David Farrar has a wee post where he laments that he is rarely credited when he breaks stories that are then picked up by the media. We have the same thing happen to us. We broke the story on the minimum wage – that National/ACT was planning a freeze, despite the Department of Labour recommending a 50 cent an hour increase – which turned into quite a large media story, leading to the Government delaying its decision for a week and, probably, deciding to make an increase after all. Similarly, we broke the story on Local Government New Zealand’s strong objection to the narrowing of the definition of ‘environment’ in the RMA, which National/ACT had been planning but was dropped from the changes announced last week – that was the springboard for stories questioning Nick Smith on their plans. There are a number of further examples from the campaign, in particular, where we broke a story that was picked up by the media, who managed to forget to credit us. Yet any rumour connecting us to Labour and it’s on the news quick as can be.
I can understand the reluctance of the media, particularly the print media, to draw attention to the amount of political news that is now being led from the blogs but, as Farrar points out, we make an effort to credit not only the sources for our stories but also provide links to factual material backing up our arguments. It would be nice to be treated with the same decorum.
On a related subject, Tracey Watkins isn’t above a little plagerism it seems. Today, she writes “resisting a short-term sugar hit likely to leave an even bigger debt headache”. Neat line but I can’t help feeling I’ve seen it before. Oh, yeah, John Key in his speech last week “a short-term sugar-fix today could lead to a diet of debt later”. A cynic might say that Watkins has been running National press releases as her own work for years and she certainly isn’t the only one (‘rolling maul’, anybody?) but she could at least try to disguise it better.