling that could have come out. As the 'teaser' says, Westpac basically decided themselves how much tax they wanted to pay. It wasn't an error, it was a cynical manipulation - you can tell from the bit where they "sought advice from an external consultant on how much tax it would elect to pay to deflect the attention of the IRD and the public". I hope that individual is sleeping well tonight.

Anyway, the company that does the Government's banking stole a billion dollars from the country, and where is the story? Oh, turn to the Business Herald - because a massive tax fraud wouldn't be of interest to the 94%* of people who don't read the Business Herald, right?And don't tell me that it's an old story that's been reported before. It's like saying you wouldn't cover the Clayton Weatherston verdict because we've heard about the case already.

Call me cynical, but this wouldn't have anything to do with banks being major advertisers in... the New Zealand Herald. Would it?

*Completely made-up statistic (2009).


  1. The story is on the front page. What's your problem?

  2. Yeah, good one. Maybe the Herald could put briefs of every story on the front page so that we can recognise the importance of all of them.

  3. Well then they wouldn't all be important, would they. A rather trifling criticism, James.

  4. I don't think it's the advertising. I think it's because although if it bleeds, it leads, the next best thing is crying. The editors believe their readers feed off tears. They might be right, too.

    You see, you have this quaint idea that the paper has some sort of public role, some ethical imperative that might guide the selection of stories. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.