“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 »

But… but… he’s not trained! Nor skilled! What about standards?


Nobody suggests that Jim down the road who is a bit handy with tools should pop into Starship and “have a go at fixin’ some kids”.  But in general, anyone can turn their hand to anything.  For example, Jim down the road can put an ad in the paper and start as a handyman, or a painter, or do garden maintenance.   He can definitely be a fixologist.

Gallup asks people in more than 120 countries each year whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives. In 2006, the U.S. ranked among the highest in the world for people reporting satisfaction with their level of freedom. After seven years and a 12-point decline, the U.S. no longer makes the top quartile worldwide.

And guess what?


And so, anyone can have a go at creating a newspaper web site.  Especially someone who has experience in web sites, news, editing and media. Read more »


Dotcom research notes and book “not news”


Hell no.  It’s a work of carefully worded fact-based fiction.

The Crown has won its fight to gain access to research material used in a book about internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom.

In a judgment delivered by Chief High Court Justice Helen Winkelmann this week, the attorney-general, on behalf of the police and the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), was granted access to research material that was relevant to its case against the Megaupload founder.

The book, The Secret Life of Kim Dotcom: Spies, Lies and the War for the Internet, was written by New Zealand Herald journalist David Fisher and released in November last year.

Pushed out the front door against its will, more like it.  There are more people at a meeting to discuss a David Cunliffe coup than came to the book launch.  It was an embarrassment all round. Read more »