Len Brown sex scandal claims first scalp

UPDATE: NBR Publisher responds…details at bottom of page.

Oh dear.

The Len Brown-Bevan Chuang sex scandal has claimed its first scalp, but a journalist, not a politician has lost his job.

Chief reporter for the National Business Review (NBR) website Jock Anderson was fired just hours after posting an opinion piece yesterday calling for Len Brown to stay on as Mayor of Auckland.

Anderson’s piece was posted on the NBR website about 11am and argued that Brown should stay on in his role because under his leadership Auckland business had and would continue to prosper, due to transport and development projects.

“It wasn’t a ‘pro-Len Brown’ piece. But it said he should remain as Mayor so that he and his new council could continue the work on multimillion-dollar projects,” said Anderson.

The opinion piece was taken down at 11.20am on the request of NBR publisher Todd Scott and Anderson confirmed he was fired by Scott at 5.15pm.

via Twitter

via Twitter

We need more detail on this, but on the face of it, this smells.  

“I was told I was fired and told to leave the building immediately, based on that article.”

“I’m now taking legal advice on what my options are,” said Anderson. This was the second time Anderson has been fired by the business weekly.

Anderson said he did not wish to comment on whether he was warned against writing and publishing the opinion piece on the embattled mayor, as it would possibly be a matter of legal contention.

The now-former online chief reporter said he was not routinely told by Scott what could and could not be published on the NBR website.

Scott said in a statement published in NBR: “We do not comment on internal employment issues but I can confirm Mr Jock Anderson was dismissed yesterday for failing to comply with specific instructions to treat coverage of the Len Brown affair in an impartial and unbiased manner.”

You pay the man to write opinion pieces, and they have to be impartial and unbiased?

What’s going on?

via Twitter

via Twitter

UPDATE: NBR Publisher Todd Scott responds:

Hi Cameron,

There’s a couple of inaccuracies on the Jock Anderson story which you might like to correct if you can. The para that I refer to is “Chief reporter for the National Business Review (NBR) website Jock Anderson was fired just hours after posting an opinion piece yesterday calling for Len Brown to stay on as Mayor of Auckland” “You pay the man to write opinion pieces, and they have to be impartial and unbiased?”
What Anderson filed online was clearly headed: EDITORIAL. It was not a column or an opinion piece by him. There is, you would appreciate, a huge difference to writing an opinion piece as a columnist and writing material claiming to be the official Editorial stance of the NBR as a media.

He had been specifically told NBR would not be taking any editorial stand on the Brown affair but would remain strictly neutral.

I trust you will be able to make these amendments as they are fundamental to the circumstances of Anderson’s dismissal. We are continuing to run opinion pieces by regular columnists as you can see from the site..

Regards,

Todd Scott – Publisher


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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