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MediaOctober 30, 2016

The best of The Spinoff this week


Compiling the best reading of the week from your friendly local website.

Ally McCrow-Young: What’s the deal with denial? A NZ Chinese woman on ‘Kiwi-ness’ and casual racism

“When I’ve told anecdotes about casual racism – like when people put on a fake broken English accent when speaking to me – I can almost guarantee the response from friends, colleagues or boyfriends’ families will be something in realm of get over it/it’s no big deal/ you must have misunderstood. It’s this refusal to engage with the problem that particularly disturbs me. It’s this complacent attitude from everyone that can make a young kid stop telling their stories of passers-by shouting ‘oriental’ while pulling their eyes up, or ‘jokes’ made about eating dogs.”

Toby Manhire: Police admit they mounted a sham breath-testing checkpoint, and it stinks

“The police do not write the law, and they can reasonably say they are simply investigating what they suspect to be illegal behaviour. But Exit International is an advocacy group: for the police targeting them under the guise of a road safety operation has, at worse, a Stasi-esque stench about it; at best it appears corner-cutting.”

River Lin: Throwback Thursday: Remembering Squirt, the worst-named show of the ’90s

“Personally, it was the biggest shock to me when my childhood hero Matt Gibb left, taking with him the humble charm of the show. On a scale from What Now?‘s introduction of yet another presenter (Who?) to Blue’s Clues‘ Steve leaving for college (absolutely devastating), Matt’s departure from the show was undoubtedly heartbreaking. No amount of Silly Putty could fix the Matt-shaped hole in my heart.”

A handy guide
A handy guide

Thalia Kehoe Rowden: Think Big for Kids: 5 big ideas (and a few dozen more) to protect children and support families

“Here’s what we need: wraparound support for every parent who needs it, beginning in pregnancy.

When someone is two months pregnant, ask: ‘What will this baby need to thrive? How can we make that happen?’ And then make it happen. All of it.”

Jack Close: Remind us: why do we own TVNZ again?

“Now, in 2016, it feels like we are at the apex of commercialised media. Our public service broadcaster is not disrupting the media market like it should, by offering high quality informative, entertaining and educational content. Instead, TVNZ and its competitors are all too often reliant on tabloid-style clickbait journalism, and the losers are the New Zealand people.”

Scotty Stevenson: Where the real music is made: A love letter to provincial rugby

“Super Rugby was always going to outshine the provincial game. It is the pyrotechnic stadium extravanganza to provincial rugby’s dude on a guitar in the corner. Super Rugby has the cash, the hype, the crowds and the crowd-pleasers. Provincial rugby has a nine-song set list and a bingo game in the room next door. And that’s what I love about it.”

Patrick Thomsen: ‘Hobgoblin’ logic on Pacific gay rights has distinctly Western roots

“Fa’afafine, Samoa’s third gender, illustrates this point, rooted as it is firmly in Samoan social and political structures. Although much has changed since the arrival of Christianity, a fa’afafine was, and in many instances still is, held in high regard for their much lauded ability to traverse multiple duties of servitude to their family, village and wider community.”

SAMOA - JANUARY 01: The Transformation Island: The fa'afafines of the Samoa islands in Apia, Samoa in 2005-Blondie putting make-up on in her room before going out to party in town. (Photo by Olivier CHOUCHANA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Blondie, a fa’afafine, putting make-up on in her room before going out to party in town. (Photo by Olivier CHOUCHANA/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Simon Wilson: Beyond the reckoning: Simon Wilson bids farewell to Metro magazine

“It’s not just media we do, it’s journalism. Which has never been harder or more rewarding. Media companies, many of them, are trying hard. There are dedicated investigative units in both our major newspaper companies. Witness the reinvigoration of Radio NZ.

Companies are engaged in the painful but important process of opening up structures, to be ready for the new way to do things, whatever that turns out to be.

Journalism isn’t going to stop being important. Think of it like this: journalism is to power what attack is to defence in rugby: the defence is usually better than the attack.”

Peter Douglas: A Week of It: the epic Kim Hill airwave binge

“At this point Kim has been on RNZ 12 of the last 14 days, and will have racked up 38 hours of air time over that period by the end of today, so I’m agape when she says she’ll be on a panel to discuss the new Leonard Cohen album later on this afternoon. Jesus H Christ: at this rate RNZ National will soon just be an intravenously caffeinated Kim Hill around the clock.”

Duncan Greive: Huge and true: The Spinoff is launching a music section

“The critical thing for any music publication is its editor. They set the tone, play point guard with their writers and need to be able to examine and understand both the music and its place in the wider culture. Which is why I’m so happy to say that our music editor will be Henry Oliver. I first met Henry when he played bass for Die! Die! Die! Over a decade ago, and was struck by both the force with which he played and the breadth of his musical consumption habits.”

Keep going!