In my last blog post, I referred to Joanne Black in the Listener. She wrote in her March 18 column:
When I worked for a Fairfax newspaper, the in-house rule was that the words Trade Me should never appear, at least not with capital letters and not in that order. Trade Me was the enemy. Trade Me was “robbing” Fairfax of millions of dollars’ worth of classiﬁed advertising and our response was to act as if it didn’t exist. A proﬁle of Sam Morgan, perhaps? Not in our newspaper. When we simply couldn’t provide a proper news service without mentioning something for sale on Trade Me, the item could be referred to as “for sale on the internet”.
So much for freedom of the press. When Loop, an inﬂuential Wellington magazine, closed, it netted a paragraph in the Evening Post, as it then was.
I know what Sam Morgan felt, after facing a boycott myself from The Dominion Post (as informed to me by staff and former staff there). I am glad to see the boycotts lifted for both TradeMe (now a Fairfax subsidiary) and myself.
It makes you question just how reﬂective a newspaper is of its community, not to mention the other charges that might be levelled at it.
This great institution, supposedly acting as though it were a fortress, is scared of a few independent business people, and will pretend they do not exist.
Fairfax’s behaviour answers my concern over the Cooper v. Cooper case. I now know what not to do. Objectivity must be upheld. That is my duty as a publisher. Going back to ﬁrst principles is not a bad thing, for the longevity of a brand.
Del.icio.us tags: boycott | branding | newspapers | TradeMe | freedom of the press Posted by Jack Yan, 02:24
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