Scoop Christmas Message And Holidays Update…
Dear Scoop Subscribers,
This note is to thank you all (all 4000 of you) for your ongoing support during 2003 and inform you of the Scoop operational plan for the Christmas / New Year break.
First the practical bit…
- For Free My Scoop Subscribers: We will be suspending the regular daily headlines service from tomorrow till January 12th, so please do not be alarmed if you do not receive your daily incoming headlines (one more will follow this message shortly). The duty editors over the break may however send out irregular "Scoop Holiday Headlines" editions and will continue to publish the odd My Scoop column, so you may receive a few of those too.
- For Professional Newsagent Subscribers: Normal service will continue over the break with the exception of the public holidays of which there are thankfully quite a few. That said as most politician's and their staff and public relations operatives are on holiday, subscribers can expect a significant drop in volume of email over the period ahead. If you are concerned about coming back to a face full of email you can login and turn your service off – or at least tune it down – at the following links.
And now for the Christmas spirit bit….
As we approach the end of our fourth year online we can happily report that things are looking fairly rosy for Scoop going into 2004.
The highlight of the year for me - leaving aside news coups of which we have had a few - was undoubtedly our coming runners-up in the NZ Netguide Net awards. For this we have you all to thank, and for us to have beaten out the net giants NZ Herald, Nzoom and Xtramsn for this title clearly shows you did a FANTASTIC job.
So when the call goes out, same place and time next year, we hope we will still have your support.
Internally speaking the highlight of the year has been finding Wade Bishop our new Business Development Manager. He has had a wonderfully successful year and has taken a great deal of the pressure off the rest of the team in places where it matters a great deal.
Editorially the year has been a year of huge stories, The Second Gulf War and the Black Box Voting saga (for which a HUGE Big Ups goes out to Seattle based writer/researcher Bev Harris for including us in her adventures) stand out as the biggest of these. Selwyn Manning's coverage of the PM's trips to South Korea and Nigeria have also broken new ground for Internet journalism in New Zealand.
On these stories and many more Scoop has been able to put its best feet forward this year and we have been rewarded with a huge surge in readership taking us close to the 1 million pages and 300,000 unique readers a month marks.
And finally there is the future to look forward to. It seems clear at the end of 2003 that the online news experiment that Scoop began as in 1999 has been an outstanding success.
For starters there is clearly need for us and everybody likes being needed. Equally importantly there is support for us, both from you our readers, and also from advertisers (special thanks go out to John Schofield and his team at the Internet Bureau and the crew at Saatchi & Saatchi Interactive). But perhaps most importantly of all, we have the support of our contributors and writers. These are the people that make Scoop the rich editorial environment that it is.
On the editorial side over the year we have seen a huge number of new writers come on board, (William Moloney, Martin LeFevre and the team at Freepressed.com deserve special mention) as well as the staunch ongoing support from our stalwarts such as Russell Brown, Rosalea Barker, Catherine Austin Fitts, John Chuckman, theonering.net and Firas Al-Atraqchi. (Sorry guys and gals there are far too many of you to mention you all personally, but you know who you are.)
Meanwhile on the raw news side there have been even more new contributors, so many in fact that we have been kept thoroughly on our toes. So thanks to all you PR people and politically and community minded folks who populate Scoop with your PR messages, speeches and columns - without you there would be no Scoop. We salute you. For participating, and trying to influence the world around you. God knows it needs a bit of guidance.
And finally I would like to thank my family for their support this year. Their support has been unwavering and vital to our continued presence in the media melee.
And on that note I will sign over the remainder of this letter to my Co-Editor Selwyn Manning.
Christmas blessings to you and yours…
Alastair Thompson - Scoop Co-Editor
and finally Selwyn's Bit….
Editorially, 2003 has been a year like no other. But it really began in September 2002 with the United States of America issuing to the world its National Security Strategy where its current President stated:
"Today, the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great economic and political influence…”
… and thereafter detailed how the USA would ensure it remained omnipotent globally.
The Strategy became the blueprint for the new doctrine of ‘pre-emptive’ defence. The U.S./UK invasion of Iraq now offers a precedent to justify further breaches of international law, when a superpower decides unilaterally to wage war on another nation.
These events have formed a backdrop for much of Scoop’s coverage in 2003. We have striven to present alternative views that challenge the status quo and the received version of events as presented by the superpower and its minions.
By alternative, we do not mean unsubstantiated, nor emotive. Rather, Scoop has endeavoured to sift through rhetoric, to distill spin, and present as clear a picture of events as is possible. Here lies the purpose of why this news site exists and, in our view, the reason Scoop is essential in such confusing times.
Here in New Zealand, Christmas 2003 will be celebrated by many and observed by others. Here and abroad Christmas cheer will fire hope that 2004 will provide a fresh opportunity for peace and hope, and again a chance to recapture some of the universal magic that was shared at the dawn of the new millennium.
In closing there remains much work ahead. As I write, much of the world is at a loss to understand what will become of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, the home of Christmas.
This is but one example of the collapse of so much of humanity around the globe. As I write, there are countless innocent children that, should they have been born in another place at another time, could very easily be sitting on your knee, counting the days, the minutes, to when Christmas time is here again.
But as we know, this is just a notion. Emotive? No. It's purpose is to remind you of this reality. But let us not feel depressed, and instead look forward to change.
As my Co-Editor Alastair Thompson wrote above, Scoop has ventured into several new areas of coverage this year. And when opportunity existed, Scoop has been bringing you reports from abroad.
Yes Scoop is an alternative media. We are fiercely independent. And this year we have been greatly honoured for this. And we are growing stronger still. Scoop looks forward to bringing you information and reports in 2004 that will aid to empower you to make a difference.
It is time to contribute.
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Co-Editor.