- Date published:
3:26 pm, June 18th, 2018 - 24 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, democracy under attack, Dirty Politics, jacinda ardern, journalism, labour, Media, newspapers, the praiseworthy and the pitiful - Tags: clarke gayford, david fisher
Newsroom has just posted an article written by Sam Sachdeva based on the police release of emails relating to media enquiries over the Clarke Gayford allegations.
The timing is interesting and goes like this with some additions.
|April 4||Newshub makes first formal enquiry|
|April 12||NZ Herald asks questions|
|April 18||TVNZ asks questions|
|April 23||Deborah Hill Cone writes in the Herald Why does Clarke Gayford bug me?|
|April 23||Heather du Plessis-Allan says on Newstalk ZB Gayford is Ardern’s “weakest link”|
|April 23||Clarke Gayford tweets about Bottom Feeding Fish|
|April 24||Standard post Bottom Feeding Fish posted|
|April 26||Dave Fisher or another Herald journalist writes to the police and says he is writing a piece about what appears to be an organised campaign to drive and spread rumours about Clarke Gayford|
|April 30||Newshub makes further enquiry|
|May 1||Stuff makes further enquiry|
|May 2||Radio New Zealand makes enquiry|
|May 2||Herald publishes story False Clarke Gayford rumours: Police and PM Jacinda Ardern respond to widely circulated fake slurs|
|May 2||Standard posts Police scotches dirty politics rumours about Clarke Gayford|
Kudos to David Fisher who handled the matter in a completely ethical way. Presuming he was the author of the emails referred to it is clear that he did not want to break a story for the sake of it but rather wanted to get at the truth. This passage confirm this:
In an April 26 email to police, a New Zealand Herald reporter – possibly David Fisher, who authored the first story – told police they were writing a piece “about what appears to be an organised campaign to drive and spread rumours about Clarke Gayford”.
“These [allegations] have been a constant feature of a number of journalists’ lives over the past 4-5 months.”
The reporter said they were confident there was no truth to the rumours, and were “nearing a point where we can identify … a small group of connected people who have put a great deal of energy into driving the spread of the rumours – effectively weaponising gossip.”
While the reporter understood police would not usually comment, they said the situation was unusual as a failure to respond would allow rumour to go unchecked, while there were also allegations about “some form of collusion or corruption to have kept the alleged offending secret”.
In a follow-up email, the reporter said any statement “will absolutely not be used as a springboard to writing about the subject”, and would only be used in the context of a story about the campaign against Gayford.
The police then decided to release the statement. Given the intensity of the media interest I am not sure they had any choice other than to respond publicly and decisively.
So big ups to most of the media for the way they handled this although Hill Cone and du Plessis Allan look like they were positioning themselves for the big expose.
And questions still arise on who were members of the troll pack of users who tried to gain partisan advantage by a campaign of innuendo.