The media pandemic
By John Subritzky
In coming years, people will ask you about your memories of the global pandemic and how it affected you. We are living through a history-making period right now!
Your answer will depend a lot on your personal circumstances, especially your health and employment. The bigger picture is how society and government may change. After government intervention in many areas of our lives for months, will there be a shift away from private enterprise being so influential to more state activity?
This issue of the Beacon marks our four-year anniversary. We truly hope that we can continue to publish in the coming months. We are small local fish in a big nationwide pond.
We have seen recently how vulnerable the top tier of privately owned media is in New Zealand. Bauer Media dramatically exited its dominant position early on crashing many much loved magazine titles. Next up NZME offered to buy Stuff for $1 which was rebuffed. Mediaworks (incl. TV3) has been up for sale for a long time with no buyers and the television arm could be closed.
The media shock wave has finally woken up government and local bodies to the risk of losing NZ media. Indeed the public sector has contributed to the crisis by being entranced with vanity metrics of clicks on campaigns that send advertising revenue offshore to Google and Facebook in their tax havens. Recently the public bodies have returned to support local simply by allocating some budget onshore. That support is evidenced in this issue.
The strength that local and hyperlocal print like Beacon has is a loyal and engaged audience who want to read stories about the people and the place where they live. We know because of feedback we receive regularly from people just like you, that the Beacon is widely read and enjoyed in the community. We are committed to continuing to publish for as long as we can still meet our costs because we love what we do and we love being part of this community.
As you can see, our advertisers are a vital and integral part of the Beacon. We can’t publish without them. Businesses are as much a part of our community as you are. So please choose to use them when you can, and let them know that you saw their advert in the Beacon.
Thanks for reading this issue and for all your support. We would love to hear from you with your comments and feedback.
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