Where are the journalists going?

There are continuing concerns about journalists being gradually culled from major media organisations. NZ herald is one of the latest to show some the door.

This exchange on Twitter commented on some of that and asked lamented the thinning ranks of journalists.

Deeply concerned about right tilt in media. Now Campbell, Rudman, Drinnan gone and Weldon running Mediaworks.

Campbell has gone to a better place and… my god you’re not suggesting Drinnan is a leftie?!

@DavidCunliffeMP

He is at least an independent and critical voice re media – how thin the critical media voices now are!

To an extent that is a concern, but a signs of rapidly changing times. However there was an interesting response.

Well, you should stop bloody poaching them. Ihaka, Faafoi, Moroney ..

Sarah Stuart, Phil Twyford, Danya Levy and a little bit of David Cohen….. you have quite the Press Room.

He was making the point that political parties poach quite a few journalists.This not only reduces media experience but it pits poached experience against the reporters.

Going through those names – these three are MPs:

Kris Faafoi:

Kris lives in Titahi Bay, Porirua and was elected as the Member of Parliament for Mana in November 2010 following more than a decade working as a journalist at both TVNZ and the BBC – giving him a strong commitment to public service broadcasting. – Labour website.

Sue Moroney:

Has been an MP since 2005. Sue is a mum, a former journalist and a proud Hamiltonian and so she is a champion for early intervention and strong regional development plans. – Labour website.

Phil Twyford:

New voices: Sam Lotu-Iiga, Phil Twyford and David Garrett

MP for Te Atatu. Formerly a journalist at the now defunct Auckland Star and Sunday Star, and a union organiser, before starting his career at Oxfam as its NZ division’s founding CEO.

And ex-journalists in the Labour staff:

Jodi Ihaka:

Ihaka takes up Senior Communications Advisor role

Putting Māori Members of Parliament (MPs) at the forefront of important New Zealand politics is Jodi Ihaka’s plan, as she was recently appointed the Labour Party’s new Senior Communications Advisor (Māori).

“I’m really excited to use my communication skills in such an important Māori advisory capacity.  I have loved my time at Whakaata Māori (Māori Television) and have nothing but respect for the Māori journalists on Te Kāea and Native Affairs,” says Ihaka.

The position sees Ihaka take on a key advisory role to Labour leader, Andrew Little as well as Māori MPs including Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare, Louisa Wall, Meka Whaitiri, Nanaia Mahuta and Adrian Rurawhe.

Sarah Stuart:

Former Woman’s Weekly editor is Labour’s new chief spin doctor

Labour leader Andrew Little has appointed a former editor of the Woman’s Weekly Sarah Stuart as his chief press secretary and head of media and communications.

Stuart, whose other former roles include deputy editor of the Herald On Sunday and the Sunday Star Times and head of APN’s regional and daily community newspapers, has also worked in Sydney as a journalist.

Danya Levy:

Former political journo turned Labour Party press secretary. @danyalevy  (ex Dominion Post)

David Cohen is a freelance journalist who has done some work for Labour and Andrew Little:

Little under fire for unpaid workerFreelance journalist David Cohen was called into work on Mr Little’s campaign for the Labour leadership in October. His role was to distil Mr Little’s ideas

He did the job, sent an invoice, but nothing. So Mr Cohen complained in print in the latest National Business Review.

And David Cunliffe should know a bit about the journalist drift into politics.

Cunliffe appoints Cunliffe as chief press secretary

Labour leader David Cunliffe has appointed journalist Simon Cunliffe as his chief press secretary and media director.

Simon Cunliffe has been a deputy editor of the Otago Daily Times and a deputy editor of The Press in Christchurch.

That’s just for Labour.

National MP Paul Goldsmith may not have been a journalist but was a press secretary for and speech writer for Phil Goff (Labour), Simon Upton (National) and John Banks (National).

Does anyone know of any other ex journos in Parliament as MPs or working for parties?

Little slammed and slammed again

The Little payment debacle seems to have been played down here. It’s an awful look for Andrew Little and will take a lot to recover from.

The problems are detailed by David Farrar: Incompetence from Little and Labour

1. Hiring a right wing journalist to advise on your Labour Party leadership campaign in the first place
2. Not paying him promptly when invoiced on 10 November
3. Not responding to the next three e-mails from Cohen asking to be paid
4. The Leader’s Chief of Staff gets involved on 22 December and doesn’t get it paid that day or even tell the Leader
5. Two weeks later still unpaid, and COS gets e-mailed again.
6. Another three weeks goes by and it is unpaid, and the journalist (NB journalist!) has to e-mail again
7. The COS finally tells Little at the end of January and Little doesn’t get it paid that day
8. Another week and another reminder and still no action
9. Little gives a speech on how Labour wants to help small businesses, infuriating the self-employed journalist who e-mails again, now angry. Warning bells should be ringing loudly by now.
10. Two more weeks later Cohen writes an article in NBR that appears in their print edition last Friday complaining he has not been paid. The incompetence is so huge that this does not result in a payment being made by end of day, but is ignored
11. Four days later Steven Joyce raises the non payment in the House and finally it is paid
12. When confronted over the bad look for the Labour Leader to not be paying a worker the money he is owed, Little gets angry at the media and demands they call him a contractor not a worker!

Farrar also points out:

The public rate competence well ahead of ideology.

It’s not just the public who will be querying his competence (in particular the small business part of the public that Little is targeting for support).

But when the media spot incompetence they punish it. And when they get a bad reaction from their target they punish that too.

And a comment at Kiwiblog slams Little some more.

Little’s leadership campaign was a personal campaign and nothing to do with the Labour Party machine per see, so McCarten isn’t to blame at all. Thius is Andrew’s mess pure and simple as the CEO of his Leadership Campaign…..

Little should have had his campaign staff organised with a simple Accounts Payable spreadsheet recording all entities engaged, their tasks, agreed costs, whether those costs had been paid in part of in full, contact details etc.

The fact his staff weren’t organised and didn’t under take simple management of the engagements and costs indicates Little doesn’t have good organisational skills and/or good leadership skills – as obviously his campaign staff cocked it up completely and the work of his staff is a reflection of him interms of staff selection and management

He then compounds it by getting angry with the media. Why just not say yip organisational snafu by the campaign team, just found out about it and have paid up.

And then to top it off the Contractor v Worker BS. Personally as a CONTRACTOR myself I find his characterisation of a CONTRACTOR as not a WORKER bloody insulting!!!! Just because I’m not a Corporate/SME employee or a Unionised employee doesn’t mean I don’t damn well work for a living and am therefore not a WORKER.

Andrew thanks for confirming I shouldn’t listen to Labour any more – you have confirmed if I’m not an employee then I am not someone you give a damn about except as a potential source of additional taxes to fund your redistribution dreams…

Oh and great job distracting from Nationals multiple mismangaments of issues lately [Sabin/Sky City] I am sure Joyce will shout you a drink in Bellamys in thanks….

Little’s learning curve suddenly turns his public image to looking far less favourable.

And to top it off Cameron Slater gets in a payback dig:

And Cameron Slater points out of course that one of the condemnations in DIRTY POLITICS was that certain journalists did work for politicians, and lobby groups, and other interests without clearly revealing full authorship.