A short extract from my chapter in “Stardust and Substance”, published this month by VUW Press.
THE GOVERNMENT AND THE MEDIA: NINE LAISSEZ-FAIRE YEARS
The ruling National Party failed to attend two 2017 conferences at which other political parties heard of growing anxiety over the state of the news media in New Zealand. There is telling symbolism in an empty chair. Continue reading
The topic I’ve been given is a big one: The impact media have on the world and how democracy could be in danger if the fourth estate is consigned to history. I need to move fast. Continue reading
In Nelson in August I gave a presentation in the long-running Spirited Conversations series. My theme was fake news, news media and the spectre of fascism. You can listen to it here: http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=91d3cf9f-493b-4ba0-848e-516eb5f3156f#Downloads
A presentation in the Thinktalk series
Organised by Selwyn Community Education
Selwyn College Auckland 26 June 2018
Fake News: How to destroy trust and poison democracy. You might think that sounds like a gross over-statement. I hope by the time you have finished reading this you will come to see that it is too close to the truth for comfort. Continue reading
In this forthcoming book I have a chapter on the New Zealand National-led government’s record on media policy and media relations. Published by VUW Press, the book is due out in September 2018.
This commentary was carried on the radionz.co.nz website on 3 May 2018 following the debunking by New Zealand Police of malicious online rumours relating to Clarke Gayford, partner of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush gave a commendable performance as Big Billy Goat Gruff today. He head-butted a troll and knocked it off the bridge. Continue reading
Published in The New Zealand Herald 30 April 2018
There’s no such thing as free speech, and it’s a good thing too.
There is nothing original about that sentence. It was the title of an essay by an American legal scholar named Stanley Fish. In it he argued that speech cannot be free because it is never free of consequences and responsibilities.
He is right. For several decades, as a journalist and editor on this newspaper and later as an academic, I have championed free expression. At no stage, however, was I under any illusion that speech was entirely free of consequence and responsibility. I knew that it had limits. Continue reading