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Truth to power?

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 15th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Does “a meticulous compiler and ferreter out of information that some people would wish to keep secret” sound like a good definition for ‘journalist’ to you? Not according to the Dom. Apparently, that’s what Nicky Hager is. And he’s not a ‘real journalist’? So, what is a journo’s job if not compile sensitive information and speak truth to power?

Danyl’s written the rest for me:

“all-too-often the ‘journalistic craft’ as carried out by many of our Very Important Reporters consists of publishing propaganda, disinformation and smears leaked to them by MPs, government officials, bloggers, lobbyists and press secretaries. It’s risible that these people consider what they do to be ‘real journalism’ as opposed to Hager’s latest work, with its thousands of confidential military documents and military and intelligence sources, and his ability to embarrass and threaten officials and institutions instead of fawningly doing their bidding.”

27 comments on “Truth to power? ”

  1. Bill 1

    I just want to remark on the fact that what is potentially an explosive expose has quietly disappeared from the media.

    There’s too much dancing hand in hand going on between parliamentary parties and the media.

    Seems to me that both Phil Goff and John Key are ‘up to their necks in it’ with regards encouraging a ‘need to know’ operational relationship between the military and parliament. So they want the story shut down; the media complies.

    Am I the only one thinking PRAVDA?

    • uke 1.1

      A few weeks ago there was a brief discussion about The Standard starting its own weekly newspaper & perhaps a internet TV channel, to provide an antidote to the asinine and biased MSM. Some were willing to put up some money an’ all.

      • lefty 1.1.1

        I think the only way we are going to get decent media is if people who care about it fund it themselves.
        I get very annoyed at the naive criticism of the mainstream media from the left, as if anything different could, or should, be expected of them.
        MSM is owned either by big private companies, or controlled by boards that are expected to run them as normal capitalist businesses (despite the silly ‘charter’ era).
        Of course they are going to reflect the world view of their owners, they are there to make a profit, not provide information or present views that might threaten the system that generates those profits.
        Even when the problems of a biased media are absolutely apparent, as at present, we don’t see the opposition pushing for true public broadcasting or restrictions on foreign ownership. Instead they worry about the amount of dividend returned to the government from the publicly owned media and suck up to the private media.
        Occasionally they complain about biased coverage, but never suggest they might do something about it if in power, and never do when they are.
        Part of the problem, of course, is that Labour knows that because they are the preferred B team of big business the media will swing in behind them again at some stage, provided they toe the line.
        I believe there are enough New Zealanders who care about this issue to fund quality media that is prepared to question the status quo.
        It wouldn’t even have to be from a particularly left viewpoint – something like the Guardian and equivalent radio and TV stations would be a huge step forward.

  2. Carol 2

    Ha!: And the Dom editorial says, in contrast to Hager’s MO of uncovering a muddle of facts, and presenting it through the prism of his own political biases, REAL journalists in NZ:

    The case he builds is thus rarely troubled by opposing opinions and inconvenient facts, realities that journalists in the mainstream media are morally obliged to take into account, and present.

    Surely this editorial writer has his/her tongue firmly in his/her cheek…. or is implying that MSM journalists are morally bankrupt?

  3. vto 3

    If the Dom is so convinced of its righteousness then let it let one of its own journalists loose on a counter to Hager’s piece.

    Go on Dom, put your money where you mouth is.

    Or are you just a big mouth?

  4. Shane Gallagher 4

    It is not only Nicky Hager’s book – the press is studiouly ignoring the Pike River enquiry. There have been a series of damning revelations coming out from it.

    • crashcart 4.1

      I was surprised to here Hoskings saying exactly that on Newstalk this morning. He was lamenting the fact that between RWC and the Eurozone issues the Pike River enquirey is getting glossed over in a huge way.

    • insider 4.2

      There has been significant coverage this week of PR on RNZ and TVNZ news. I’ve seen lengthy items on the evidence of the two senior policemen on multiple days.

  5. Blue 5

    The mainstream media in NZ wouldn’t know what real journalism was if it bit them in the arse.

    Seriously, do think they think they are kidding anyone when they try hold themselves up as bastions of journalistic ideals?

    As if everyone doesn’t know that they are merely chasing higher readership/viewership/pageview numbers, and will take the cheapest way to boost those figures (nude celebrity pics anyone?).

    There is no accountability. Who is going to take the media to task if they don’t report hard news, and instead write about rugby and penguins?

    Hager has one huge difference from the cretins at the Dom – he is still interested in real news.

  6. Afewknowthetruth 6

    The empire will use every means at its disposal to try to keep the ignorant masses in a state of ignorance.

    None of it will help in the long run. We are past peak oil, fiat currencies are collapsing, economies are imploding and the truth is starting to leak out all over the place.

    Watch how the European mess translates into a global ‘meltdown’ over the coming weeks.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yep, the Administrative Class needs to keep the real information away from the people else the people will realise just how much they’re being shafted by the Administrative Class. This is why the government is always against Open Government.

    • Ari 6.2

      LOL “fiat currencies are collapsing”. Please don’t tell me the solution is to go back to the gold standard, I couldn’t bear that much laughing.

      The problem with our current system is that control of the effective amount of money in the economy rests with banks and other lenders, not with a central bank- we’re no longer a fiat currency, we’re an endless credit currency.

  7. freedom 7

    I have not had the opportunity to read Other People’s Wars but look forward to doing so soon. I bring to your attention that there is an even more recent example of the media being complicit in reporting something, without actually being journalists in the process. Then forgetting it ever happened.
    I am NOT, repeat NOT referring to 9/11 😉


    How is this not the front page story on every newspaper in the country
    and why has it not been picked up by everyone?
    oh right !
    we need journalists for that
    and a fourth estate that functions without suckling at politicians’ wallets

    This meeting was to be kept secret till 2028, He was not even the PM!
    So has Goff also got a background of these meetings he has agreed to remain silent over?
    Has the Maori Party? Has Act? That is a scary thought !
    We all know these meetings take place but we are not meant to.
    When we get proof it used to matter. A couple of decades ago it may have even made a difference.
    (I would still like to know who Hillary Clinton actually met with when she was in NZ.)

    This is the sort of stuff that Editors once dreamed of. Verifiable data showing coercion to betray the democracy that gave these people their power in the first place. Information like this used to occupy our newspapers for weeks at a time, now it gets put on a website for a few hours then goes quietly into a data sinkhole.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      So has Goff also got a background of these meetings he has agreed to remain silent over?

      That was the question that immediately came to my mind. There is certainly a lot of cover up going on behind the scenes in our government.

      • freedom 7.1.1

        i distinctly recall when this meeting took place
        of course people told me i was being paranoid .
        Nothing to see here, move along . . .
        Nothing to see here, yeah right.

    • Vicky32 7.2

      This is the sort of stuff that Editors once dreamed of. Verifiable data showing coercion to betray the democracy that gave these people their power in the first place. Information like this used to occupy our newspapers for weeks at a time, now it gets put on a website for a few hours then goes quietly into a data sinkhole.

      Oh my.. Scary stuff! Exactly, why isn’t it front page news?

      • kākāriki jim 7.2.1

        “why isn’t it front page news?”

        At 420 pages and a good 70 pages of them being small font references the news media could be let off with not having the time to read it but as time goes on its more likely they dont want everyone to read the bits about the news media.

        The reporters themselves missed alot over the last decade, a whole war no less.

        I highly reccomend the book, anyone interested in New Zealand politics should read it.

        (Note: Long time standard lurker here, I used to comment here and other places as jimmy but the number of people willing to soil such a good name has made me find a new one)

      • Ari 7.2.2

        Because they’re now trying to sell Hager as a conspiracy theorist, simply because he publishes exposés.

    • Bill 7.3

      Goff made the sale of nuclear technology to India possible. Goff gave away the NZ right to veto the suggestion when he was foreign minister. It was in the news at the time, but ever so briefly and kind of buried. He phoned Clark. Clark gave the ‘OK’. The pay-off was bringing forward talks about free trade talks.

      edit And seeing as how that article (confused shopping list) refers to Bush being in power for only five months at the time….anybody got a link to the actual cables?

  8. tc 8

    Jail…… where the big people send the little people

  9. JAN 9

    The scribbler’s dilemma
    whether old hand or youth
    is the big corporations
    who speak power to trufh

    Can’t help thinking that all the high rankings that NZ supposedly attains – transparency lack of corruption, effective legal system, property rights amount to precious little when the 4th estate doesn’t do it’s job, infotainment rules and newsworthy research is buried in days.

    It would be interesting to carry out this research in NZ.

  10. Craig 10

    Ah. Nicky Hager “isn’t” a reputable investigative journalist, while NACT give interviews to the doyen of tragic tabloid gutter glossiness, Ian (I won’t provide independently audited circulation figures or disclose the ownership of my hack rag) Wishart. Excuse me, contradiction much…?

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