Spark was this week given a lesson - if one were needed - that it is dangerous to mix with a toxic brand like the Whale Oil website.
The telco was called out when it gave away a couple of phones for a Whale Oil promotion. It was roundly pilloried by Cameron Slater haters for what was really a minor cock-up.
Slater had promoted the giveaway as a "sponsorship", but there were squeals from the left and the Spark logo was taken down.
Asked about the issue, Spark spokesman Richard Llewellyn said "we don't endorse the editorial policies of any particular media outlet, including Whale Oil".
There were rumbles about boycotts, as there often are nowadays when people hear or see something they don't like. Thankfully, wiser heads prevailed. Boycotts are a consumer right, but with the social media gang always ready, there is an attack waiting for every advertiser who is linked to views some don't like. And that would be bad for media.
Sub-editing in Vietnam
Pagemasters editors will be saying "Gooood morning Vietnam" as they head off to work at its new operation in Ho Chi Minh City next month.
Though it is not clear whether rates charged by the editorial services company will be less than they are in Australia and New Zealand, Pagemasters will be giving media companies the option of outsourcing to the low wage economy.
Pagemasters offers services such as laying out newspaper pages and sub-editing stories. It says its Vietnam operation will initially focus on English language newspapers in Asia, but it is understood that it will also edit Australian titles and intends to expand into other English language markets.
Managing director Peter Atkinson stressed that the company was not planning a wholesale shift of work to Vietnam. It was committed to its New Zealand operations, which include two sub-editing centres in Auckland -- one for NZME. titles including the Herald.
Increased outsourcing and globalisation is just part of a rapidly changing environment for print. New Zealand print advertising and photographs are already being processed in India and the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Fairfax New Zealand, which edits some Fairfax Australia print titles in this country, is pushing ahead with proposals to do away with subbing of online content -- a cost-cutting measure euphemistically called "Right First Time". The notion of editor-free digital content is at the centre of restructuring which has seen the disestablishment of more than 165 jobs and prompted forecasts that a net 20 to 100 editorial jobs will be lost.
Pagemasters is owned by the news agency AAP, which in turn is owned by News Corporation, Fairfax and West Australian Newspapers.
So in that sense its role is as a "frenemy", with the Australian sector co-operating to reduce costs.
In this country Fairfax and NZME. are co-operating by sharing printing capacity.
The shift to Vietnam marks a new stage, especially given that the country is hardly famous for its commitment to media freedom. Atkinson declined to give details on the partner for the Ho Chi Minh City operation, or what agreements had been made with the Vietnamese authorities.
He stressed that it would be valuable to have news production operations based in different time zones. And as for the legal aspects, he said, the items were being processed in Vietnam, not published there.
Back in 2007, the deal to outsource sub-editing of APN News and Media titles (now part of NZME.) was seen as a milestone for the print industry, and by some as the beginning of the end for the trade of sub-editing.
Rather than outsourcing to Pagemasters, Fairfax NZ has developed its own editing hubs, and lower costs here mean it has been processing Australian papers in this country.
Labour leader Andrew Little is looking at "online and visual" options for a public television service.
Labour is keen on the idea of creating a public television platform, but Little will know that starting with a nebulous concept like public interest media will be fraught, at a time when media structures and truisms are overturned by the day.
The danger is that any such platform would be overrun by interest groups, in the way that commercial TV has been overrun by marketers.
Labour missed the boat with its half-hearted TVNZ charter back in the early 2000s; it may now be too late to build public TV from scratch.
The fundamental problem will always be money, and the degree to which any new venture is taking income away from commercial TV subsidies delivered by NZ On Air.
The TV networks - not least state-owned TVNZ - will fight that intensely, especially when it comes to election year. After all, New Zealand commercial TV has come to rely on taxpayer handouts.
Another issue will be whether any new public media service carries advertising. Given the commercial saturation on commercial TV, many people will insist that any new service should be advert-free, on the basis that advertising demands mass audiences, which mean cautious broadcasting.
The downside is that without independent revenue, public media are reliant on taxpayer grants and vulnerable to bullying from state and legal threats. Another issue is in defining what media should be eligible.
Currently, quality self-sustaining media products are being starved of cash while taxpayers fund X Factor.
Six months after US Federal agents raided Rogers Photo Archives in Little Rock, Arkansas, officials at New Zealand's Ministry for Culture and Heritage are still none the wiser on whether protected photo archives have been sold on eBay and, if so, whether there is a chance of recovering them.
The ministry gave a temporary export licence to Fairfax Media to send as many as 8 million archival pictures to the US for digitising, but they got caught up in a messy receivership. Fairfax Australia does not return calls about the issue. The Ministry for Culture and Heritage says it is "liaising closely with both the receiver and Fairfax Media to ensure the ongoing safety of the photographs.
"We have already had confirmation from the receiver that the photographs are stored in safe and secure facilities in good condition.
"The receiver has also confirmed with us that he is clear about the New Zealand Government's legal position and recognises that any photographs that are protected New Zealand objects under the Protected Objects Act 1975 should come back to this country.
"At this time we have not been able to confirm whether or not the photographs sold on eBay are protected New Zealand objects. Once this has been clarified we will work with Fairfax to get back any which are protected New Zealand objects."