Casualty list for week of Feb. 10


Ÿ * Sources and surveillance Ÿ * RNZ and issues of trust  * Tall Poppies

Free Society’s loss

It was a chilling admission by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters that “we took the photographs”.

The images were of two journalists and the party’s ex-president. They were involved in investigating the shadowy New Zealand First Foundation, which is now the subject of inquiries by the Serious Fraud Office.

Photographs of their meeting in a Tauranga retail precinct were published on the BFD (Brash, Focused and Dedicated) website. It has been critical of both journalists – RNZ investigative journalist Guyon Espiner and Stuff senior journalist Matt Shand – and their investigations into the relationship between the foundation and the party. The website called their investigations a ‘hit job’ and referred to former party president Lester Gray as ‘Deep Throat’ and ‘a snitch’. Continue reading “Casualty list for week of Feb. 10”

RNZ (& others) seek Fountain of Youth


Spanish conquistador Ponce de León never admitted in writing that he had sought the Fountain of Youth. Perhaps he was trying to avoid potential embarrassment…or he knew it was sheer folly.

The Caribbean explorer could provide an object lesson or two for New Zealand media as RNZ digs a hole for itself in search of the elusive spring. Continue reading “RNZ (& others) seek Fountain of Youth”

Fatal overkill


Kobe Bryant’s most significant appearance in New Zealand media last year was a website rebuke after he called out a member of his daughter’s basketball team for missing a game to attend a dance recital. Last week the L.A. Lakers All-star and his daughter were tragically killed in a helicopter crash and New Zealand broadcasters treated his death like the passing of a national hero. Our national hero. Continue reading “Fatal overkill”

Christchurch mosque attacks:The media’s proximity filter


Research into trans-Tasman media coverage of the Christchurch mosque attacks has raised questions about how, in the internet age, editors need to take account of the fact that their content can be seen by those most closely affected by a horrifying event, and that distance no longer provides the licence it once did to publish material that is distressing to those directly involved.

Almost 300 stories published by New Zealand and Australian metropolitan newspapers in the days following the attacks, together with web-based content by television broadcasters, were analysed by Dr Gavin Ellis, an Auckland media consultant and former editor-in-chief of the New Zealand Herald, and Dr Denis Muller, a Melbourne University researcher and former associate editor of The Age. They also interviewed news executives in both countries. Continue reading “Christchurch mosque attacks:The media’s proximity filter”