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 »

Truth, Spin and Outright Lies

Credit: Getty-Images via Newstalk ZB

Credit: Getty-Images via Newstalk ZB

A guest post:

For much of my life I have been following politics, sometimes more actively than others. At the moment I am on the sidelines, belonging to no party at all. This gives me freedom to comment.

We have had a few truthful politicians on all sides over the decades. They stand out in my memory and are people who have a belief and conviction. And when they are required to obfuscate, fib, or lie they are remarkably uncomfortable. In fact those few really truthful people can be quite uncomfortable to be around as they can appear judgemental and uncompromising. While they can be a pain, they are also a treasure worth celebrating as they are rare and special beasts. I can never quite decide whether they are naive, or don’t actually realise the havoc they can cause. Read more »


Good points from Deborah Coddington

Deborah Coddington and I don’t often see eye to eye, but today we can agree.

She writes on Facebook:

Interesting how differently the media treat women MPs – from any party.

Remember when PM Helen Clark got grumpy with John Campbell and called him a little creep, journalists had apoplexy. Clark couldn’t have a bad hair day without reporters jumping down her throat.

Now Judith Collins is receiving the same treatment for, as the Herald calls it “lashing out” at Katie Bradford.

However, Winston’s trademark is bagging the media and they lap it up.

And Bob Jones punched a journalist when he was an aspiring politician and journalists are always sucking up to him. Nothing changes.

There is not a thing that you can criticise Coddington for with that statement. It is a truism.  Read more »

Media is more entertainment, less facts – Hillary Clinton

Hilary Clinton once famously declared that there was a “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” out there and coined a phrase at the same time. I’m not so sure it was vast.

Now she has decided to round on the media…again.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lamented the state of journalism on Wednesday, telling an audience at the University of Connecticut that journalism is now driven more by entertainment than fact based reporting.

Clinton, who has been the focus of national media attention since the early 1990s, told the 2,300-person audience that “journalism has changed quite a bit in a way that is not good for the country and not good for journalism.”

“A lot of serious news reporting has become more entertainment driven and more opinion-driven as opposed to factual,” she said. “People book onto the shows, political figures, commentators who will be controversial who will be provocative because it’s a good show. You might not learn anything but you might be entertained and I think that’s just become an unfortunate pattern that I wish could be broken.”

Clinton’s comments came as part of the question and answer portion to Wednesday’s event. University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst asked Clinton about how journalism has changed and whether journalists could help break gridlock that has halted work in Washington.

The former secretary of state went on to say that she feels there is a space for “explanatory journalism because there’s a lot going on in the world that needs explanation.”

The former first lady also had a tip for journalists: Do your homework.  Read more »