A reader emails:
Well it looks like Judge Charles Blackie has quite clearly judged ‘Whale Oil Beef Hooked’ not to be a news medium. It is interesting he makes reference to a Law Commission report. I was initially impressed when he referenced this Commission until I realised that this Commission has no legal authority but can only make recommendation to Parliament regarding areas of the law. The Commission has no more legal authority than any single individual person.
The Honourable Judge did not reference a report by Auckland University of Technology’s Journalism, Media and Democracy Centre which arguably has a greater understanding of the position and role of NZ’s blogosphere. Report author and AUT communication studies lecturer Merja Myllylahti said more people were turning to New Zealand’s “blogosphere” for information. She is quoted as saying “It is not surprising that citizen journalists and bloggers have started to take a more active role. The blogosphere is thriving right now because it provides an alternative to commercially focused media. The use of the word ‘alternative’ is significant.
It is hard to understand the Honourable Judge’s assessment that your media blog is not “a means for the dissemination to the public or a section of the public of news and observation on news”. The 760,000 people clicked into your media blog each month certainly represents a section of the public. I am sure that they are seeking news or observation on news and not using your media blog as a screen saver.
Enough said this is an important issue for the freedom of expression for every New Zealand person and I sincerely hope that you are able to have support and resources to take this matter for appeal to the High Court. As such I am willing to contribute $500 to a legal cost fund. If every person of a like mind or even a people of opposite opinion contributed perhaps $10 to see this matter resolved in the High Court the status of media blogs could be resolved in an open and clear manner.
The latest stats show continued growth. We cracked 1 million visits for the month.