When the announcement was made about the sale of Stuff to its Chief Executive for $1.00 many of us will have chuckled to ourselves and commented that it was overpriced.

The whole thing rather reminded me of the one about the guy who drove into a service station in a Lada and said to the attendant (back in the day when “service” stations existed and they had attendants rather than just cash windows), “I’d like a wiper blade for my Lada?” The attendant replied “Sounds like a fair deal to me.”

In a world where “traditional” media outlets have struggled for some time to make ends meet, the “Under New Management” sign at Stuff provided an opportunity for new, visionary thinking and exciting development of a source of accurate news and information, especially at a local level.

Instead, all we’ve seen is an embarrassing philosophy featuring more of the same and honestly, the begging “pop up” on the Home page followed by a begging memo on every page are just that: EMBARRASSING.

“If you support New Zealand journalism… Make a contribution”

I’d almost be tempted if I could see one ounce of validity to the suggestion that it would be supporting journalism. Perhaps my definition of journalism is different from theirs.

According to Stuff’s “Begging Memo”

“In a fast-changing world where misinformation spreads on social media, the need for trustworthy journalism has never been greater.”

I couldn’t agree more, but what echo chamber are these fools living in? The stuff they publish is far too often peddling more of the same irresponsible, unsubstantiated garbage and click-bait that they accuse social media of spreading as “misinformation”. Worse, many of their stories are sourced from that same social media. That’s not trustworthy journalism.

“We hold the powerful to account – from making sure your rates are spent wisely to challenging Cabinet ministers who flout the rules. We uncover hidden truths – from the Defence Force’s activities in Afghanistan to which companies commit the greatest climate damage.”

This is platitudinous garbage, the publication of a dream or wish list.

If Stuff had trustworthy, competent journalists genuinely holding the powerful to account and making sure our “rates are spent wisely”, they’d have page after page after page of stories reflecting that. Instead, choose any day and look at the lightweight nonsense that they pass off for news. The stories are pathetic and to even suggest they are trustworthy journalism is at best a stretch.

“In an age where rumours and speculation spread unchecked on social media, Stuff’s professional standards of accuracy, fairness and balance are more vital than ever. Please consider becoming a supporter. Make a contribution from as little as $1 and help sustain trustworthy independent journalism.”

Stuff has clearly completely redefined the meaning of “professional standards of accuracy, fairness and balance”. How can they publish such a claim when they continue to publish only one side of the climate change discussion and flatly refuse to publish any counter-argument to provide balance or informed open debate.

It doesn’t take too much analysis to see just how appallingly biased and unbalanced most of the content is.

We can all appreciate that the MSM is struggling in this constantly changing environment but, the nonsense Stuff often publishes as news is matched only by the nonsense in its self aggrandizing “Begging Memos”.

Fantasy and fiction!

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I've worked in media and business for many years and share my views here to generate discussion and debate. I once leaned towards National politically and actually served on an electorate committee once,...