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. Â Read more »