When does gossip become news?

Social media can be beneficial, it can be benign and it can be nothing more than a fast moving vehicle to bad mouth people.

Into the latter category falls the rumours that have been circulating for weeks that got so bad it prompted Police Commissioner Mike Bush to issue a statement scotching them.

On this issue I’m with Andrea Vance who tweeted:

She is right about the danger of reporting on rumours in social media, just as it would have been, and still is, unwise, potentially stupid and even courting defamation to report on gossip, from the pub or anywhere else.

The line between gossip and news has always been grey. The ease and speed at which something can spread on social media makes it even greyer.

Now that the Commissioner has made a statement, what happens next time there’s rumours? Will he make a statement and if not will that become a story?

It is dangerous territory for the police and media when gossip and rumours become news.

At both ends of the political spectrum are people, blinded by their own bigotry who will attempt to use character assassination with absolutely no concern about letting facts get in the way of their stories.

Mainstream media should not buy into it and anyone with integrity in politics wouldn’t go near it.

There is absolutely no need to be personal about the government or any of its members.

There is plenty in their actions and policies to pick on and it’s easy to point out their many defects without stooping to personal attacks and innuendo.

NB: If you’re commenting please do not write anything about the rumours or anything at all that could be defamatory.

I have deliberately not elaborated on the rumours or the subject and any comments that do will be deleted.

2 Responses to When does gossip become news?

  1. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Well said

  2. Gravedodger says:

    The Streisand effect is revving its engines on tarmacs every where

    Now the appointed Prime Minister and her current squeeze might understand what many opposing Prime Minister Key dished to Max and Stephie as an oft repeated attempt to goad John Key

    Labour aligned Lawyer and former Political Journalist Linda Clarke (What is it with that word) has ben threatening all and sundry with defamation should any of the rumours be quoted, scurrilous or substantive.

    In the light of the many problems confronting the now struggling coalition is it too machiavellian to suggest smoke screen antics from the tactical branch of the NZLP.

    Hosking covered this well This AM and recalled the scurrilous rumours that surrounded his divorce two decades ago and suggested the way Labour were managing the problem was less than ideal.

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