The Media issue Issue 06
In Unison News. Your News.
Judged Third Best Small Publication At The 2006 Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards.
HAVE A LIFE ! tion ia c o s s a t n e d local stu r u o y y b d e n sjs is ow
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STUDEN T JOB W EBSITE
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S T N E T CON
10. News Ltd: the many mouths of Rupert Murdoch 12. De-pressed: bad news for good journalism 14. Everybody Panic: an interview with Drew Curtis of Fark.com 24. 0800-Send-Money-Now: telethons of yesteryear
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usu. Telephone (09) 815 4321 ext: 7927 Facsimile (09) 846 3381 Email firstname.lastname@example.org PO Box 44 016, Point Chevalier Credits Editor: Rory MacKinnon News Editor: Bronwyn Bent Designer: Mark Lovatt Ad Designer: Talia Smith Cover: Mark Lovatt, Joe Nunweek
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Issue 6: The Media Issue, Monday 21 May 2007
Contributors Adam Beach Andrew Scoresby Drew Hamish Oakley Josephine Stewart-Te Whiu Lucy Zhou Matt Alpe Rick Cusack Robin Hotter Sebastian Hoddle Shane G Norris Tui Matelau Veronica Haus-Bausen
04. Editorial 05. Letters 06. Presidentâ€™s Tirade 07. News 09. Execution 15. Vox Pops 16. Gig Guide 19. Student Support 21. Full Credit 22. Joseâ€™s Corner 23. Lunacy 25. Words and Pictures 28. Dear Barbie 29. Just A Minute with Sam Wills 30. Caption Comp 31. Enditorial
BACKSLAPS AND HANDJOBS ALL ROUND. “Despite all the trumpeting of the student media’s freedom and daring and ability to go places where the mainstream media can’t or won’t – I’m not seeing evidence that that’s any magazine’s editorial policy.”
heartening ferocity and comprehensiveness in its coverage of an commercially unpalatable story, and we can only hope the APN-owned NZ Listener will have the good grace to continue its sponsorship of the ASPA’s without politicizing them.
– Olivia Kember, 2006 Aotearoa Student Press Awards
Which is why I’m particularly excited about this little issue. While there’s no cleavage, less than ten mentions of the word ‘porn’ and only one piece of erotic literature, I suspect this Media issue may well be the most controversial one this year. The recent events at APN and TVNZ covered on page 12 have been chronically under-reported in the national media, for the simple reason that their staff reporters would quite like to hold onto whatever jobs are left. Fortunately, the student press across New Zealand have demonstrated a
This issue is also controversial in that I believe it quietly challenges outsiders’ perceptions of our students as intellectual non-entities. As with all stereotypes, it has some basis in reality – I have frequently met diploma students who could barely read or write, and recently learned that Unitec has only one PhD programme, from which no one has ever graduated. But for the most part, our student population sits on the crest of the bell curve in a morass of diverse ages, cultures and backgrounds. If anything, we should stimulate more dialogue as a campus than more traditionally WASPish institutions.
This issue is hopefully another step in that direction. One of the most significant results of the USU survey we ran in March was that an overwhelming majority of respondents wanted to see more news and current events in the magazine. I am very proud to work for a student body that craves awareness at a time when many others are apathetic, and we are busting our proverbials to make this a possibility. Even now we’re seeking a second part-time News Editor to join the In Unison crew. Given that you’ve read this far, it’s probably you that we’re looking for. Please send all feedback, criticisms and CVs to email@example.com. Righty-oh.
THIS ISSUE’S QUESTION
LETTER Shy We Would’ve, But Your Mum Was A Bit Put a face to those titties. -Anon.
A READER ASKS, “DOES YOUR PENIS CURVE CORRESPONDING TO LEFT OR RIGHTHANDEDNESS?”
I like the student mag and I know student mags are meant to rev people up or offend and that our one is mild compared to Craccum, but the cover is a bit much this time. While I’m sure gay women and straight men appreciated the cover, gay men and straight women sure didn’t. -Kathryn
The More You Know
TXT in your opinion and be in to win food & drink vouchers from Carrington’s, Unitec’s new licensed venue!
021 022 72536
A white, emotional prostitute is the easiest way to cook ecstasy. Cheap and satisfying. -Paul W Response To A Female Student
I am writing in response to the recent letter titled “Fair Call, Really” regarding the lack of a female doctor in the Unitec Health Centre. The previous female doctor did not inform Unitec that they were not going to renew their contract until after semester one began; female GP’s are in short supply and securing locum cover has been extremely difficult. We are doing as much as we can to rectify the situation as soon as possible. - Maurice Drake, Head of School (Health Science)
TXT POLL RESULTS Yes
Should Arts students be sent to a separate campus in Henderson?
] LETTERS POLICY: Letters should be 250 words or less. You MUST include your real name, phone number and address so we don’t get sued (we won’t print them if you don’t want us to). We won’t spell-check it, but we might edit, abridge or decline it without explanation.
“No they shouldn’t. We need to keep the hot women close to our hearts.” “No, they should not be sent to a third campus. Spend the money improving building 1 instead of continuing to divide Unitec”
] CLASSIFIEDS: Flat For Rent 4brm, 30 Ellis Ave, Mt Roskill. $500pw. Ph. Victor on 444 3166. Ph Victor on 444 3166.
SAMPLE OF YOUR OPINIONS
Carpool Wanted Business student seeks driver to carpool to/from Murray’s Bay, 8:30am/4pm (flexible). Ph. Liz on 478 3537 or 021 122 9572.
“Yes, send those flower power, hairy pitted hippie’s out west! From westie” “No! Did the people fancying this option ever try to get to corbans (the proposed site) during rush hours? Have fun!” “No they shouldnt. Building 1 has charcter and we like it here.” “No. Unitech should stop playing prprty investor!”
The USU recently ran a special election and you may have heard that we now have some new executive members; notably Ajay and Frank. Also for the first time in years we have a vice president, Hemi Grover. With our stronger executive team I look forward to the prospects of the rest of the year.
THE PRESIDENT’S TIRADE For those of you who are interested in politics you should know that the budget recently came out. There has been a $127 million boost to tertiary education. This boost is aimed primarily at polytechnics and institutes of technology, which includes Unitec. What does that mean for your course? Not much really, but it will help out quality across the sector and hopefully more will be done before we are all old. Politicians are also talking about making the sedition laws a thing of the past,
meaning that now you can criticize them as much as you want to and even incite anti -government sentiment. Previously the law allowed the government to arrest anybody that caused dissent, and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that this can impinge on freedom of speech, and is a tactic favoured by communist states and dictators.
“Have you ever committed an act of sedition?”
And that leads to my question this week. It’s not a poll but rather something more fun:
Adam Beach USU President firstname.lastname@example.org
If so, send me an email of the details and I will give the best one a $20 Carrington’s voucher (violent or dangerous acts will be ineligible).
USU CONTACTS PO Box 44016, Point Chevalier 139 Carrington Rd, Gate 4 Rm 1004, Building 180 Auckland www.usu.co.nz
USU Reception (bus tickets, secondhand books) The Hub, Bld 180, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 8600 e: email@example.com
Student Job Search (SJS) The Hub, Bld 180, Unitec p: (09) 846 9910 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
MEDIA, In Unison Rm 1123, Bldg 180, Gate 4, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 7927 e: email@example.com
ADVOCACY (Student Problems) Rm 1123, Bldg 180, Gate 4, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 7924 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
EVENTS Rm 1123, Bldg 180, Gate 4, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 7925 e: email@example.com
Ajay General Exec artist’s depiction
Frank General Exec new kid on the block
Kaushik General Exec zig-a-zig-ah
Greg General Exec an eye for two lips
Beryl International Rep chugger of bubbles
Trace Treasurer no habla Espanol
Hemi Maori Rep god of nations
SPORTS Rm 1123, Bldg 180, Gate 4, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 7930 e: firstname.lastname@example.org USU PRESIDENT Rm 1123, Bldg 180, Gate 4, Unitec p: (09) 815 4321 ext 7929 e: email@example.com
NEWS FREE PORN FOR STAFF; YOU THINK WE’RE JOKING
By Bronwyn Bent With reporting by Andrew Scoresby Seen what your lecturer has been downloading lately onto their work computer? Yes, it burned our eyes as well. You might be surprised that currently, Unitec staff are not bound by any official IT policy that stipulates what they can and can’t do with the technology they are provided with in the course of their work here. The dangers of not having a policy were once again highlighted in a recent ruling from the Employment Court, which found that the actions of a staff member who used e-mails sent to and from a Unitec e-mail account in order to intimidate another staff member “could not reasonably have constituted a misuse of Unitec’s property in in its e-mail system (as)…Unitec had no effective policy about misuse of its electronic mail system.” When staff members were found with pornography on their work computers in July of last year, Deputy President of Corporate Services Richard Handley told In Unison that “the current policy is [not] nearly clear enough” and said he expected a revised IT policy would arrive by late August. Handley declined to be interviewed for this article. Registrar Rebecca Ewert says whilst she is aware of the need to develop policy in this area, other priorities are higher and currently there is no timeframe for a policy to be implemented. Ewert stresses the need to “get it right” and ensure any policy complies with current legislation whilst not constraining staff. She says that once she has had time to develop the policy it will be sent out for consultation, first to a group with specialist knowledge, and then to a wider group. So, happy staffers, looks like you’ve still got a bit of time to download all those episodes of Buffy without too much worry after all.
GROVER ELECTED VICEPRES, SNUFFLEUPAGUS DEMANDS RECOUNT By Rory MacKinnon This month’s special USU Executive election saw the induction of two new general Executive members and the appointment of former Waitakere representative Hemi Grover to the position of Vice-President, making him the first person to fill that position in over two years. Grover first ran for Waitakere representative shortly after beginning his studies in the Bachelor of Social Practice programme in February of last year, and has held the position ever since. While he is still primarily concerned with “just passing [his] bloody papers”, Grover believes that as a self-confessed “nosey bugger”, he has a natural talent for the work. “I like going into bat for the underdog. I like supporting people. I’ve been a beneficiaries’ advocate, I’ve done social work and counselling, and [facilitated] men’s groups.” Grover also says that he is looking forward to building stronger ties between Unitec and its students. “I don’t believe that the USU and Unitec should be miles apart. We should work in partnership.” Waitakere representative candidate Claire Baker withdrew from the running shortly before the day of the election, despite being the only candidate nominated for the position. However, candidates Frank Williams and Ajay N Murthy were both successful in their bids to become General Executive members, bringing the full total of USU Executive members to seven. An AGM and general election for other positions is still scheduled for later in the year.
RIP GRAEME JONES, FACES FINAL LIQUIDATION By Bronwyn Bent
with first class honours and had previously taught in the Department of Accounting and Finance and the Department of Economics at The University of Auckland. He was a PhD student at the University of Houston in the early 1990’s before family circumstances forced him to give up his study.
Students and staff within the School of Business were saddened recently by the unexpected death of lecturer Graeme Jones, who died in his sleep on April 24. Graeme was a popular lecturer within the school, which he joined in 2002 after leaving a long-term position at the University of Auckland. At Unitec, he taught within the Finance major, as well as holding the post of joint Finance Major Programme Co-ordinator. In addition, he also supervised Industry-Based Learning (IBL) students. Graeme had a Master of Commerce degree
Trish Hargreaves, Administrator of the School of Business, says of Graeme: “(He) was extremely well respected by all the students he taught. With his sound technical knowledge his lectures were always thoroughly prepared and detailed. He provided excellent personally prepared
handout material, often handwritten, with detailed notes, examples and suggested solutions.” “When it came to helping students, nothing was too much for Graeme. Extra tuition and assistance for students was provided willingly at any time. His laughter in the classroom, office or corridors was infectious.” “In his short time at Unitec Graeme had a huge impact on students, past and present, and all staff. He will be sadly missed.”
NURSING SHORTAGE A “CRISIS”, UNITEC GRADS HOLD DOWN THE FORT By Bronwyn Bent
Maurice Drake, head of Nursing at Unitec, says that whilst nursing shortages “tend to go in cycles”, there is currently a “crisis in some areas” of healthcare.
See the USU Advocate for conﬁdential advice and support firstname.lastname@example.org 815 4321 x7924
“The issue of whether we can replace them from poorer developing countries is increasingly an ethical debate, when those countries are also facing a shortage and are arguably in greater need…. We have a small window of opportunity to address the issues before the shortage becomes acute.”
GOT A PROBLEM
“Nurses are the backbone of health services. Our 45,000 registered nurses make up approximately 60 per cent of New Zealand’s health workforce.”
Drake says training more nurses is not the answer, due to a lack of clinical placements for students.
While Drake recognises the significant level of student debt and possibilities of working almost anywhere in the world, he recommends remaining in New Zealand, “to go into a new graduate nursing programme…it’s their choice of course, but we are training for New Zealand, and it is disappointing when people train here and then leave straight away.”
Dr. Huntington is spearheading the Nurse’s E-Cohort Study, which examines health and well-being in order to improve workforce policy in the health sector. Dr. Huntington recently said on Radio New Zealand that the country is suffering from chronically low retention rates for new nursing graduates due to better pay and conditions overseas.
Drake says there are a number of possible reasons for these shortages, including low pay, stressful working conditions and increasing media scrutiny of healthcare professionals. Drake also notes the difficulty trained nurses who have been out of the workforce have in returning to nursing, especially those with children. “There needs to be more flexible ways of working.”
However, surveys of Unitec nursing graduates between 2004 - 2006 found that less than 10% of respondents planned on leaving the country for work immediately, with most citing family commitments or the ability to go into a new graduate nursing programme as the main reasons why they would stay in NZ.
New Zealand has reached “crisis levels” in the shortage of nursing staff in New Zealand, according to Dr. Annette Huntington from Massey University’s School of Health Sciences, with many new graduates from NZ nursing programmes said to be lured away by the promise of better pay in overseas hospitals.
CULLEN BUDGET POLYTECH FUNDING, YOU STOPPED READING THIS HEADLINE FOUR SECONDS AGO By Bronwyn Bent With reporting bby Veronica Haus-Bausen Tertiary Education Minister Dr. Cullen has announced an increase in funding for ITPs (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics), Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and wananga in the 2007 Budget.
do not want to pretend otherwise…It is vital we have a tertiary education sector capable of driving economic transformation and meeting our environmental and social challenges.”
Dr. Cullen says the boost is intended to allow institutions to move towards a funding system based on providing courses that are responsive to needs within communities and industry, rather than a “short-term revenue-maximisation focus” – also known as ‘bums on seats’.
Over the next two years, $21 million of operating funding and $55 million of capital funding, will be used for ITPs to develop initiatives such as collaborative working, distance learning, and encouraging students to go on to higher qualifications, as well as developing measures to evaluate how well the ITP sector works.
“We are looking at a significant reprioritisation of tertiary funding, and I
Cullen says that positives for ITPs will include assured funding for up to three years; a process for managing business risks such as fluctuating enrolments, and recognition of the need for institutions to build capacity. “Our task from 2008 onwards is to demonstrate that it (funding in the tertiary sector) is an investment, which brings tangible returns to students, to their families and communities, to their future employers, and to our economy and society as a whole.”
EXECUTION Welcome to Execution, a new regular feature in which News Editor Bronwyn Bent reports on the events and outcomes of the latest USU student Executive meetings, providing an independent look at the shadowy boardrooms and cigar-chomping representatives of our student association (see page 06). Executions as of Thursday, 3 May: The caring sharing nature of the USU (Unitec Student Union) Executive was on display in full force at the last meeting, with two of the Exec reported to be running late because one of them was on a mercy mission to rescue another from a brokendown car. This meant a rather relaxed start to the meeting, with only El Presidente Adam Beach, and Exec members Hemi Grover (VP) and Kaushik Shekar present. The first item of business was to announce the results of the recent by-election for the position of vice-president of the exec, with current Waitakere representative Hemi taking the position. This means that the positions of Waitakere, post-graduate and Maori representatives are now vacant, and options for filling these were discussed,
with co-opting people onto the Exec being a possibility. The meeting really kicked in when they were joined by Richard Neal, manager of the association, who discussed a current project to significantly upgrade the USU website (have you ever looked at it? No, I didn’t think so). This will be a major project and may result in a website that acts as a portal to all services available to Unitec students, even those not funded or run by the USU. He also spoke of the need for the association to better serve the whole range of students at Unitec, including those doing night and weekend courses, those at Waitakere, and part-time students, and how an improved website might do this.
might work and what might feature on it, Richard went on to talk about planned improvements to Orientation, which may or may not include line-dancing competitions, a circus and a comeback gig from TrueBliss. Or, more likely, a shorter time frame and more night time events. It was at this point at the meeting I was dispatched so that the exec could talk about secret employment things. At least that’s what they told me - for all I know they could have been painting each other’s nails and having pillowfights and bubblebaths. Further bulletins as events warrant.
After a long discussion about how the site
NEWS : LTD
The Many Mouths of Rupert M
By Andrew Scoresby
For better or worse, our company is a reflection of my thinking, my character, my values
to The greatest thing uld wo come out of this… l. oi r fo be $20 a barrel tax y an That’s bigger than y. tr cut in any coun
– Murdoch on News Corp.
For many people, Rupert Murdoch may well be the most important person you’ve never heard of. His multinational News Corporation owns your world, from Myspace to American Idol, from Sky TV to the NRL. And while every industry has its magnates and moguls, Murdoch’s News Corp. is particularly significant because of its ownership of newspapers, TV channels and magazines; by monitoring and controlling the flow of information from these outlets, a media conglomerate such as Murdoch’s can manipulate public opinion and awareness to protect and advance a corporate –and sometimes personalagenda.
Iraq rdoch on the war in
Admittedly, Ryan Seacrest probably doesn’t have a billionaire tyrant whispering in his earpiece, and Eragon is hardly political propaganda. But Murdoch is a notorious micro-manager of his investments, and his serious news publications do have a pattern of complementing his personal views and business interests. When Murdoch expressed his approval of the US-led invasion of Iraq to independent Australian magazine Bulletin in 2003 (“We can’t back down now – I think Bush is acting very morally, very correctly”), so did editorials in all 175 of his daily newspapers.
DEMOCRATS CHALLENGE BUSH ON IRAQ BILL By David Espo, AP
A historic veto showdown assured, Democratic leaders agreed Monday on legislation that requires the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later. ‘No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration’s incompetence and dishonesty,’ Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a speech in which he accused the president of living in a state of denial about events in Iraq more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion.
CH: Evil Genius
Bush, confident of enough votes to sustain his veto, was unambiguous in his response. ‘I will strongly reject an artificial timetable (for) withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job,’ he told reporters in the Oval Office as he met with his top Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus. Taken together, the day’s events marked the quickening of a confrontation that has been building since Democrats took control of Congress in January and promised to change policy in a war has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops.
AWK STEPHEN H
When News Corp. was awarded a $20.7 million dollar tax-break for its New York offices, the New York Post went three years without a single editorial critical of Mayor Rudi Giuliani’s administration. And as recently as last month, the Post published a story by Associated Press reporter David Espo on the Iraq withdrawal bill that had been largely rewritten to support a prowar stance. The original and the version published in the NY Post are below.
The revision sparked outrage amongst the public and other media outlets, who saw it as deliberate misuse of Espo and the AP’s credentials as part of a smear campaign on the Democrat party. However Murdoch’s political allegiances – like his investments – are nothing if not flexible. In the UK, News Corp.’s papers The Sun, Times and News Of The World constitute around 35% of the newspaper market. In 2001, all three shifted away from their traditional conservative ties in order to endorse Tony Blair and the New Labor Party. It just so happened Blair advocated more relaxed media laws and introduced a communications bill featuring what became known as “the Murdoch clause”, allowing newspaper conglomerates to purchase television stations and radio licenses. And in Asia, News Corp.’s publishing wing Harper Collins cancelled a book contract with former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten when it became apparent that its criticisms of the Chinese government might affect News Corp.’s bid to start a satellite television network Star TV in China. Shortly after its launch, Star TV permanently cancelled its BBC programming after it featured reports on human rights violations by the Government
The most visible and politically-charged of all Murdoch’s ventures is still the Fox News Channel, which has an estimated 85 million viewers and is the highest-rating of all US cable TV networks. Other more dubious honours include being the most frequently-cited example of media bias by journalists in America, according to independent studies in 2006 by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Critics of the network’s perceived ideology have gained traction since the release of leaked memos from Fox Vice-President John Moody to his editorial staff in 2004, instructing them on their coverage of the 9-11 Commission (“Do not turn this into Watergate”), the US-led assault on the town of Fallujah (“It won’t be long before some people start to decry the use of “excessive force”. We won’t be among that group”) and Bush’s general characteristics (“His political courage and tactical cunning ar[e] [wo]rth noting… throughout the day”).
‘WHITE FLAG’ HARRY WHITE HOUSE: PULLOUT PLAN A DEATH SENTENCE
By David Espo, AP April 24, 2007 -- Washington
The White House warned yesterday that Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid’s new legislation requiring the first U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1 is a “death sentence” for millions of freedomloving Iraqis. The stinging comments from President Bush’s spokeswoman came just days after Reid declared the war is already “lost” and as negotiators for the House and Senate nailed down the details of the war bill, which also set a goal of completing the pullout by April 2008. Dana Perino, the president’s spokeswoman, charged that Reid is in denial about the
vicious nature of the enemy and about the U.S.-led plan to provide more security in Iraq. Reid (Nev.) had earlier accused Bush of being in a “state of denial” about what’s happening in Iraq four years after America went to war. Perino fumed about Reid, “He’s also in denial that a surrender date - he thinks it is a good idea. It is not a good idea. It is defeat.” “It is a death sentence for the millions of Iraqis who voted for a constitution, who voted for a government, who voted for a free and democratic society,” she added.
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: BAD NEWS FOR GOOD JOURNALISM
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On the surface of it, the APN redundancies may not seem like a big deal to the average reader, and indeed, most have probably barely heard of it. But the Australian Printing Network is a behemoth in New Zealand’s print media. Its New Zealand division is probably best known for the New Zealand Herald and New Zealand Listener, but it also owns regional and community newspapers across the country, including The Aucklander, Daily Post, Wairarapa-Times Age, Bay of Plenty Times, Rotorua Daily Post, Hawkes Bay Today, Whangarei Northern Advocate, and Wanganui Chronicle. Despite APN’s 2006 Annual Investors’ Report detailing “positive circulation revenue and market share gains” for their New Zealand National Publishing division, their New Zealand operations still ranked the lowest-earning of all APN holdings last year. In order to maximise returns, APN is minimising expenditure on in-house staff by sacking local sub-editors from each of its publications and outsourcing the work to Pagemasters, an Australian-owned company with a central office in Auckland. Not surprisingly, the Print & Media Council and the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union which represents the sub-editors have come out swinging. EPMU
Secretary Andrew Little has decried the new model as “assembly-line sub-editing” and “a further attack on our news and democracy”. While an attack on democracy might be a tad dramatic, the critics have reason to be skittish . Outsourced editing of news and features on this scale has never been attempted anywhere else in the world, and although Pagemasters currently service 170 newspapers in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, this is limited to TV and radio listings – which have already proved problematic and riddled with errors. When one contemplates nearly half the newspapers in New Zealand shifting en masse to an as-yet untested production model, the potential fallout could be disastrous. APN NZ’s Deputy Chief Executive Rick Neville’s response to the EPMU is that his company “will continue to look for efficiencies in all its operations.” “It will be up to Pagemasters to manage work flows in a way that does not lead to an increase in errors and loss of quality. There will also be a responsibility remaining with
APN journalists… to do their utmost to ensure accuracy.” It seems that APN’s management is essentially washing its hands of the situation. Obviously APN will hold Pagemasters accountable, and obviously the journalists will want to get their facts right. But the outsourcing creates extra, unnecessary strains on an already hectic industry. Sub-editors are arguably one of the most undervalued roles in the media industry, but they are far more than glorified spellcheckers: often they are the only person other than the author to read an entire article before it goes to print. A good copy editor is expected to trim articles to fit the available space, write headlines, check facts and insert background information and reshape stories to fit the ‘house style’ – the tone and voice of that particular paper. It’s unlikely that much of this will be possible under the new model, according to Ed Mason, Communications lecturer at Unitec and author of Content Before Delivery: A Digital Dilemma. Mason compares the scenario to “one of those callcentres in Mumbai”, citing a lack of context and working relationships as potential problems in the newsgathering process.
Mason says the cuts could actually do more harm than good in the face of new, more intimate media such as blogs. “I think it degrades the concept of our community… it gives me the feeling that they don’t see me as a reader or a citizen, but as a guy they can sell advertising to.” “News is not a commodity like any other, because we live in a democratic society. I can get by without baked beans, but I can’t get by without the news to make responsible political and economic decisions. If I think that the … traditional sources of information are only interested in making money and how they can serve their investors … newspapers are in trouble.” AT THE OTHER END of the spectrum
are the drastic cuts at TVNZ, where chaos has reigned in place of Bill Ralston (although some say you’d hardly notice the difference). Out of the 58 redundancies, ten cameramen are to be released, the number of reporters in Auckland will be reduced from 13 to 6, TVNZ’s entire news reference library and the Wellington office for current affairs programme Sunday will both be permanently closed, and correspondents in Queenstown, Rotorua, Wanganui, Hong Kong and Sydney will have their contracts terminated. Ironically, the facts behind the journalists’ predicament have already been skewed and hijacked by special interest groups: the Greens’ Sue Kedgley recently took a swipe at Labour, claiming in a press release that the cuts were the direct result of Government treating TVNZ as a “cash cow”. Although it’s true that Labour’s 2006 budget promised $24.9 million in funding over four years and has since extracted $84.5 million in dividends, NZ On Air
funding is not used for production of news and current affairs, which relies instead on advertising revenue, which generates 90% of the broadcaster’s income – an ethical line which TVNZ spokesperson Megan Richards compares to “a separation of church and state”. However it’s not as simple a case as, ‘it’s our money, and we’ll do what we want with it’. TVNZ is still obligated under the Charter to provide, amongst other things, “independent, comprehensive, impartial, and in-depth coverage and analysis of
dropped 2.4% and 5.4% respectively. But if it is a “panic-induced” measure, it’s moving very, very slowly. Peter Thompson, a senior Communications lecturer at Unitec has studied the structure and governance of TVNZ since 1999, and says he has learned from interviews with former head of news Ian Fraser that the broadcaster has been systematically restructuring the department ever since it became a Crown-Owned Company in 2003. “He [Fraser] was clear when they first made cuts around the newsroom, it was to rein in
populist ideals of a truly free press are a “ The myth – as long as the news comprises people’s livelihood, it will remain a commodity
news and current affairs” and “feature programmes that reflect the regions to the nation as a whole”. So will this still be possible under the new regimen? Richards says she believes so. “The situation with the regions is that we want to disestablish permanent positions…. We are looking to move to a freelance model which gives both us and them more flexibility. The alarm about losing regional coverage, I think, is unjustified. It’s just a different model of employment.” EPMU delegates and representatives from the Public Service Association say the “freelance” model is a popular tactic used by employers to promote individual contracts rather than collective agreements negotiated by a union, which would inevitably result in a lack of job security. Business as usual in the corporate sector, then. But this in turn would likely result in a deficit of old hands on deck, which the PSA’s national secretary Richard Wagstaff says will ultimately damage TVNZ’s reputation. “TVNZ needs to lift its game to win back viewers, not get rid of highly-skilled and experienced staff. This is a panic-induced measure that I predict will come back to haunt TVNZ.” Admittedly, One News’ ratings in the 18-49 demographic have slipped 8% in the space of a year, and Sunday and Close Up have also
“It takes the news out of the community where it’s gathered…It’s taking information and running it through another filter. For instance, does it mean we’re going to get generic media, where everything’s predigested by this one company? What’s their style going to be? What prominence are they going to give to certain stories? Are they going to be more tabloidised? Are we going to have smaller stories? That’s a lot of power in creating this filter…and they may not be people from that community, with the values and mores that those people consider important.”
the overhead that ... had never been audited or properly controlled. There was an initial round of cuts, but most of that money was redirected towards opening new offices, putting more local reporters from different areas of New Zealand on the beat.” Apparently TVNZ still feel the need to tighten the belt, disestablishing regional bureaus it set up only three years ago in the last cull. But the latest round of redundancies seem downright counterproductive, and ironic in the face of TVNZ’s botched ‘We Are One’ rebranding campaign, launched the same week as the announcements: critics chided CEO Rick Ellis for approving nearly $30 000 to be spent on changing the colour of the TV One logo from gold to orange while journalists were being told to pack their proverbials. Meanwhile, grand talk of a new channel, TVNZ News 24, launching in 2008 is undercut by reports that its format will consist primarily of hourly updates lifted from the TV One newsroom. A well-informed citizenry has a far greater value than could ever be summarised by stock report. But as long as the news comprises someone’s livelihood, it will remain a commodity to be bought and sold, invested in or dissolved. The question is whether it will be the publishers or the readers themselves who set the price.
When Drew Curtis first registered www.fark.com in 1999, it featured a picture of a squirrel’s nutsack. Now registering more than 10,000,000 hits a week, Fark.com hosts one of the world’s most popular content aggregators and an online community with an estimated 40,000 registered members in as many countries. While Curtis prefers to think of it as a humour site, Fark.com is a social networking site that practically pioneered the model for New Media before the term even existed. The concept is simple: users submit links to interesting, amusing or otherwise significant articles, and Drew gives them the once-over. If successful, links are ‘greenlighted’ and added to the front page, where other users can comment. The result is a devastatingly efficient information juggernaut that managed to post newsflashes on the Virginia Tech shootings before the college administration itself was aware of the situation. However Fark.com’s specialty is in posting the dregs of the internet: news articles whose subject matter is silly, stupid, obvious, asinine or simply makes you wonder why they bothered. And while Curtis denies any journalistic aspirations (“I’m just a guy with a website”), he’s seen enough bizarre headlines and pointless editorials to write It’s Not News, It’s Fark.com: How The Mainstream Media Tries To Pass Off Crap As News, available from 31 May. Congratulations on the book. I’m surprised Jon Stewart hasn’t invited you on his show already, what with you guys practically sourcing all his material for him... We’re talking to The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, we’ll see how it goes. We’ve been trying to convince them it’s okay to mention us once in a while - no one’s going to quit watching the show. INIF:HTMSMTTPOCAN basically addresses the art of filler, then. Do you think it’s the result of media saturation, or are journalists just getting lazier? We’re becoming more media saturated without a doubt. The entire problem of pervasive fark in the media is due to the 24-hour news cycle. When TV networks had just a half hour to deliver the news, it was all news. Notice how News programs aren’t ever put into primetime slots? That’s because they can’t hack it. Surely Fark.com is partly to blame for perpetuating this kind of crap, though. That’s true. However we’re a humour site, not a news site. For me it’s an issue of what sites are trying to do. Don’t claim you’re a News Leader if most of the articles are Not News. For example, I listen to a 10-minute NPR show every morning here in the
States. Lately they’ve been spending three minutes on a Fark article every morning… The problem here is that if you’re a 10minute ‘news’ show, don’t blow a precious three minutes telling me about guys stealing boat parts or new research indicating that people walk faster. That’s not what I tune into a ‘news’ show for. The problem is those kinds of stories draw more traffic. Like Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith. Do you just ride these things out? I’m pretty sensitive to it. On Fark once something has gone way way too far (a la Anna Nicole-Smith), I just stop posting items on it. That’s the advantage of being a one-man shop though. Anna Nicole-Smith was tremendously popular, I just quit participating. You’ve also mentioned media hijacking by special interest groups as a problem, too. Absolutely. I saw just [an article] last week announcing a new caffeinated soap. The article was trying to claim that this was something new, there’s a website called ThinkGeek.com that has had it for literally years. Last February, some douchebag in Hong Kong announced they were selling a ‘musical condom’. Every article on the planet used the phrase ‘musical condom’,
[but] the actual article said all it really was was a Valentine’s Day card with a CD and a condom in it. That’s pretty lame. How did that end up in the media? Savvy marketing. Talking about penises helps a lot, too. I actually meant political biases, but yeah. Still, Fark itself has been accused of both liberal and conservative biases in its coverage. I guess that’s some kind of compliment. That’s correct - in fact, we do that on purpose. I think all politicians are type-A assholes who are only out for personal gain, so I tend to view political viewpoints as arbitrary. Certainly some are not, but the vast majority are. We tend to spin the politics hard either direction when we post taglines [comedic one-liners describing the link]. Last question. Is it true that you’re secretly in league with an international conspiracy of Jews that control the media? What are they like at parties? Yes, that is true. They also keep trying to play basketball while eating fried chicken and curry, and invading France. Wait, I’m getting my racist stereotypes confused. Who are the guys that eat all the tacos? Is that the Australians?
POPS #1 1. Where do you get your news from? 2. Favourite magazine? 3. Biggest story this year? 4. Mark Sainsbury or John Campbell? 5. Who is Rupert Murdoch?
JASMINE BPSA (Dance)a
1. Dancers create their own news – we don’t really think world news is relevant. 2. Dolly (duh!) and PETA (I’m vegan – no carbs) 3. Paris & the Desperate Housewives guy – what the fuck? 4. John Campbell – his voice is sexy. 5. A fashion designer, right? He did Kate Moss’ line…
BPSA (Screen Arts)
RANDOM HOT GUY (Scribbled out)a
1. Friends, TV, radio.
1. TV, word of mouth.
2. Fast Furs.
2. Sky Watch.
3. I’m pregnant.
3. The ‘smacking your children’ debate.
4. John Campbell.
4. John Campbell – who’s Mark Sainsbury?
5. Don’t know, don’t care.
COURTNEY BPSA (Acting)ma
1. I get told things wayyy after the events actually take place.
5. Um, someone in the radio field…
ROB BPSA (Screen Arts)a
1. Google Gossip
2. Rolling Stone.
2. Bananafichebones (a blog, does that count?)
3. Someone came into my flat and yelled at me, then stole my VCR.
3. Coke Zero Cherry coming out in the US.
4. Mark Sainsbury - John Campbell can eat my ass.
5. Someone who grows veggies?
5. That huge media guy who owns the world, right?
XTRAVAGANZA RAVAGANZA EXTRAVAGANZA AREE EWEN GILMOUR JAN MARE GIG GUIDE
GUIIG DE G
NZ INTERNATIONAL COMEDY FESTIVAL Auckland, 4 May 2007 - 27 May 2007 Various venues Auckland-wide
DAI HENWOOD GISH SAM WILLS ENWOOD GISH SAM WILLS OD GISH SAM WILLS
The NZ International Comedy Festival will be back in Auckland, Wellington and nationally with The Comedy Convoy from 4 - 27 May, 2007. Last year was huge, 2007 is set to be even bigger with more hilarious local and international shows on offer. Including the USU Comedy Extravaganzas May 24 and 25!!
AT 8PM / DOORS OPEN 7PMAT STARTS
WAITAKERE WAITAK MAY 24CARRINGTON TH CARRINGTON ’S25MAY 25 TH K ERE MAY 24 TH ’ S MAY TH AYSPECIAL 24WITH TH GUEST SPECIAL GUEST :’S MAY WITH SPECIAL GUEST : CARRINGTON 25 TH : WITH SPECIAL 25: 01 GUEST : GUEST : 04 GUEST WITH SPECIAL JAN MAREE EWEN GILMOUR May Friday
Katchafire Leigh Sawmill Café, 8pm Bookings through Ticketek
June Monday The View with special guests The Sneaks King’s Arms
Shafted Unitec Dance Foyer, 12:15pm Third-year dance students present a range of original and devised works.
June Friday Brutally Frank Dogs Bollix
AN GILMOUR $10 to USU members REEMAREE EWEN EWEN GILMOUR Starship Charity Gig Galatos, 9pm Feat. The Rock and Roll Machine, Revolver, Disco de Soto & Jonnie Rose $15 at the door
15 $15 to non-members 26 May Saturday
CKETS FROM USU RECEPTION BLDG 180 TICKETS Ruptus Jack Album Release Mike Trent, Player of Pianos Vesbar, 8:30pm CAMPUS Thursday 21June Carrington’s, 6:30pm Feat. RuptusMT Jack , The ALBERT Twitch & Xzibit International Flannel BOOK viaAT098PM 815 4321 ext 8600 St James Theatre Free entry STARTS / DOORS OPEN 7PM BO usu Trent, Player of Pianos email@example.com ARTSZillionstars AT OR 8PM / DOORS OPEN 7PM Mike Northern Steamship Co., 6:30pm till late Carrington’s, 6:30pm DE
$10 to OPEN USU members T 8PM / DOORS 7PM NT
S’ A SSO
Feat. Blackbird, Charlie Ash, Coshercot Honeys, White Birds & Lemons, Electric Confectionaires, DJ Automatic & Clarke TICKETS FROM USU RECEPTION BLDG Gayford MT ALBERT CAMPUS Supported by NZ Music Month to raise awareness for FROM Type 1 Diabetes. BOOK via 09 815BLDG 4321 ext TICKETS USU RECEPTION 1808600 usu Katchafire $25 at the door OR firstname.lastname@example.org
$15 to non-members 08 $10 to USU members 180 $15 to non-members 0 to USU members 15 to non-members MT ALBERT CAMPUS EC
August Wednesday 95bFM Presents Bloc Party St James Theatre
ETS FROM USU RECEPTION BLDG 180 BOOK via 09 815 4321 ext 8600 May June MT ALBERT CAMPUS Thursday OR email@example.com Saturday BOOK USU viaMovie 09 815 4321 ext Night – Déjà vu8600 The Rising Sun Winter BBQ Red Lecture Theatre, 6:45pm Rising Sun, 9pm OR firstname.lastname@example.org S’ A SSO
Friday 01June Buss It Up Hennessey on Wyndham, 10pm Dancehall/reggae/hip-hop feat. Nasty Tek Soundsystem (Aus), Auckland Selectors Jugglin Crew (FJ & Gwaan Gal) & Grafta. $10 at the door
Feat. Mr Thing of the Scratch Perverts (UK), 4 Corners, DJ Manuel Bundy, Dform, Truent, Sgt. Benji, SP23, Ladi 6 & Parks Proudly supported by Praise and Base FM
Unitec’s only licensed café
UvSeU nt e
USU MOVIE NIGHTS
Movie: Blood Diamond
Opening Hours Monday - Friday 10am - 10pm
Thursday 24 May Red Lecture Theatre, 6:45pm
Thursday 07 June Red Lecture Theatre, 6:45pm
- Light snacks to full meals - Full bar service - Available for group bookings, meetings, private dinners & functions - Located in Building 33, next to rugby fields on campus
www.carringtons.co.nz Carrington’s Café, Building 33 Unitec Campus, Mt Albert ph 09 849 5068
REAL celebration Don't miss out on thE sPRinG GRADuAtion If you've completed a degree (bachelors or masters), graduate diploma, postgraduate diploma, or any of the diplomas listed below, apply now for our Spring Graduation, 19 September 2007 at the Auckland Town Hall. Application forms are available online at www.graduation.unitec.ac.nz, from your School Administration Office or from Clear Henderson, Student Services – Building 48. Applications close 27 July 2007. • DIPLOMA IN APPLIED COMPUTER SYSTEMS ENGINEERING • DIPLOMA IN APPLIED TEChNOLOGY • DIPLOMA IN COMPUTING SYSTEMS • DIPLOMA IN CONTEMPORARY PhOTOGRAPhY • DIPLOMA IN DESIGN MEDIA
0800 10 95 10
• DIPLOMA IN ENGINEERING (CIvIL) • DIPLOMA IN ENvIRONMENTAL TEChNOLOGY • DIPLOMA IN MANAGEMENT • DIPLOMA IN PERfORMANCE TEChNOLOGY • DIPLOMA IN PROfESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY • DIPLOMA IN SPORT AND fITNESS EDUCATION
• DIPLOMA IN TEAChING (E.C.E.) • DIPLOMA IN TOURISM MANAGEMENT • DIPLOMA IN vETERINARY NURSING • NEw ZEALAND DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS
Media Message Gluttony
This white guy is noticing messages like: - Eat zilch (and it should be organic). - Girls should be tanned, toned and very, very thin. - Guys should be chunky, and smooth-skinned. - Everybody should be happy with big (toothy) smiles while surfing/snowboarding/skateboarding/drinking (whatever) and using an iPod.
Hi loyal In Unison readers, This is always the time of year when students experience difficulty with their assessments. Be mindful of these useful rules:
I can’t help but wonder what messages you yourself are getting (they won’t all be the same). I think it used to be hard enough: messages came from family, then school (teachers and peers) and maybe some randoms thrown in like church or scoutmasters! Out of that lot of messages we eventually made our own mind up about things. Now, the media bombardment starts at under five years for so many. It really makes things problematic.
Most students have heard about Special Assessment Circumstances, or SAC. This is the process for students whose performance is affected be illness, bereavement, or injury. Please note:
If you have any questions contact: Hamish Oakley USU Advocate email@example.com Ph. 815 4321 ext.7924
You see, there are a couple of really important life tasks at stake here: ‘identity’ and ‘intimacy’. Somewhere as young adults we need to get a clear idea of who we are. Then we need to like who we are. With such a bombardment of messages from the media (interspersed with all those other ones), this task of establishing our identity gets quite difficult. What do I believe in? What do I really think and feel about….? How do I want to behave when….? That all gets confusing enough but what if I can’t comply with all the messages (not enough money, friends, etc)? Am I able to like myself? It is only when I know pretty much who I am that I can begin to know genuine intimacy (beyond the sexual stuff) with other people. I can’t reveal who I am to people if I don’t really know! Furthermore, if I can’t comply with the messages, can I dare reveal myself to somebody else?
You can get SAC even if you still manage to sit the exam or hand in the assignment. If the mark you receive through SAC is lower than the mark you actually received, the higher mark will stand. SAC applications are only approved if your performance is affected by factors beyond your control. You will need to provide evidence, such as a medical certificate. Unitec’s Counselling Centre and Health Centre can provide acceptable certificates. However, just having an appointment won’t guarantee a certificate, and getting a certificate won’t guarantee that your SAC will be approved. If you are unhappy with a SAC decision, you can appeal it. If you need help sitting exams because of injury (eg you broke your arm), contact the Disability Liaison Office 815 4321 x8606. It is possible for you to formally appeal your final grades for a course. USU strongly advises you to see the Student Advocate before starting this process. Do not take any chances with plagiarism. If you are unsure how to properly attribute other authors, check with your teachers before you hand work in. If you ever get in trouble for plagiarism, come and see the USU. If you with any aspect of your studies at Unitec gives you cause for complaint, please feel free to bring your issues to the attention of the USU.
Of course I respect the media (like Hello this article is in the media) and I am wary of its power. It’s not simple, but a healthy disrespect for media could be a handy thing. If you are struggling with messages (from media or anywhere), not sure of who you are or struggling to like yourself or finding it hard to make intimate connections, feel welcome to contact us.
Rick Cusack The Counselling Centre Bldg 52 Ph 815 4321 x8160.
PLAY RUGBY & NETBALL RUGBY LEAGUE
usu rugby league team to play a tertiary tournament July 10th to July 12th
A variety of options available contact firstname.lastname@example.org www.usu.co.nz for more information or visit the usu sport at bldg 180 in the hub
CREDIT First Place Myspaces By Matt Alpe
Contrary to popular belief, Myspace is not strictly limited to musicians, fans of music, and emos. The most tech-savvy professional athletes are now jumping on the bandwagon and creating new means of promoting themselves. Now, normally I feel bad looking at other people’s myspaces, since I don’t have one myself and it feels like I’m stalking someone. However, these people are famous, which makes it alright. Here is my list of the best athlete myspaces: Terrell Owens The volatile wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys really goes all out with his myspace page. He has 5998 friends. An impressive photo of him with his arms stretched out, looking to the skies dominates the top of the page. He genuinely looks like a friendly 33-year old man. Interestingly enough, many of the comments are from the ladies. For example, Julie says “terrell! haven’t talked to you in a lil bit, just wanted to see how you were doing... holla at your girllll! xoxox”. That’s nice. They must be close friends. Like the time he scored a touchdown and gazed into the crowd in her general direction. That’s love right there. Deep connection. She knows it. He has no idea. Rating: Seven fistfuls of painkillers out of ten.
the blurb: “Born to be a golfer? Certainly. More than just a golfer? Absolutely”. I couldn’t agree less. Rating: Eight Most Hated Athlete nominations out of ten. Kelly Slater “Kelly is the most successful professional surfer in the history of the sport”. A very simplistic page – just a black background with two text boxes containing information about him, the best surfer ever, alive, til the end of time, don’t bother cause you ain’t gonna beat him. No sign of friends, songs, or comments. Rather against the grain of your typical page. Rating: One Tom out of no mates.
Lance Armstrong The seven-time winner of the Tour De France has set up this page for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. I am very impressed with this page. Running down the side is the tag “Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything”. He even has a song which aptly complements the theme of ‘kicking cancer’s butt”. The page mentions he is a single Virgo who’s here for a serious relationship. Almost all of the comments are positive, lifechanging testimonies about beating cancer. Rating: One testicle out of two.
David Beckham Although it claims to be the ‘official myspace page’ of Sir David Beckham, I can’t quite believe it, judging by the posing in all the photos. On second thought, maybe David really is all about the open-crotch, lying-down, bedroom-eyes look! David has loads of female fans, but the best comment comes from a dude called Sexy Joe: “OMG! my sis was totally right, all she did was enter an e-mail and she got this free coach purse from fedex today! Neither of us thought it was really gonna come but it did!” Rating: Six terrible haircuts out of eight years.
Phil Mickelson The best leftie golfer in the world has set his myspace to private. The 36-year old three-time major championship athlete has added
FULL CREDIT usu.21
CORNER When We Were Eight
Hello darlings, for another issue of the school rag. I guess I should start by apologizing to the people who regularly read my column (and by the way “wow” and “thank you”, if you do), because you might have noticed I was not in the last issue. I’ve been going through some weird stuff lately and have actually been really absorbed in my school work. But you’ll all be happy to know that I’m skipping voice class to do this article. So the last issue was about music and this one is about the media. I thought I might somehow try and combine the two themes and just see what happens. It’s interesting actually because when I think back on my childhood I realise that television and music/ radio have had a huge influence over my life so far. I remember when I was really young I used to write my own plays and get a tape and record myself ‘performing’ them, doing all the different voices. I also used to make my own radio show by recording my voice and having people ‘call up’. So, um, yes, essentially I did talkback radio with myself. But I was an only child growing up and was very dependant on my imagination for obvious reasons, so I wasn’t that much of a freak really. Well, it all feeds into my calling of being an actor anyway… I remember the first tape I ever bought was Michael Jackson’s Dangerous. I LOVED it. I would play it over and over, and then record myself singing my own versions of his songs on my cassette player. I became obsessed with him. The people who created him had spun this figure of royalty and Jesus-dom, and my eight year-old self crumbled to her knees before his glittery jackets and big white socks falling over patent black shoes. My favourite songs were Black or White - still one of my favourite songs – and Heal the World, also another favourite with my friends. We very much enjoy flinging it on at the end of a messy night and holding hands and singing it. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried. Then in 1993 the coin flipped itself on its head. Michael Jackson CORNER JOSE’S
suddenly became a monster that hides in closets and eats little children. With nowhere to turn to musically during those years I made the next natural progression. That’s right, Spice Girls. Yes, I had a group of friends at school and each of us was assigned a group member. And yes, we made up dances to the songs that we learned by heart – with the greatest seriousness, of course. I was Posh Spice, the now infamous Victoria Beckham. I have to admit that I secretly compare the way her life has panned out compared to her former band members. I am rather smug when I see she has the most ‘successful’ life of them all so far. I suppose in some bizarre way I see this as a sign for how my life is going to pan out. I guess what’s interesting about this is the fact I was totally and utterly sold. I would have died to see Michael Jackson and then I would have told everyone I knew he was a child molester. One day he’s a god, the next he’s one of the most evil, sick and misunderstood men that ever graced our planet. It is rather overwhelming to consider how totally controlled and manipulated we are in society by the media. They tell us what to eat, wear, do and fear. What religion to follow and what to buy… it’s everywhere, even written in the sky. But I don’t know, maybe that was just me, or perhaps it was because I was young and believed everything I heard. Or maybe we are all stupid after all. “Baby girl/sometimes you need to see it/to believe it.” So that’s my spiel about media and music rolled in to one. To those of you who read my column and enjoy it, thank you forever. Until next time, farewell x
LUNACY ou With Lucy Zh
Like many people who are highly stressed and have literally no life outside the internets, sleep deprivation is a problem for me, and the longer I stay awake the worse it gets. To kill time I switch on the TV. Occasionally I get the odd episode of The Bachelor, but mostly I get ads – tedious, shitty, purely uncreative ads; trying to sell me porno DVD’s, chat sessions to hot girls in my area, sell me finance or convince me to lose 10 pounds.
week. Bow Flex. I want a Bow Flex body. Only 8 easy payments of $49.99 (plus postage and handling)… They also assume we are all poor [probably from spending all your money on porn and gym machines –Ed.]. “If you need a vehicle/ what can you do? Good credit, bad credit/we want you!/Come and see our friendly crew/call 0800 WE WANT U!” For fuck’s sake, I already have a car, thanks, and it goes fine. Finance companies prey on our semi-conscious state of mind. What kind of finance company gives out loans at two o’clock in the morning, anyway?
“True, I do want to look like that
50-year old grandmother in the Bowflex ads “ Obviously they think insomniacs are perverts, too. I cringe at the titles in Erox Online’s ads: Forest Hump, Pocahotass, Inspect her Gadget… I could go on and on. However they must also think insomniacs are idiots - I get my porn free off the internet, thanks. I’m not paying $40 for a crap porno that my parents might find under my bed. Apparently we are all fat too. True, I do want to look like that 50-year old grandmother in the Bowflex ads – out in a bikini, flat abs, strength training, only 20 minutes a day, 3 times a
And we’re also lonely singles, too. “Call hot gossip now! Chat to fun girls, hot guys. They’re waiting. Free for a limited time! Call now!” Featuring the world’s most delusional script: “You know why I like staying at home? I like to chat to hot guys!” Wake up people – this is what cell phones and the internets are for. Just do a Google image search for ‘poontang’ if you want to see some bearded tacos. Not ‘poon’, though. I tried that and all I got were pictures of a somber old Asian woman. I need to sleep. I am getting exhausted with seeing the same ads over and over again. They are ruining my eyes and destroying my creativity. If anyone is selling pills, please email me at inunison@ unitec.ac.nz and we can arrange some sort of deal behind Carrington’s.
EYN O M S U SEND
Remember the 80’s? Well, I don’t really. Only bits and pieces, like Celine Dion and that Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer. But when the idea of writing about telethons came up, I had to witness for myself what they were like and why they did them. I went back in time. It was truly amazing. I found a video of the 1981 Wellington Telethon, which was accompanied by the ‘thank you very much for your kind donation’ tune, and it blew my mind and it made me miss what I’ve never experienced. Picture this. You’ve got a row of fun people in the background manning the phones. You’ve got the numerical display above them with the price rising and rising! You’ve got community groups coming in to the studio throughout the day performing fun as skits and tricks! You’ve got presenters who have to fill in a lot of time (telethons run for many hours) by trying to extract money out of viewers. Four words sum up the telethon extravaganza: Fun in a box. Hilary Timmins, current Lotto presenter and national ambassador for Skylight, cohosted the last telethon in New Zealand in 1990. She believes the production wasn’t just entertaining, but “had a national impact
the length and breadth of the country.” The inclusiveness is a key part of the equation; as New Zealander’s contributions were visible onscreen as it happened. “It really united people…. the most incredible [thing] was that often the people who could least afford to give the money would somehow manage to do this incredible fundraising feat.”
BY MATT ALPE
pre-recorded shows and fundraising and donations are limited to call centres. “The whole focus of television has changed so much over the years”, says Timmins. “There isn’t the community involvement that there used to be. I worked on It’s in the Bag for years, and we used to travel around the country following Top Town. It was a huge thing for television to go into people’s
“Four words sum up the telethon
extravaganza: Fun in a box.” “They were great. They were like your coming-of-age when you were part of the Telethon. When you got to sit on the panel, it was like ‘Yeeahh’. It was also quite exciting because it was an opportunity for people to see television being made, and be a part of it as well. I think everybody has a fond, nostalgic memory of telethons and their place in our communities.” But where live community television events were prominent 15 years ago, today they’ve been replaced by manufactured,
towns and raise money … that would stay in the area, so it was a fundraising thing too.” Will they come back? Will today’s audience be receptive and welcoming of the Telethon? I would like to think so. The idea of New Zealanders working together towards a cause greater themselves is a valiant one, one that I believe would ultimately drum up unity and achievement as well as cash.
WORDS & PICTURES
THE TROUBLE WITH BEING IN PUBLIC I sit opposite you smiling. What? You ask what did I say? I shift away, shrugging. but, In my mind’s eye you’re naked. or you will be. I want to lean forward. Bridge this space between my hands and your zip. My fingers close over it as I pull it down hook by hook. I want, delightedly, to unlock the pulsing secrets of your, heart but society dictates otherwise. So I shrug again putting distance between you and my pornographic thoughts. But to tell you the truth It doesn’t work and so I think I need to be alone for about ten minutes. Tui Matelau In Unison is still seeking poetry, short fiction, photography and illustration for our Words & Pictures series. Send your original works to email@example.com, and look forward to seeing yourself in print instead of more bloody pictures of cats. Photography by Maximillian
In Unison needs more staff reporters. In other news, Brick ate a big red candle..
In Unison is seeking a second part-time news editor to report on student issues and events around campus. Come make a difference, build up a portfolio and develop your skills in the ultimate student-friendly environment. Email inunison@unitec. ac.nz or come visit the USU offices in the Hub to find out more. We need you. Hell, I need you. Iâ€™m a mess without you. I miss you so damn much. I miss being with you, I miss being near you. I miss your scent. I miss your musk. When this all blows over, I want you and me to get an apartment together.
DIR: Marcus Nispel Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood
After a young Viking boy (Urban) is left behind in the New World, he joins a small Indian community and becomes one of their own. When the Viking hordes return, he must face his own people, who are far superior warriors than the natives, and defend his new home. Pathfinder has plenty of snow and swords and forest, and snow, and, um... to be honest I was very unimpressed with it. I was led to believe from the trailer that the film was one of epic proportions, but the story turned out to be very small-scale and very cliché. While Urban (The Chronicles of Riddick) gives a fine performance as Ghost, a man of depth, purpose and strength, I found Pathfinder’s script vastly underwritten, and the Northern California accents of the Native Americans very confusing. The Vikings were not well-researched and Ghost seemed to effortlessly pick up a sword after 15 years and best even the most hardened of veteran Vikings.
Pathfinder feels as though it is a section of a larger story that the filmmaker has missed. If I were to believe this selfproclaimed “legend”, the native Americans had no fighters or trained warriors, and were doomed from the point of first contact. Too shallow for my tastes. And too much bloody snow. -SHANE G NORRIS
DIR: Sam Raimi
Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst
In the third instalment, Peter Parker (Maguire) finds himself at a critical moment in his life, where he must decide whether to pop the question to girlfriend Mary-Jane Watson (Dunst). This chapter also sees the rise of Green Goblin II (Franco), the creation of the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and the arrival of primordial alien space gloop Venom (Grace).
Shooter DIR: Antoine Fuqua Mark Wahlberg, Danny Glover
Some fans of the comics will be rather annoyed with changes made to the story, but the few that look past that will be able to enjoy the fast-paced action (when it’s there) and special effects that make Spiderman possible. In this adaptation, Raimi has moved even more into the dramatic narrative of the characters and their relationships, even visiting past events to bring the audience up to speed.
Badass Mark Wahlberg plays veteran sniper, Bob Lee Swagger. In an already well-worn story, Swagger is recruited to help the secret service and FBI to protect the President from a possible assassination attempt, only to find himself framed at the centre of a vast conspiracy.
Empire magazine will have a field day trying to abuse the cheese. Sad to say there is a lot of it (in unnecessary places as well as in the expected), and the flow of the overall story made me wonder if there would be time for them to fit in all the plot points and bad guys and tie up any loose ends. I would say that I was disappointed in the concept of Venom personally, but I can still praise them for their work.
While I would recommend anyone to see Spiderman 3, rumours abound of something even bigger on the horizon, a massive comic book crossover event set in the Marvel universe. My fingers are crossed that I’m not speaking too soon.
After films like The Big Hit and Planet Of The Apes, Wahlberg might well come across as just another action star, but the depth and diversity of roles in Rock Star and The Departed suggests that Shooter is merely the result of mediocre direction. Danny Glover’s performance on the other hand is a disgrace. Throughout the entire film we are treated to a weird lisp that sounds more like loose false teeth than a speech impediment, making it all-but-impossible to understand his dialogue. I enjoyed Shooter personally, being a fan of sniper films and such, but for some they could find the elements too predictable and yet too fantastic. -SHANE G NORRIS
-SHANE G NORRIS
Dear Barbie, Was that really you on the cover of the previous issue? Where u at, what’s your number? -Marry Me
Email your questions to Barbie and Ken firstname.lastname@example.org m
Dear Marry me, Yes. I can hold a permanent marker well, can’t I?
Dear Barbie, I found the following things appalling in issue 5: 1 The cover was pure smut. 2 The pictoral comparison between Building One students being transported to Henderson with Jews being transported to Auschwitz was in rather bad taste. 3 The guy who interviewed Dai Henwood didn’t know who Dai Henwood was. 4You mentioned John Banks. 5 The editor seemed to care more about his band than his magazine. 6 Unitec CEO John Webster’s eyebrows looked creepy. 7 The fact that our student President is into metal is a little disconcerting. 8 One guy said his favourite band was Earth Wind and Fire. Please try and find students whose tastes are consistent with the century they are living in. -Pete
for me! Do you think I’m too disassociated from real life? Tonight I want to dine in Hell! -Steveocrates
Dear Pete, 1 Agreed. Good wasn’t it? 2 Accurate nonetheless. 3 A clever in-joke methinks. 4 Point taken. 5 Shameless, isn’t he? 6 Come on, now you’re being too harsh. 7 Come on, the last guy was a sex fiend.. 8 Maybe he was a Captain Planet fan?
Dear Barbie, My girlfriend Jenny [not her real name] has been studying captive wild animals [not her real course] but has trouble keeping what she’s learnt out of the bedroom. She tends to be a bit too commanding and when she sticks her entire arm up my arse I think it’s for clinical reasons rather than the usual fun. -Aching Abe
Dear Ken, I can’t stop thinking about 300 [the movie]. I can’t concentrate on stupid Unitec ‘cos I’m always fantasising about running around in undies and a red cape, talking tough and decapitating Persians. That’s the lifestyle
Dear Aching Abe, This is a serious column for advice, musings, and making fun of the less fortunate. Please stop smut-peddling. And I don’t believe there’s something called ‘captive wild animals’ - that’s obviously a silly oxymoron you just made up.
Dear Steveocrates, Have you considered enlisting in the US Army? Dear Barbie, Right now I am sitting in a lab staring at the back of this girl I first saw three minutes ago and fell in love with two and three quarter minutes ago. How can I make her love me? -Rocksteady Dear Rocksteady, Well for all you know it was me, so give it up. You’ve got no chance.
JUST A E T U N I M drew with An
This Issue: re and recreational vampi Sam Wills! professional freak
You’re probably best known for slamming your entire body through a tennis racquet. Did you work your way up to it? You know, start with a tractor tyre, then move to a hula hoop… Nope, just a tennis racquet. I didn’t want to go too over the top, so I just went to Cash Converters, spent thirty bucks, ripped all the strings out and figured I could just cut through it if I got stuck. Brave man. Do you have to watch your weight? Yeah, I do notice when the tennis racquet gets a little tight. It’s a good indicator, like an old pair of jeans. I like that. ‘You know it’s time to hit the gym when even your tennis racquets don’t fit like they used to.’ Did you do this kind of stuff as a kid? Dressing up as Batman and jumping off the garage roof and all that.
I never did anything like that, just stunts. I remember I did a jump on my little pink tricycle when I was about six. I was convinced it was about four metres of air. The first real, real stunt I ever did was to put a condom up my arse. We’ve all been there, mate. I remember my first. Rob, his name was. No, it was kind of my party trick. I just stuffed it up my arse and popped it out my mouth.
Ah, I see. So you’ve met Rob too, then? No…I had this trick with a needle where I was going to put a balloon in my mouth and skewer it when I pushed the needle through. I thought that would be quite good, but when I took it out it went off like an artery and sprayed all over the place. I actually took a photo of it, so it’s a screensaver on my phone. [laughs] Wait – have you had your incisors capped?
Okay… How do you practise something like that?
I have, I got it done about seven or eight years ago.
You don’t. You kind of just do it. It helps if you’re drunk enough to stuff a condom up your arse in the first place.
Does it get chicks?
Righto. Worst injury? I had to check into A&E when I got my cheeks pierced.
Yeah. Chicks love fangs. Catch Sam and other Kiwi comedians live on campus at the 2007 Comedy Extravaganza (24th-25th May), proudly brought to you by the Laugh Festival and the USU. Tickets $10 at the USU reception. ‘Chur.
WINNING ENTRY “But, sir!” “You heard me, General. The can openers are useless without opposable thumbs. Call in Jack Bauer.” Congratulations, Andrea! Swing by the USU office with your student ID to collect your prize.
THIS WEEK’S PICTURE
HIGHLY COMMENDED “Tabitha’s secret love affair with Tom was finally out there” - Sara “Does pussy like it from behind?” – Catherine “I think he knows I stole his bowl…” “There was a whispered sigh and an awkward scrape of a chair leg on the linoleum, and in an instant Jethro realised the full extent of Sheryl’s betrayal.” -James “Frowns cat is in your magazen…ripping up ur voucher.” “Hey, get lost! I’m tryin’ to take some pictures to put on ma bebo!” – Yoonsung Choi
Come up with a caption for this photo and be in to win a NZ Music Month pack: an official NZ Music Month bag, full of badges, local albums and the odd can of Red Bull. Tumeke! Email your caption to: email@example.com or txt 021 022 72536 Competition closes: Mon 28th May
SNIFFLES & COUGH
CATS IS NOT
TOOTHPASTE FOR DINNER
A COMIC BY DREW
Drawing by Drew from www.toothpastefordinner.com
Hackneyed: words, twenty-hour days Hilarious: Will Ferrel’s daughter Delightful: new flat Depressing: cleaning the old one Most Wanted: new news editor Not A Goer: old features editor Still: it’s a hard road finding the perfect woman Clocking Off: 2:19pm, printers’ tomorrow
International Affairs: shenanigans in the global Village Ethical Investment: real spending power Orientation 2 announcements: 2 fast, 2 furious A Pxt Of A Poo: reader feedback Signing Off: and over, and out
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