Failure to adequately disclose authorship

In Stuff fails disclosure test David Farrar holds Stuff to account at Kiwiblog for failing to disclose that the author of an article promoting a Forest and Bird promotion was the online communications coordinator for Forest & Bird.

There is an article at Stuff called Ten things you never knew about New Zealand’s birds.

…I then noted the author was Kimberley Collins, and I realised (as I knew Kimberley worked for Forest & Bird) that it is not an article by a journalist, but an advertorial by Forest & Bird. But nowhere is it disclosed.

…what is wrong is the Fairfax didn’t put a statement on the article saying Kimberley is the online communications coordinator for Forest & Bird. If you did not happen to know this (as I did), then you would assume it is an article written by a Fairfax journalist called Kimberley Collins.

In this case it was relatively harmless but at best it’s sloppy from Stuff.

It’s not as bad as Whale Oil attributing posts to Cameron Slater when they have been written by someone else with a political or commercial agenda.

But it doesn’t adequately inform readers of the connection an author has with topic of a promotional article.

Repeaters posing as reporters is poor practice.

Leave a comment


  1. traveller

     /  27th October 2015

    Slater is on a class of his own as far as source attribution goes. What do you call the constant berating of “a newspaper” for their reporting, but using their columns as your source, day in and day out, with attribution.
    I call it pathetic and childish.

    • Without ‘a newspaper’ – agreed, childish and churlish – Slater would have very little material to work with. I pointed this out some time ago, didn’t go down all that well though.
      And with Cook’s daft paid for stories, the difficulty of producing news is perhaps starting to hit home for Captain Oblivious.

  2. traveller

     /  27th October 2015

    Slater, like most narcissists, has an irony bypass SPC. You can’t see hypocrisy without it.


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