MEDIAWATCH: RNZs re-edit dramas are an internal turf war between underfunded departments and ignores all the pro-China, pro-Israel and pro-American disinformation from NZ msm


The fiasco at RNZ over their supposed biased re-edits misses what has actually happened here.

5 years ago when RNZ started their digital news department (without it being under the editorial control of the News Dpetament) it was met at the time with the exact criticisms that have been harvested now.

The criticism was that the Journalistic oversight required to run a digital arm wasn;’t funded and would end up with copy being printed that hadn’t been given appropriate oversight.

All the journalist at the centre of this fiasco is guilty of is doing their job! He was adding context to news stories taken off overseas media wires, he wasn’t a Russian 5th colonist FFS.

He worked from home, doing a job no one was funded to oversee until an anonymous right wing blogger compared stories and the rest of the media picked it up and ran with it.

What this fiasco and attempt to paint RNZ out as some compromised media source utterly misses all the other pro-Israel, pro-American and pro-China propaganda that our mainstream media are awash with.

How many times has the NZ Herald been caught peddling Chinese propaganda?

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How many times do American interests and Israeli interests get sold to us as our own by the mainstream media?

A work from home journalist  subbing copy at a poorly over sighted and underfunded State Radio broadcaster with internal turf wars over who has editorial control is not the infiltration of bias that it’s being sold as, but it does conveniently eclipse the real bias in our wider media landscape.


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  1. How’s about just shutting it all down?

    We need truck drivers. Maybe some of these ‘journalists’ could get their heavy trades licence and become useful in society.

    • But then where would the social activists or the book authors get publicity and unquestioning interviews?

    • You mean allow the right and the far right to implement their facism without scrutiny? No thanks.

      The journalist espouses conspiracy theories.

    • We need truck drivers like we need pollution. You say some dumb shit andrew but that’s up there.
      What we really need is electric rail but wait, 13% of all electricity generated goes to the Tiwai smelter.
      What we really, really need is more farmers. I’m going to pop most Aucklander’s bubble and say that there is a world beyond Auckland’s puffed up self importance, and let’s face it, it’s all that Auckland’s going to have left once the terrible truth that’s scratching at Auckland’s kitchen door gnaws it’s way inside. Yes, you’re broke as fuck. And no, you don’t generate your own income. The money you don’t really have is in logical fallacies like ‘real estate’ and ‘commerce’. Two x bullshit La La Land logical fallacies that’s dragging the real Aotearoa / New Zealand down. I have to ask. Can any Aucklander describe ‘farm land’? Yes, it’s mostly flat-ish, yes, it’s mostly green and yes, there are strange creatures that inhabit it. And they’re called ‘farm-ers’ or ‘fa-mah’s to Aucklanders, and they, ‘farm’. Yes. Amazing. And here’s Auckland thinking that ‘food’ was built behind frilly rosy Ponsonby verandahs by Elves using magic frog shit to materialise lamb, mint and potato’s. Bubble. Popped.
      But wait, there’s more. The real, desperate deal, is that now that roger rat and his scantily clad neoliberalism slunk from the shadows with its tits out and boldly ripped us all off, there are no more family jewels left to hock to bent scum to on-sell. The 14 multi-billionaires and they 3118 multi-millionaires will be on the first plane outa here while we’re left to gloss over the chaos they’ll leave in their wake. Ask Wayne Brown how being the mayor of the dead town walking’s working out for him?
      Farmer money built Auckland. Farmer money built every other town and city in our beautiful AO/NZ.
      Farmer money built every single one of the state owned assets that roger stole to be sold by crooks in suits in Rollers, in beautiful houses now living in tits-up Auckland.
      I can see [exciting’ times ahead for AO/NZ in the coming months and years. And only those of you who are multi-talented, can grow your own, have freehold homes and can multi-task will survive relatively unscathed.
      The rest of you are likely a bit fucked I’m afraid but I’m sure the multi-billionaires and the multi-millionaires will come to your rescue… Bahahhahahahahh aa ah ………. Can’t breath-can’t breath……….. Babababababahhahahahah Ha Ha Ha Ha Ba hahahahhahahahahahahahaa ahaa hahahahahahahaha !

    • Yep, and fruit pickers and kitchen hands and there are always burgers to flip. The job market has never been better for underperforming journos to upskill.
      RNZ have certainly made a sound case for defunding their operation, perhaps that’s the real story here.

    • Sounds good to me.
      Aside from that, government should not under any circumstances ve funding journalism, let alone funding it with constraints on journalistic freedom.
      It’s all very fascist.

      • Jays Funding the Human Rights Commissioner to go to Wellington to protest at a “ Let Women Speak” event seems pretty fascist – as well as misogynistic.

  2. It seems to me that people are in the wrong jobs. The sub-editor, Hall who corrected the bs news feed from Reuters needs to be promoted into the Heads job that, that P Thompson needs to vacate!

    Hall seems to know what he is doing whereas the Head doesn’t.

    Here’s another example of pure MSM media & Reuter’s bs.

    The African leaders who were in kyiv on their way to Moscow for a hui with Putin.

    Reuters claim they were in kyiv during a missile attack on kyiv where the African leaders were in their hotel. The Africans are calling out MSM , Reuters BS! It Didn’t Happen! There was no missile attack.

    • For those readers that cant cope with RT, the African did tweet this, said people were going about their normal business.It’s part of Ukraine’s PR to run air sirens every time a dignitary visits Kiev.Happens every time, nothing to do with incoming missiles

  3. Hw wasn’t just adding context. He was editing the stories and still pretending that were simply BBC and Reuters stories. But of course you know this already.
    Given the nature of the edits, they needed to be acknowledged, not simply passed off as Reuters and BBC stories. If that had been done there would been no problem.If there had been such an acknowledgement there would be bio inquiry.
    I am pretty sure Reuters and the BBC will have reminded RNZ of their obligations editing their wire services without any attribution

    • Pretty sure there would have been a problem
      We’re part of 5 Eyes and as such have to toe the line
      The objection seems to be mostly, not that the edited version was unattributed, rather that the added info does not fully validate the state department view of the events in Ukraine.And that means Kremlin garbage in our wonderful impartial news speak.
      Just as we soft pedal news of Israel and Palestine
      The Reuters original article is totally skewed , with no reference to the Russian point of view

    • I’m going out on a limb and assume Reuters require that their reports are acknowledged.
      Applying your criteria it is therefore mandatory that they be repeated verbatim – or not used at all. No fact-checking or correction allowed.
      A dream playbook for propagandists.

      So ok. Don’t use Reuters at all.

      • Richard+Christie. Correct, and Wayne is correct. Decades ago, as foreign news editor on ‘ Critic’ student newspaper, we were routinely uplifting Reuters stories, which we acknowledged as Reuters, because that is precisely what they were and what they were meant to be. It’s astonishing that anyone could alter the content of stories from another source, and still purport that was what that source said. Probably fraudulent, and maybe an intellectual property rights offence, and certainly dishonest.

        I consume little New Zealand msm now, but the thing about Reuters is that they were traditionally regarded as an impeccable news agency, so for the source itself to be contaminated by Radio New Zealand, and be misrepresented, and have it’s reputation be traded on, is sinister, regardless of whatever the issue is, and of course, it is very dishonest.

  4. So the journalist did his job and it is RNZ that is to blame for the misinformation. So the fact that RNZ is upset and feels let down by their employee’s actions is just spin to protect their reputation as a news outlet. Therefore, throwing the employee under the bus, so to speak? What is new?

    A storm in a teacup?

    That aligns with our concerns about the spreading of misinformation and the activities of the mis-information project, how?

  5. R.N.Z. is now its own press agency, with their wire copy regularly appearing in local newspapers. Shouldn’t those articles have been written by their own reporter that had actually been sent Ukraine and Palestine? (Only the two biggest stories in the entire world!)

    Why did the R.N.Z. local radio stations (talk & music) get shut down? Why did their sports coverage cease? Where is their version of Triple J Radio that is only twenty years late (and is supposedly still being worked on)? If the intention is to slowly kill the whole thing off, they’re doing a good job.

  6. I am now far more suspicious of RNZ than before this fake scandal erupted.
    Not because of the (informative and balancing) nature of the edits in question, but because of RNZ’s obvious dedication to parroting a partisan establishment line from agents of US geopolitical interests.

  7. Good on you Martyn , a good read
    I know nothing about this blogger, but he adds to the discussion quite usefully
    “Intentionally or not, the freestyling sub-editing work of a RNZ journalist has highlighted again that RNZ is not the independent public broadcaster that it claims to be. While RNZ might be concerned how a journalist got away with altering copy for several months without anyone knowing about it, what really sticks in its claw is that competing views got through the editorial net. ”
    A bit of sub editing necessary there
    “craw, rather than claw”

  8. TDB is consistently providing the most considered coverage of this RNZ saga and the wider foreign policy context with articles from you Martyn, Chris Trotter and John Minto.

    But one thing I don’t agree on is your claim that our MSM has a Pro-China bias, I really think it is the opposite. Our media doesn’t report that:
    – these close calls between Chinese military ships/planes and those of the West are always taking place right near China which is surrounded by the military bases of the US and its’ allies
    – the real history of Hong Kong and Taiwan is clearly that they are historically part of China and have been used by the West to create a wedge against China
    – there is simply no evidence of atrocities against Uighur people as claimed, certainly nothing coming close to a genocide, several international Muslim country delegations have visited Xinjiang and could not find any evidence of this
    – there is a significant global re-alignment underway with many countries shifting the focus of their foreign policy from US and the West towards the BRICS alliance.

    The biggest challenge for NZ is how we maintain good relations with both the US/West and China and do not get sucked into NATO expansion, AUKUS or any other anti-China alliances. When it comes to a global leader that just might help the world get through the climate crisis and define a post-capitalist world I’m not sure we have another other options but to look to China. The only thing the juvenile US/NATO can achieve is risking nuclear Armageddon with their proxy war.

    • “The biggest challenge for NZ is how we maintain good relations with both the US/West and China and do not get sucked into NATO expansion, AUKUS or any other anti-China alliances.”

      If history teaches us anything in this area it is that USA will simply not allow such a reasonable outcome.
      Frankly, I’ve had a guts-full of watching USA propagate lies and push its weight around globally since 1945. The sooner the sun sets on the era of US hegemony. the better for all.

  9. I think the real story here is how utterly biased our media has become and RNZ is no exception.

    The biggest form of bias displayed in NZ is the deplatforming bias which never gets called out but all MSM are guilty of it. Many, many stories critical of progressive policies or conservative positive news stories are simply never reported on.

    These stories can be huge and may make international news (It took about 8 weeks before any of the issues around the Tavistock Clinic and puberty blockers even got a passing mention here and to date you still wont find (I think) any MSM reallly discussing how serious and important this is. Also does anyone remember the almost week of rainbow peace and love that headlined the MSM after Posie Parkers visit. It took the Platform to expose what really happened before any main outlet even covered it once over lightly. Meanwhile we had had a week of the media canonising Eli on the front page as he jetsetted around the world.

    • Fantail. We may have always been biased. I recall going to the UK and becoming acquainted with issues surrounding the Vietnam war, Palestine, and Sth African apartheid in particular, which I don’t think got the same exposure in New Zealand. Back then, now-diminished Time and Newsweek were also read fairly routinely, but the former, in particular, may have been rather right wing, but was still a comprehensive news source. BBC News used to be objective in a way that they don’t appear to be now either.

    • Fantail PS. The seeming silence of the gutless mindless media about the transgendering of under-age children, is scandalous. In a just society they would face criminal charges one day for their dishonesty, dereliction of duty, and the damage they’re helping to inflict upon those to whom we all have a duty of care. Living in the pockets of grubby politicians is also hopelessly myopic.

  10. Someone said something like, ‘the first casualty of war is truth.’I don’t like Putin’s treatment of Ukraine but I want to hear all sides of the story. Annoyed that RT has been completely taken out of Sky channels as I’d like to hear what RT has to say. I’d probably regard it as invalid as Fox news and even CNN as a mouthpiece for US oriented propoganda. Free speech is great except when it counteracts the views of those in power.

  11. editors our editors they edit….now if the line was the guy violated RNZs political dictated editorial policy..

    would eric blair get a job with RNZ? a paper cats chance in hell

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