What about the shares Russell?

Russell Brown featured Alistair Thompson from Scoop Media to launch on his Media 3 show this week.

At the start of the session he made a little disclosure;

“By way of disclosure let me note that I have provided an occasional social sounding board for some of its ideas”

However I don’t think Russell was making a full disclosure…because you see Companies Office records show that Russell Brown is in fact one of 25 shareholders of Scoop Media. 

That is quite a bit more than offering up “an occasional social sounding board for some of its ideas”. He is one of 25 owners of Scoop Media.

Scoop shareholder

It isn’t a big deal but Russell is always ensuring or at the least asking others about their full disclosure so it behoves him to behave in the manner he expects of others.

Not a good look, a bit shabby, but not a hanging offence. Though I won’t be expecting to see Jeremy Rose of Mediawatch saying anything about this non-disclosure even though they have been hammering journalists for receiving free feeds undisclosed….you see he is a shareholder too.

Perhaps bankrupts can now use the Russell Brown defence for owning shares in companies…”Oh no, I don’t own or control any shareholding, I merely have provided an occasional social sounding board for some of its ideas.”

Imagine if David Henderson (Princes Wharf) used this to explain away how he still controls his companies.


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  • Anonymous4001

    Great work. Shabby lack of disclosure from someone who is quick to mount the high horse on journalistic integrity.

  • Patrick

    It doesn’t matter because we all know it can only be evil capitalist tories that are corrupt. Commies are purer than the driven snow & only ever act in the best interests of the people. That horribly dodgy John Key & the lovely average working class guy next door Mr Shearer being case in point.

    • Dave

      I agree Shearer is a lovely (and very average) working class guy next door, who accepted his place at one of the largest troughs in the world (the UN). If only he could remember what he did last year and had some inkling of how to lead his party, or to run a country!

  • Are the shares actually worth anything?

  • Russell, Russell, Russell…. /facepalm

    Well. At least it is another high road you no longer need to take I guess.

  • Fair enough, Cameron, sort of. The disclosure was my idea. I ended up using the same disclosure as Patrick Smellie, which described my *actual role* in planning for the Scoop Foundation — a couple of coffees with Al when I was in Wellington and a few emails seeking my thoughts. I gather the foundation is in the process of being established as a charitable trust, but I have no role in that at all.

    I’ve been a minor shareholder ($4000 worth) in Scoop Media Ltd, a separate identity with a wholly separate purpose (a media business, rather than a charitable foundation) with a separate board and constitution, for a few years, and that is hardly a secret. I’ve publicly referred to it a number of times. Yes, I suppose I could have noted that I have a minor interest in a business that is separate and distinct from the foundation being launched.

    In answer to Minarchist_kiwi, no, I have never derived any financial benefit from the Scoop Media Ltd shareholding and realistically do not expected to do so in the future. It was basically a decision to help out the company when it needed to pay out a former shareholder.

    • So if it has no revenues and therefore is not making a profit why bother? (confused)

      • Scoop and its predecessor Newsroom revolutionised Parliamentary and government communications. It’s the single most significant reason such comms went fully public and digital (with Act and the Greens leading the way by providing digital releases to Scoop). Private companies followed. It’s not overstating the case to say that Scoop functions as the national noticeboard of public affairs. I believe the site’s audience is in the hundreds of thousands monthly.

        They’ve also been re-publishing Hard News since the 1990s. I saw that as worth supporting.

        • Oh ok – so why not start charging to earn yourself a quid out of it? that is what I would be doing

    • But Russell, SCL is “gifting” $100,000 per annum to the Scoop Foundation, that is a measurable financial transaction, It should have been declared. You would demand the same of me.

      I hear you and feel your pain on any financial benefit from SML…not many have, I hear they are running their debtors ledger about 6 months late. I question how SML can gift SF $100k per annum when they can’t pay their liabilities when they fall due.

      • Did you actually watch the interview? I asked Alastair about that specifically. Scoop will provide “in kind” support: “hosting, publication, promotion, coordination, public relations and fund-raising services,” according to the Scoop Foundation press release. It’s a public-good gesture from existing resources.

        Similar commitments are being sought from people to act on an (unpaid) editorial board and with respect to pro-bono help with legal matters. And then, of course, there will be charitable donations overseen by a trust board at arms’ length from the editorial board. Not a single thing about this is a secret.

        I do think the aims of the foundation are entirely laudable and that the foundation model is an extremely important one, as ProPublica and others have been demonstrating in recent years.

  • Oh, hang on. You actually wrote this: “Russell Brown featured Alistair Thompson from Scoop Media to launch on his Media 3 show this week.”

    Let me be extra clear. Scoop Media wasn’t being launched last week — the Scoop Foundation was. I thought that distinction was quite clearly made in the discussion. Scoop Media has existed since 1999. They’re not the same thing, at all.

    • There is a substantial financial consideration between the two. You are a shareholder of one and an advisor and I note you are also one of the people behind the organisation (http://scoopfoundation.org/category/whos-behind-this-project/).

      Alistair is the front man from both organisations…you are all clearly trying to leverage of the branding, such as it is, of Scoop.

      Come one, this isn’t a good look.

      • Okay last try. On the page you linked to I’m listed as someone who has expressed support for the foundation and its aims, along with Peter Griffin, Amanda Cropp, Pattrick Smellie and others. This is completely accurate.

        I freely chose to make a disclosure about my connection to the charitable foundation, which is one of moral support and a small quantity of casual advice.

        Your original post conflated the foundation and the company, which are in fact separate entities with separate purposes, sharing a name. We’ve straightened that part out, right? Yes, leveraging off the Scoop branding for the foundation was probably a good idea on Alastair’s part, but I wasn’t involved in that.

        I have a small shareholding in the Scoop company, which I noted to my producer when Media3 looked at the story. The disclosure was my idea and I wrote it. As I said, in the end, I went with the same disclosure as Pattrick Smellie, which was accurate and did not overstate my involvement with the charitable venture. You take the view that I should have also have noted the shareholding in a separate company, which I have done repeatedly in the past where relavant. Well, fair enough. But I can only ask you not to suggest there is any interest on my part, or reason to be secretive. There simply isn’t.

        I’ve been pretty measured about your own, rather more lively, disclosure issues, and I’d appreciate it if you could find it in you to show the same respect.