Joe Hendren

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Listener reaches a new low

The Listener with Princess Diana on the cover. Nothing much more needs to be said.

Pamela Stirling as editor of the Listener has been a destructive disaster. She has proudly taken the Listener downmarket, with the senseless aim of making the Listener just yet another meaningless 'lifestyle' magazine. The last vestiges of investigative journalism have been excommunicated, as quality writers like Gordon Campbell and Bruce Ansley have run out the door.

Occasionally a freelancer might get a good story in, but I suspect this is only when the lifestyle pontiff is not looking.

Rather than inflict editorial terrorism on the previous good name of the Listener, why didn't Pamela Stirling just apply for the Women's Weekly job?



At 2:54 pm, Blogger Fatal Paradox said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 3:12 pm, Blogger Fatal Paradox said...

Couldn't agree with you more on this one - the rot definitely set in a couple of years ago when they got rid of Gordon Campbell, their one decent investigative journalist.

I stopped reading the Listener after a particularly obnoxious editorial Stirling wrote last year, blaming the downturn in NZ's tourism industry on the rude manners of retail and other service industry workers.

At 9:37 am, Blogger Frank Partisan said...

I would guess the editors are thinking about what sells. What is easier to look at; Paris Hilton or African malnutrition?

Really good blog.

At 10:32 am, Blogger Kay said...

Kia ora

I'm another who misses the old Listener with better research, more responsible reporting and a better overview of politics, art, culture and community issues. The petty biases of columnists Joanne Black and Jane Clifton overwhelm even the dubious entertainment value of their comedy pieces.

I sometimes flick through an issue to see what they're saying, but I don't buy it anymore. I miss not being able to buy an intelligent general magazine with good arts, culture & political commentary.

Yeah - the Listener does seem to have caught the Paris Hilton bug, all surface, no brain and its "all about me" attitude.

At 12:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree Joe. Most of the Listener is now trash. I hardly even bother flicking through it at the supermarket check-out.

Apparently when Stirling took over as Ed, she is on record as saying that the Listener, under her stewardship, would no longer be the Alliance Party's weekly rag.

At 12:19 pm, Blogger Sarah said...

Argh! I totally agree! Pamela Stirling has taken away one of the few joys in my otherwise bleak existence. The Listener used to make me feel that maybe there was some hope, but no longer. Of course, she was able to take it further to the right because there was no competition on the Left: there is nothing else for us to read, so some of us will still buy it...and just suffer. Personally the only magazine i can stomach these days is the UK New Statesman, but that doesn't tell me what's on telly.
And now Pamela has taken names of the editorial, things seem to be moving more and more towards Joanne Black's world view. I remember her Black page last year where she talked about there being no problem with privatisation of early childhood education, and now an editorial stance seeing no problem with the sale of Auckland airport has popped up.

and that's not to mention the increase in coverage of shows on sky tv, the shorter articles, the number of stories on dieting and cosmetic surgery....

sorry, i'm ranting, but this is one of my favourite rages at the moment, and it just keeps getting worse!

Keep up the good work, i like your blog

Sarah (from the alliance)


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