QUALITY journalism is threatened both globally and locally, but all I hear is whinging.
NZME (and therefore the Chronicle) introduced "premium content" this week, which will require a subscription fee to access some online content. Most of what I've heard so far has been complaints while I'm wondering what took so long.

Newspapers have folded in much larger centres than our own for years.

Our community needs a robust news media to retain a robust democracy. The thought of losing the Chron terrifies me for what we will lose in terms of "keeping 'em honest". With the proliferation of "fake news" and increase in wealth inequality, we need the Fourth Estate more than ever.

Two years ago I made the choice to donate to the Guardian, even though I have not been in England in over a decade.


I read the Guardian online regularly and feel a responsibility to ensure its ability to pay talented journos to pursue meaningful stories.

Yesterday I got an email from the Guardian editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner: "Today, we have announced that the Guardian has successfully completed its three-year turnaround strategy — we have hit our goal of breaking even, and made a small operating profit on our path to sustainability. This means that the money we make from advertisers combined with what we receive in the generous support from you, our readers, has this year covered the cost of producing the journalism that informs and inspires millions of people around the world."

Although I have written over 200 opinion pieces for the Chronicle over the last seven years without compensation, I have never been a paying subscriber to the daily paper. With the turn of events this week I may need to take out my credit card and buy an online subscription.

Our community cannot afford to lose independent journalism.


Spiritual teachings

Rev Graham Juden (letters, April 25) would do well to acknowledge that a healthy percentage of New Zealanders are spiritual, intelligent, empathetic beings with a functioning conscience, five attributes one might struggle to find in many Christian-based churches or societies.

Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and Muhammad weren't Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, or Muslim — they simply taught love, tolerance, understanding, respect, equality, to name but a few — attributes perhaps not possessed by Rev Juden, based on his insistence that the annual dragging of a cross through Whanganui East should receive precedence in the pages of this fine publication.


On the eve of Anzac Day, another day that 21st century humans would be best to forget, I'm reminded of George Carlin's irreverent yet accurate suggestion that "More people have been killed in the name of God (power) than for any other reason", which has me leaning towards the original pagan celebration at this time of year, long since hijacked by the Christian church.

I wonder how EFTpostle Tamaki or Israel Fallout feels about these facts, or are Christians so uncomfortable with fact, truth, and logic that they cannot intelligently discuss or debate these issues, instead threatening we non-believers with eternal damnation in the fires of "Hades", a place only brought into existence by the creation of "Heaven"?


Tyranny of the majority

Ann David seems to have misunderstood what Paula Salisbury was saying about referendum dangers. David implies that Salisbury is claiming that vulnerable New Zealanders should be denied the right to vote — what nonsense.

What Salisbury was pointing out was that the vulnerable form a minority in our society. And that even if all of them voted against euthanasia, the bill might well pass. And yet the vulnerable minority — who voted against it — would be the ones most adversely affected by it.

A chilling but accurate application of what is often called the "tyranny of the majority".
MPs should make the Second Reading the last reading of this dangerous bill.


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