Metro Mag: Current Affairs.
Over the weekend, among other things, we learned more about Cameron Slater’s view of his influence on leading journalists. Several names have surfaced, including Jared Savage, David Fisher and Fran O’Sullivan at the New Zealand Herald, and Matt Nippert at Fairfax. “The editors” of the Herald are also mentioned in Nicky Hager’s book.
Savage, Fisher and Nippert are three of the most intrepid investigative journalists we have in this country. We now know from the Slater emails that all were in close enough contact with Slater for him to boast he was manipulating them.
That will be embarrassing for them, and embarrassing for a very much larger number of journalists as well. We all cultivate sources, and we all know that many of those sources try to play us. This is true not just for political journalists but for all journalists. Restaurants, tourism agencies, cosmetics companies… in all sorts of ways, everyone looking for good press does their best to influence us. And, in my experience, the rule of thumb is that the ones who are “friendliest” are the ones working hardest to compromise our independent judgment.
And yet the friendliest contacts often also the best sources. They tell you more. Just as they find value in staying friendly with you, so you find value in staying friendly with them.
Knowing how to draw the line on what they tell you isn’t easy. I imagine most journalists have from time to time realised they have been played – that they have written or broadcast something that turned out to serve a partisan interest at the expense of the truth.
Read more here:
Acknowledgements: Metro Mag.
- Slater facing breach of privacy charge
- Collins resigns: Jared Savage and Fran O’Sullivan respond
- The Blomfield Files – #Operation Haresay, the day Jono di
- Judith Collins: ‘I can’t discuss that’
- PRESS DIGEST-New Zealand newspapers – Sept. 2
- Slater pushes back against Hager