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Press Council agrees with me

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

You might remember that I lambasted the Sunday Star-Times for its misleading front-page headline “Sex attack gets drunk driver off”. The story was about a woman convicted of drunk driving who hadn’t even appealed that conviction, only her sentence. Well, Andrew Geddis was equally incensed, and complained to the Press Council. It upheld the complaint.

Another media name suppression beat up

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

This article, headed “Porn accused gets name suppression” is in fact about a defendant who was denied permanent name suppression. An interim suppression order is due to lapse, but has been continued pending the defendant’s decision to appeal against the denial of permanent name suppression. (It’s obvious that this has to happen, otherwise the appeal […]

Ask and ye shall receive?

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Next time you hear the media bleating about our restrictive suicide-reporting rules, consider this. The law allows the media to seek permission from the coroner to report the details of an apparent (or confirmed) suicide. Last night, I asked Chief Coroner Neil MacLean how often the media sought such permission. He said it was extremely […]

Read this

Monday, November 8th, 2010

If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend Emma Woods’ thoughtful and moving response to Michael Laws’ attack on her in the Sunday Star-Times. In some ways, it’s an indictment of every columnist who sallies forth based on some incomplete news report, every ideologue who tries to marshall someone’s story to support their pet cause, […]


Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Something sounded funny to my ear on this morning’s episode of MediaWatch on Radio NZ National. Colin Peacock referred to the Listener’s Quips and Quotes column, which had quoted the following journalistic aphorism and told readers it was attributed to the City News Bureau of Chicago: If your mother tells you she loves you, check […]

Hobbiter dicta

Friday, October 29th, 2010

It’s now clear that the government intends to change the law relating to employment contracts for the film industry. So why are some in the media still calling this a “clarification”? Does it have anything to do with journalists’ warm regard for the elasticity of the appellation “clarification” as illustrated by their frequent use of […]

Key questions

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

I’m no expert on employment law. I claim no insider knowledge on the Hobbit fiasco. But there are some obvious questions that I haven’t seen anyone in the media ask: 1. John Key says he’s going to pass law “clarifying” the difference between employees and contractors, at least in connection with the film industry. What […]

Henry Fool

Monday, October 4th, 2010

I wonder when TVNZ is going to get a Breakfast presenter who looks and sounds like a journalist?

Rooney tunes

Monday, September 6th, 2010

The ever-excellent Inforrm blog fillets the UK tabloid media for their expose of footballer Wayne Rooney’s affair. It’s plainly private… so what was that public interest justification again?

Sunday paper lies to boost circulation!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Here’s the Sunday Star-Times headline from last week: Sex attack gets drunk driver off This is almost true. To be precisely accurate, however, it should have read: Sex attack doesn’t get drunk driver off The story is about a woman who was convicted of drunk-driving in the middle of the night after she said she […]

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