NZ Herald’s handling of Rachinger stories

Yesterday NZ Herald posted an article on the Ben Rachinger/Jessica Williams/Mediaworks story with some detail and a number of quotes, so David Fisher had put some time and effort into researching and writing it.

Within a couple of hours that article was removed. But in the modern online media world that was too late, it had already been reported and repeated in Australia on at least two news sites.

I know Matt Nippert from NZ Herald had been sniffing around the Rachinger claims on Slater/The Standard since February, but I never noticed them reporting on it except for when they followed up on The Nation’s coverage on Saturday.

This was promoted by the Herald’s media reporter John Drinnan:

Blogger accused of paying hacker via @nzherald…

I replied:

@Zagzigger @nzherald Why have different media waited this long and only followed once @thenation reported it?


Herald have been running stories.

But I searched on Ben Rachinger at the Herald and got no hits apart from Saturday’s Nation followup (Right-wing blogger accused of paying off hacker).

I’ve searched again right now and I get that same article plus a reference in Bryce Edwards’ political roundup on Monday – Political roundup: Dirty Politics ‘done dirt cheap’.

Nothing prior to those two.

I’ve tried some other searches, from NZ Herald and via Google, and can’t find any other reference.

Why did Drinnan claim they had been running stories when it appears they haven’t? I tweeted back to Drinnan disputing his claim but he didn’t respond.

Why did they pull yesterday’s story?

Leave a comment


  1. Reginald Perrin

     /  10th June 2015

    The answer lies in ownership. The Herald is owned by NZME (which also now owns The Radio Network, including Newstalk ZB). Ms Williams is employed by Radio Live, owned by Mediaworks, NZME’s main competitor.

    I think you’ll find NZME seized the chance to embarrass a rival broadcaster, both at an individual and a corporate level. And I suspect the Herald received an e-mail or phonecall from a Mediaworks lawyer, after which the story was pulled. The silly Herald however had already syndicated the story, so it can’t simply be buried.

  2. Collusion i would say – starve any air from the story in the hope it goes away

  3. Missy

     /  10th June 2015

    I agree with The Tyrant, I think this is a simple case of collusion, and journalists protecting one of their own. No NZ media (except for the NZ Herald briefly) seems to have run with this story, yet if it was anyone else it would be lead news at 6pm and front pages on both Stuff and NZ Herald.


     /  10th June 2015

    @the tyrant – explains a lot about his irrational behaviour


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