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“Name” journalism & voter dis-engagement

Written By: - Date published: 8:55 am, November 29th, 2012 - 75 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democratic participation, labour, news - Tags: , , ,

Attacks on the “anonymity” of bloggers by some MPs and journalists, are a symptom of change that threatens to make political participation more democratic.  Until the early 20th century journalists were largely anonymous.  The rise of “name” journalism and infotainment have increased voter dis-engagement.  A critical, independent fourth estate, free from commercial and state interference, is crucial to democracy.  However, well-managed blogging (by any name) can also contribute significantly to democratic re-engagement.

Auckland Star 12 July 1937 – from Papers Past

As outlined by Zvi Reich (2010), the now standard use of named author bylines, was the result of a gradual development during the 20th century.  With reference to his examination of NY Times and the UK Times, Reich shows how this was the result of a progression through 4 distinct phases:

1) anonymous journalists with an authoritative voice, aimed to stop the journalist coming between the reader and the story, by maintaining an impersonal voice (see the accompanying image of an Auckland Star article where Michael Savage talks directly to the public).

2) generic bylines promoting news agencies or newspapers; (still seen now with NZ Herald and NZ Listener editorials, written by unnamed authors).  It was also and attempt to deter plagiarism.

3) a few ‘star’ named journalistswhich began at the NYT before WWII, and at The (UK) Times after 1967.

4) most authors named with personal bylines, due to journalists’ pressure for an equal share of the public acclaim. This was accelerated by the celebrity-making  influence of TV news.

Reich: UK Times, named personal bylines began 1960s

Reich’s article shows how the use of bylines developed as the result of multiple, sometimes conflicting factors, which included changes in technologies and dominant discourses. In Reich’s article the rise of stage 4 in the UK coincides with Murdoch’s rise in publishing, when unions lost their influence.  They had been resistant to what Reich refers to as “the professionalization” of journalism.  As Geoff Kemp tells it, the introduction of new technologies in UK newspaper publication led to industrial disputes, which resulted in submissive journalists and a compliant press.

Naming of authors is supposed to create transparency.  However, this conceals the co-authors as identified by Reich; such as news sources, editors, sub-editors, spokespeople, and press release writers, each having the potential to add bias.  On TV, with the on-camera reporters being most closely associated with a story, co-authors would include camera and sound operators, editors, producers, studio anchors, and more.

As I argued in an earlier post, the international commercialisation of news has led to the public becoming increasingly cynical about the motives of politicians. One of the more negative impacts of infotainment and celebrity culture, has been the increasing public disengagement from politics and voting.  The visual medium of TV has contributed to the focus on superficial conflicts, the strategic framing of politics as game, and the insertion of well-known journalists into the story.

Running interference between politics & the public

“Name” journalists have become a proxy for the public voice, disempowering potential voters. When continuously associated with political news, they gain a false superficial aura of authority, trust-worthiness, and expertise in interpreting the news.  This was seen during the recent Labour Party conference, when TV3′s Patrick Gower led his own reality show exposé. He repeatedly thrust a microphone in front of David Cunliffe in an attempt to dramatically uncover an alleged leadership coup. The more important story about the democratisation of the Labour Party was side-lined.

Democratic political parties could look for ways to embrace the positive potential of blogs, in order to re-engage with the public. It was a promising development to see the consideration of the potential of  “new” media  at the NZ Labour Party Conference, towards the end of a speech by Judy McGregor. However, she seemed to see participants in electronic networks as an elusive, docile, loosely-affiliated population, unwilling to commit to the hard slog of party work; people whose voting choices are based on superficial assessments of personality and single issues.

In fact, well-moderated blogs enable ordinary people to become part of an extensively networked conversation: one that connects politicians, media stories, party members, and potential voters, while generating enthusiasm for political action on- and off-line.

75 comments on ““Name” journalism & voter dis-engagement”

  1. TightyRighty 1

    I don’t agree with the wholesale bagging of the “MSM” on the Internet. I think it’s a cop out and a failure if organisations and individuals to engage with the media as a stakeholder. Your post Karol however is well reasoned and makes some very good points. I agree with your motion that well-managed blogging encourages participation by otherwise disinterested parties, which is a huge positive for democracy regardless if which side of the political spectrum you normally reside in. Top post!

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      I think it’s a cop out and a failure if organisations and individuals to engage with the media as a stakeholder.

      I reckon the media should be engaging with the communities they serve, not acting as a political power base in of themselves.

      • shorts 1.1.1

        agree

        something blogs like this and many others do amazingly well and succeed with those, like myself, who feel let down by the MSM over so much of what they report/focus on – I care not for the if it bleeds it leads format, its revolting

      • TightyRighty 1.1.2

        Do you know any media types? I do, quite a few in fact, and they engage frequently. But you need a dead horse to flog, however unoriginal the meme “the msm don’t respect me”

        • karol 1.1.2.1

          I would dearly love to see the MSM really fulfill the 4th estate promise.  But, they way it’s become, I can see why so many people are frustrated with it and are highly critical.

          The MSM is more than any of the individual paid employees working within it.  Many on an individual basis are probably well-meaning.  But the focus on individual journalists, with the shift to naming them, masks how much, as Reich argues, they are constrained by the system they work within.

          With the developments in the 80s, there is a contradiction between the ways journalists were disempowered by the undermining of unions, and the way they are fronted as named individuals – often giving them minor celebrity status. 

          • TightyRighty 1.1.2.1.1

            There you go, ruining your previous intelligent comments by spouting some BS about disempowerment due to unions being taken down a notch.

            Blaming the woes of anything on the perceived class enemy only has so much traction. there is no doubt an element of truth in what you say, it’s hardly the entire cause of the problem. Far better to bemoan the fact that the editors who hold sway over the newspapers websites front page have to much power to shape peoples view of the news and yet are still largely nameless. how about how cost constraints on the industry due to the preferred medium now being basically free have forced the globalization of news generation?

            Have an academic debate about the problem, the tendency to ascribe every misfortune of the workers to some kind of class war is rapidly become the new godwin of the left. It also ignores the hindrance unions place on businesses within rapidly evolving industries.

            • Schlurps McGoo 1.1.2.1.1.1

              So Karol’s response @1.1.2.1 retroactively degrades any previous comment of hers that you may have found intelligent.

              Thats not only patronising, its illogical as well.

              As for reading criticism of structural flaws of Identity based journalism as segueing a class war argument in there by stealth is also stretching credulity.

              You don’t have to be a radical anarcho-marxist to observe the media of our time and suspect that there are some serious faults with how issues are being framed and disseminated.

              Anyone Left or Right can look at a dog’s hind leg and tell if its crooked.

            • karol 1.1.2.1.1.2

              I haven’t said the union disputes were the only factor with respect to name journalism and infotainment, but it was an important factor feeding into it.  The talk I linked to by Geoff Kemp, is an interesting take on it.  The undermining of print unions,  is worthy of a topic in its own right.

              I was in London at the time of the 1986 Murdoch-Wapping print union action and it was big news.  One of my lecturers at London uni also did some compelling research on how Thatcher manoeuvred towards getting supportive editors in key publications.  I see he is still talking about some of the related issues.

              During part of the 1980s, a large segment of the national press developed an almost cheerleader relationship to government. Indeed, the Thatcher cabinet minister, Ian Gilmour, wrote that the press during this period could ‘scarcely have been more fawning if it had been state controlled’.

              This was all part of the multi-pronged way Thatcher became so dominant, and also included a concerted attack on unions, including the mining unions, print unions and teacher unions.

              But I do think and independent media and open debate is good for democracy whether you are right or left wing. And too much of a fixation on name journalism can just obscure the ways the debates can be manipulated and skewed.

        • lprent 1.1.2.2

          I really don’t care if they don’t respect me. After all I frequently don’t respect members of the msm.

          I do care when they attack net institutions and standards because they appear to be too lazy to find out what they are and why they were created. My inclination then is to point out why I think that they’re wrong and lazy to try to apply their oddly hypocritical standards to a completely different type of system set up for a completely different purpose.

          I have no frigging interest in being a journalist or a talking head. That would seem to be a retrograde step from being a computer programmer who also expresses my own opinions on a self-published net forum. I don’t have any real respect for their “standards” which often seem to be specifically designed to protect them from criticism about the poor quality of their work ethics. People can directly express their opinion of my writing here, or from other blogs and they do it pretty damn fast. We don’t need intermediaries like the BSA or Press Council with their wet handslap months later.

          Looks to me like a few of the other authors feel the same.

  2. just saying 2

    I know for a fact that routine use of by-lines became policy for INL papers in the 80s.

    The trend from the previous practice of a couple of bylines per paper for features, columnists or “special” pieces, was rolled out as part of the infotainment revolution which also saw shorter stories, sentences and paragraphs, all active in tense, pitched at the reading age of a 14 year-old. The inverted pyramid became all-but compulsary. Regardless of the virtues or otherwise of this writing style, you can see how it fitted with the move away from analysing and informing towards entertaining readers, who researchers had apparently found to have, on average, the attention span of a fruit-fly.

    Cooincidentally, Judy McGregor, first as editor of the Sunday News, and then as senior management at Independent Newspapers was an enthusiastic implementer of the revolution. She also played a significant role in decimating the journalist and printers unions, which happened pretty much concurrently.

    (She also did some good things – women were appointed to senior positions in record numbers).

    • karol 2.1

      Interesting NZ background, js.  I was in the UK at the time, so I’m not so familiar with the background here.  But it did seem to me that the NZ media had gone through similar stages.

      It would be useful if there was documented evidence somewhere of that shift in NZ.

      The inverted pyramid is also important to attend to.  The main general and eye-catching points are put in the headline and opening paragraph, tapering down to the evidence and/or more contentious details at the bottom of the article.  

      It is always useful to see if the headline, lead, and later part of the article are consistent.  Often the opposing viewpoints are buried at the bottom of the article.  A lot of people don’t read beyond the headline or lead, and that is what forms their opinions.

      I was interested that McGregor came from a journalism background, and that she said she worked on the media part of Annette King’s, print-based campaign way back.  It does seem to me she is a little reluctantly looking at “social media” etc with a lot of negative pre-conceptions.

      Was McGregor one of the women who appeared in a TV documentary series on feminism way back in the 70s?  And that was revisited in the doco Sheilas?

      • just saying 2.1.1

        I don’t know. I was a kid then. She is featured in a couple of anthologies of NZ feminists and writings from prominent figures of the eighties, that I have on my bookshelf.

      • just saying 2.1.2

        You’re right about the inverted pyramid. As the industry knows perfectly well, the position, or opinion presented in the first one or two paragraphs, is the only perspective most readers are ever exposed to. Alternative viewpoints, and contentious (or any other detail) is placed further down where evidence shows, few consumers* will read.

        There is no doubt that the older style required more effort from readers. Apart from anything else, they had to wade through more detail to find salient information.

        *The word consumer, of course, took off in a big way at this time. My Mum said she never forgave Helen Clark for turning her from being a ‘patient’ when she needed medical care to a “healthcare consumer”. Point is, these changes evolved in the context of the wider neoliberal revolution, and, as is always the case, the one fed into and helped shape the other.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      (She also did some good things – non-unionised, ideologically compatible women were appointed to senior positions in record numbers).

      Just to clarify.

      • Populuxe1 2.2.1

        Doesn’t matter, they’re still women and that is a definite improvement. It breaks ground. There wouldn’t have been a Helen Clarke without there first being a Margaret Thatcher.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1

          nah that’s absolute total bullshit.

          • Populuxe1 2.2.1.1.1

            You’re obviously a man. It may not excuse their politics, but it still opened the way for their gender – glass ceiling broken, deal with it.

            • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Go on, identify the logical fallacy you just used.

            • karol 2.2.1.1.1.2

              I’m a woman, and I doubt that Thatcher made it possible for Clark to become PM – but if you can provide evidence otherwise, I’ll be interested.  

              Thatcher wasn’t the first elected leader of a country, anyway, and I think she did more to set back women’s rights as progress them – especially with respect to low income women.  

              • Populuxe1

                Social change is a cumulative process 

                • karol

                  Indeed, pop. And social change doesn’t move forward in a continuous line of progress.

                  Without a couple of waves of feminism, Thatcher would probably never had made PM.  Pity that she then turned back some of the gains made for women from diverse backgrounds…. and also contributed to the undermining of the media as 4th estate.

            • weka 2.2.1.1.1.3

              Thatcher didn’t break the glass ceiling, she was teleported above it.

      • just saying 2.2.2

        Very true CV.

        I was a wee bit torn. Because although I strongly disagree with McGregor’s politics and many of her actions over this time, from my (minor and pretty superficial) interactions with her, I also liked her as a person. There was some surrounding context with her being the first woman to break the glass ceiling in the field, with all the difficulties and internal conflicts that entails. Which doesn’t excuse anything I know.

        It would be interesting to know what she now thinks about the changes that she helped pioneer.

  3. Tom Gould 3

    “The more important story about the democratisation of the Labour Party was side-lined.”

    Perhaps, but I reckon Labour dodged a bullet with this. Had the news focused on the actual voting system, with a handful of union heavy weights exercising the aggregated votes of affilited members on their behalf, and without reference to them or their wishes, it would have been a worse ‘look’ than the Cunliffe coup sideshow.

  4. DH 4

    Authors should take the criticism as a compliment, albeit disguised and unintended. If blogs weren’t getting an audience the media wouldn’t be bothered by them, ergo it’s the attention that blogs like the The Standard are receiving that causes the angst in certain circles.

    A lot of so-called ‘journalists’ and media personalities see themselves as the news these days . Content comes second to their preening in front of the camera or preaching to us from the soapbox of bylines. Anonymous blogs are the polar opposite of that populist attitude and they don’t like it; it’s undermining their status & stardom. It’s career threatening.

    The real reason they don’t like anonymous authoring is because it nullifies much of the power they wield & abuse. They can’t attack the author because they don’t know who the author is. They’d dearly like to use the name & shame, the belittling, the snide references; any dirty trick to turn people away from blogs & back to the MSM. But they can’t do that when authors are nameless, it pulls their teeth.

    My own thinking is that the Cunliffe chicanery was an attack on the Standard (and others) by the media; they were sending a message about who really wields the power here. That’s what the Winston Peters debacle was really about and this smelled the same. My answer to that would be for everyone to keep doing what they’re doing. It’s obviously working.

  5. BLiP 5

    .

    As overt shills like Clare Curran and the useful idiots like Brian Edwards attempt to soften us up, I’ll just leave this here.

  6. lprent 6

    Damn Karol – you beat me to it. I was reading through exactly the same material over the last week.

    I was going to call it – “Addiction to the byline”

    That Israeli Prof’s charts were quite compelling.

    Oh well, I have several other ones on the similar topics.

    • karol 6.1

      Whoops.  Sorry, Lynn.

      With several TS authors coming out with posts on similar topics and themes around the same time, someone will start saying it’s all been carefully orchestrated by…( ..?) 

      Yes, on the graphs.  And that article was also one of the few academic ones I found on the topic online, that isn’t behind a pay wall. 

      It’s taken me a couple of days to put this post together.  As I said on QOT’s name blogging a privilege thread on Tuesday, I had started researching this angle earlier that day. 

      I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a need to post on variations of this topic some time in the future.  I could have said more on the issue, but the post would have been too long.  An early draft was a lot longer. 

      I usually find research is rarely wasted, even if I don’t use it immediately. \

      PS: Your title is a lot better than mine!

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Don’t worry about it – great minds think alike etc etc… But there is a distinct paucity of visible info on this topic. Kind of weird when you realise exactly how big a change this was in the public discourse.

        • karol 6.1.1.1

          Finding something online on the issue seems to be the problem. I started looking because I had remembered seeing something on the topic & thought it might have been Auckland Uni’s 2011 winter lecture series.  There were other articles I came across in academic journals, requiring a paid subscription.  I didn’t check if any of them were available on the public library e-resource databases.

          I do have a couple of library books out on news media, but neither seem to deal with the rise of personal bylines as a substantial issue. 

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.1.1

            Brilliant post. What I wish I could have written myself. And interesting too how so many of us were drawn to write on the same theme at the same time.

            What is worth emphasising is that indeed it was the dismantling of the print unions which was one of the critical enabling steps towards dis-empowering journalists. There is no question that without even the sometimes tenuous backing of a union it became impossible for ordinary journalists to say ‘no’ to an editor or sub-editor. Or to insist on professional independence from the commercial pressures of advertisers.

            And it also highlights how much professional skill brings to the game. While us ordinary bloggers may bring the day to day experience of our lives and passion to our writing, it takes someone with professional training and experience to flesh this out into something quite compelling.

            Well done.

          • lprent 6.1.1.1.2

            Exactly, I had some material about it in some old books from the 80′s. However I offloaded all of my paper books when I moved to ePub’s.

            When I looked on Amazon I could see books that were likely prospects. However I couldn’t see any that were digital formats that I could buy directly over the net (and convert out of whatever useless format they were using). Most were older than a few years old.

            Journals – the prices per article were too high to do a fishing expedition. I really needed to get to a university library and I never have time for the long hours required. Much easier to just do this when I was at home late at night on the net.

  7. Wheezing&Easing 7

    Respected mag The Economist has a policy of not naming writers and in fact gives “names” to columns within the Mag with particular topics (eg Lexington, Bagehot, Schumpeter)..occasionally names groups that have written special reviews. I get The Economist and I like the policy myself.

  8. Wheezing&Easing 8

    Respected mag The Economist has a policy of not naming writers and in fact gives “names” to columns within the Mag with particular topics (eg Lexington, Bagehot, Schumpeter)..occasionally names groups that have written special reviews. I subscribe to The Economist and I like the policy myself. NZ journalists need to grow up. It’s quality that counts, not names in print – and much of it is not great quality!

    • lprent 8.1

      …I subscribe to The Economist and I like the policy myself.

      ditto.

    • The Economist does list all their writers plus provides their backgrounds. None of them are ‘anon’.

      http://www.economist.com/mediadirectory

      But they do say “…the main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it”

      • leftriteleft 8.2.1

        Exactly!
        As I said yesterday in a previous reply.

        It’s the message, not the messenger.

        Although, sometimes, I’d still like to kill the messenger.

        Pompus pricks that they are.

      • lprent 8.2.2

        Yep. You just don’t know exactly who is writing what in the print edition. It is somewhat easier in the ‘blogs’ except for the numbers of J.P’s and J.A’s at various times.

        • TheContrarian 8.2.2.1

          Though I wouldn’t equate The Economist with it’s integrity to The Standard with its angry assholes.

          • lprent 8.2.2.1.1

            Ummm – perhaps you should read the history of the economist magazine. Especially in its first few decades. They are pretty proud of it, and they still write opinion pieces in that same vein. You know the same one we use, based on a sense of outrage

            And in the now ritual putdown (becasue you don’t seem to ever listen to it): You really do need to get a sense of history

            • TheContrarian 8.2.2.1.1.1

              So you actually are trying to equate yourself with The Economist.

              Wow, now that’s hubris.

              • lprent

                The economist and more particularly their online blogs were definitely one of the models for this site. The authors are pseudonymous and they write opinions on topics that they’re interested in. In the last year or so as they’ve had more than one person writing under the same pseudonym, they’re added initials so people could distinguish individual authors. Still a guessing game as they have several authors with the same initials….. There are also authors initials that are not on their lists of reporters.

                I’ve been reading it for nearly 30 years.

                But I can infer from your words that you’re not going to look at their rather opinionated history as a newspaper? Or why they’re the newspaper that is most likely to be banned in the most countries at any one point in time over the last century and a half. Too useless to learn does appear to be your usual trait.

                • Oh I know about The Economist and am a subscriber myself.

                  The history of The Economist notwithstanding , comparing The Standard to The Economist is delusional…. unless the editor of The Economist also calls people names for no reason and insults their intelligence with comments like “Too stupid to learn” when someone dares question them.

  9. mike 9

    Another good post karol. The way the TV1 and TV3 frame political news as merely a he said / she said, team A spin vs team B spin power game has been bothering me for a while. Garner and Gower are shocking.

    As you say it simply leads to viewers becoming more cynical about politics, and thus less interested. Not a good thing for democracy. Any chance of some in depth discussion with party leaders about policies? Or some reporting about the current govt’s performance in specific areas? Nah, lets just go shove a mic in someone’s face, get a “No comment” comment and call it a story.

    I’m reminded of a quote: “You make a mistake if you see what we do as merely political.” – Adolph Hitler

  10. Wheezing&Easing 10

    My post disappeared before I finished it!

  11. Nunya 11

    I yearn for the day when all public broadcasters are required to wear a bag on their heads, all names are removed and bylines scrapped.

    FFS at time of increasing economic meltdown our pols have been flat out like a lizard drinking debating about the relationship between a former weatherman, his brother and their mother!
    A farce that is the direct result of allowing talking heads the right to self promote and it needs to be stopped. Not by the gutless pols who profit from the celebrity culture yeah I know they all bitch about it when it bites them on the ass, but it is the ability to get a ‘media profile’ by beating up some emotive issue that has reduced all NZ politics to the worst type of populism.
    It is us who need to stop it – not the pols -how? easy. stop clickin on links to gossip, minor legal issues made important because one or more parties have a profile, film premieres, whose up who n whose payin the rent on Tuesday nite gallery opening page, n all the rest of the fat toad in a small pond bullshit that our ‘fourth estate’ foists upon us.

    I find it disappointing that the standard gives every contributor a byline. Sure some use nyms but the nyms are pretty transperant. If the standard truly believes that particular issues should be associated with particular writrers so readers can follow an opinion’s rationale why not just call em citizens A or B or C? Comrade 1, 2 or 3. If writers demand a byline surely that is an indication of a dodgy agenda?
    Standard writer #57, anything which seperates the opinion from a commoditiseable (sp?) persona would be good because I reckon it enhances credibility. That is, if someone is saying something in the knowledge that their expression of an opinion can’t advantage themself politically, it follows that readers are more likely to consider that opinion valid.

    • lprent 11.1

      I find it disappointing that the standard gives every contributor a byline. Sure some use nyms but the nyms are pretty transperant.

      We have no editorial line which was the reason why newspapers had anonymous authors in the first place. If you read the material linked to you’ll find why the Victorians thought that was important.

      We are just a cooperative sharing resources. The only editorial controls that this site places on the authors is that the trust running the site doesn’t want to be :-

      1. successfully sued for defamation,
      2. engage in criminal activities.
      3. bore moderators.
      4. having authors spending all of their time attacking each other.
      5. journalists.

      Because there is no editorial style guidelines and our individual personalities shine through with everything from from QoT’s unique ability to swear at least once in almost every post :twisted:, to Irish’s sarcastic style, to my pontification – we just put a psuedo on each person writing apart from Guest Post and Notices and Features. Even so we get people dancing on the head of a pin in other sites arguing that Eddie has some kind of split personality because of his persistent blandness.

      • QoT 11.1.1

        QoT’s unique ability to swear at least once in almost every post

        I tried so hard in my last one, but then I fucked it up.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    “However, this conceals the co-authors as identified by Reich; such as news sources, editors, sub-editors, spokespeople, and press release writers, each having the potential to add bias.”

    Ah, application of post-structural theory by someone who almost certainly has no experience of the newsroom. For the most part editors and sub-editors do not deliberately alter the content of articles, and it is up to the journalist to read around the projected biases of spokespeople and press release writers. The worst you can say about editors is that they control what gets printed or not, which can certainly slant things, but otherwise the rest is – except for a few scandals – nonsense.  

    • karol 12.1

      Bias most often refers to something that is done without people always being aware of their biases and/or how they are slipped into an article or report.

      It can be seen when the headline doesn’t quite match up to the content of the article.  And too often these days, articles, often by the least experienced journalists, just repeats the content of press releases uncritically. 

      Biases can also be done when a journalist is subtly influenced by their editor’s views.

      News journalism is usually conducted under the pressure of deadlines.  This means that journalists can often unthinkingly repeat views that are all around them.  Sue Abel kind of shows how that works with the way the MSM tend to overlook Maori perspectives in TV news, and the way stereotypes keep getting repeated there.  Abel has done research that includes observing in a newsroom. (see p3 here).

      There also can be (inadvertent?) biases in the selection of journalists for a news organisation, so that the successful applicants tend to be in conformity with the editor’s perspectives. 

      • Populuxe1 12.1.1

        By that reasoning everything in the world is a contingent social construct including your post and all of your sources, so let’s apply Occam’s Razor and assume that a significant chunk of the MSM are in fact living, breathing human beings with functioning critical faculties at least partially aware of their biases and not simply two dimensional theoretical automata bereft of your obviously refined sense of self-awareness.

        • karol 12.1.1.1

          I think it’d be great if more people read/viewed news media critically, rather than just accepted them at face value.  

          I also am more for discussing issues based on verifiable evidence – others can look at the same evidence and, possibly come to a different conclusion.  I don’t see it as a case of impossible relativism, but an on-going critical discussion.

          I would also agree with those who say journalists should be self-critical, so that they are aware of their own values and biases, and make them explicit in relation to their writing. 

    • RedLogix 12.2

      For the most part editors and sub-editors do not deliberately alter the content of articles,

      Oh dear, of course not; they don’t have to. What happens of course is that the journo very quickly learns to write what is acceptable. It happens is most organisations, you go along to get along especially if you feel vulnerable and on the wrong end of organisational power.

      Always most effective if you can get people to censor themselves.

      • Populuxe1 12.2.1

        I’m guessing you’ve never worked in the media then. It may be the case in some organisations, but by an large not the fairly broad cross-section I’m familiar with.

        • karol 12.2.1.1

          Are there humans working for your organisations, pop?  Because it is something we can all slip into.

          RL,@4.39pm:  Yes, I think it is the more inexperienced, least powerful journalists that will be most susceptible to self-censorship.  It’s been a recent shift that there has been a tendency to hire more young and less experienced journos as a cost saving.  And, once they start down that road they may never become aware of how they’ve been subtly influenced.\

          I think it is no accident that some of the most critical news items come from some of the older hands with a little status: e.g. John Campbell.

           

        • KJT 12.2.1.2

          I think that was one thing Beria admired about the USA. He reckoned the, US, media was so brainwashed it was not necessary for them to be censored.

      • lprent 12.2.2

        I have edited substance in a few posts out of the 11,241 posted on the site. Maybe 4 or 5 all up. Violating suppression orders. A couple that had material I thought was defamatory.

        There have been probably a few hundred where I have fixed egregious spelling or grammatical errors. A few where the author managed to say the inverse of what they meant (the fatal missing ‘not’ usually).

        But I’m not an editor. I’m not even that good as an author, a fact that Lyn informs me every time she reads one of my posts. Her doing the nights putting up material on the online herald for a while evidently did interesting things to her ability to see poorly constructed text, because I swear she can see the errors long before she reads the words. Or it could be the material that all of her students give her year after year. I rather pity them :)

        I just like writing posts that get across my meaning.

  13. vto 13

    Been watching this debate and see most every single argument ever has been submitted for consideration, including this one ……

    Brian Edwards can go jump in the lake. Just keep going and posting and bloggering and all in anonymity. What is he going to do about it? Ha ha ha, stupid idiot.

  14. just saying 14

    A lot of great minds thinking alike. A very relevant and eloquent column form Chris Trotter today:

    …The tone of these attacks leaves little doubt that not only do these political journalists consider bloggers to be unwelcome and illegitimate contributors to the nation’s political discourse, but that nothing would make them happier than to see them tightly regulated and controlled. It’s an attitude that should send a shiver down every New Zealander’s spine. A genuine “Fourth Estate” would welcome the democratisation of the gathering and distributing of news which the Internet has made possible. That so many MSM journalists have greeted the competitive spur of the blogosphere with a mixture of self-serving patch-protection and outright authoritarianism is cause for considerable concern

    It also casts much of their recent reporting of political news in a new and worrying light. If the truth is indeed out there, then presumably it’s as readily accessible to bloggers as it is to members of the Parliamentary Press Gallery? If both are present at the same event, then their reports should be (with obvious allowance for nuance and emphasis) at least broadly similar? But what if they are not similar? What if the MSM’s coverage of Event X is radically at odds with both the experience of participants and the reportage of bloggers? Wouldn’t that raise some extremely disturbing questions about the credibility and trustworthiness of MSM journalism…

    Concluding:

    ..If this is true, then the decision by so many active participants in the blogosphere to remain anonymous or write under a pseudonym becomes entirely reasonable. Any system powerful and mendacious enough to suborn the one institution specifically charged with exposing its malfeasance is probably not the sort of system to be openly challenged or taunted by vulnerable individuals using their real names.

    The day focus groups and their deliberations cease to be confidential is the day bloggers will gladly abandon their pseudonyms and the “pandemic of anonymity” will be over.

    • karol 14.1

      Thanks, js.  Yes, Trotter makes some similar points although from a bit of a different angle.  He also sees the attacks on anonymity as a symptom of some underlying shift, or threat of a shift, with the Internet opening up some democratic possibilities.

      He also points to the Labour Party conference as a key event when many who attended the conference, saw it in a totally different light to the standard MSM interpretation.

      He takes a different angle by focusing on the way the press gallery tend to be pressured into producing similar interpretations of events.   

  15. just saying 15

    Relevant and compelling column from Chris Trotter today:

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/

    Mods: You can ditch the previous comment (currently in moderation) which I realise had wayyy too much quoted text from the above.

    • ropata 15.1

      No don’t ditch it!!
      BTW here’s a more permanent link

    • karol 15.2

      Also, I laughed at the opening of this Gordon Campbell piece – one of the few independent “named” journalist on the internet, taking on one (or two) of the “named” fixtures on the NZ Herald:

      The best way of appreciating Fran O’Sullivan’s attack on Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey in the NZ Herald yesterday is to read it aloud as if you’re actually Maggie Smith on Downton Abbey. In which case the general content of O’Sullivan’s column – does this creature never sleep? How on earth has she managed to commandeer the debate on free trade? Are there no men in this house able to put this, this, this confounded woman in her place? – will sound exactly what it is. A last despairing squawk from the neo-liberal right, as yet another of its castles in the sand is washed away by the tide of history. Get used to it, Fran. It’s your lot that has lost the plot on “free” trade.

      I’m so glad the Internet still provides a diversity of voices to hold the MSM to account, and hope that it won’t be regulated down to an exceptional minority by banishing the use of pseudonyms…. if it was even possible?

      Or are we, as Campbell says, seeing the end to the neoliberal consensus?

  16. Rogue Trooper 16

    There is no point going back to the msm, magazine mounted media imo, not with the Truth accessible
    on the internet if one is conscientious and caring enough to search for it. I almost flinged the
    commodities forecast values link on to the local paper however they have changed their online format
    and I cannot be bothered engaging with them anymore, not when lprent provides a clean daily refill and
    binder. I used to try the articles in North and South, The Listener or such like, yet I found a lot of
    excess padding, non-sequiters, and only a bite of real meat from a couple of pages, i.e, The Conclusion.

  17. MrSmith 17

    Nice Karol

    A couple of things the poly’s fear from the anonymity of blogs is the public servants specking up anonymously and the fact the writer may have to defend their written words and that’s all that’s happening here people, the written word, no guns, no marketing spin or underlying agenda just words on a page that anyone can call bullshit and it’s scaring the crap out of ………..

  18. Rhinocrates 18

    Indeed, some very interesting commentary from Chris Trotter.

    I used to think of him as a bit of a “dinosaur” due to his disparagement of “identity politics”, but I appreciate that one doesn’t have to agree 100% (haha, considering recent statements by a certain someone) to realise that there will never be “100%” agreement, nor should there be.

    Chris Trotter at least is carefully observing what is actually happening in the media landscape whereas Brian Edwards, someone I had admired* has reacted so negatively, so hysterically to the seismic shifts in the landscape of discourse. Chris Trotter is watching and he’s thinking. Others, such as Edwards, O’Sullivan, Armstrong et al are just reacting.

    I don’t suppose that there is an actual conspiracy, but rather a commonality of interest and a tipping point. The old media establishment is, as Chris Trotter says, is perceiving their power slipping away and once someone says it, they all do. Some, like Farrar, Hosking, Trevett, Hooters and Long will certainly say that Shearer is the best leader for the Labour Party because he’s the easy one to beat, while others like O’Sullivan will simply see someone they can identify with. Meanwhile, that spineless cretin Armstrong is an idolator by nature while Garner and Gower just see a drama that they wants to play a leading role in while Edwards is a tired, ossified sanctimonious dupe clinging to fantasies of what “should” be the case among comfortable liberals like himself. Mallard, Goff and King are driven by spite and their own insecurity, Hipkins is Mallard’s Mini-Me and Robertson of course is delighted to see all of this happening and does his best, as subtly as possible, to keep it going.

    They may look like a conspiracy, but they all have different motives to achieve the same end. It’s not a conspiracy – it’s just a perfect storm.

    It will pass.

    For all the problems that I have with Chris Trotter (he’s got to “get” the identity politics thing – there will never be a unified “left” now, but a mosaic of progressives to which all ultimately contribute), I do believe that he’s one of the best observers of politics around today. Edwards, on the other hand, does what he did very well, but like an old dog, he isn’t learning any new tricks. He knows that in a vague way, hence his anger, but he doesn’t want to think why, and it angers him. He’s stuck in what he thinks the world should be, not how it is.

    *Well, I might just despise him on this one issue and respect him otherwise… hopefully.

  19. Rhinocrates 19

    Oh, and by the way, seeing what has happened to Edwards’ post, as has happened so many times elsewhere, as a corollary to Godwin’s Law, can I – anonymously – propose this:

    “The longer a discussion in which Pete George is admitted to continues, the greater the probability is that he will decide that is all about himself. Once this happens, he will ensure that it will cease to be of any worth.”

    • QoT 19.1

      I second this.

    • lprent 19.2

      Yes. Definitely PG is one of the most self-obsessed people on the local web. The really amusing thing about him is the way that he ascribes all of his own worst traits to other people – and seems to be oblivious that is what he is doing. It is a permanent source of amusement to me.

      However, so long as he is not here, it is rather good fun winding him up on other peoples sites. I’m sure that the operators will all thank me and others for doing it. However I’d suggest that it might be a good idea to only do it on posts that are rather crap anyway. Otherwise the sound of a good PG tantrum can drown out some good debates

      :twisted:

  20. Skinny 20

    As someone who has been interviewed from time to time by MSM outlets, it’s often annoying  what actually gets published or broadcast. Quite often a reporter or editor will try skew what your saying to fit their theme or perception of a news item. Unfortunately  the facts sometimes get in the way of a good story. I had a print reporter chasing me for comments on an issue that was topical of the day, since I was speaking out ( whistle blower) against actions of my employer and wary the  
    reporter was seeking comments in reply from my CEO, I demanded he email what was written so I could check for accuracy of the verbatim Interview. The corrections needed before I was comfortable with being quoted was surprising. Once I read the new item in the paper I could see the original attempt too distort the facts! You could say I remain aloof of MSM nowadays. As for the story it’s going to be in the headlines again soon Boss :) 

    It’s great to post on here as an anonymous person as it allows you to have a opinion without threat of being sacked by your Govt employer, who’s HR team will deal to you with their ‘media policy.’ there would be a lot in a similar boat posting on here I’d say.

    p.s B b b b Boss your 800k  J j j j Job is gunna be o o o over!                        

  21. newsense 21

    It is also clear that ‘anonymous Labour-affiliated bloggers’ is a standard attack line now. Mostly from APN it seems. Armstrong, Fran O’Sullivan and Jane Clifton have used it or something similar.

    Interestingly in today’s paper there was a tiny corrections sidebar acknowledging the potentially defamatory inaccuracies in the ‘anonymous’ editorial attacking Dr Joy. Fran O’Sullivan remarkably attacked the university for not acting more as a rubber stamp for government policy over the TPP and allowing dissent a voice amongst it’s staff. There has been very little clear public debate about these trade agreements, that as Gordon Campbell points out are often not actually completely free trade agreements but riddled with exceptions to benefit the larger partner.

    Sorry if this is somewhere else and I missed it!

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    Tackling excessive prices, ensuring consumers have enough information to make ethical choices and giving the Commerce Commission more teeth are highlights of Labour’s Consumer Rights policy. “The rising cost of living is a concern for thousands of Kiwi families. A...
    Labour | 28-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki Annette Sykes, Waia...
    Media are advised that this coming weekend, the MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will be on the Internet MANA Road Trip within the electorate of Waiariki. Speakers confirmed are Annette Sykes, Hone Harawira, John Minto, Laila Harre and Kim...
    Mana | 27-08
  • Internet MANA – Waiariki Road Trip: 29, 30, 31 Aug 2014
    The Internet MANA Road Trip hits Waiariki this weekend. It would be great if all MANA members in Waiariki could especially attend the public meetings and show their support for our Waiariki candidate Annette Sykes. Confirmed speakers Hone Harawira (except Taupo), Annette...
    Mana | 27-08
  • First home buyers $200 a week better off with Labour
    A couple earning around $75,000 a year would be $200 a week better off buying a two bedroom terraced Labour KiwiBuild home instead of an equivalent new build under National’s housing policy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.  “National’s policy to...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Another Day – Another big power profit
    The latest profit announcement from Genesis Energy shows that the power company was sold for a song to the detriment of the country’s power consumers, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “A net profit of $ 49.2 million follows hard...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour embraces the rainbow
    Labour will work hard to ensure all New Zealanders enjoy the freedom to grow up and live their lives in dignity and security. Labour’s Rainbow policy, released tonight in Wellington, focuses on International Relations, Human Rights and Education....
    Labour | 26-08
  • National gets fast and loose with the facts
    In their desperation to make it look as though they are doing something about the housing crisis, National is playing fast and loose with the facts, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour will drop power prices for Kiwi families
    New Zealanders will get cheaper power prices under NZ Power, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The electricity market is clearly broken. With falling demand for electricity, prices should be going down. Instead prices are going up and companies are extracting...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Labour: Promoting sustainable tourism
    Ensuring New Zealand’s clean, green status continues to be an international tourism benchmark and reviewing MBIE’s oversight of the tourism sector will be on the radar under a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Tourism policy today, spokesperson Darien Fenton said tourism...
    Labour | 26-08
  • Skills shortage a result of National’s complacency
    The fact that there is still a severe shortage of skilled tradespeople, despite a growth in the number of apprentices, is a result of National’s failure to plan and develop the workforce, Grant Robertson, Labour Employment, Skills and TrainingSpokesperson says."The...
    Labour | 26-08
  • How much tax does John Key pay compared to a minimum wage worker?? – Mint...
    MANA Movement Economic Justice spokesperson John Minto is calling for a radical overhaul of New Zealand’s taxation system with calculations showing that a minimum wage worker pays a ten times higher tax rate than the Prime Minister. o Minimum wage...
    Mana | 25-08
  • Labour’s culture of science and innovation
    Labour will create a culture of science and innovation in New Zealand that will be the envy of the world, says Labour’s Innovation, Research and Development spokesperson Megan Woods. “Labour believes that good science lies at the heart of a...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Improving life for our new New Zealanders
    New Zealand’s international standing as a community that encourages and fosters all cultures will be bolstered under a Labour Government with an upgrade of the present Office of Ethnic Affairs to a Ministry. Releasing Labour’s Ethnic Affairs policy, spokesperson Phil...
    Labour | 25-08
  • South Auckland housing crisis
    National’s HomeStart package is nothing more than a political stunt designed to beguile South Auckland voters, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. “Few working Pasifika and Maori workers in South Auckland will be able to buy their own...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Home buyer subsidy discredited in Oz
    Treasury advised against National’s policy of ramping up home buyer subsidies after it was discredited in Australia because it pushed house prices even higher, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Documents released under the OIA (attached) show Treasury advised the...
    Labour | 25-08
  • Nursing hours explain turnover and high-stress culture
    A staff survey supports concerns nursing staff at Dunedin Hospital are under increasing pressure and that the emergency department is in a critical state, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark.  “An ED nursing survey at Dunedin found that 80...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Underhand tactics prove case for axing donations
    Revelations that schools are using underhand tactics to coerce donations from cash-strapped parents further highlights the need for Labour's plan to increase funding so they aren't dependent on contributions from parents, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “By law New...
    Labour | 24-08
  • National applies band-aid to housing crisis
    The Government’s flagship housing announcement is a band-aid approach that will push up prices rather than solve the housing crisis, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “House sales to first home buyers have collapsed as a direct result of the Government’s...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Climate change focus on the now for the future
    A Labour Governmentwill put in place a comprehensive climate change strategy focusing on bothmitigation and adaptation, establish an independent Climate Commission andimplement carbon budgeting, says Labour Climate Change spokesperson MoanaMackey."This is about future-proofing our economy. Making the transition to alow-carbon...
    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • The Press Leaders Debate – proof a newspaper can kill the internet
    No more beersies for you Mr Key. Seriously – was the Prime Minister drunk during this debate? I am so sickened by what passed as a Leaders debate, I will make this review short and vicious. Everyone involved in putting...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Voting starts tomorrow!
    On the telly, in the papers, on the Net, billboards on almost every street corner – it’s hard to miss the fact that there’s an election coming up. Everyone’s trying to win your vote on Election Day, September 20, (this...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry a whitewash before it has even started
    The farce whitewash that Key is trying to push through here for the inquiry into Judith Collins role in a hit on the SFO should enrage any NZer, regardless of how they vote. Whaleoil won’t be forced to appear, it’s...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Press Leaders Debate – Round 2 – 7pm tonight
    This debate is live in a Town Hall, Key has done well at these in the past, but since the hate politics exposed in Dirty Politics, expect real fury directed at Key. My guess is that Key will attempt to use whatever he...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • MANA hit speed wobbles – why Annette Sykes will win Waiariki
    MANA are my favourites. But of late, their transition from crawling to sprinting has hit some speed wobbles. Hone’s and Pam’s aggressive attitude towards the media recently is very understandable in light of how connected many of the media were to...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidates ‘One Strike’ Crime Policy
    Best wishes to all of those who live in Epsom, Mount Eden, New Market, Remuera and of course the rest of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Large majorities of NZ First voters would prefer Labour deal
    67% of those who voted for New Zealand First at the 2011 general election would prefer Labour to lead a coalition government if one is needed after September 20’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Jointly owned urban development agency for Christchurch
    “Given the strategic importance of the Canterbury rebuild, it is logical that the transition from emergency governance arrangements is overseen by the Prime Minister’s office, but to maintain momentum in the city centre an expert development agency...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix needed
    Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Association welcomes new Chief Executive
    “The New Zealand Police Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Verry to Chief Executive. Heather picks up the mantle from Chris Pentecost, who recently retired from this position,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Young Voters Want Politicians to Grow Up
    Young voters want answers to the questions that directly affect them – but it seems as much as anything, they want politicians to grow up....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Climate Voter election debate to get big audience
    Auckland, 2 September 2014 - Tickets to tomorrow night’s first-ever Climate Voter election debate have sold out but an online audience will also get to see the event live....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Edge show disregard for consent
    The Edge has shown complete disregard for consent, for women’s bodies and in doing so has contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand says specialist sexual violence prevention organisation, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. Yesterday,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Rock is Fuelling New Zealand’s Roastbuster Rape Culture
    The Rock are still displaying without-consent images of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities online. They are making fun of this without-consent action, saying that she was "asking for it", etc. They appear to be supporting this kind of...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • HRLA Condemns Murder of Filipino Human Rights lawyer
    Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers , was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • SFO lays charges for procurement fraud
    Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Commitment to lifting wages good for New Zealand
    The Service and Food Workers Union has applauded the Green Party workers’ policy announced today....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Sykes: There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
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