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  • Reply to: Abdul Sattar Edhi – One man can change the world   15 hours 10 min ago

    So lovely to see him featured here. I wish more people knew about him around the world!

  • Reply to: Apples are not oranges – but bad questions will make you think so   17 hours 50 min ago

    Yours is an incisive comment and good information. But doesn't all of social science follow the "peeling the onion" approach? That access is enough has been evidenced in education, health and even clean water. Knowing what to do with these services is the next step. We are getting there.

  • Reply to: Media (R)evolutions: A 'deep and disturbing decline' in media freedom worldwide   1 day 23 hours ago

    What a lovely green colour!

    Sadly, New Zealand press freedom is not in a "good condition", as ranked by Reporters Sans Frontiers and the World Press Freedom Index.

    Journalism job losses have been consistent, for decades.

    State-owned television has been stripped of its public charter, with TVNZ focusing on infotaintment, and paying heavy dividends to the government. Funding for public radio has been frozen for nearly 10 years, despite a KPMG review urging more, not less, support.

    New Zealand journalists have not held a national conference since 2007, a one-off union affair that was the first since 1987, when the New Zealand Journalists Association (defunct) last met. The former EPM union promised a journalism review and a follow up conference by 2008, but neither eventuated. A successor union, ETU, carried over reference to a Media Freedom Network on its new website, but the MFN is not registered anywhere, nor are there public means of access.

    Similarly, the biggest journalism group, Kiwi Journalists Association, is a Facebook group only, with some 2000+ members, but members are banned if they challenge ethical breaches. KJA is not registered, and holds no meetings.

    A Media Freedom Committee is not registered either, but claims membership from management level of media outlets. It does not have a website, or declare office holders other than its Chair, whose election - or appointment - is a mystery.

    There is a National Press Club that is registered and has a website, but was disavowed more than ten years ago by journalists, after it invited a holocaust denier to speak at one of its events.

    A chapter of the Australian union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance was registered in New Zealand, and maintains an office, but officials here made it clear they were only interested in actor equity issues, not journalism, or media.

    The main private broadcaster, TV3, sacked the country's most popular current affairs host, despite a petition with 70,000+ signatures, at the same time a former manager was offered a nz$20 million bonus for cost cutting - both astonishing figures for a country of less than five million.

    Perhaps most damning, a global Transparency International survey that asked citizens to rate their most corrupt institutions saw New Zealand as one of just four countries where media headed the list.

    The survey undercuts TI's own Corruption Perceptions Index, which ranked New Zealand first equal for years, despite myriad exposes involving its defacto tax haven activities, and hundreds of lives and billions of dollars lost to regulatory failure in private and commercial construction, mining and financial services.

    New Zealand is neither clean nor green, and journalists here can only dream of attaining the "good conditions" enjoyed by their European counterparts.

    Not a criticism of this article, at all, more an objection to lack of deeper scrutiny from global media freedom rankings.

  • Reply to: Abdul Sattar Edhi – One man can change the world   2 days 32 min ago

    The poor people in the world really need more people like this amazing person; good story.

  • Reply to: Abdul Sattar Edhi – One man can change the world   2 days 5 hours ago

    Edhi - The richest poor man.
    Thanks for posting this tribute.