Message to Mitch: “Dude, you’ve got egg on your egg.”

March 13, 2010

How could the editorial executives at the Sunday Star Times have thought that pulling a stunt like infiltrating the crowd at a provincial rugby game with reporters carrying fake terrorist gear would ever be a good idea?
As we say in the news business: “It’ll all end in tears.”
In this case, perhaps the tears of a newsroom clown forced to fall on his or her sword and take the blame.

I had a chat with TVNZ 7’s Miriama Kamo yesterday evening. I made the point – also made by Jim Tully in today’s Herald – that the premise of the story is dodgy from the start.

Security at a 14s or provincial rugby match today – a year or more out from the Rugby World Cup – is not going to be as tight – in fact the main security ‘threat’ is that spectators try to smuggle in their own cheaper booze. So the premise of “testing” the security arrangements that might be in place for the RWC doesn’t hold water.

The only ground for defending the SST‘s actions would be a favourable comparison to the Schiphol airport sting which is also in the papers this week. It would be a defence based on a high threshold of public interest, but I don’t think a stunt at a provincial rugby ground is quite the same.

I also think it’s ethically questionable and probably is a technical breach of at least three clauses in the EPMU Code of Ethics.

The SST – terrorists at the rugby stunt has become a real “What were they thinking?” moment. And we might argue, a failure of leadership in the newsroom hierarchy.

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Sunday papers – Sunday funnies

February 14, 2010

A brief round up of the Sunday funnies

Name that crim…

Whaleoil -aka the blogger Cameron Slater – must be feeling a little chuffed this morning, his ‘name and shame’ campaign got a morale boost from two columnists.

Kerre Woodham in the HoS and Rosemary McLeod in the SST are both on board with the Whale’s crusade to have a Manawatu man exposed as a serial downloader of child porn. The man has name suppression – to protect his wife, not him – but there’s been a teacup full of storm about lifting name suppression so that other men in the region aren’t under a cloud of suspicion.

My feeling is that anyone who needs to know who this guy is probably already does,  so lifting name suppression is really only going to satisfy some public curiosity, not actually improve the standard of living in Manawatu. Read the rest of this entry »