Looking back over the past weeks and to the weeks ahead – to rate the noteworthy, the cringeworthy, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the truly amazing.
NBR deep sixing opinion columns
The New Zealand Herald reported last week that the NBR (National Business Review) will stop all opinion columns from the beginning of September. There are some who won’t like this but I am one who applauds it and here’s why. The rise of the internet, especially online news has slowly but surely moved away from straight reporting to heavily editorialised content and far too many opinion pieces from self-proclaimed experts and failed former politicians. In the main it is divisive and counterproductive. It’s like being yelled at by someone with a megaphone in a public square and I also find it tiresome.
It’s an election year and the advertising billboards are already littering our thoroughfares. The main online news outlets are gearing up for the frenzy of the pre-election countdown. I find myself scrolling through the headlines about polls and predictions and entirely avoiding the ‘opinions’ of the paid columnists who week in week out write the same negative codswallop.
I remember far off days when we would talk in person, read, listen, communicate about issues of the day, concerns, events, and even politics. The explosion of talking heads has sharpened our differences and we become more entrenched on our ‘opposing sides’. So I for one congratulate the NBR in silencing the noise and focusing on the news.
5 stars for a return to traditional news.
FIFA make half a billion dollars and just ‘break even’
A few days ago FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the Women’s World Cup had generated more than US$570 million in revenue and had ‘just broke even’. What? Broke even? This has been the most successful Women’s World Cup in ticket sales, crowd sizes, television audiences, and has gone a long way in establishing the vitality and importance of the game and women’s football in general.
One would expect it would make a good amount of money and that after expenses there would be left over cash for development and higher rewards for women competing. Nope, according to FIFA’s head guy half a billion US dollars has meant that the tournament has made no profit and no loss.
Call me suspicious but FIFA and corruption are not unknown to each other. Google FIFA and corruption and you can see for yourself. I would love to see the detailed accounting for this World Cup and where the half a billion dollars went. I will probably have to wait until some intrepid investigative journalists delve into it in the coming months.
1 star – I don’t believe that ‘breaking even’ claim for a second.
Steve Hansen helping out his mate Eddie Jones
Other big news was that former All Blacks’ coach, Steve Hansen was helping out his pal, Australian coach, Eddie Jones. It didn’t go down well with some and that was most likely because it was a very misinformed storm in a very misinformed tea cup. Was Hansen aiding the traditional foe? Had he abandoned the legacy of the All Blacks?
Nope. Hansen wasn’t assisting Jones and divulging all his hard earned rugby secrets to the detriment of our national game. He is in fact visiting Jones and seeing what he’s up to with the Aussie team. If mates can’t visit each other and see what they’re up to, then what is the world coming to?
Even All Blacks’ hooker Dane Coles was initially offended.“Shag what are you up to?” he said. “It hurts a little bit, to be fair. I’m actually gob-smacked … he’s a bit of an icon in the All Blacks setup. I’m actually a bit speechless. A bit disappointing but we can’t do much about that.” Rest easy Dane, Shag isn’t being paid to help the Aussies win the World Cup and all is well. Though, to be fair, the Aussies need all the help they can get.
5 stars – mates spending time together, how good is that?