See what's on the other side.
Curious which other newsletters, if any, folks are reading or would recommend.
I regularly read David Slack's More Than A Fielding, Emily Writes Weekly, and David Farrier's Webworm. As well as a bunch of free ones from overseas.
Also curious if anyone reads anything based on a patron, rather than a subscription, model.
Yes! The enshittification of the internet continues apace. (Thanks Cory Doctorow for the term)
We started using the web back in the 90s with such enthusiasm and optimism, and it had great promise. There’s still a huge amount of fantastic information and good out there but the really big social sites are mostly a time-sucking vortex of crap. Sometimes that’s what you want after a long work day, but sometimes you can almost feel it melting your brain cells!
Nick I very much agree. We need to fund the intelligent, thoughtful commentators - you and others. There are also some good podcasts out there for free (for now) - eg The Rest is Politics, BBC Newscast, etc.
and tht Nick, is why I suscribe to your Newsletter....and a couple of others
WoW. 'Food for thought'. On more than one level.
Thanks Nick ♡
Thanks for opening this discussion as there are a few recommendations already that have piqued my curiosity. David Farrier's Webworm was my entryway into the world of Substack. From there I found my way to Bernard Hickey's The Kaka as I had questions on the ETS and was struggling to find credible sources to guide my education on that. And then I found the substack app and a whole new world of writing opened up. Poetic Outlaws is my favourite way to start the day. Just brilliant. I enjoy your work, I'm a Little Teapot by Tim and Melanie Newfield's The Turnstone. And from the US David Perry's In the Garden of His Imagination is beautiful. And I've kept my NY Times subscription even though I've been in NZ for 5 years now mainly for the games and puzzles. I gave up on Stuff when the reporting kept equaling a summation of facebook posts from various people.
I subscribe to you, Nick, and Gerard Otto, my two favourites, and a couple of others, all on Substack, and enjoy my sources. The only Newspaper we get in our house is the ODT! Thanks for your honest and perceptive resume!!
Hi Nick, you're right that the larger guys are frustratingly bad at the moment... For half of yesterday, the top story on the Herald site was literally about (ex-tobacco-lobbyist) Chris Bishop's ride on a Lime scooter (?!?)
Fortunately, there's more great alternatives than ever now - it's just a shame most people don't have the time or energy to search them out.
It's fair to mention RNZ and The Spinoff do a pretty good job, without paywalls.
Bernard's Kākā of course should be mentioned - well worth the sub as a means of picking through the news. Ben Reid's Memia is a perspective from an in-depth tech viewpoint. And the local podcasts 1/200 and BHN have some good, distinctive, approaches (from the Left of course but, unlike the Right media, they are happy to give balance where it's due). Gordon Campbell at werewolf.co.nz should be obligatory reading for the entire country!
Outside NZ, Robert Reich and Cory Doctorow (The Pluralist, not on substack) are standard recommendations. Cameron Murray at Fresh Economic Thinking is sensible ANZ economic view. Normal Island News is just good despondency-entertainment from a UK perspective. I also try and read some good 'opposing' views, such as The Weekly Dish (free tier) to challenge my thinking with the "steelman" version of conservative viewpoints.
And, of course, it goes without saying I'd give a strong recommendation for 'Little Teapot' ;-)
Thankfully we have you and David Slack on a daily basis to give us a more nuanced perspective than the Herald et al. Also David Farrier and for balance from overseas Chris Hedges, Jeffrey Sachs, Useful Idiots (Katie Helper and Aaron Mate), Prof Wolff for economics news from a non neo liberal point of view. All available on You Tube with some free content and some subscription.
As an aside this was posted this morning by Katie. " When Aaron boarded a train from New York to DC, his assigned seat just happened to be directly across from one of Joe Biden’s closest allies in Congress, Delaware’s Chris Coons. So he (in a “subdued voice,” per quiet car regulations) asked the senator why he won’t support a ceasefire in Gaza. He was thrown off the train at the next stop. Hear Aaron recount the full story in today’s Thursday Throwdown"
This sort of reporting won't be in our press that's for sure.
Thanks, always enjoy reading what you have to say. Had a conversation only last night about a 13 year old who sees no future. Discussion about the impact of social.media and the algorithm and how what's potentially fed to her. Another devastating impact.
I look forward to my daily doses of Nick and Gerard , also subscribe to The Spinoff and the Guardian, and get a paper copy of Stuff newspaper. The other half reads this cover to cover, and I argue with the unpleasant Malpass, take an interest in local news, and enjoy the puzzles. There are other writers I would like to subscribe to, but as an aged person I have to make choices. Long may the best of writers write!
As well as subscribing to some of the many excellent sources mentioned above, I donate to Wikipedia and use it as a fact-checking source. Wikipedia provides links, references or sources and, most importantly, the edit history so chronology can be determined.
Facts, not analysis, but invaluable information.
Some very good points here Nick, but we perhaps should not get too nostalgic about the Internet of the 90s. The warning signs that emotions could run high (and subsequently be manipulated) were there - the great flame war of rec.aquaria for example. A former colleague of mine set up an early email discussion list, mostly university based people in those days, for those interested in hand-crafts. It had to be shut down when a massive argument erupted and one person drove across state lines to smash the letter box of another member they'd had an email argument with. The issue? Whether crochet should be added to their mostly quilting group.
You're the only site I pay for. I read Aljazeera, stuff, and watch DDN and Novara Media. Any news paywalled site I give a wide berth to especially The Herald because most if not all writers are RW goons. I NEVER EVER watch any of the TV news stations in NZ anymore because they are the mouth pieces for Muck in my eye, the Lynch mob and other twats that are unable to merely report events as they occur, but always feel the need to feed me their reckons!
Most news platforms masquerade as such, and it is almost impossible to disseminate unsituated information from them.
I know when I bought into your korero exactly what I'd be getting, situated left wing opinion laced with a healthy dose of humour! A fillip to my day!
The other source of information is to read widely books of the times by authors who are respected polemicists in a variety of feilds from politics, education, history, and social commentary.
Life is far too short to be trivialized by the likes of the Paul Henrys, Tova O'Briens and Paddy Gowers of the world. Such people put themselves at the centre of their 'news' and offer up manure as fodder for an indolent public.
I believe that the WWW is a brilliant centre for practical advice and targeted news gathering. By using it selectively one is able to collect and identify information that libraries provide, but at a much faster rate. It is also a window from which we can catch glimpses of worlds many of us could never afford to visit, whilst digging deeper when presented with the views of others that catch our attentions.
I am old enough to remember BBC news where opinion was subliminal (so perhaps more insidious) and provided by an unsmiling stiff upper lip English gentleman who summerised the workds woes in 10 minutes then passed me on to the weather man who in 2 minutes told me it would rain tomorrow and probably the next!😂🤣😅
I am happy to pay for good journalism, newsletters, analysis and content in whatever form, and am very grateful to be in the position to do so. Well, I am currently in the position to pay - I'm a public servant, so who knows whether I will continue to have a job!
I don't expect writers, thinkers and researchers to give me the results of their work for free. I subscribe to The Guardian and Spinoff as well The Kākā, Emily Writes, Webworm and The End is Naenae. I am particularly pleased to have recently discovered your newsletter Nick and thank you for asking your readers for recommendations. Am going to enjoy investigating all the suggestions that have been made.
I used to subscribe to the Herald, mostly on the basis that I am a news junkie and I want to support NZ journalism, but also to read Simon Wilson's work... but then I stopped because quite apart from the editorial stance, most of the articles are so poorly written/cribbed from other sources that they are almost stubs, which drives me nuts.. and I could no longer stomach contributing even a microscopic amount to Mike Hosking's income.
I subscribe to Nick, David Slack, the Guardian, and the Herald (I know, I know!) plus a home delivery of the Listener each week. I have had Listener in my life since childhood, because my father worked for the New Zealand Broadcasting Service, and was thus entitled to a free copy - for life. He was a pioneer broadcaster from the days when it was truly a public service, and would be horrified to see some of today's practices in the name of news, and deeply disappointed to see the shift in focus and quality of the Listener, as I am, but I can't give it up!