Monday, 14 November 2016 15:14

Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented to Family of
Mike Robson who
Led Rupert Murdoch
Era Interests Here

At a ceremony in Wellington in November the National Press Club presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to the family of the late managing director of the INL Group Mike Robson. The citation read:- In recognition of Mike’s extraordinary contribution in many roles and over many years to journalism.
Mr Robson died suddenly in 2000 at the age of 61 at the height of his powers in guiding New Zealand’s 12th largest company with its interests in daily newspapers, commercial printing, periodicals distribution and retailing along with broadcasting.

Mr Robson’s career began as a sports reporter on the New Zealand Herald. He gravitated to general reporting and it was now that he became a wire service correspondent in the United States and Europe. He then became editor of Wellington’s Evening Post and it was here that Mr Robson’s low-key and thoughtful approach came to the attention of INL managing director Alan Burnet. Mr Burnet appointed him as assistant managing director. Upon the retirement of Mr Burnet it was Mike Robson’s turn to take over as managing director.

The skill of this duo, according to National Press Club president Peter Isaac, was to integrate the diverse media and printing organisation into direct input electronic handling and then to ensure a smooth transition into the internet era. Mr Robson’s death occurred only several months after INL’s internet site Stuff went live.

Their success in bringing about this transition was characterised by Mr Burnet going on to lead the government’s Communications Advisory Council responsible for setting national standards and governance.

Singled out at the gathering for special mention was Mr Robson’s easy relationship with the then proprietor of New Zealand’s INL Group, Rupert Murdoch. The strength of this working relationship, it was noted, played out to the benefit of the group’s journalists of that era.

It was observed that Mr Robson’s era encompassed Wellington’s epoch as Oceania’s media city with its two newspapers which co-existed long after other centres had been forced to shut down their evening daily.

The holding of the presentation ceremony in the heart of Wellington’s entertainment district symbolised Mr Robson’s tenure as editor of the Evening Post which had flourished through exercising a street-level ability to portray Wellington in all its nooks and crannies and diverse ways of life. It was said that Mike Robson never fell into the “trappings trap.”

The plaque was presented to representatives of the family by National Press Club vice president Peter Bush, an early colleague of Mr Robson’s on the New Zealand Herald.

In response, Mr Robson’s widow Marjie recalled how her husband possessed a literary passion as counterweight to his sporting enthusiasms. This had been nurtured by his parents during his years growing up on a Pukekohe dairy farm. His quest to educate himself had accelerated during his tour of duty in the United States where the couple had met. She recalled that when Mike had enrolled at university in the United States the other students stood up for Mike, imagining him to be one of the professors.

In the photograph (above) Master of Ceremonies Bryan Weyburne with Marjie Robson, son Toby and National Press Club vice president Peter Bush.


BELOW:

1.  Media lawyer Graham Holmes with The Dominion’s long time financial editor Terry Hall.
    2.  Pixers pose. INL Photographers Barry Durrant and Peter Bush

 

 

Saturday, 11 February 2017 12:57

Morgan's Runabout
On Display at
 Annual Journo
March Past

Energetic agricultural specialist Jon Morgan decided to acquire a new car in order to commemorate his 50 years in journalism. The hands-on reporter opted for both substance and style. He acquired the very last of the British premium luxury cars in service in the New Zealand corporate and official sphere--- the Rover that was once also  the standard limousine for diplomats and cabinet members.

The vehicle with its smooth leather and wood upholstery is barely run-in.  The acquisition went on display at the 22nd annual review of long serving Wellington region journalists which is always held in January on the Morgan estate near Otaki.


 

Tuesday, 27 December 2016 12:32

Our prediction in February 2016

Odds Favour Melania Trump as next United States First Lady
Will bring much needed internationalism to White House

National Press Club/MSCNewsWire, 26 February 2016 -  The permutations in the Republican Party selection process in which some delegates carry more value than others indicate that Donald Trump will be the party’s presidential nominee. The polls indicate too that he has at least a 50-50 chance against a Democratic ticket.

These favourable odds are not reflected by the international media and hardly surprisingly. The Republican front-runner routinely describes his media entourage as being comprised of the “worst people in the world.”

Also by passed is that there is a 50 percent chance now of the next United States First Lady having been born behind the Iron Curtain, and indeed, only the second to be born abroad after Louisa Adams, the English wife of John Quincy Adams.

A former architectural student in Yugoslavia Mrs Trump, 45, (pictured) is expected to bring a much-needed internationalism to the White House and especially so in a mastery of the main European languages.

A failure in the United States’ much-vaunted Arabism capability has meant that its Middle East policy has now spilled over into Europe. This emergency in turn has collided with the United States continuing policies to contain Russia. The two US thrusts have blended into an unmanageable human and economic blend of what is increasingly being viewed in Europe as being insoluble.

With her background of life on both sides of the Iron Curtain who better to explain the US-created imbroglio than Mrs Trump?

 From the MSCNewsWire reporters' desk  |  February 26, 2016  |

 


 

 

 

 


 

Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:45

New Zealand Herald Triumvirate


National Press Club Lifetime Achievement laureate Graham Stewart (pictured at the presentation) was on hand to greet the young Mike Robson when he signed on as cub sports reporter. Mr Stewart’s award was for his constant career in photo-journalism characterised in the second half of his career by his presence as a leading independent book publisher specialising in documentary subjects, notably transport. In this entrepreneurial role Mr Stewart was cited for his effort in generating employment for journalists. Also a presence at the Herald in that era was Sir Terry McLean who Mike Robson always described as one of his enduring mentors. Sir Terry was an inaugural laureate of the National Press Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Pictures below

1.  Peter Bush, Toby Robson, Marjie Robson
    2.  Krystina Tomaszyk and in background National Press Club          Life Member and INL editor Paul Cavanagh, and Barry              Durrant

 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:52

Yes, New Zealand Judges are Above Criticism

But their Judgments are Not

Napier, MSCNewsWire, Wednesday 18 May 2016 - In the entire sphere of jurisprudence in New Zealand nothing is quite so obscured or subject to so much ambivalence, tautology or sheer confusion as the matter of the right of citizens to censure members of the judiciary who in this matter give the impression of being as bemused on the topic as the public at large.

In the English speaking world the problem appears peculiar to New Zealand in the same way that otherwise learned and cultivated people describe here a collective of females as a group of “woman.”

The very simplicity seems to render it beyond any comprehensible analysis and thus definition.

This confusion visibly vexed Law Lord Leslie Scarman who, at a conference here, said, and we quote....

“I am going to speak to this only one more time.....It is this........You may criticise the judgment. But you many not criticise the judge.”

This succinct appraisal by Lord Scarman (pictured at the time of his visit to New Zealand) evidently fell on deaf years. So we will now paraphrase the rest of Lord Scarman’s discourse as his audience insisted on further clarification on this issue which has now entered such a fevered phase.....................

Judge John Doe, as we will call him, delivered a mild custodial sentence to an individual who painstakingly plotted the death of an innocent person going about their daily business. The individual thus sentenced, it transpired, had a criminal past and in the eyes of reasonable persons might sensibly be regarded as presenting an enduring menace to society.

Following their release after their relatively brief time in prison the individual in fact became a lethal menace to society.

A reasonable person might now reasonably cause to say or to be published words to the effect that the judgment was wrong , and misguided, and might be deemed to have even caused the death of an innocent person.

So far so good. The judgment is being criticised. Not the judge.

What cannot be said or caused to be published is that Judge John Doe came to the judgment because he, Judge John Doe, was:-
    * A drunkard
    * Of impaired mental powers
    * Knew or was otherwise acquainted with the accused

This type of criticism of a trial judge technically triggers extremely severe repercussions on those who utter them or cause them to be otherwise broadcast or published.

In New Zealand though such commentaries have been allowed to pass by, especially the one centred on the trial judge having some sympathy with the accused through acquaintance or some other common interest.

The current and demonstrable confusion on this matter and exhibited all levels of society including the judiciary itself must now be clarified and done so using the concise definition provided by Lord Scarman.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:44

Fairfax –APN New Zealand Merger Must Focus on Unified Christchurch Print Hub

Up up and away from Auckland (and Wellington)

Napier, MSCNewsWire, 17 May 2016 - Airfreight will determine the cost-efficiency and thus the success of the pending merger of the New Zealand subsidiaries of the Australian Fairfax and APN media chains which must now look to the skies for the mechanical economies of scale they know they must now find.

As it is the sparsely populated New Zealand is host to the two chains’ scattered printing plants strung out in a line between Auckland and Dunedin.

The opportunity exists for a forwarder to present the merging group with a scheme that would allow it to consolidate all its mechanical activities into one site.

A case for Christchurch would be the forwarder’s master stroke.

A problem for the two chains is the constant pre-occupation with three dimensional mechanical production issues at the expense of the idea ones, the ones that do not require capital investment, and which are central to success in the internet age.

In the event much of the Auckland and Wellington dailies are early material anyway with their sports updates, soft-peddle business re-hashes, generic environmental stories, and columns by local celebrities usually talk-back types presenting their glimpses of the blindingly obvious, along with political activists. Their vehicle, travel and property supplements meanwhile are hardly of hold the front page grade urgency.

A problem for the two subsidiaries is that in the past they have found it hard to cooperate and this curiously has become more evident in a shrinking market.

There was their failure to cooperate in the matter of the TradeMe acquisition. Indeed a suitable study for one of their question-marked “investigative” pieces might be entitled – What has the Newspaper Proprietors Association Been Doing?

In fact the NPA, as it is known, was the victim of its own success in the matter of cashing in at the height of the market on its collective shareholding in Reuters.

The old family proprietors trousered their winnings and sensibly left the field to the two Australian chains.

Enter now the problem of representatives around the NPA table who were several steps removed from the real decision-making which of course now took place in Australia. They were in the position of being policy implementers rather than policy makers.

There began to emerge a distracting preoccupation with things such as scholarships and also with an increasingly proliferating and bizarre swathe of awards.

Curiously, too, the emphasis went on makeup hubs at a time when subeditors and other process journalists can efficiently work from their own kitchen tables.

The Christchurch Press Johns Road printery adjacent to the South Island’s international-grade airport indicates that such an eventuality may have been anticipated.

But experience indicates localised pre-occupations with mechanical processes of the type that have become near-irrelevancies in the compoundingly disruptive internet age.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016 14:24

Seriousness of Purpose is Club's Priority - President

This past year again saw the National Press Club adhering to the times and more specifically to an era in which the mainstream media pre-occupation adheres to contemporary culture rather than with the club’s mainstay of politics and hard news.

Even so our event earlier this year in handing back the green parrot artefact to the Green Parrot restaurant displayed a certain whimsicality on our behalf, admitted National Press Club president Peter Isaac in his annual report tabled at the annual general meeting in May.

The restoration event commemorated the era in which people from diverse occupations and callings were able to take up the role of newspapermen.

"Thanks to the wisdom of successive committees the club has refused to be panicked by the blend so evident today of the accelerating confluence of technical and sociological currents."

Instead the policy had been to conserve the club’s resources in order that they be deployed with an underpinning seriousness of purpose, he emphasised.

The club retains and develops numerous affiliations with other national press clubs and these "permit us to be engaged in the major ethical events of the era with www.nationalpressclub.org. routinely remaining at the very top ranking of these national sites."

One of the reasons for this was the club's new operational affiliations with the Napier-based news service MSCNewswire and the Washington-based EINPresswire service.

MSCNewswire he noted now has claims to being the pre-eminent dedicated internet news service in New Zealand and with its emphasis on commercial news is the one with the major international pick-up.

Touching upon membership issues Isaac noted that it was with deep regret that he had to report that Lifetime Achievement Award holder Connie Lawn remains severely stricken with Parkinson’s Disease. Two veterans of World War 2 also battled the effects of the passing years - Life Member Denis Adam and long time stalwart Mick Bienowski.

Page 2 of 4