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  • rmacculloch

Radio NZ's Russian editing scandal is the reason why I stopped writing for the mainstream Kiwi media

Before the scandal erupted over how Radio NZ journalists had edited stories supplied to them by Reuters - and then published them under the Reuters name, even though Reuters had no idea they had been edited - I told the NZ Herald that I was no longer prepared to write for them for related reasons. Namely, the paper had been changing the headlines & editing my articles without my permission, then releasing them under my name.


I complained & they told us a condition of publication was that they reserved the right to change articles if they saw fit. I asked to see their edited draft so at least I could approve any changes after they'd done them. They refused. How can you write for the mainstream media when they release articles under your name that they have changed to alter their meaning without the author's knowledge?


Here is an example. I wrote an article for the Herald on the Reserve Bank which said:


"So what has been driving the RBNZ? Populism. Incompetence".


which the newspaper changed in their published version to:


"So what has been driving OCR decisions? Populism."


Apparently no-one is allowed to question the Reserve Bank's competency so such lines must be censored.


This happened awhile ago & ended my written commentary in the Kiwi media. I get it that the Herald doesn't want to be sued for libel - but if an article is libelous then why not just reject it fully? Now, knowing about the Radio NZ Russian editing scandal, I realize I was witnessing the origins of that problem - since journalists are routinely editing & changing the meaning of articles sent to them by the likes of me, Reuters, & God Knows Who Else, then releasing them under our names, without showing us their "revised" version beforehand.


No wonder the public are fast losing faith in the integrity of our media.


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