Monday 16 November 2009


We have been a bit busy today but managed to catch some face time with a good mates talking about texts, jail, buying up forests, help the government with its courageous new policies, Maori politics, fish, shagging, the government giving away land to Maori and we still managed to hoover the house and cook dinner.

Anyway we just read Cactus Kates blog on some secret squirrel emails from some very worried senior staffers at the Herald...

It's disturbing stuff. Interesting in that the blogs have worried Herald Editor Tim Murphy enough to resort to commenting over at Gotcha about it . He also deemed it serious enough to set aside a few column inches in the Herald to say that his journos were still fearless and unfettered. Bollocks.

Well we know that the Herald still has some of the finest reporters in New Zealand among their ranks but some of the emails definitely point to a softer line being taken since the days when we were a scribe. Take this:

1. Conservative editorial approach

Editorial could take a more conservative approach to the subject matter and content of the risky or contentious articles. Where editorial identifies an issue or risk in an article the relevant passages could be proactively removed, or rewritten internally, to remove the perceived risk, as an alternative to obtaining legal advice on the risks of publication.

The above bit is the one that causes us the most concern. Hell, when we earned a living riding the white charger down the inky black road, the boys at Izard and Weston were our friends. In fact we never really thought we had done a decent story unless we had to get them to give our copy the once over before it went to bed.

So Mr Murphy is being a little precious when he says the emails don't really show any change in editorial policy. They sure as shit do.

The emails that Cactus has in her possession clearly show that writing a story that pushes the boundaries is being actively discouraged.

As blogger we know for a fact that is happening. Bloggers are often given material journalists can't get past their editors. They leak stuff to us knowing full well it wont get a run in the dead tree press.

We used to say that all good stories need a home. These days the best of them are finding the first rays of daylight on blogs.

We here at Roarprawn have broken many stories about Ngai Tahu, its leadership and even clowns and thats just a few tiddlers in the last few weeks.

So we reckon that Mr Murphy's quick reaction to Cactus's revelations shows he is bloody scared.
The story is being extensively run on blogs both left at Red Alert
and right like Whale at Gotcha and Inquiring Mind

And the fact Murphy himself has given the story legs by devoting some time to refuting it in his own publication says that he may be the master of spin but a stranger to the truth.

Sadly we find no joy that the publications the nations trust have their balls in the vice grip of the bean counters.

Blogs are rocking the establishment... how long before they rule?

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