OPINION: The end, when it came, came quickly. For me and my colleagues at Bauer Media New Zealand, which owns the New Zealand Listener, the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly, Woman’s Day NZ, North & South and a host of other magazines, the first notice was a text message at 8.30am today saying we needed to be on a Zoom call at 9am. “Your attendance is required”, the text said.
At the Listener, we already knew that we were not publishing a print edition this week. Bizarrely, the Government had announced a few days ago that weekly publications were not allowed to publish because they may be a health risk.
It was so absurd to think that a democratic government would close down any media during a state of emergency that I assumed Bauer would fight the decision or, in the finest media traditions, publish and be damned. As it transpired, we were damned; we just didn’t publish. Instead, the company seemed to acquiesce with what felt to me to be worrying ease.