Media must be open about bias

January 17, 2014

The strong links between Scoop journalist and the Internet Party have raised questions about its claim to be the leading independent news publication in New Zealand:

Scoop.co.nz is New Zealand’s leading news resource for news-makers and the people that influence the news (as opposed to a news site for “news consumers”).

It brings together the information that is creating the news as it is released to the media, and is therefore a hub of intelligence for the professionals (not just media) that shape what we read.

Scoop.co.nz presents all the information driving the news of the day in the form it is delivered to media creating a “no spin” media environment and one that provides the full context of what is “reported” as news later in the day.

It’s audience has a circle of influence far greater than the number of reported readers, which averages more than 450 000 a month, and it is a key part of the New Zealand media landscape.

Scoop.co.nz is accredited to the New Zealand Parliament Press Gallery and fed by a multitude of Business, Non-Government-Organisation, Regional Government and Public Relations communication professionals.

We are the leading independent news publication in New Zealand and value our independence strongly. . .

It does present media releases as they are written without editing.

But anyone familiar with opinion pieces from the likes of Gordon Campbell would be aware of a left-wing bias.

There’s nothing wrong with a bias in a media organisation like this providing it is declared.

Apropos of which I note that in the on-line version of Josie Pagani’s tale of two stories she is described as a political commentator, communications consultant, and former Labour candidate.

The print edition just called her a political commentator and communications consultant.

Omitting the reference to her former candidacy in the print edition did a disservice to readers who are entitled to know the bias of a political commentator.


Tell ‘im ‘e’s dreamin’

January 16, 2014

Gordon Campbell writes at Scoop about Alistair Thompson, Scoop and the Internet Party.

He starts with the conflict between Thompson’s involvement while working for Scoop and the problem with it signing up a domain name for the new party.

He then goes on to the party itself:

And what of Dotcom’s political party ? Assuming that it does eventuate – and this column will report on it fully once it becomes certain that the Internet Party does not disintegrate before launch – such a party has made a change of government its declared aim. To that extent, Dotcom has the potential to split the existing anti-Key, centre left vote – in much the same way that Ralph Nader did in the 2000 US election – without either winning an electorate or crossing the 5% barrier, nationwide. If so, a significant share of the centre left vote would be wasted. No doubt, Dotcom has foreseen that risk. One can only assume that he believes he can attract large numbers of new voters – most of them young, some of them in south Auckland.

To that extent, Dotcom’s efforts could arguably run in parallel with Labour’s announced plans to mobilise that pool of 800,000 non-voters nationwide, many of them resident in south Auckland. Dotcom certainly has the resources and contacts to wheel in hip hop /EDM artists who would get the attention of young voters way beyond the capacity of Labour and the Greens. Whether he can transform a dance party into a political party still seems a big call however, especially given the need to reach a 5% threshold. Much rests on pure faith that new high calibre political activists would somehow magically emerge out of the woodwork.

Moreover, the party name and scant details released to date suggest that Dotcom intends to focus almost exclusively upon Internet freedoms. In doing so, he seems willing to outsource the boring old political stuff – you know, like having a credible health policy or economic policy – to Labour and the Greens. If so, he cannot hope to have much pull with the libertarian, National leaning voters who might share his zeal for Internet freedom.

Because so much of the Internet Party looks like a toy and vanity project for Dotcom, the likelihood is that such a party will function – at best – as only a voter recruitment vehicle that by mid year, will have lost its ability to amuse Dotcom. Especially if and when the polls are indicating by then that the Internet Party hasn’t a hope of (a) winning a seat or (b) reaching the 5% mark that would make its “kingmaker” role anything more than delusionary. At which point, Dotcom may think that he can throw his imagined legions behind Labour or the Greens. If that’s Plan B, he’s dreaming. The likelihood is that the only lesson that Dotcom will have given to the kids of south Auckland is the one that they’ve already sussed out : never trust a politician. It is distressing to think that Al Thompson may have thrown away so much, for so little.

Liberation has a collection of tweets on the issue, which doesn’t, yet, include this one:

https://twitter.com/reedfleming/status/423565178781696000

Someone should channel the wonderful Darryl Kerrigan and tell Dotcome he’s dremini’.

He has has money but anyone with a passing knowledge of political history knows it takes a lot more than money to win electorate seats and/or 5% of the party vote.

There are already several vehicles for those who wish to vote against the government. If Dotcom’s vanity one manages to dent any, it will be those others, not National.


Another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes

January 16, 2014

The Internet Party hasn’t even been launched and it’s already getting headlines for all the wrong reasons – Whaleoil has a scoop revealing its strategy:

The strategy paper (below) reveals that Martyn Bradbury is working for Kim Dotcom and is charging him $8000 per month plus GST for political strategy, on top of a $5000 payment to allow him to upgrade his computer, cellphone and tablet devices. . .

Further, the strategy document, which Trotter so clearly expands upon, shows that Martyn Bradbury intends to stand in Auckland Central as the Internet Party candidate, and be paid for the privilege of doing so. His strategy document outlines the need to establish an office.

The media compromise:

However the subterfuge is deeper than that. Sources have revealed that Scoop Media’s General Manager Alistair Thompson is to be the Party Secretary and has already registered the domain names under the Scoop Media banner. Scoop Media is also the name server registrant for the domain name and also that of internetparty.co.nz . . .

Summary:

  • Martyn Bradbury to stand in Auckland Central
  • Martyn Bradbury on payroll for $8000 per month plus $5000 advance payment for technology upgrades
  • Graeme Edgeler produced a report, allegedly for $3000
  • Plans for so far unnamed candidate in Upper Harbour, reputedly a broadcaster.
  • Focus on Auckland Central and Upper Harbour
  • Plans to win at least 3 seats

If I was drawing up a long list of people to attract votes from the right in general and National in particular, Bradbury’s name wouldn’t be on it.

If he stands and gets any votes he’ll be getting them from the left.

This isn’t a party that is likely to threaten the right, it’s another depositary for disenchanted left-leaning votes.

It’s also one that can’t even get it’s launch right:

Presumably someone told Dotcom about that the party to launch his party would be considered treating which is an offence under electoral law.

The scoop though, is great for Whaleoil who has already  collected another scalp with it:

Journalist Alastair Thompson has resigned from internet-based news service Scoop this afternoon in the wake of claims he was to be Internet Party general-secretary and had registered a domain name.

Scoop’s controlling shareholder, Selwyn Pellett, confirmed he had not previously been aware of the extent of Thompson’s involvement with the party.

After the blog became public, Thompson tendered his resignation.

Pellett said that while he understood Thompson’s passion for internet freedom, there was a clear conflict of interest with his journalism. . . .

Cameron Slater is defending a judgement that he isn’t a journalist and therefore doesn’t have the protection journalists do in not revealing sources.

If publishing a scoop like this isn’t journalism, what is it?

Update: – tweet of the day on this issue:


What about Anran?

June 13, 2011

It’s always dangerous for someone who types faster than she spells and sometimes relies on an unreliable memory to cast aspersions on someone else’s writing. But I think this isn’t so much a typo or poor memory as a reflection on a gap in the writer’s/sub’s knowledge of political philosophy:

Sean Okay what about Anran?

John Yeah I’ve read Anran, but I’ve got my own philosophy of what I do and what I think has worked.

Anyone want to bet the sub isn’t a Libertarian?


No longer if but when and who

March 26, 2011

The leadership of a political party which has been scorned by voters after nine years in government is a poisoned chalice.

The public usually gives a new Prime Minister and administration a period of grace before it starts looking for alternatives, especially when the obvious one isn’t markedly different from the one they turfed out at the previous election.

Helen Clark announced her resignation on election night which meant any publicity Phil Goff might have got as Labour’s new leader was overshadowed by the establishment of the new National-led government.

Michael Cullen resigned soon after which gave Goff the opportunity to appoint a new finance spokesman but there weren’t enough other changes in the front bench to convince voters they could offer a fresh approach.

Since then the few faltering steps forward have been countered by mistakes and misjudgements by Goff or his MPs. But until now there hasn’t been any serious suggestions of a coup against him.

Why would anyone want to lead the party to almost certain defeat when he or she could wait until after the election and make a fresh start? The only reason would be the thought that a new leader might be able to reduce the damage which is likely to be inflicted at the polls if the current one stays.

The odds were always on Goff  going after the election they are now increasing on the chances  he might go sooner. It is no longer a matter of if he will go but when and who will replace him. Scoop suggests the answer to when? could be next week and who? will be David Parker. The link to the NBR in the last post yesterday makes a similar prediction.

Kiwiblog reckons the coup could happen even sooner.


Top rural websites

October 13, 2009

Scoop reports  the top 10 New Zealand rural websites for domestic traffic from Nielsen NZ Market Intelligence in September:

1. metservice.co.nz/rural 70, 683.

2. stuff.co.nz/farming         38,805.

3. rd1.com                                 13,125.

4. farmtrader.co.nz               11,504.

5. dealsonwheels.co.nz            8,927.

6. country-wide.co.nz             4,772.

7. ruraltrader.co.nz                3,276.

8. agridata.co.nz                      3,216.

9. nzfarmersweekly.co.nz      2,686.

10. ruralliving.co.nz               1,707.

It doesn’t surprise me that the Met Service is so popular. When you work outside and so much you do is affected by the weather forecasts are very important. I helped one of our staff set up a new laptop recently and he has the Met Service site as his homepage.

Stuff includes most of the provinical papers and has good rural news and features.

Countrywide and NZ Farmers Weekly are the most highly regarded of the give away papers which turn up in rural mail boxes. The popularity of the papers and dial up or slow broad band for internet conncetion might explain why their websites don’t get more hits.


8 new names on Labour list, but where?

August 31, 2008

TV3, The Herald and Stuff all carry news that the Labour list had eight new faces who were promoted over some sitting MPs.

However, none have the whole list nor do they say where the newcomers are placed on it. The Labour website is paid for by parliamentary services so won’t mention candidates either.

On the running average of polls Labour is likely to have no more MPs after the election and may have fewer so Helen Clark will have the task of keeping disaffected MPs in line to add to her troubles.

The new people on the list are:

Rajen Prasad, former Race Relations Conciliator and Chief Families Commissioner;  Jacinda Ardern, a senior policy adviser to British Home Secretary Sir Ronnie Flanagan; Raymond Huo a lawyer and writer;  Phil Twyford, former global head of policy for Oxfam;  Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont;  Maori education advocate Kelvin Davis; Carmel Sepuloni,  an equity manager at Auckland University; and Stuart Nash, who stood in Epsom last election and if memory serves me right conetested and lost the selection for Napier.

I wonder if the CTU will have the same problems with their secretary standing for Labour as the EPMU does with Shawn Tan standing for Act?

Update: I see on Keeping Stock that I should have checked Scoop which has the full list.

Exactly who gets in on the list depends on the party vote and which canidates further back on the list win seats because each seat won puts those in front of them on the list back a slot.

On current polling anyone past the mid 30s will be unlikely to get in unless they win a seat which could include some MPs.

Damien O’Connor at 37 followed by  Judith Tizard, Mark Burton, Mahara Okeroa, Martin Gallagher, Dave Hereora to  Louisa Wall at 43 will be unlikely to still be in parliament unless they win seats. Lesley Soper doesn’t have a show at 77 and unless she requested to be in a totally unelectable position it’s an insult to put a sitting MP so low.


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