What’s in a name? Let’s ask “a decent journalist, trained and skilled”

Last week Herald on Sunday editor Bryce Johns engaged with me in a snippy and testy email exchange…where he tried to suggest I wasn’t “a decent journalist, trained and skilled”. Of course I have never claimed any such thing…but clearly he is upset and has set about proving just how decent their journalists, trained and skilled are. At least I know the difference between inimical and inimitable, even if I’m not a decent journalist, trained and skilled.

The argument was over the name of Antonie Dixon, and flourished as his “proof” a freshly minted birth certificate, obtained 3 days after their story ran.

Last night the NZ Herald ran a story about Barry Hart failing in his appeal for being struck off.

And look what should crop up in Edward Gay’s article:


Anyone would think editors would have their stories were correct and written by  “a decent journalist, trained and skilled”.

Which brings me to another matter…of all the pictures of Barry Hart they no doubt have in their archives why did they pick one of Paul Holmes to throw up on their home page for the Barry Hart story. Are they making some point about the dodgy criminal defense lawyer or Holmes with that picture?


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  • I have a sneaking suspicion that one day, Bryce Johns is going to REALLY regret hitting the “send” button after penning that e-mail. Sometimes, it’s good just to vent and type it all out, then leave it in the drafts folder and not actually send it. Surely, as ”a decent journalist, trained and skilled”, he would have known that poking a stick into a wasp nest was a bad idea…

  • I think we could all cope with the tactics if the NZH / HOS would not at the same time also claim superior craftsmanship, higher morals and more professionalism all ’round.

    It has become very clear that they are doing what it takes to pay the bills under a very thin veneer of faux respectability.

    But then, that’s not (ahem) news. Journalism always languishes at the bottom of the Least Respected Professions list.

    So perhaps we can take that as read, and stop the pretense that David Fisher, Bryce Johns et al are somehow the only people standing between us and the total collapse of Journalism.

  • Bunswalla

    Antonie must be a contraction such as don’t or wouldn’t. Clearly it’s a contraction of Antony Ronnie. Just missing an apostrophe. Anto’nie – there I fixed it for them.

    • BJ

      Close Bunswalla -but a contracture has the first word in its entirety and then the first and last letter of the second therefore it would be Antonyr’e