Shayne Currie and the mystery of the ever-changing statement

In my previous post, I quoted the statement posted online by Shayne Currie, NZ Herald editor, in response to questions as to Rachel Glucina’s ethics. It’s a statement that was initially posted, disappeared, and was then re-posted.

What I hadn’t realised is that some quite fundamental changes were made to the statement between being posted and then being re-posted. They’ve been mapped by Peter Aranyi, author of the excellent On The Paepae blog, via Twitter:

Shayne Currie statement

The most pertinent change would seem to be the removal of the words “No objections were raised” from the second-to-last paragraph. Did Mr Currie, on second thoughts, realise that such a statement was indefensible?

Then note, in paragraph three, the inclusion of the phrase, “Regardless of any confusion over the initial approach, all three agreed they wanted to make a public statement.” As I’ve previously written, the  confusion seems to have been manufactured by Glucina, as she first assured everyone involved that she was acting as a PR expert, before abruptly changing tack and donning her NZ Herald journalist hat. Currie seems to accept that Glucina, at the very least, was more than a little unclear about what her role was to be.

And note that final paragraph, in whichever iteration pleases you:

“By then [or By early evening I was assured that] no was in doubt that the article, quotes and photograph were appearing in the Herald.”

Again, Currie’s statement make it abundantly clear that the subjects of the article – the waitress and her employers – had not earlier been aware that Glucina was intending to release their quotes and photo as a Herald scoop. Presumably, after the objections were raised, they were simply told that the Herald were going to publish, regardless of the objections and ethical issues raised.

Questions, questions and more questions…

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2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on Talking Auckland and commented:
    For those in Facebook who have gone
    FOCUS ON ISSUES THAT MATTER

    Sorry but you might not be understanding the role of the 4th Estate which is the Media holding the State to account.

    What we have here is an Editor breaching ethics, ethics so needed when running stories especially sensitive stories and anonymous sources.

    If such ethics are thrown out the window as might be apparent then the 4th Estate is no longer doing its job. And by that they are not holding to account the Government and State on issues like

    Taxes
    Expenditure
    Deployment to Iraq
    Natural Disaster Response
    Conduct of Government, Opposition, and MPs otherwise known as part of The Parliament
    Policy that affects us all one way or the other
    The Police (who have been in the firing line as of late)

    So yes this is now an issue that matters as the 4th Estate is brought into disrepute when it meant to be an arm of our Democratic Institute. That is right the Media are part of our Democratic Institute as much as The Executive, The Legislature/Parliament, The Judiciary, and The State.

  2. Yes, the NZ Herald’s response is certainly revealing.

    “Regardless of any confusion over the initial approach, all three agreed they wanted to make a public statement.”

    It is difficult to see how this statement excuses the NZ Herald’s alleged misconduct or refutes Amanda Bailey’s version of events. The statement is an example of what Wikipedia terms as being weasel words.

    Obviously, a public statement, a press release written in collaboration with and under editorial control of Amanda and the cafe owners, intended for general media release, is not the same thing as an opportunity to provide comment, without editorial oversight in an exclusive scoop penned by career hack. Yet both involve intent to “make a public statement”.

    The NZ Herald is deliberately attempting to blur the distinction.

    If that doesn’t stick in your craw. it should.

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