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ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Economics 101 explains why Newshub Bankrupted

Economics 101 explains why Newshub Bankrupted - it was the fault of its own journalists who should recognize they were the architects of their own demise.

A thousand books and papers in economics and business strategy are about the topic of product differentiation - ensuring that what you sell is different from others in order to build your own customer base you can make money from. On that note, David Farrar at Kiwiblog did a survey to work out how right or left-leaning are our major media outlets. Over 2,500 people ranked the outlets on a -100 to +100 scale that went from "strongly left" to "strongly right-leaning" (0 is "neutral"). The weighted average for each media outlet is:

  1. Radio New Zealand -80 (most left)

  2. The Spinoff -78

  3. Stuff -72

  4. One News -62

  5. NZ Herald – 59

  6. Newshub -51

  7. Scoop -46

  8. Newsroom -46

  9. NewstalkZB +16 (most right)

In other words, our community of leftist journalists has managed to try out-competing each other for the attention of those members of the public who are left-wing. Amazingly, Newshub, Stuff, One News, Radio NZ and the NZ Herald all have scores veering toward "strongly left wing" - that is, from -51 to -80. They are all competing for the same market, together with a whole bunch of smaller leftist outfits like The Spinoff, Scoop and Newsroom. Given we have a National-ACT-NZ First coalition, only a minority of Kiwis even voted "left" at the last election. So we have five major news outlets - and three less significant smaller ones - all competing like mad for that minority.

If the journalists working at Stuff, Newshub & Herald think they're smart by writing & doing shows with ever-more leftist slants & insults to Luxon, Peters & Seymour, and thought they were clever trying to fix the last election by smearing the new coalition, well they just went & bankrupted their own companies by doing so. I mean, how dumb can you get? Don't go blaming social media and Google for not paying for your low quality "content". Go take a look at the man or woman in the mirror. By the way, have you worked out that Mike Hosking must be loving you for it? He practically has the whole right-wing market to himself.


Robert MacCulloch holds the Matthew S. Abel Chair of Macroeconomics at Auckland University. Rob blogs at Down To Earth Kiwi 

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114 commentaires

I think the Government should refuse to support any news organisation until research shows that the coverage of political topics in that organisation has a 50/50 representation of left and right views based on external ratings by an independent agency


All in all, a brilliant summary of public feeling re MSM.

If you have just arrived, here, read all that's below. Such fun!


The referenced background to your commentary, is nothing more than an unscientific Vox pop poll put up by DF to followers on his right wing Kiwiblog. Hardly rates as credible research survey material and is not worthy as a basis for a discourse from an Academic. What were you thinking of?


Guy Faes
Guy Faes
02 mars

You're 100% correct. Unfortunately, you forgot TVNZ ("strongly left wing") which they think they're clever by doing shows with ever-more leftist slants & insults to Luxon, Peters & Seymour. You thought they were clever trying to fix the last election by smearing the new coalition, and they let it happen. How dumb can it get?

En réponse à

Yes. TVNZ, a manatee blabbing around in an ever shrinking lake..


fair and, in many ways, a realistic commentary.

but is it totally correct? somehow i do believe (and agree) all these pinko "journalists" are indeed competing for the same audience. no argument on that point. but why? the "market" called new zealand is finite - as is its economy. that market is demographically segmented or, if you like, carved into pieces like you would a pie or cake.

the individual pieces? well, some do get a little bigger, even after they have been carved out of that big round pie (or cake) that represents the population of new zealand. sure, the "pinko" slice had seen some growth over the past decades, no doubt about that.

but now onto the other…

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