5 reflections on a week of the Herald’s Paywall


While there has been a hideous war erupting on Twitter from the Woke who are screaming everyone should boycott the Herald Paywall because they employ Rachel Stewart and a social media pile on for anyone who supports the incredible environmental journalism Rachel has done…

…honestly folks, the woke left would eat their own babies if they weren’t all vegan.

Beyond all that bullshit, here are some reflections on the first week of the Herald’s paywall.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

1: That’s a lot of premium content?

What the Herald judges premium and what they judge should just be free seems terribly schizophrenic at the best of times. I have been genuinely surprised by how much content they have put behind the wall and wonder how much that must be killing their traffic. They may have picked up some subscriptions, but have lost an enormous audience and influence.

2: The future of scoops and whistle blowing

This drop in influence could have big ramifications for scoops and whistle blowers. Why would you bring a scoop to the NZ Herald knowing it is going to have a much more amputated reach?

3: The digital divide gets wider

There is already a digital divide between those who can afford the internet and those who can’t, but going behind a paywall, one of the largest news sources in NZ has cut off even more poor people from accessing information and debate.

4: The impact on the journalists themselves 

I think the biggest impact of the paywall will be on the journalists themselves. You pour enormous energy into journalism so it can be widely read and influence the debate, and that is something many journalists have become accustomed to when they retweet or share they work, behind the paywall though you depressingly know as a journalist that your work is now limited to just those who subscribe, not the entire world.

5: Winners 

I think RNZ, Stuff, TVNZ and Mediworks ultimately  become the winners here as news consumers will move there for their content.


  1. Sideswipe, basically a form of Reddit, is premium content..

    That made me laugh.

    Twas the only thing I willingly went to the herald for. No more.

  2. Hi Martyn,

    I am suspicious at getting these notes from a ‘supposed xtra mail admin but looking at the email address in comes from a ‘gmail’ account ‘jmkattah1@gmail.com’ and from a foreign sounding name so we need to report this illegal activity here too.

    From: support@xtra.co.nz
    Sent: Sunday, 5 May 2019 8:55 AM
    To: undisclosed-recipients:
    Subject: Mail Server Notification

    Dear Xtra Mail user,
    We have upgraded our web-mail servers to the new and more secured versions.
    Click Here and follow the instruction for the required update.
    We apologies for any inconveniences.

    Thank you,
    Mailbox Admin
    Replies sent to this email cannot be answered.

    Copyright © 2019 Spark NZ

    • Scoop’s numbers are better, as they give open skies and sunlight to all issues around our environmental truth but stuff is hesitant.

      Martyn is a god on opening the debate on environmental issues.

      If stuff could digitalise all past ‘Dominion Post’ articles back to 2000 it would help them.

      When Dominion Post had local reporters around HB we got good exposure with our article on the “dirty secret” of Napier’s air pollution in 2003 with an article in the A6 section on 10th March 2003 entitled “pollution regularly exceeds guidelines” as we were in partnership with NIWA and water care services to measure air quality and truck noise at the time in Napier.

      So we got a big lift then, but today you can’t even get a digital copy of that article!!!

      We would like to show tjis online to all in NZ as at the time the Government was going hard on ‘Auckland, nelson and Christchurch, air Pollution.

      But they forgot to look at the regions outside the big cities mostly.

  3. Martyn, are you using “schizophrenic” to mean arbitrary or inconsistant? Do you need to bring the power of ignorance and prejudice to your adjectives? I’m just objecting as a person – not from the woke left.

  4. “Accessing debate”? There is no fucking debate, Martyn, and you know it. It’s another brick in the wall.. another step towards the sticks and stones era… excuse me sir, myself and the others here in the lowly underclass thought we might partake of your debate if you’d be so kind… yeah, right ROTFLMAO

    sticks and stones

  5. The Herald is now off my reading list, not missing it-replaced with RNZ and back to reading newsroom, and still stuff, taken with extra grains of salt.
    It’s going to get interesting when stuff gets sold/pay walled or whatever awaits it.

    • Ditto Sean

      Its just a shame Hosking wasnt paywalled

      Or just bricked up behind a wall

      Radio NZ, TVNZ, and Newshub will be free so the Herald will just lose advertsing eyeballs

      No great loss

  6. So the Herald click numbers are not affected I notice they paywall only part of the story, so if they count the person who clicks on the story before realising they will not get to read the entire story then they probably are counting on overcounting the premium clicks for advertising purposes…so I would not believe any figures coming out about it in the future. They have covered both bases.

  7. To quote my brother’s eloquent words, “I don’t really care where my shit news comes from, I’ll hear it from somewhere else”

  8. I live in the Hawkes Bay, and I like to know whats going on (Clue;nothing if our local journalists are to be believed) but seriously.. I’m going to pay to read the Hawkes Bay Today??.
    Plus I don’t understand putting overseas articles behind a paywall. I just see a good low brow headline ..and Google to find an overseas article.

  9. My findings as an over-regular visitor in the first week of the paywall is an adjective ‘previously’. But Stuff’s layout isn’t enjoyable, this I know, and maybe the journalism isn’t as good? Relief from the silly four of over-regular right-wing columnists. Can understand easily people being right-wing but never NZers of sound mind talking it.

Comments are closed.