How victimhood narratives can open doors

Being a victim is not something that any of us would choose but some people can use their victimhood status to do good things. An example of this would be someone who starts a campaign to change the law because it failed to protect them or someone who starts a support group or heads a public information campaign in the hope that it will help prevent what happened to them from happening to someone else.

Being a victim doesn’t always open doors though if the media paints the victim as deserving of what happened to them. When we were the victim of a criminal hack the media immediately painted us as somehow deserving of having our privacy violated and the loss of revenue and the emotional fallout was not considered important.

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A Conspiracy Theory


I?ve noticed over the last few weeks that if you reply to a tweet from one of the mainstream media saying something about the?Criminal Nana?Party, within minutes someone (usually anonymous and with a photo that is picked up from somewhere else) will come over the top and carefully chide you.

Not chide in the Labour or Greens??fuck you? style, but enough to make you think they?re a member of the public who thinks you being rude (which, to be fair, I always am).

I made the connection tonight after replying to a tweet posted by RadioLive reporter Felix Marwick that was chided. ?I checked out the tweeter and realised they hadn?t been around for long.

So I checked out some of the others. ?They have been around since around early June ? ironically around the same time the Criminal and Nana parties joined forces.

Then I saw something else yesterday that grabbed my attention.

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PR bitches as commentators?

? NZ Herald

John Drinnan raises questions over the use of PR people as commentators. I think he is a little confused in calling Matthew Hooton a journalist…he isn’t, he is a commentator…a paid mouthpiece, rent an opinion, just as I am or anyone else that is a talking head on radio or TV shows where we offer up our opinions. In that respect Drinnan misses the point, though the conflict angle is relevant.

Never mind journalists doing PR stories, what about PR doing journalism?

There’s Matthew Hooton, a founder and director of the PR consultancy Exceltium, who is also a columnist for the National Business Review, as well as being the right-wing voice of right versus left commentary on National Radio.

And there is Michelle Boag, the former National Party president who appears in commentary spots while being a partner in a high-profile PR agency.

The Nation media commentator and Listener columnist Bill Ralston is a PR man while his leftish offsider Brian Edwards is just a step short of PR, providing media training, often an adjunct to the PR consultancy.

Meanwhile, the company that makes The Nation, Front Page, also works on internal communication for the country’s biggest company, Fonterra. Special steps are taken to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

Radio New Zealand frequently turns to public relations people for its afternoon panel with Mora.

There have been no direct allegations of PR people giving quiet plugs to their clients. But isn’t it courting problems when you hire people for journalism, whose profession is to win promotion and media coverage for their clients.

Hooton insists that he always declares any conflict of interest when he is making a commentary and there is no reason to doubt him.

Over at Radio New Zealand National, the head of features, John Howson, says the potential for conflicts of interest is taken very seriously and all guests on the panel, including PR people, are required to declare any commercial relationships and, apart from the segments when panelists are asked, ” What is is on your mind?” the topics are steered by Mora and the producers.

Quote of the Week – Bomber Bradbury

Bomber used this line on Citizen A in his final word.

Bomber Bradbury - Quote of the Week

Bomber Bradbury - Quote of the Week