John Drinnan

“That is a big allegation to make” – Drinnan

On a Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend, the media columnistĀ at the NZ Herald, John Drinnan, published a piece stating around a dozenĀ people at Radio New Zealand are losing their job.

Instead of reporting on something that was already known by those people losing their jobs, they read about it in the paper.

That’s a pretty tough way to discover you’re not going to enjoy your long weekend.

None of these people were named by Drinnan, so the next problem is that a fair proportion of Radio New Zealand staff were heading into a stressful three days instead of a relaxing break.

That was, until the NZ Herald published a retraction.

An opinion column by media columnist John Drinnan earlier today indicated that jobs cuts were imminent at Radio New Zealand following a board meeting yesterday. The RNZ board has since confirmed this is not correct. The Herald regrets the error and any distress it may have caused RNZ staff.

At this point, Duncan Garner chimed in via Twitter mocking Drinnan for his “apology”. Ā Drinnan replied with words to the effect that a correction was made and no apology was needed.

We have the paper correcting something, but the journalist is not prepared to say sorry for ruining the weekend of quite a number of people. Ā Not just 12-15, but everyone at Radio New Zealand that are now feeling pretty insecure about life.

Over at Throng, New Zealand’s leading media commentating web site, Regan Cunliffe put Drinnan’s feet to the fire with an article titled What else does John Drinnan make up?Ā Ā  Read more »

John Drinnan should stop interviewing his keyboard

It is widely thought by many, including those he shares an office with, that John Drinnan interviews his keyboard.

An opinion column by media columnist John Drinnan earlier today indicated that jobs cuts were imminent at Radio New Zealand following a board meeting yesterday. The RNZ board has since confirmed this is not correct. The Herald regrets the error and any distress it may have caused RNZ staff.

The full statement follows:

Statement from the Chairman of the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors
The Radio New Zealand Board Chairman, Richard Griffin, and the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors totally reject the suggestion in an article by John Drinnan in the New Zealand Herald on Friday 30th May that between 12 and 15 Radio New Zealand News staff are to lose their jobs and that the job cuts were approved by the Radio New Zealand Board of Governors yesterday.

The Herald regrets the error but not John Drinnan…who thinks there is nothing to be sorry about. Ā Ā  Read more »

Yesterday’s papers, are newspapers dead yet?

They might not be dead yet but they are flapping around like a snapper on the pier…gasping for air and relevance.

Even their owners know this and are prepared to say it out loud.

APN is focusing on radio because it does not consider newspapers a growth asset, shareholders were told at the media company’s annual meeting today.

APN owns The New Zealand Herald and radio stations NewstalkZB, Classic Hits, Radio Sport and ZM as well as popular Australian station KIIS.

APN chairman Peter Cosgrove said the company was discussing collaboration and partnerships with other publishing businesses.

Although not perceived as a growth asset, we will continue to manage our newspapers with diligence and dedication,” he said.

“We will explore all options with other industry players in a range of areas, including printing and distribution, to further reduce costs and extend their lives.

Read more »

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation.Ā Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »

Alsitair Thompson putting the poo back into the donkey

I see disgraced journalist Alistair Thompson is attempting to put the poo back into the donkey.

John Drinnan reports:

Alastair Thompson’s on again-off again political career has landed him back at Scoop, the news website he abandoned to join Kim Dotcom’s political party.

New cornerstone shareholders Sublime Media – led by Selwyn Pellet and his brother Craig – today detailed their 60 per cent stake in Scoop, with the Thompson family interests retaining 20 per cent.

Thompson – formerly a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery – today broke his silence after leaving the Internet Party last week and confirming he was in talks with Sublime about resuming some role at Scoop.

Thompson apologised to friends and family for the way he handled the transition between Scoop and the party role, which was leaked to the right wing blogger Cameron Slater.

Thompson was embarrassed by the revelations, and criticised by his business partner Selwyn Pellet.

Thompson said: “I owe an apology to many people close to me, especially my wife, my family and colleagues and employees at Scoop, and to my new investors for allowing the situation that evolved rapidly and unexpectedly at the end of last year, which brought about the conflict that my resignation from the Internet Party is to resolve.

“I am determined that my error in judgement will not prevent me from rejoining the effort at Scoop to build a new independent news model that is open, democratic and
true to Scoop’s stated mission of being an agent of positive change.

Those are weasel words for “I got sprung before I could cover my tracks”.

Sources inside the mansion tell me that Thompson would sit at the table with Dotcom over several months before the story broke Ā and worry that he maybe caught out and at the same time he worried about the impact on his potential investor.

Thompson’s explanations thus far have been very economical and he really needs to come clean before being accepted back into the Press Gallery.

Has the tide turned?

John Drinnan in the NZ Herald, normally part of the Kim Dotcom cheerleader squad has written what could only be called a hostile piece on media coverage of Dotcom.

Media coverage of Kim Dotcom and his businesses has missed the point and needs to be “more robust” now he has formed his own political party, says the head of the Copyright Council.

Paula Browning, the council’s chairwoman, says media have been caught up in public relations hype, and focused on the raid on Dotcom’s Coatesville mansion and his fight against extradition.

Other issues involving the German-born magnate – the charges against him and the issues surrounding file sharing – had received less coverage.

Media had been fascinated by parties around the Dotcom pool and events heavily promoted on social media, all designed to boost Dotcom’s profile.

“Some publications you would expect better of have been less than balanced in their coverage and very open to attending parties at the mansion,” she said.

She did not name names, but theĀ HeraldĀ and TV3′sĀ Campbell LiveĀ have been the highest-profile media reporting on Dotcom.Ā  Read more »

Len’s spin weasels still in operation

This morning in the Herald, the Gurnard continues the ham-fisted attack on Cameron Brewer rather than continue to hold Len Brown to account.

The councillor caught out on a junket to the Gold Coast declared the trip to officials – but concedes he may have done so after a call from a journalist.

Caught out? Really…top spin there from The Gurnard, has he taken over from Orsman as theĀ Herald’s embedded journalist int he mayor’s office?

But Cameron Brewer said his declaration wasn’t prompted by a call fromĀ HeraldĀ media specialist John Drinnan. Instead, he said it was a council official’s email that raised concerns about his free flights and accommodation.

Mr Brewer’s stand against Auckland Mayor Len Brown was brought up short when he was exposed as not having declared the August 2011 trip to Australia.

Caught out? Exposed? Uhmmm not, declared, but hey let’s not any facts get in the way.

On Sunday, Mr Brewer revealed he had actually declared the trip but only for the council’s gifts register and not the Register of Members’ Interests.

The declaration was made at 11.30am on September 8, 2011, recorded in an email sent a day before Drinnan revealed it in his weekly media column. On September 9, 2011, Drinnan reported: “Brewer says he declared the trip as a gift.”

Drinnan said he called Mr Brewer either the day before the column ran or two days before. Ā  Read more »

When requesting a cease fire, it may pay to stop shooting also

Whaleoil has been approached informally on two separate occasions over the last few weeks by senior Herald / APN staff with a suggestion that this blog stops picking on some of their staff and their company in general.

It was an interesting suggestion. Ā There is no doubt that there is friction between Whaleoil and some Herald staff. Ā But the suggestion also means that if we are to go easy on them, they might go easy on…. us?

Not sure if that really suits the public’s need.

That said, we decided to wait and see if there were any overt signs that there was a new level of goodwill coming from the Herald – at any level.

Are they crediting Whaleoil consistently?

Do they provide a link to such sources?

Do they describe Whaleoil erroneously as “a National Party blog”?

Or “controversial website Whaleoil” (just today)

Have Fisher and Drinnan toned down their public tag team campaigns via Twitter? Ā  Read more »

Daniel Hannan on judging blogs by their comment threads

People, okay mainly left wing tossers with their heads jammed up their fundament, claim that this website is rubbish or a sewer not by what is written on it but by what is in the comments. their site is better, smarter or more erudite because we have nicer commenters is the answer.

Of course it is petty jealousy fuelled with an unhealthy dose of intellectual snobbery. The market speaks andĀ the market decides if you’re good enough not some pompous leftwing snob’s idea of what people should say or think.

Daniel Hannan explores this in his blogpost (again the Telegraph is a mainstream “news medium” that has bloggers).

The FTā€™s former correspondent at the European Parliament used to ask me the same question at every press conference. ā€œSo does this mean you voted the same way as Jean-Marie Le Pen?ā€

Itā€™s amazing how many people want to judge a proposal, not by its merits, but by its incidental supporters. We need only state their implication openly ā€“ that you should drop an otherwise sensible idea because someone you donā€™t like agrees with you ā€“ to see how absurd it is.

Yet people carry on doing it. Itā€™s the phenomenon that lies behind Godwinā€™s Law, the observation that all Internet discussions, if allowed to run long enough, end with comparisons to the Nazis. Hitler didnā€™t like trade unions! Hitler banned foxhunting! Hitler was a vegetarian! Hitler was an atheist! Hitler was a Catholic! Hitler was a pagan!

Now thereā€™s a new variant of the phenomenon: judging a blog by its comment thread. Again, the absurdity should be obvious. Bloggers are not responsible for what happens after they have posted. Those who comment most aggressively are more often than not hostile to the writer. The word ā€œtrollā€ didnā€™t originally mean, as is often thought these days, someone who is rude and unpleasant; it meant someone who used an assumed identity to discredit someone else.Ā  Read more »

A response to John Drinnan

warning-8

John Drinnan, a man who almost never leaves his desk at the Herald sweatshop and who rang everyone about town but lacked the courage to ring me , writes:

“Slater has been unclear about the business plan for his blog and whether it takes money from outsiders such as public relations companies.”Ā  Read more »