reporting

Knock me down with a feather, I agree with a newspaper editorial

A newspaper editorial  challenges our laws on suicide reporting.

News media in other free countries would be amazed at the restrictions on reporting deaths in New Zealand by suicide. For a long time it has been against the law to even call such a death by its name until after an inquest, usually months later, and even then only if the coroner permits. The most we may legally report at the time of the death is there are “no suspicious circumstances” or “police are not looking for anyone else”. Readers no doubt draw the right conclusion; circumlocution soon loses its point.

The euphemisms are ridiculous.

Not before time, Parliament is considering a bill to relax the restriction. If it is passed, it will become lawful to refer to a “suspected suicide” before an inquest is held. But in other ways the law is being tightened and one of them would restrict references to historical and overseas suicides. When a suicide bombing occurs overseas it may be illegal to report it in this country, according to Wellington lawyer Graeme Edgeler’s reading of the bill as it has emerged from a select committee.    Read more »

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du Fresne again on sneaky journalists

Karl du Fresne has another post about sneaky journalists and bias.

This one too is worth a read, but the conclusion is most interesting,

… I struggle to accept that being a political journalist necessarily requires you to neuter yourself as a citizen.

The crucial issue, surely, is how you do the job. Journalists should be judged on the fairness and impartiality of their reporting and commentary. It’s possible to be a party member and still be even-handed as a journalist. And since a journalist’s work is, by definition, highly visible, it’s relatively easy for the public and the employer to judge whether he or she’s doing the job honestly.

I can think of relatively high-profile journalists who hold strong left-wing views in private but still manage to do their work with integrity, as the journalists’ code of ethics requires. There are also journalists and commentators (Paul Henry and John Campbell, for example) who quite openly lean one way or the other – but since their politics are no secret, viewers can decide for themselves how much weight to place on whatever they might say.   Read more »

People are looking for news sources that reflect their values

19 October 2013

Hi Cam,

I started reading your blog about a year ago following a marathon session of watching all three series of the ‘Thick of It’.  I wondered what went on here in NZ and how it influenced the media and the information of the day.  I have always harboured an apolitical view and held the bumper sticker ‘Don’t Vote, it only encourages them’ as my philosophy to politics.  My parents were long time Labour supporters, am of Pacific descent and I grew up in a State house in West Auckland. But now at 50, I live in a far less brown-faced community (still in Auckland), have a decent job (and business), mortgage free but losing confidence really quickly, that my kids will be able to live in the same environment that I have enjoyed.

This week has been fascinating, watching the cut and thrust has been the best entertainment since Spartacus finished!  After a great start, the Left seemed to come back strong and, unless there is anything else to come out (pretty please), it appears that the 4/10 will survive, you could say. a failed campaign for the right.  Read more »

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