Dirty Media – Who feeds Fran?

A newspaper during Dirty Politics liked to use diagrams.

Well here at Whaleoil we like diagrams as well…we especially like this one.

fran Read more »

So this is the caliber of our journalism

At today’s post-cabinet press conference, Andrea Vance asked the Prime Minister a really pertinent question.   What does he think about the allegations that UK Prime Minister David Cameron has had his meat and two veg inside a dead pig’s mouth?


The fact that Vance thought that was the sort of thing that would get her the valuable answers needed to write for her newspaper is bad enough, but it would have died a nice death in the awkward silence of others who were thinking “did she really just ask that?”, if it wasn’t for her tag-team partner and Media Party communications spokesperson, Katie Bradford, spewing it out for all to see on the Twitter machine.

Seriously, these people can’t figure out why they don’t have your respect.

No love, your journalism ‘degree’ isn’t worth jack

A dopey and clearly un-talented former NewstalkZB “journalist” is cry baby of the week.

She is crying a river of tears via her former employer’s parent newspaper about how hard done by she is being a journalist, trained and skilled and yet only fit for reception work in London.

It was starting to feel like this city hated me. I was angry, broke, drinking a lot, and lacking any of the confidence I arrived with four months ago.

I’m talented. I’m hard-working. I’m blonde. And I can charm the pants off the 60-something-year-old Italian who makes me my daily coffee.

I’m also one of 30,000 Kiwis who have left Middle Earth for a city twice the population of our country. A city of 8.6 million people. A city that will chew you up and spit you out without so much as a farewell pint. So I may be many things, but in London, I’m irrelevant.

Yep, you are irrelevant. Glad you finally worked that out daaaaahling.

Here’s the thing: there are plenty of people with skills better than you at writing nonsense in London.

Just because you believed the hype of your regurgitated press releases at NewstalkZB doesn’t mean you are actually talented. If you truly were you’d have that dream London job as a hack at a tabloid.

This February felt like the right time for me to pack up my life. I had a specialist degree and three years’ experience working for some of New Zealand’s most reputable companies.

Read more »

The desperate stupidity of Rachel Smalley

Who is the 'serious' journalist now eh Rachel?

Who is the ‘serious’ journalist now eh Rachel?

Rachel Smalley will tell anyone in the NewstalkZB newsroom that she is the only “serious journalist” in the place.

Desperately unliked except by management, she is also desperately stupid.

After having a mad anti-gun rant at the start of her fill-in for Larry Williams she then, less than an hour later, has this statement to make about the discovery and naming of a new planet.

The stupidity of Rachel Smalley The stupidity of Rachel Smalley "Rachel Smalley confuses the name of an astronomer for the material used to make bullet proof vests." "The stupidity of Rachel Smalley"

The details of the new “earth like” planet are:

NASA said Thursday that its Kepler spacecraft has spotted “Earth’s bigger, older cousin”: the first nearly Earth-size planet to be found in the habitable zone of a star similar to our own.

Though NASA can’t say for sure whether the planet is rocky like ours or has water and air, it’s the closest match yet found.

“Today, Earth is a little less lonely,” Kepler researcher Jon Jenkins said.   Read more »

Karl du Fresne on Nicky Hager

Karl du Fresne, who as far as I can recall, is not well disposed towards me.

However he looks into Nicky Hager’s claims of being a journalist.

Debate about Hager’s book Dirty Politics, which exposed connections between government figures and Right-wing muckraker Cameron Slater, dominated last year’s general election campaign.

Now it has had a sequel in court, where Hager claims police searched his house unlawfully after Slater complained that material published in the book had been obtained illegally by hacking his computer.

(Hager, it should be noted, says he had no part in obtaining the material.)

Perhaps he might like to explain at least three visits to the Dotcom mansion prior to the hack.

Hager’s case hinges on whether he can claim the protection of something known as journalistic privilege, which covers the right to protect confidential sources. His lawyer claims the police didn’t adequately consider this right.

Central to the case, it seems to me, is whether Hager is entitled to call himself an investigative journalist.

That’s apparently how he prefers to be described, and most of the media oblige him by using that term. The court heard that the Crown accepts he is a journalist.

This is helpful for his image because the word “journalist” conveys a sense of professional impartiality.

Read more »

75 percent of journalists say that they use Twitter to build their own brand

In what other industry are employees busy building themselves as stars that shine brighter than the company that pays their wages?  In what other industry would that even be acceptable?

Yet the old media continue to fail as they don’t grasp what they need to do.  Weighed down by the need to keep a legacy newspaper going, they are hamstrung against new media platforms.


Can you see how this drives the decline of traditional newspaper subscribers?  The need to turn their work into shareable clickbait simply doesn’t cater for people who have a roll of paper delivered to their letterbox.   And they haven’t got the resources or the nous to run different stories for the print and on-line versions.  Read more »

Hill Cone on NZ journalism

Missed this yesterday as I’m normally not interested in her therapy group sessions and glimpses of personal life, but she actually had the guts to call out some of her colleagues yesterday for … well, you read

As a young female journalist I was probably sadly before my time in shamelessly trying to schmooze my way to notoriety of any kind like an overpainted attention-seeking goose. Back then, how I would have loved to have been in Andrea Vance’s position, the famous Fairfax journalist who brought down a Cabinet minister. How glorious to be feted for your special powers of turning a powerful man to mush, leading him to say he “made errors of judgment” while in your thrall.

Whether their relationship was romantic or not scarcely seems to matter. Although it does seem disingenuous for Vance to now play the victim. Whatever the background, Vance still exhibited a degree of influence – for that week anyway she was more powerful than any politician – that made her the envy of her colleagues.

Especially those who are a little too dangerously in love with the romantic image of their profession – they are the noble crusader, the Katharine Hepburn wisecracker, the reincarnation of Martha Gellhorn. Even if these days being a female reporter is more like being an “It” girl than a hack. Read more »

The duplicity of the media, naming people who asked not to be named

Don’t you just love the Fairfax crowd…they even crow about their naming of people who asked not to be named…because they are afraid of the person they are informing on, who incidentally is a convicted killer who threatened them with the same.

fairfaxscum Read more »


Is Native Advertising destroying journalism?

Andrew Sullivan seems to think that native advertising most certainly is destroying journalism.

He comments on Ezra Klein’s Vox project raising $110 million over recent years and their stated business plans.

If the new media brands that have emerged over the last couple of years were described (accurately) as new advertising agencies, the stories might not have had as much traction (or contained as much hope for the future of journalism). But that, it is quite clear, is what most of these new entities are. Vox has now dropped any pretensions that it is not becoming an ad agency, creating “articles” that perpetuate and distribute the marketing strategies of major corporations.

The logic of this, from a business standpoint, is so powerful almost no one can resist it. Display or banner advertising is sinking into an after-thought, leaving journalism with a huge revenue crisis – especially when you have no subscription income from readers. And when you’re drowning in venture capital, the pressure to to find a way to pay it back eventually must, even now, be crushing. There’s no other explanation for the fullscale surrender of journalism to what would, only five years ago, have been universally understood as blatant corruption.

What always amazes me about the interviews with the various media professionals involved is their use of the English language. It’s close to impenetrable to anyone outside the industry – e.g. “publishers have to get better with understanding the product side of native” – which, of course, helps to disguise the wholesale surrender of journalism to public relations. What also amazes me is how silent the actual editors of these sites are on the core, and once-deemed-unethical, foundation of their entire business. So we’re unlikely to hear Ezra explain to his liberal readers how he’s now engaged in the corporate propaganda business. But if you scan the interview with Vox‘s new fake article guru, Lindsay Nelson, some truths slip out. To wit:

You’re going to need to be great storytellers and create things that help advertisers with the goals that they have for that quarter … We’re trying to become a consulting partner, where we help brands and guide them to develop a content marketing strategy that is 12-months long … If there’s something in the news that a brand wants to be close to you can get them up and running with the same type of polish that they would expect from advertising that takes much longer.

So even breaking news may well be advertising in the near future. And good luck telling the difference.

Read more »

Smalley & Marwick continue all out assault

The “serious” journalist and Hamas hugger Rachel Smalley continues her all out assault on me, aided by the equally unhinged Felix Marwick.

Both of these cowards aren’t prepared to sit down in a studio and go toe to toe with me, because they know I’ll rip them a new one.

This morning Smalley said that I’m not a journalist, not balanced and have dirt on John Key.

I’m sure Asher J. would disagree with Smalley, he wrote a 70 page judgment to the effect that actually I am a journalist…its just that I’m not “serious”. Who cares if I’m not balanced. Neither is Rachel Smalley, she hugs up to Hamas, is clearly a rabid pinko and unhinged by me…hardly any balance there, if she was balanced she’d actually get me on for some comment, but hasn’t yet troubled her producer to ring me. The last time she went head to head with me was on The Nation and she got pwnd that time. As for having dirt on John Key…well I have dirt on lots of people…so go figure…I just hoard dirt…its my stock in trade.

Felix Marwick has been on a jihad against me for sometime…asking repeated OIAs about me, he certainly seems to have a hard on for me. Again he is too gutless to call for my take on anything.

His latest article is hilarious too…all he is proving is Cameron Slater is a ratings winner and he is a flea gallery hack.

The Prime Minister says he has nothing to fear if Cameron Slater’s kept a record of their chats.

The Whale Oil blogger says he tapes his phone calls – but John Key’s not sure if that applies to him, saying he has “absolutely no idea.”    Read more »