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Media policy

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, May 17th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: blogs, interview, Media - Tags: , , , ,

As The Standard has grown, we’ve started to receive inquires from the media and requests for a comment or interview. We’ve been a bit hesitant about what to do in this regard. On the one hand, like most bloggers, we blog under pseudonyms and we believe what’s important is the writing and the arguments, not who’s doing the typing, but that’s not really compatible with doing media work. On the other hand, we value media coverage of what we do and the ideas we present. We want to make the most of it, so it seems silly to refuse to deal with the media.

So, we decided we should have someone with their real name public for media stuff and anything else that comes up. Seeing as I’m doing the bulk of the posts, the job came to me.

Gidday, I’m Clinton Smith. I’ll be The Standard’s spokesperson. At least, until I really screw up or get caught in a ‘pageviews for sex’ scandal.

I’ll continue blogging under my pseudonym.

I did my first interview for a National Radio piece on politics and the Internet along with Darren Hughes, Russel Norman, David Farrar and Jo de Joux. It’s a good piece, put together by Kate Williamson, which gives an overview of the Internet in politics with some really interesting comments from the interviewees.

[PS. as the Kiwiblog Right has already googled me and found out: yes, that’s me in the EFB video, in my pre-Standard days – I stand by what I said that day: I’m not a Labour activist (or an activist for any party) and democracy should be a contest of ideas, not who has the deepest wallet]


47 comments on “Media policy”

  1. lprent 1

    Let me be the first on the site to congratulate Clinton for getting up in public. I’m glad he is willing to talk to the media because they’d receive a very short shift from me. Being diplomatic is not something that I’ve ever bothered to put any effort into. I’m glad the someone else was sucker willing enough to put their hand up for the chore.

    It is interesting putting a face to the pseudonym. We’ve ‘talked’ a few times via e-mail. He writes great posts that provoke a certain amount of discussion.

    There couldn’t be a bigger contrast between the ‘public names’ on this site. I don’t even think that Steve Pierson has ever banned anyone. Definitely the pleasant counterpoint to the approach that I prefer. I’m always happy to do it because I have a low tolerance for boorish behaviour.


    BTW: I put this comment early while the post was sitting in the pending queue – that is why it is first. Sysops have a few perks.

  2. Congrats and I hope you get a lot more hits and comments.

    Captcha: even Charlotte. Another great blog name

  3. polaris 3

    “On the one hand, like most bloggers, we blog under pseudonyms and we believe what’s important is the writing and the arguments, not who’s doing the typing…”

    But yet you think anonymous donations should be banned, and the Brethren were evil because they tried to hide their identity….

    The hypocrisy is breathtaking. If ideas, not the poeple matter, why do you care so much about the Brethren?

  4. Dave 4

    Good to see you outed, I was 99% sure you were one of the bloggers, just didnt know which one. But you know who I am anyway….

  5. lprent 5

    Dave: Did you read the post? He did to cope with the media. We needed a face, and the probability of a journo wanting to talk to me more than once was zilch. ‘outed’ implies that he had to reveal his identity, and that is not the case.

    Polaris: I suggest you read the About at the top of the screen. It’d make you look like less of an idiot. While you’re at it, check out the Policy and Contacts as well. It will save you some problems if you want to comment here.

    There has always been a name on this site if people cared to bring issues up – mine. I regularly receive e-mails, but none to date have been about anything other than technical or ideas for posts.


  6. Good on you, Steve. Going by the quality of your posts and comments here, your media comments and interviews can only raise the, er, standard, of such commentary in the media.

    I was having a few drinks last evening with someone who is known to do a little media commentary, and when the discussion turned to the standard of political blogs in NZ, the consensus was that the Standard is the best. The media enquiries reflect this achievement. Well done all of you.

  7. insider 7

    Welcome out of the closet Steve. Hope it doesn’t go pear shaped for you

    capcha Entre Friendship – thiss capcha thing can be spooky at times.

  8. lprent 8

    I’m convinced that recaptcha is reading political books. Thats where it gets the words from – they’re from scanned books.

  9. So your not a professor of english then! (how dissapointed Brett Dale or who ever it was will be!)

  10. r0b 10

    Bravo Steve. You did bloody well in that EFB speech too. Love your work.

  11. Dan 11

    Great news. I browse through the Standard a few times a day before the Herald or Stuff and our local daily. I use it as my benchmark. Far from the ideological mouthpiece that some of the right would paint it, I have found it thoughtful, humorous and more often than not on the button with its reflections. I have friends who will be voting differently to me who regularly use the site for blogs of substance. It is great to have somewhere in the Media where the viewpoint is somewhere near my own. The Herald over recent times has truly lost the plot in terms of objective journalism. The Standard pushes its barrow but with more style and objectivity than the herald does with all its resources.

  12. Dave 12

    I read the standard becaue it is NOT objective – and to poiunt out he occassional errors.

    [lprent: We aren’t. The posters come from several slants. It offers ‘objective’ opinion because there really is no such thing as being objective. The posts then offer supporting reasons. If there are holes, then we’d expect the comments to point those out. This is the same type of approach that operates in science. It is called peer review.

    As you’d know, I’m just harsh on people offering criticism without then backing it up. We even tolerate a certain amount of that provided it is entertaining and doesn’t look like it is churned out by a machine.

    BTW: I’d suggest switching to firefox or safari. Their built in spell checkers would help with the misspellings above.]

  13. Will this blog still be here after Labour get crucified in the election?
    Yours truly
    Peter Burns

  14. IrishBill 14

    Hey bro, I enjoyed your comments on focus. Good stuff!

  15. ghostwhowalks 15

    Im not surprised that you arent a ‘labour activist’.
    Neither am I, I have never meet helen or any labour member for that matter.
    The closest to any political figure That Ive met would be Bill Birch!
    So inspite of Whale Oil sending menacing letters to some poor bugger who writes to the Herald thinking its me.
    I remember the political economic deadend that was Muldoon will be repeated by Key and his acolytes.
    We see today the near collapse of Iceland who borrowed to the hilt to ‘transform’ themselves. Thats Keys approach to the letter.

  16. Stephen 16

    Er, you wrote “Russel Norman”. I assume you mean Russel Brown of Public Address?

  17. Stephen 17

    by ‘you’ I mean Steve/Clinton

  18. IrishBill 18

    Stephen, they talked with Russel Norman because he’s been instrumental in the Greens internet campaign strategy and writes for frogblog.

  19. Billy 19

    It was quite fun reading back through that. Did you spot Nih running a pig fukcer argument?

  20. Billy 20

    I meant the old thread of Steve’s speech.

  21. Stephen 21

    IB – oh! Norman writes pretty rarely though, but it IS excellent that he does, as well as Nandor and Turie (sp?). Well they SHOULD have talked to Brown.

  22. lprent 22

    d4j: “Will this blog still be here after Labour get crucified in the election?”

    Have you read our About? As a ‘group’ we’re not affiliated with a party. We come from all different areas on the ‘left’

    You’d notice that we don’t trust the political movements of the ‘right’. They have never been a friend of the labour movement in the past. To date there is nothing to indicate that they’re likely to be any better in the future. The national party in particular was formed to oppose the labour movement and that still seems to be its sole reason for existence.

    I come from a slightly different direction – from the managerial & technical side. I’ve found that national are incompetent managers of the country. I’ve seen nothing to indicate that they’re likely to be any different to their historic pattern.

    This blog site will remain as a place for the posters of the left to encourage debate from a left perspective. It will always tend to focus on the deficiencies of the right. They appear to lack the introspective talents to do it themselves. A separate thread running this weekend on what people expect from the right if they won has been making this clear to me. No-one has any real idea.

    The site costs peanuts to run, doesn’t take that much time to administer, and most of the effort goes into writing those posts. Over time I’d expect the slow accretion of more posters joining – just like Steve did in February.

    We will remain as a thorn and permanent irritant in the side of a right. Personally I’ll be happy providing the required support to make sure that it continues, regardless of the outcome of this years election.


    PS. Besides it’d will be fun to torment the pompous dickheads of the right as they start to regularly screw things up. That will happen if they ever get into government. I just wish this technology had been around lin the 90’s.

  23. Lew 23

    Lynn: “Besides it’d will be fun to torment the pompous dickheads of the right as they start to regularly screw things up if they get into government. I just wish this technology had been around last time.”

    This is a good observation: I think we’re seeing a little bit of amnesia from people who think life under National will be sunshine, buttercups and rainbows. Politics is politics; it’s an ugly business with plenty of scope for fuckups. It was so in the nineties and I’m not sure why anyone expected it wouldn’t be so in the ought-oughts.


  24. randal 24

    Hi steve peirson..if you want special media training skills I do one on one seminars guaranteed to taunt tantlise and tease the media before you put the boot in….$5000 bucks for a morning session and double that for the full day including drinks and final insults at the backbencher. drop me a line.

  25. r0b 25

    If the Nats win it will be an interesting phenomenon. The first NZ government to take office in the full glare of the internet. As in – all those quotes. All the faux concern about the “underclass”. All the scare mongering about emigration to Oz. All the dead rats committing to Labour policies. All there on the net, searchable, quotable, bloggable, waiting to come back and bite them. First time it’s ever happened (on a large scale) to an opposition taking office in NZ.

    My guess would be that gradually over time pollies will adapt, and stop running straw arguments that can later be quoted back at them.

  26. lprent 26

    L: you’re just going to have to learn to misspell fuck and its variants. It is in the moderation system because of the spam along with an increasing number of medical terms (which seem to be this months spam).

    Just realised this was at the end of the post – so I moved it out of your comment.


    captcha: amusing here
    It is uncanny

  27. lprent 27

    rOb: Oh yeah. I’d prefer that a left leaning coalition won the election.

    But it’d be so much fun to persecute the right from opposition. There wouldn’t be much of a honeymoon from the posters I’d suspect. It’d probably feel a bit like what the alliance was doing in 99 and 2000. Or what Act was doing in in the 90’s.

    Politicians are really going to have to learn a new way of operating with the net around. It is going to be like MMP all over again, and it took them far too long to come to terms with that. I’m not sure the national party has even now.

  28. illuminatedtiger 28

    Piss off FailedDad!

    [lprent: there is no call for that. d4j has been well within the bounds since he was allowed back here. So forget past history or you may become part of it.]

  29. r0b 29

    There wouldn’t be much of a honeymoon from the posters I’d suspect.


    Yes, it’ll take a while to work it’s way through the system. But once a half dozen or so pollies have been hoist by the petard of their own opposition straw arguments it might actually slowly raise the tone of mainstream political debate. And wouldn’t that be a blessing.

  30. r0b 30

    Woah, tiger, D4J is as nasty a tory troll as ever walked the earth, but why not leave him alone on the “dad” thing eh? It’s very close to the bone.

  31. illuminatedtiger is your typical venomous cowardly lefty that makes any sane persons stomach turn with vile disgust !!!It is because of creeps like him that Labour languish in the polls on the road to political obliteration!

    [lprent: and you don’t need to react. Just ignore and let the moderators deal with it. Think of us as the friendly police force (at least until you’re on the wrong side of the bounds).]

  32. Lyn; I am speechless and totally gob smacked, as I didn’t know a “friendly police force” existed on planet earth.Learn something new everyday on blogosphere.

    [lprent: It was more of a conceptual idea. I’ve usually found them to be courteous and friendly. Some of my relatives and friends haven’t. I suspect their perception of you is everything about how you get treated. But they usually follow a rule set. Which is what I do here.]

  33. Stephen 33

    Keep D4J around for his rhetorical flourishes, if nothing else!

  34. I read Kiwiblog and the Standard every day.

    My (humble) impressions:

    The Standard has very few abusive people participating (unless the Kiwiblog crowd turn up in numbers).

    Kiwiblog has a larger number of commenters who dismissive and not inclined to listen to, or think much about, anything outside their (narrow) range of what is acceptable. Posts from such people typically contain more abuse than useful information. One wonders why they bother.

    Both blogs are followed by many excellent people who make relevant and informative contributions to discussions on current issues and events.

  35. Ari 35

    Steve/Clinton- Very brave of you. I hope to see some excellent and challenging comments from you in the media soon! It might make it worth checking out the television and newspaper regularly again. 🙂

  36. lprent 36

    Steve W:

    The Standard has very few abusive people participating (unless the Kiwiblog crowd turn up in numbers).

    If you check back in the old posts last year, you’ll find that wasn’t always the case.

    The moderators and I got tired of reading trivia and started dragging the site to a higher standard. I’ve seen the process operate in a number of forums over the years.

    It is just a matter of having some reasonably clear guidelines about what will be acceptable and what won’t. Then you have to be as persistent as a programmer weeding out bugs. What I’m after is an environment where people can agree to disagree, and have the room to explain why without being shouted down.

    Russell Brown described it perfectly in terms of outcomes. With apologies for the gender differentiation. You find a much higher proportion of women start participating when they feel the environment is more secure. Similarly you find the average age of participants increases. That also means you start getting a broader spectrum of views.

    Now if we could just produce some hard core female programmers…. But that is another discussion.

  37. lprent 37

    Billy: “I meant the old thread of Steve’s speech.”


    A good example of what started to drive me crazy. That was actually one of the better comment threads. There were a higher proportion of interesting comments. It seems so ‘dated’ reading it now.

  38. illuminatedtiger 38

    Sorry guys – did jump the gun a bit there 🙁 .

  39. r0b 39

    tiger – I do understand the anger, believe me!

  40. illuminatedtiger 40

    It’s ironic that with all the accusations that flew about Labour being anti free speech it was the National supporters in that video preventing him from talking.

  41. alex 41

    Hi Steve Pierson

    I don’t understand why in the stuff article it says you never voted Labour? Have you never voted before or did you use to vote for another party…?

    Confused reaader.

  42. IrishBill 42

    Although I suspect you are trolling Alex, I can answer that one. Many of the writers on the Standard don’t vote Labour. I suggest you read our “about” page and pay particular attention to the “political angle” section.

  43. lprent: “The national party in particular was formed to oppose the labour movement and that still seems to be its sole reason for existence.”

    Have to disagree with you there Lynn. You’d have to say that National’s history of defending entrenched wealth and vested interests is exemplary, and that doesn’t always necessarily involve attacking workers’ interests.

    Sometimes the Nats have a (small) spasm of liberal conscience too, and introduce something like the Human Rights Commission Act 1977, but they quickly make up for that.

    Alex, there are other alternatives on the left for whom to vote. One could even vote for the government in 2002 by voting Progressive, knowing that one’s vote would help seat Matt Robson, well to the laft of most of the Labour MPs.

  44. John McKenzie 44

    It’s great to see Clinton Smith stepping forward and giving the Standard a figure head. Sure, I understand the reasons for and against anonymity but it?s nice to see someone who is proud of their views and willing to publically stand up for them.

    It’s also good to see that so many of the readers and commenters here are willing to put some thought and consideration into their respective arguments and avoid the ‘knee-jerk’ closed mindedness I’ve seen reading other political blogs.

    Great Stuff

  45. randal 45

    take the money and run kid…here have a cigar while I call a cab

  46. randal 46

    hey steve…heres a free lesson if you want to get famous…read a book on lens sizes for shooting close ups and demand the news crew always finishes the closing shot in a “Warner Bros” closeup with the right lens so it is cyrstal clear and cuts off the hairline for maximum impact. like johnny boy hmmmmmmmmm.I think he must have friends in the media?

  47. Julie 47

    I hope your (voluntary) unmasking doesn’t create any problems for you Clinton, I wonder how long it will take everyone to stop calling you Steve? 😉

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