Maria Slade has written the editorial at The Timaru Herald. She seems a bit confused.
Journalists love nothing better than a bit of good old-fashioned navel-gazing.
I can’t say whether other professions are similarly self-absorbed, but certainly news gatherers are often indecently thrilled when their industry itself becomes the news.
Thus Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s latest legal escapade was a top agenda item at coffee meetings and lunch events around the town this week.
For those of you who do not devote your lives to the minutiae of media court battles, here is a brief summary.
Slater is being sued by businessman and discharged bankrupt Matt Blomfield for defamation. As part of that protracted battle a Manukau District Court judge has ruled that Whale Oil is ”not a news medium”, and therefore Slater does not have the legal right to protect the identity of his sources.
Unsurprisingly this has opened the floodgates to debate on what is and isn’t a news outlet, and whether this is a dangerous precedent being set by a fusty judiciary light years out of step with new media.
It was Whale Oil which broke one of the best stories of 2013, the tale of Auckland mayor Len Brown’s two-year affair with much younger community board hopeful Bevan Chuang, so it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t report news.
That’s if you can find it in between the rantings. I have personal experience of Slater’s brand of alleged journalism (and after this column no doubt I’ll have more). Fair, balanced and accurate reporting it is not. Â Read more »