Fran on Blogging

September 16th, 2009 at 12:53 pm by David Farrar

I’m not a woman, or rural, but am attending a breakfast meeting of Rural Women New Zealand to hear Fran O’Sullivan talk on “An Accidental Empire: The Rise of Political Blogging and its Effect on Conventional Media.”

Other interested people are welcome to attend:

Speaker: Fran O’Sullivan

Topic:        An Accidental Empire: The Rise of Political Blogging and its Effect on Conventional Media.

is delighted to have special guest Fran O’Sullivan – a columnist for the New Zealand Herald – speaking at this month’s breakfast meeting on the rise of political blogging. Fran’s expertise is in politics and business. She was labelled a “right-wing blogger” by Helen Clark – but has yet to launch her own blog.

Date: Tuesday 29 September

Time:        7.15am – 8.15 a.m.

Venue: D4 on Featherston Street
Level 1, 143 Featherston St

Breakfast:  There is no charge for attending RWNZ breakfast meetings. A D4 Breakfast Special costing $12 has been arranged for this occasion. The Special includes bacon, a choice of eggs on toast, and tea or coffee and juice. Or, you can order a continental breakfast with jam and marmalade served with juice, tea or coffee for $12. If you have a little more time, you may wish to order from any of the full range of dishes available on D4’s superb breakfast menu which can be viewed at

Please RSVP to Noeline Holt:

or Tracy Galland:

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9 Responses to “Fran on Blogging”

  1. Chris_C (224 comments) says:

    That sounds interesting, if not early enough to get away with not missing work…

    Funnily enough, Fran could learn a lesson or two from some bloggers on the fact-check front.

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  2. BLiP (28 comments) says:

    The MSM has let slip the principles of the Fourth Estate which are now being taken up by the blogosphere. This is a real worry for business because now people who are genuinely interested in informing themselves can feast at a vertitable smorgasbord of information rather than be spoon fed corporate/government PR pap via traditional sources. Asking Fran to talk about political blogging is like asking a turkey what it thinks about Christmas.

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Fran, blogging is only that start of it girl. You think you’re in the spot light now, wait till things really start firing, as they are in the US right now. People are going to come looking for mainstream media journalists, and asking them some tough questions.

    You probably won’t have as much trouble answering them as some. For many though, the best choice may be to just pack their bags and move to Cuba.

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  4. Cerium (23,426 comments) says:

    If the questions come fired from you RB they could be tough to answer with a straight face. You’d better watch out, you could be hoist by your own petard.

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  5. Cerium (23,426 comments) says:

    Despite all it’s criticism the blogosphere seems to use the MSM a lot, and without it would be far less potent, and far less interesting. The MSM has a lot of adjusting to do, some of which is degree of merging with the blogosphere – that happens now, with MSM blogs and bloggers in print and on radio and tv. Surely it is in most people’s interests that each finds a way to complement and grow stronger.

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  6. Chris_C (224 comments) says:

    The irony of the blogosphere is that it relies on traditional media for its reach – check out Whale Oil’s little article in the SST a couple of months back. One second it’s a dying format, the next he’s shouting that it’s doubled his pageviews. Or Guido Fawkes in the UK – the man who hates the MSM, but the one who’s the first to shout about his contacts and run to them when he’s got a scoop.

    The thing the mainstream has over the blogosphere at the moment is the monetisation aspect. When News Corp and Fairfax start charging and enforcing their copyrights, bloggers will have to run to selected sites to get their news – that’ll be the wire services, mostly. When that happens, no one will be able to just copy and paste large sections of articles. The more popular blogs will be targeted and the blogging services will be targeted in the same way that YouTube has been now.

    I’m not saying war, of course. I’m just saying things will change, and will change soon – Murdoch sites are touted to start charging in November.

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  7. Jack5 (5,007 comments) says:

    Murdoch’s attempts to impose fees on his sites will be interesting.

    It’s not long ago that he was mulling taking fees off the financially successful Wall St Journal site. He’s all over the place and time is running out for him.

    Sites as diverse as the New York Times and the NZ Herald have already tried and given up trying to charge for web site news.

    Instead of trying to impose the dead/dying print financial model on the internet, the English-language print media should be trying to emulate radio, scoring from the eyeballs they attract to their sites, as radio uses listeners – who pay nothing. If newspapers don’t start moving fully online – free – they will be marooned as theme parks of an obsolescent technology.

    On copyright: first it’s questionable whether it can be enforced successfully. Newspapers at present delve into others’ copyright in reviews of theatre, books etc. Will they be able to block blogs from referring to a news media story for critique purposes? I doubt it.

    Second, state owned media will not necessarily join the print media in their attempt to control the blogosphere. We will all just switch to them for a while.

    Third, someone in the print media will break ranks and go for it to attract most eyeballs, just as free trade papers, free suburbans, and free regional papers have successfully challenged the MSM’s monopoly.

    It’s interesting that the National Business Review’s Coleman, one of the leaders in the Don Quixote campaign to put tolls on the internet, made his fortune from free giveaway papers eroding what had been the advertising domain of dailies. The NBR would probably have died years go if it hadn’t been propped up by cash from these MSM-busting ventures.

    The print media is deluded if it thinks it can harness the blogosphere. It’s like stables circa 1900 trying to force owners of new fangled cars to buy oats.

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  8. Lambcut (18 comments) says:

    Just to clarify things (because there seems to be some confusion amongst the town guys), RWNZ Wellington Breakfast Meetings are not held primarily for rural women. RWNZ is an inclusive organisation. It has male members. None of its meetings are ever exclusive on a gender basis. The Breakfast Meetings are usually fairly small networking opportunities hosted by RWNZ for various industry group representatives and government officials to get together and discuss common concerns. The September 29 Breakfast Meeting is a special event designed to attract a wider audience. Everyone is welcome!

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  9. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    DPF the topic should have been:

    An Accidental Empire: The Rise of Political Blogging and its Effect on Conventional Media – because of incompetent journalists.

    What I mean by this is that lots of newspaper & TV news stories were based on something which appeared in the blogosphere. It should have been the other way round. The blogosphere should have got their stories from the MSM, but because they (journalists) spend most of their time reading blogs to get some leads and spend less time out in the real world to hunt for stories, they’re simply lazy. They get their stories 2nd hand.

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