About Ethical Martini

This blog is written in a style that attempts to emulate the late, great Hunter S Thompson.If you don’t like it you consider my effort a failure, if you find it amusing, then I have met the challenge. If you don’t care then neither do I.

It is Gonzo in expression and should not be mistaken for, or compared to, writing I do that is more academic and measured in tone. This blog is a reflection of Ethical Martini and should not be read as the whole essence of who I am. I deliberately use a literary method that draws on Orwell – truth is a revolutionary act and Gonzo – the first-person, colourful, forceful, satirical and humorous affect of HST.

If you take this blog too seriously or read too much out of it, then I apologise in advance for offending you. If, on the other hand, you are of a species known as “dribblejaws” and you’re looking for a fight over politics or language, then this is probably not the place for you.
I get angry at injustice and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, though I prefer bomb-chucking to foxhole digging.

I enjoy life, including the occasional martini; you should too.

I am trying to make a living from this work. If you like what I do, please consider a small donation via PayPal

21 Responses to About Ethical Martini

  1. Sonia says:

    I need your advise on reporting on trauma, grief. Please advise on the below matter.

    Forty-year-old, Nickson, has jumps onto the path of a moving MRT train and you are at the scene. You see his wife, approach her, and she is openly sharing her grief with you. She tells you that her husband was depressed for the last 3 months. She can’t believe he has passed away. She then goes on to tell you that he is the chairman of a local family-run pastry franchise. She realised six months ago, that he had a gambling habit and was $1million dollar in debt and to evade the torments of loan sharks, he had dipped into the company’s coffers and it was heading for insolvency. What do you do? Shall i report? I am lost, please advise. Thank you.

  2. Course you do love! Just make sure you tell her what media organisation you’re from before she goes too far.

    Talk softly. Stay calm.

    This is not about you, it’s about her. Listen. Carefully. Report. Truthfully. Luckily, you are just the messenger , )

  3. Jolyon Sykes says:

    Sorry this is a bit late: You have the opportunity to tell her story. I suggest you adopt a collaborative approach with fully informed consent: “Let’s work on this together”. Check all facts even more thoroughly than you usually do. Avoid sensationalism or hijacking of her story to suit your or your editor’s agenda. Keep control of the story as it goes through the news process; it’s amazing how easily errors can creep in via headlines, teasers, block lines, and subbing.

  4. Reesh Lyon says:

    Hello Mr Hirst.

    I appreciate your comment on my blog, and further appreciate you having my blog in your rss feed.

    However, please be aware that my surname (Lyon) has no ‘s’.

    Other than that, all good. I look forward to more robust debate in the future.


    Reesh Lyon.

  5. DEAR Eric ,
    The Internet has transformed how we communicate with the public, but there are still many challenges in making information easy to find. Since you cover web 2.0 in Ethical Martini, I thought you might be interested in a study that my nonprofit published this summer about how people find information online. The study covers three groups: non-profit organizations and cities; web designers and firms; and the general public.
    The study was fascinating on a number of levels, and I invite you to read the executive summary or download a PDF of the findings at http://www.idea.org/find-information.html .
    The survey results sparked ideas about tools we could provide that might make finding information online easier. This fall, we will start beta testing a cool new new navigational tool. I don’t have your email, so if you are interested, you can sign up for our beta here: http://www.spicynodes.org/ or to stay abreast of our (very) occasional new projects, you can get our newsletter here: http://www.idea.org/newsletter.html

  6. william hanks says:

    I read with great interest Martin Hirst’s comment, “We [in NZ] are much more inclined to go the ‘critical thinking and evaluatiion route,” referring to measureable skills in journalism education. At Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, our Dept. of Communication has used standardized critical thinking tests in pre and post tests to evaluate student achievement of thinkin skills as an effect of instruction and experience. The tests were The California critical thinking skills test (1993) and The California critical thinking dispositions iventory. Millbrae, CA: The Academic Press. In surveys of U.S. journalism educators nationwide we found no other j ed curricul that used standardized test. Mr. Hirst, in his post, seemed to wonder how critical thinking skills could be evaluated. He suggested essays might work, and they do if judged on a reliable rating scale, or rubric, according to a hierarchy of thinking skills. This post is to inquire of Mr. Hirst or other, how they would measure critical thinking in journaism education, and to offer a source for of such measures which might be useful. Here is a dite to a chapter my coauthor and I published: “Critical Thinking” Ruminski and Hanks(1997)in Media Education Assessment Handbook. W.Christ (ed). Muhwah, N.J: Lawerence Erlbam Associates. I’d like to hear from participant-bloggers William Hanka

  7. ludditejourno says:

    Hey Martin, (this is not really a comment)

    I’m a journalism student at Whitireia, and I’m currently working on a feature article about the relationship between the blogosphere in New Zealand and the development of public policy. I had a few questions I was hoping you might be able to help me with – and I’m happy to talk to you on or off the record.

    Firstly, what kind of impact, if any, do you think the blogosphere had on the last election result? Do you think there are any particular issues/public policy bloggers have been most influential upon? And if so, how does that relationship work?

    Secondly, I want to track a case example if possible – if you can think of one that has caught your eye, I’d love to hear it.

    I’m happy to talk to you about this rather than email if it’s more convenient for you, and I’m really keen to hear your thoughts, or hear of anyone else you think it might be useful for me to talk to.


    Sandra Dickson
    Whitireia Journalism School
    021 105 5737
    (04) 237 3100 ext 3985

  8. midfield says:

    Hello, Martin. Count me in. Maybe I can develop a regular Letter From Manila piece for you. Best regards. 🙂

  9. midfield says:

    Hi Martin,

    Here’s a site that you may find useful:


    Cheers. 🙂

  10. bustedblonde says:

    i have just discovered your blog! excellent stuff. I have a link to the Newswire blog , cos they email from time to time and we swap info. Anyway going to link yours as I know that Roarprawn is pretty popular among journos..

    Regards BB

  11. Lii says:

    Ethical – what exactly does that mean? – or does it mean what you want it to mean, as in publishing contributions that match your ideology, while dropping the rest in the bin? Fool your public you may, but sooner or later you’ll look in the mirror and say “What a waste , I could have been a real ‘journalist’.

  12. Sorry Lili, I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. “ethical” means no animals were hurt in the mixing of the “martini”. What other possible interpretation could there be?
    As for my comments policy. I haven’t deleted any comments except obvious spam.
    Everyone’s first comment is moderated, but once you leave a comment at EM you can come back and comment without any moderation.
    I don’t tolerate dribblejaws, but they seem to understand that and, by and large, you will find that EM is troll-free.

  13. The Gisborne Harold says:

    Halloo, just a wee announcement, google:
    The Glob that is The Gisborne Herald
    for a variation on Speaking Your Branes crossed with Editing The Herald (says Me).
    In this case its the journalists, Editor and columnists that provide the munitions and targets.
    G’wan give it a go, shine a light

  14. The Gisborne Harold says:

    Dear EM, Out here on the Wild East Coast, where cattle are mutilated by local aliens, and gun lobbies get special privileges ( I think I better go and hide in a city) theres been developments.
    On Tuesday I was offered by The Gisborne Herald Editorial Manager, Jeremy Muir,(scion of the local Muir family publishing dynasty), unedited publication of the letter I’d submitted ‘not for publication’. Even the opportunity to amend it and to be footnoted by Mr Ferris of the Fishing Guide.
    With these assurances I agreed.
    Come Friday and M.Ferris gets his column published – not available in the online edition – and he signals the contents of the following nights edition (see The Glob that is… http://conorjoe.wordpress.com/ )
    Come Saturday and my letter to the Ed is there, but not unamended – as promised – and hello, there’s Ferris’s ‘footnote’, marginally longer than my missive, and ending with murmurs of slander.
    Problem here is that while Ferris can start his Fishing Guide with ‘I’ve just been getting on it with Anne Tolleys husband’ (published only locally) he can then end his ‘footnote’ with ‘I’m not a Nat Party activist, thats slander'(available online). This from a past local Party President.
    Anyhoo, if you get a moment. cheers,

  15. Jeremy Harris says:

    Hello my name is Jeremy Harris and in response to the CERRA I’ve created a facebook group looking to keep pressure on or hopefully, ultimately, amend this very troubling (from a democratic standpoint) Act.

    Here is the group’s link:


    I’m asking if those of you in the blogoshpere could write a quick post linking to it and ask your readers who are worried about our democracy to please join.


    Jeremy Harris

  16. ivo burum says:

    Hi Martin – just got hold of your site but it is now indelibly imprinted as a must read – terrific information – go mojo. Ivo

  17. ivo burum says:

    Maybe your readers might like to check out http://ntmojos.indigenous.gov.au for an update on a new mobile journalist project (mojo) – empowering Indigenous people living in remote Australian communities through digital storytelling using the iPhone.

    For an overview of our mojo production kit, check out http://ntmojos.indigenous.gov.au/index.php/about/the-tools-of-the-trade/

    Or try http://www.burummedia.com.au to get some mojo background and information on the next mojo project. Ivo

  18. john smith says:

    After reading your article on Damien Grant, how can you talk about Media Ethcis when your article was hell bent on ruining someones life even though it happened ages ago and more importantly he paid his dues…. here’s hoping you don’t put a foot wrong or have a shady past, as I’m sure there’s a lot of people queuing up for you Matt

    [EM: John are you in the right place? I’m not sure which article you’re talking about and who’s Matt?]

  19. Sedef says:

    We are currently preparing an exhibition about Karl Marx’ “Das Kapital” opening in September 2017 at the Museum der Arbeit (Museum of Work), Hamburg, Germany. This exhibition looks into the history and today’s relevance of the book as well as its impact on individuals and society.
    For one section, we would like to present photographs, which show the present of Marx – including pictures of people who visit his grave.
    I’ve found a picture of you and would like to ask, if it is okay to present this photo in a series of photos in a projection in the exhibition and in the exhibiton’s catalogue. You would help me a lot, if you answer: sedef.karakan@museum-der-arbeit.de
    Thank you and with best regards,

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