journalists

Criminal conspiricist party to hacking jailed

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Rawshark?

I have to admit, it’s not a headline I expect to see relating to our media and its accomplices.  But I truly can’t see the difference between the News of the World hacking/media involvement, and the Political parties/Rawshark/Whaledump/Media involvement here.

A former News of the World news editor has been jailed for eight months after admitting involvement in phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch’s now defunct tabloid newspaper.

Ian Edmondson had been a defendant in the trial of former News of the World editors Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, but was excused due to ill health.

Before he could stand trial again, Edmondson pleaded guilty last month to conspiring to hack the phones of a host of public figures between October 2000 and August 2006.

Notice that he didn’t do the hacking himself.  In that sense, Rawshark may even get away with it.  But he was found guilty of conspiracy.   Now that, my dear readers, casts a wide net here in New Zealand when you look through the cast list behind Dirty Politics. Read more »

“…there are bad journalists and good bloggers and vice versa”

Heather Carston asks her fellow media friends:

I have to ask this, because I did learn as a cadet in Aussie, not here – how are polytechs and universities in New Zealand teaching young writers how to really cultivate and then work their sources over the long term these days? Because in reading this and in seeing what is happening in parts of mainstream media, there seems to be a lot of managing of media by sources rather than the other way round.

Yes, one does have to ‘look after’ a good source – but never at the cost of a good story.

The minute a journalist finds themselves allowing their personal preferences (and by this I mean their liking for their source or source’s idealogy) above being as factual as possible and following all leads is when they should question their ethics on how and why they are doing their job.

By the same token, an editor needs to have enough working nous to look at a story and see if there isn’t any aspects that have not been looked into hard enough. Read more »

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Photo Of The Day

INP/Photo

INP/Photo

Sitting Exams Under Cover Of Umbrellas

 

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Journalists as politicians

With the alarming uptake of journalists moving to grab jobs as politicians, mostly for the Labour party it might be timely to re-visit an article from 2010 about this very same issue in Australia.

Sure it is from Australia and from four years ago but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

Peter Costello, now a civilian, has bagged the practice of journalists going into politics.

From Channel Nine’s 2010 election commentary panel, the former lawyer and Liberal treasurer (1996-2007) was remarking on the defeat of Labor’s Maxine McKew , a former ABC current affairs presenter/interviewer and Bulletin journalist, in the seat of Bennelong.

In his column for The Sydney Morning Herald on August 18 he wrote:

“Every so often a journalist chances their arm in real politics. Maxine McKew is one. Her underwhelming parliamentary career shows how much harder it is to do than it is to pontificate.”

Putting the possibility of partisan bias in Mr Costello’s dismissive remarks to one side, the issue of journalists crossing over into politics is worth thinking about.

Is it a good idea given the role of the Fourth Estate in a democracy?

Journalists are meant to be independent ‘pontificators’, objective observers of governance and a key part of the accountability process. They are not meant to cross over into party politics with all the vile distortions (spin doctoring) which accompany contemporary adversarial games.

Journalists, particularly political journalists like Maxine McKew, know about the viciousness of politics in Australia. They know about vested interest influence peddling through slush funding practices. They know about factionalism, tribalism, smear, character assassination and zealotry. They know about media management and focus group rhetorical and policy manipulations which pervert honest engagement with the electorate.

When a journalist decides to leave journalism for politics without a cleansing career change in the middle it does bring into question their ethics and leanings for their most recent work. It is much the same if a politician immediately becomes a lobbyist straight after bowing out of politics. It smells a bit whiffy and looks slightly dodgy.  Read more »

The irony of it is terrifying

When you ask the public to sort the best jobs from the worst jobs, guess what they put last?

The Wall Street Journal reports

Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

CareerCast.com, a career website, ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.

Any guesses what comes in last place out of 200 jobs based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook?

Read more »

Oh dear….

Journalists trained and skilled

Journalists trained and skilled

Why the circus and carry on in Wellington is just a beltway issue

The media are still carrying on like it is the end of the earth that someone gave an inquiry a list of dates, times and phone numbers.

They are being exceedingly precious and considering the general impression most people have of journalists they are at a serious disconnect as is usual.

This is the problem with the beltway, for those co-existing in Wellington with politicians. The far too cozy relationship leads to them thinking they are far more important than they really are.

The more left wing they are the more pronouced this affliction.

Most people in the country don’t care that someone in the media got snooped on, in fact I’d suggest that most people are high fiving and handing out “atta-boys” to John Key. The polls certainly seem to support that. Read more »

Hide on Stupid Repeaters

Rodney Hide carries on with his column explaining the stupidity of journalists when it comes to policy:

[R]eporters are a different kettle of fish.

They spend their lives reporting politics. It’s their job. You would think they would have a basic grasp of the difference between good policy and bad policy and some understanding of how policies impact society.  They talk and write as if they do. Turns out they don’t.

They don’t have a clue.

I vividly remember the first hour or two of my first end-of-year Parliamentary Press Gallery party.

A senior and respected political reporter bowled up to me. She was puzzled, she slurred. Why was the ACT Party so against Maori?

I was nonplussed.  I had just walked in. I naively explained that nothing could be further from the truth.

I realise now that my reply would have just proved for her that I was both a liar and a fake.

“Of course, you are,” she blurted.  “You guys don’t want Maori Doctors!”

I was more confused than ever — I still hadn’t got a drink.  I declared confidently that no one from ACT had ever said such a thing.

Oh but she said, you are against quotas for Maori getting into medical school.

I realised then that I had led a sheltered life before Parliament. I had never before come face-to-face with such mind-numbing stupidity.

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to begin to discuss affirmative action with someone adult and so manifestly stupid.

I explained why quotas don’t work, why they don’t address the problem of underachievement, why they are counter-productive and why, actually, anyone supporting quotas was racist.

The ACT party, I said, was gloriously the only party in Parliament that wasn’t racist and fervently believed that the law should be applied fairly and equally to all.

It was only the ACT Party that demonstrably believed that Maori were every bit as capable as everyone else. She clearly did not.

But her eyes had glazed completely over and her mind had left the party as soon as I started to reason and to explain.  It was too tough for her.