NZ Journalist receives threats of violence. (Reveal: it isn’t me)

Social media was named by someone with a sick sense of humour.  The number of direct and indirect death threats I have received over the years for something I published is beyond count.  I report them to the Police of course, but it’s basically just background noise to me.

Unfortunately, this sort of thing is now spilling over to other people in the media

A Taranaki newspaper columnist says she has received threats of sexual violence from leaders in the agricultural community.

Police are investigating a complaint by Rachel Stewart, who says she got threats online and by email.

Ms Stewart said the threats began last Monday after the Taranaki Daily News published a column in which she responded to a Federated Farmers claim that the Environment Court treats farmers worse than murderers and rapists.

She says she received sexual insults on Twitter.

“They discuss things like a bull should artificially inseminate me but the bull would need blinders on which I kind of found slightly amusing – but horrible.”

Ms Stewart, who herself was once the president of Federated Farmers in Whanganui, said the tweets were favourited by several elected officers of Federated Farmers.

She said she went to the police on Thursday after receiving a note in her mailbox saying: “We’re not so dumb, we know where you live bitch.”

It appears Taranaki has its share of ferals too then.

News is something that someone, somewhere, doesn’t want people to know.   Unfortunately, the majority of these people don’t understand the process of law and argument.  They go directly for violence.

The fact that elected officials from Federated Farmers “liked” a post that crass is a pretty sad sign that people aren’t engaging their brain.

Ferals are everywhere, and they aren’t just beneficiaries and inbreds.   They can also be found in within ‘respected’ circles.   I hope these people get outed.

However.

There is some sad irony in this situation.   The “Journalist” involved happens to be the same one that wanted Labour to get on with killing me.

werw

At the time, I contacted the Taranaki Daily News and asked if that was the sort of thing they condoned from their Journalists.   This was their response.

Rachel Stewart is not an employee of the Taranaki Daily News or Fairfax Media. She is a contractor.

I then asked if they would continue to use her services.  The associate editor responded

That’s not my decision to make. Our editor is on annual leave.

You might think I’m sitting here full of joy that she’s on the receiving end of this sort of vile crap.  But no.  Rachel, like anyone else in this country, should be able to write what she thinks without being subjected to vile threats of physical harm or even death.

Have we not just gone through a whole situation in Paris where we, we as journalists, all kind of got on the same page on this issue?  Free speech is free speech?   Killing someone because of something they write or draw is not cool?

Unfortunately, what the ferals and Rachel herself did was break the law.  You can’t go around threatening people’s lives.  Free speech is one thing, the law is another.

If nothing else, perhaps Rachel has grown a little as a person, and a journalist through this experience.

She may vicariously wish me dead, or even just wish “the blog” goes away, but I’m actually on her side with regards to her column as well as me believing that no one deserves death threats.  Wait until they start singling out your family to get back at you Rachel, it’s a whole other dimension.

 

– RNZ


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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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