Slater “a journalist; I was simply doing my job”

Cameron Slater has started giving his side of the story in the defamation cases by and against Colin Craig.

Stuff: Cameron Slater defends Colin Craig blog posts

Cameron Slater has told a court he was simply doing his job when he published allegations Colin Craig had sexually harassed his former press secretary Rachel MacGregor.

Giving his brief of evidence on Tuesday, Slater said he was just a journalist chasing a story.

“The difference between my conduct and other journalists is that I never write anything that does not agree with my libertarian and conservative viewpoints.”

He said he received payment for individual posts on his blog.

“With regards to payment for posts, this is a standard journalistic endeavour these days. It is commonly called native advertising or sponsored content.”

The sudden resignation of MacGregor two days out from the 2014 election had turned Craig into an object of intense media interest.

“I am by profession a journalist; I was simply doing my job. I investigated along with all political media a sex scandal and Colin Craig’s attempt to cover it up.”

Can you have a sex scandal without sex?

I’m not going to make any judgement on whether Slater was acting like a responsible journalist in this case or not, or whether that matters in a defamation case, but I well  that the way Slater sometimes operates is nothing like a journalist simply doing a job on what his lawyer referred to as “a small blog site”.

It will be up to Craig to make his case, and for Slater to defend his actions, and vice versa given that they are claiming defamation against each other.

It would be good if the judgment could result in getting some idea about what is acceptable and what isn’t in blog journalism, especially when it crosses over onto political activism and business.

Traditional media tends to separate put journalism and story writing from revenue gathering – payments are generally made for advertising rather than stories for a fee, but the lines are getting blurred in the modern world of media survival.

Next Post

28 Comments

  1. John Schmidt

     /  May 16, 2017

    So when your arse is on a platter in a defamation court case its a small blog site but when this threat is taken away its the biggest blog ever that has total control over public opinion and if dirty politics is to be believed they alone operate the levers of government.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 16, 2017

      Er….something like that ! 😀

  2. Tipene

     /  May 16, 2017

    Brian Henry’s attack on Bev Adair Beets (also reported in this story) was an appalling and desperate attempt to discredit a witness.

    What Slater did wasn’t journalism, it was digital muck-raking, and even now he is trying to set the narrative via his testimony to the Court.

    The MSM will now no doubt feed on Slater appropriately over the next few days, for Slater daring to bring the craft of journalism into disrepute (if indeed such a thing is still possible).

    As Slater has now admitted that his work is “sponsored content”, I wonder if we will ever get to the bottom of who sponsored the attack posts against Craig?

    [I’ll leave this as presumed opinion but there has been no evidence presented as far as I’m aware that from media reports that the posts targeting Craig were paid for or not. It is well known that some (undisclosed) posts at WO are paid for, and Slater admits this, which as far as journalism goes I think is quite unethical, but not specifically that any posts about Craig were paid for by someone else.PG]

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 16, 2017

      It’s hard to imagine who WOULD pay for this story.

      Whaley is a journalist ? Is he serious ? He’s gutter press-if that.

      • Gezza

         /  May 16, 2017

        Well, back when he was making a name for himself as the caped-crusader against Court-ordered name suppression (& before he became an apparent fan of name supression in some cases) his blog was attracting enough interested readers to make it worthwhile paying him to write hit pieces I expect. His was the first nz blog I ever read.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 16, 2017

          This story is old and tired and is well past its best-by date, it’s hard to imagine anyone still thinking it worthwhile to pay for him to muckrake on it. It wasn’t all that interesting to start with, and it has become less and less so….I can’t believe that I am the only one who groans and mentally switches off whenever it appears on the news. Why we had ro be regaled with what was essentially the same story over and over is beyond me. The press does seem to flog stories to death.

  3. I see at Whale Oil that Peter Belt is still at least aiding and abetting and leaving in place some fairly questionable comments about Craig. Is he being legally naive, arrogant, or deliberately provocative I wonder.

  4. Tipene

     /  May 16, 2017

    There is an easy test to determine the reach of Slater’s blog.

    Pick 10 people at random on the street, and go and ask them if they have ever read ‘Whaleoil”.

    You will be lucky to get one affirmative response.

    “Whaleoil” is a cult-blog, a digital sect if you will, that at one stage was heavily utilised for a political lobby elite.

    Now that the entire Whaleoil crew and it’s “shallow state” supporters have been exposed, it exists merely for click-bait entertainment, an online “curio” that will eventually reach it’s natural shelf life and use-by date.

    Because the measure we use, is the measure that is used against us.

    • “Pick 10 people at random on the street, and go and ask them if they have ever read ‘Whaleoil”.

      You will be lucky to get one affirmative response.”

      I certainly think that most won’t have heard of WO.

      That’s why, despite raging against mainstream media, Slater relies on them to give stories he wants to push credibility and reach.

      • Tipene

         /  May 16, 2017

        Pete: 100 bloody upticks to that last comment.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 16, 2017

          Deinde centum, dein mille altera, as Catullus said.

          Stop 1000 people and ask them, and the result would be the same.

      • Gezza

         /  May 16, 2017

        I’m pretty sure I first heard of Cam when he popped up in a link in one of Bryce Edwards’ good old weekly Political Roundups. So the fact I went & read his blog is Bryce Edwards’ fault.

    • Corky

       /  May 16, 2017

      Depends if you add Slater’s name to the question about knowing of the Whaleoil blog. In fact I may put that to the test and ask random people. I usually say I’m a polytech journalism student when I survey people. Demographics would also play a role…lets face it, in South Auckland Whaleoil would be considered a hip hop crew.

      • Blazer

         /  May 16, 2017

        no wonder your ‘surveys’ are unreliable…talk about an old head…on ..old shoulders’…um..is that how it goes…young…student?

        • Corky

           /  May 16, 2017

          At least I can walk.

          • Blazer

             /  May 16, 2017

            yes you can,but…can you..talk..the ..talk..?

          • Blazer

             /  May 16, 2017

            so you can walk and hear ,…do you need a white..cane…can you see..where you are..going?

    • Conspiratoor

       /  May 16, 2017

      “Now that the entire Whaleoil crew and it’s “shallow state” supporters have been exposed”

      Okay now they’ve been exposed you will have no trouble stepping up to the plate and naming the “entire Whaleoil crew and it’s “shallow state” supporters”.

      Waiting…

      • Blazer

         /  May 16, 2017

        Con is a card carrying…SS…supporter’.

        • Conspiratoor

           /  May 16, 2017

          What is a “card carrying…SS…supporter”?

          • Blazer

             /  May 16, 2017

            ‘shallow state’,apparantly.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  May 16, 2017

              Oh I see. Yes, very good. I was worried you saw me as an Aryan with a big stick who had a thing for homosexuals, Jews and gypsies

            • Blazer

               /  May 16, 2017

              @Con…Aryan is a term that is to say the least,very..confusing.

  5. duperez

     /  May 16, 2017

    Our dog barks at people who walk up the road past our place. He doesn’t speak English (that I know) but I reckon his behaviour and the quality of his commenting on neighbourhood activity qualifies him to be called a journalist if there is validity in the the claim of Slater.

  6. PDB

     /  May 16, 2017

    Slater is right, he is a journalist – hence the state of journalism in the world today.

    • Corky

       /  May 16, 2017

      Thank you. I was waiting for someone to state the obvious.

  1. Slater “a journalist; I was simply doing my job” – NZ Conservative Coalition