Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Let’s write the paper for them!

Let’s write the paper for them!

Thu, Jan 31 2013

Yesterday’s HB Today ran a press release — you might have mistaken it for a news article — presenting the views of the Maori representative on the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s dam project stakeholders group.

There was no reportage … indeed no value or insight added at all by HB Today. They simply re-published, with a bit of editorial re-arranging, a media release issued by the Regional Council … or more officially, its creature, the Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC).

I have no problem with HBRC/HBRIC promoting the views of one of its dam salesmen (although I know several Maori who have examined the dam issues more carefully than Dr Maaka, and have arrived at opposite conclusions). That’s the job of the well-resourced HBRC/HBRIC communications team. Next I expect will hear ‘news’ via HBT from stakeholders Sam Robinson, Jim Scotland, and Andy Pearce regarding how thrilled they are with the project.

I do, however, take issue with HB Today presenting media releases as though they were reporting something. Maaka’s piece should have been properly labeled as a opinion column. No reporter interviewed him; no reporter pushed back against his command of the facts or his interpretation of them.

This is standard practice at HB Today. Every professional and most amateurs working in communications in Hawke’s Bay know how easy it is to spoon feed the paper.

In fact, all of us ‘newsmakers’ could get together sometime, send our releases in on the same day, and effectively write the paper for them!

Like every other communicator in Hawke’s Bay, I and projects I’ve promoted have benefited from HB Today’s eagerness to fill column inches as easily and cheaply as possible.

But is that the ‘journalism’ people in Hawke’s Bay deserve?

Personally, I’m happy to make a case for any coverage I seek on behalf of any issue or cause … and just as happy to respond to any push-back or cross-examination.

If more of that occurred regarding HBT’s news reporting, with a level playing field for everyone seeking coverage, Hawke’s Bay Today would be a better paper, more respected in the community, and more read.

Better to focus on that, as opposed to what size the publication is.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news