John Roughan on Hager’s preciousness

John Roughan makes a few telling comments about Nicky Hagers ongoing preciousness.

The day police searched his Wellington home he was in Auckland giving lectures at the university, so he ought to be able to tell us more about the fear gripping the faculties. I think it is time he did some regular reporting and told us the actual experiences of those “chilled” academics and the voices that have been “closed down”.

Like a real journalist, Hager says he will refuse to co-operate with the police in their attempt to discover who hacked Cameron Slater’s computers and stole his private emails.

“I believe the police actions are dangerous for journalism in New Zealand,” he said. “It matters to all people working in the media who could similarly have their property searched and seized to look for sources. People are less likely to help the media if the police act in this way. The police want people to respect their role in society; they should in turn respect other people’s roles in society.”

It always embarrasses me when we react hysterically like this. To the public we must sound precious, irresponsible and unprofessional. People know we have a job to do and so do the police.

The reason we reserve the right to refuse co-operation with criminal investigations is, as Hager said, because informants may be afraid to talk to reporters in confidence if they think we will comply. But we tend to garnish that practical reason with a great deal of self-righteousness about the public’s right to know.   Read more »

Kiwi Journalists Association nothing but a bunch of McCarthyist thugs

The Kiwi Journalists Association has a Facebook group where people can meet to discuss events and happenings in journalism.

Lately however it has turned into a left-wing infested hate-fest, mostly against yours truly.

Despite the fact that a High Court found me to be a journalist, and also that I was the editor of a newspaper and the reason why I joined it, they held a ‘meeting’ to decided whether or not I should be kicked out because Nicky Hager wrote a book using stolen and illegally obtained emails. Apparently I was the villain and Nicky Hager the saint.

I voluntarily left such was the vitriol displayed.

In recent days it has again escalated to the point where Alistair Thompson, the disgraced editor of Scoop, amongst others like PR hack Paul Brislen and a real nasty piece of work called Susan Belt have been again mounting a campaign of hate against other members of the group.

It seems that unless you subscribe to their thinking and world view then you must be hounded from the group and personally denigrated.

Thompson is the worst however…invoking the spectre of McCarthyism when it is really them performing the McCarthy-ist behaviour in attempting to purge the group of “wrong” think people.

As Chris and Kent point out recent events here and overseas have created something close to an existential threat to journalism as we know it.

Whaleoil’s role in this is multifaceted which makes it all the more confusing. He is both source, news maker and news subject. When it comes to discussions of McCarthyism he is the sharp edge of the sword. And when he strikes it is very unclear whose agency he is acting under.

The “state” sponsored aspect which is necessary for a McCarthyism tag to stick is writ large when it comes to Whaleoil and it is the proof of this which makes Nicky’s book so compelling and also so scary.

The raid on Nicky which can and is being interpreted as the state defending it’s attack vector is therefore doubly troubling.

I knew I was breaking the rules with this post but did not know Russell Beaumont’s role. I was however suspicious that some kind of deliberate trolling exercise was underway here in the KJA to a) create an impression that the journalistic community is in two minds on this issue and b) to build up the meme that this stuff “dirty politics” is normal and that the real threat is hackers who break the law.

Clearly there is a constituency for are least part of that view among some members of this forum.

That is why I made this post.

All that said I would be happy to accept a decision by the moderators to delete this post if they deem it in the interests of the community.

Read more »

“Public interest” – the magic phrase that permits crime and now entrapment


Coming to a newspaper near you, without a doubt, is this journalistic practice

As a middle-aged minister keeping long hours in the social maelstrom of Westminster, Brooks Newmark was clearly flattered to receive the attention of a striking blonde public relations worker calling herself Sophie Wittams. Read more »

Saturday morning mailbag


There is a lot of faux noveau posers out there in MSM who call themselves journalists.

Many of them masquerading as paid PR hacks.

In my days in the media (albeit many years ago) they wouldn’t have got a job reporting the tennis club AGM let alone be let loose on anything that smacked of politics.

It was a given that a writer’s opinion didn’t shape the reportage; my crew were paid to report the facts not offer commentary; in fact those who had particular leanings were not assigned to stories that might lead to accusations of bias. Alas no more – it seems that MSM is awash with commentators posing as reporters.

With the rise of a legitimate commentariat there needs to be a strong distinction between thems that report and thems that opine. MSM hasn’t cottoned on to this yet.

Somewhere in the ether the concepts of “fair, accurate, timely”, and I must add lawful journalism have died. Read more »


Statement by Cameron Slater, journalist

Although the judgement that I was a Journalist at the time I was working on a story about a businessman involving alleged malfeasance, fraud and other nasty stuff is welcome, it isn’t the end of the District Court case that gave birth to the High Court appeal.  Unless this decision is challenged in the Court of Appeal, this case will now return to the District Court.

There exists an order against me and my news medium not to publish anything about the defamation case or closely related matters that aren’t already in the public domain.  Until that order is dropped, I will continue to follow the Court’s instructions and I won’t go into it.  (Can commenters please assist by doing the same – your access depends on it)

Although a relatively small number of people who are highly invested in my downfall and misery will think this decision is a travesty of justice, and while my own fans will simply see it as “common sense”, I believe that people who have no interest in me or my case will see the decision as a natural outcome.   Whaleoil has been producing news at regular intervals for many years.  I have sources, I work on stories, I publish them to the public.  Even some of my most brutal critics have admitted I am clearly a journo.

But it is nice to have it confirmed so formally.

This does put us into a rather unique situation. Read more »

Really? Unions are the solution to create proper journalism?

Laila Harre reckons unions are the key to solving the problem we have with our media in New Zealand.

Labour’s tame lap-bloggers at The Standard explain.

Laila Harre focused strongly on industrial relations: many of the problems we have now with the media and journalism are due to the demise of collective bargaining.  With collective bargaining a collective sense of professionalism develops. This produces a team environment, with senior journalists supporting and mentoring junior journalists.  This helps to develop and protect professional standards.

So what she is proposing is people like David Fisher and his dishonest, hagiographic, activist “journalism” be used to train new journalists.

Or Adam Bennett also from the Herald perhaps who this week called some one and lied about what a politician had said in oder to get his mark to commit to something based on that lie. The mark was smart enough to check, and to know what was being attempted.    Read more »

“Dirty Politics isn’t journalism. It’s political activism, enabled by crime. We have to question it”

Hacked this from Farrar’s blog

…Yes, Slater’s blog is nasty and vindictive. So is Martyn Bradbury. So is The Standard. If you think they’re not fed gossip by Labour/Mana-Internet/Greens you’re dreaming. Typically in their case it’s about destroying their own team so no one cares.

What concerns me most is how my colleagues have reported on this so breathlessly. They have repeatedly used the term ‘hacking’ to describe Jason Ede accessing an open website. And accepted without question this idea that it’s like walking through the unlocked door of a private house. It’s not. It’s more like a young Nat heading to the Labour Party’s booth at a university political rally, scanning through their leaflets and finding a clear file stashed in the back marked ‘donors’. Clearly it’s not meant to be there but, well it is. So they read it, take some snaps on their iPhone and humiliate Labour with it, rather than just quietly telling them about the mistake. Politics.

But what is most disturbing about this, is that the majority of media think it’s acceptable to hack Slater’s email and Facebook, for no reason other than that we hate him. Hager even justified the break-in of Mark Mitchell’s office as just how leaks happen. He is an MP. It is unbelievable that anyone can think it’s acceptable, simply because they have opposing politics.

Hager doesn’t want to know where this material has come from. He believes the hacker’s motives aren’t political. For a smart man, at best he is being willingly ignorant. There is no doubt in my mind that Hager is being played. The problem is he doesn’t care. A real journalist would. Read more »

Face of the day

Steve Braunias 2

Steven Braunias is all class. Cam met him at the awards. He asked if Cam was offended by the wickedly funny piece he did on him back When Cam was Editor of Truth.

Read more »

Publishing private emails about my non-political private life: Lowering the bar of New Zealand journalism

When I reported on Len Brown’s indiscretions, people said I had lowered the bar for everyone.  This was a new low for New Zealand journalism, and so on.

When it comes to using private conversations the bar has now been lowered too.  I hope you are all ready for what’s to come.

Because, Andrea Vance aside, who expressed extreme unease at my private emails being used, most of you better not whine when your emails or private matters hit the media from here on in.

Andrea Vance aside, most of you have gleefully fueled what has happened over the last week.


Just remember that when it is your turn.

Oh look, Pete just pointed me to this:   Read more »


If explaining is losing, I’ll take this one on the chin

via RadioLive

via RadioLive

As people have observed, I’m not only relaxed, I’m quite enjoying myself.   People who know me will understand that I love dirty politics more than anyone else.   And I fully understand people won’t believe this, but I have boundaries and ethics.

They may not be yours, but they are there.

What has been stolen contains legally, politically, medically and journalistically privileged material.

And here’s the kicker:  most of it isn’t about me.   Read more »