GUEST BLOG: Jackie Foster – WHEN DOES MEDIA REPORTING BECOME HARASSMENT

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We have all seen the media at its worst over the last few months, falling over themselves, near choking with the news of Kiri Allen and Golriz Ghahraman, something like a feeding frenzy can I suggest. 

The question must be asked “when does reporting become harassment”? People make mistakes, and yes, we all must be held to account but why is it we always put people on trial and publicly convict them before the police are even involved. 

In the cases of both Kiri and Golriz, both of which cases are before the courts, how can they defend themselves with all the media attention that has been shared everywhere? 

Both Golriz and Kiri have the right to choose trial by jury if the matters get that far, but clearly that can’t happen? How could any jury in New Zealand be neutral with all the publicity and coverage freely available on social media or google?

Every other day we see reports of murders and other such crimes, arrests made but the alleged offender is not named, giving them the right to a fair, unbiassed trial, so why should people in the public eye be any different. 

I appreciate the media have a job to do, but isn’t it time that they themselves are held to account and told what they can report on? 

I am not suggesting for one minute that the media can’t report on the issues of the day, because they should be doing exactly that, but not destroying people’s careers in the process without the facts being known, simply that is a public takedown.  

I applaud people who make mistakes for putting their hands up and changing their ways, accepting that they have done wrong and why shouldn’t people be allowed to move on in a good way to create change for the better from their mistakes.  

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To Kiri and Golriz, I say to you both, go well and thank you for all you both have done for Aotearoa. To the media, I say take a step back, have a look in your own back yard and ask the question when reporting, “is this going to help our country, or is this going to drive a person who really needs support right now to desperate measures. 

 

Jackie Foster, CEO, Social Justice Aotearoa

44 COMMENTS

    • Ada, can I ask where in Jackie’s blog does she mention the race or colour issue?

      I see other comments today, relating to ethnicity, just think its disgusting. Do you work for the NZ Herald by any chance!

  1. “ We have all seen the media.” No we haven’t. Many of us no longer read or follow MSM, pick up info online, often inadvertently. An elderly neighbour watches television, but no family that I know of. Social media is very much the domain of the sort of people who do social media, probably not a multitude.

      • NOT MY GOVT. “ Are you saying if you haven’t seen it, it hasn’t happened ?”
        No, I am not saying that. I merely commented that there seems to be an assumption that we have all seen the media, when in fact we have not all seen the media.

  2. The NZ Herald tabloid doorstepped Golriz’ Auckland home round the clock for several days, breathlessly reporting that someone dropped off a bottle of wine at the front door! Holy crap–wine! At least they topped off the plods for having an unmarked car parked nearby, and gave a count on the number of uniformed blue bellies that knocked on the door. But maybe they were concerned for her personal safety with all the online hate and threats?…yeah, nah bro.

    Have not seen anyone doorstepping Jenny Shipley who owes $6 mill after a failed appeal, for being a bent Director in the building industry, or the disgraced Act Party high up implicated in “fiddling” who I can’t identify because of name suppression.

    Younger, articulate women in politics and activism really wind up the capitalist owned media channels and their vindictive bal’head audience…and if the subjects are brown as well…bonus point heaven for these nasty bludgers. Rare is the day to find a dedicated journalist these days, most of ’em are hanging out for that PR job like Natzo fan girl Jessica MM got.

  3. A very fine line that the media have overstepped, even to repeating unfounded accusations. Can we hope that the judicial system will handle these cases humanely, or will the media continue to demand blood?

    • Peter Kelly. It’s a blurred line when one of the women, Kiri Allen, has made the choice to go public and be interviewed on some television or breakfast show, prior to her court hearing, talking about her activities on the night that she committed her alleged offences.

      • Kiri Allen choose to go public so the real story was being told, not all of the garbage that was being reported. I congratulate Kiri for telling her truth and moving on with her life.

        lets face it, when the Kiri Allen story first broke it was simply a car accident in Wellington with an alleged driver under the influence of alcohol.

        had that driver just been a member of the public, there simply would not have been a story!! Plain and simple.

        I support Jackie and her position, media, mostly are vultures!

        • Kermit’s best friend. Disagree. All drink drivers are bad news, and innocent others can pay a high price for them. However the story here is worse because the alleged drunk driver wasn’t simply a member of the public, but was a tax-payer funded Parliamentarian, and a Minister with Justice responsibilities.

          The media can certainly be vultures, and disgustingly so, but this particular episode has a very different dimension altogether.

          • Applewood, remember David Garret Act MP who stole the Babies name from the cemetery and got the boot from parliament ? Yip his story was public because he openly spoke on it and had faced the courts years earlier. There is the difference, he had faced the courts and the reporting was founded and factual, where Kiri and Golriz and many more have not even faced a court.

        • Surely, it is the media that is to be blamed…. for Kiri’s choice to do the interview.
          Stop blaming the poor victim……. now please remind us, who is the victim in this story?

          • For me the victim is actually the public of New Zealand, because we are repeatedly being fed dribble by the media. In America they would be sued!

        • Sally Mitchell. Not really. Both women will have the opportunity to “tell their truth”, under oath, in a court of law. Their cases should be decided on established concrete facts.

      • That was her choice she is no longer remember she is no longer public property and she has alre@dy been named and shamed

    • Peter the issue is, as you rightly point out, the media overstep the line repeatedly and just get away with it. i don’t believe that the judiciary should have to sort this issue out as it cant be fixed after it has been reported on. Simply it needs to stop and the people who can stop it are all in the beehive but will do nothing until it affects them, themselves.

  4. While I agree with you regarding the media & its feeding frenzy attitude the unfortunate reality is that people in public high profile positions will need to be identified at times when facing accusations of wrongdoing. You could make a case that name suppression has hurt the victim & enabled the guilty party to benefit at times as well.

    • “Bonnie
      Can I ask what a persons position in society has to do with identification or naming? Are you suggesting people in high public roles have less rights than the rest of New Zealand?
      Currently we have several police officers in front of the courts for wrongful arrest and sexual violation of someone arrested. Those officers are not stood down or off duty?
      Do you not think the public should know their names? What difference is that situation to Kiri or Golriz?
      Turning to your victim remark.
      Is it not everyone’s right to name suppression until they have been convicted ?”

      • While we have Kiri and Golriz both paraded like the red queen, we apparently have a well known other political figure who is also before the court with name suppression plus we have a bed leg bully in charge if the health select committee go figure !!!

  5. GUEST BLOG: Jackie Foster – WHEN DOES MEDIA REPORTING BECOME HARASSMENT.
    That’s a very good question @ J.F.
    I think the media must have the freedom to be harassing. It’s one of those unfortunate things about an unrestrained media within a democracy. We must accept the good with the bad. Lawsuits and punch-ups have a moderating effect I suppose but really, how does one de-harass the very thing we rely upon to chase down the truth for us? If what the media does per se isn’t truthful and people suffer as a consequence then bring in the law I suppose. Kiri Allen and Golriz Ghahraman got caught out. Why they got caught out is one thing. To drive them to despair is another thing altogether. Jonky The Tugger of Tantalising Pony Tails and Big little billy english, the Dipton Double Dipper got off lightly by the media because it’s clearly owned by the same denizens hiding out within the MSM. RNZ is cringe worthy for sycophantic adoration of the Natzo’s so is the MSM likely to harass the Natzo’s? Nope, would be my guess.
    Lest we forget and how ironic.
    NZ ponytail pull waitress eyes legal action
    https://www.9news.com.au/world/pms-ponytail-waitress-looks-set-to-take-action/836fd446-f2bd-4a8c-be81-2de1ccfce1b9
    NZH
    PM Bill English barred from living in Premier House
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/pm-bill-english-barred-from-living-in-premier-house/Q4AFE3AP4YIUP7I2S5CYTDCWA4/

    • Righto…J Shipley liable to the tune of $6 mill after a failed appeal, for being a bent director in the construction and building supply industry. People do not “deserve” anything until due process has concluded. It is quite likely there will be mitigating factors introduced for the two woman ex MPs.

      There was an ex Natzo leader a little while back…Mr Muller who had a mental meltdown…who has been praised all round for admitting and facing his demons, such attitude is unlikely to be extended to the two brown young woman ex MPs.

      • “the two brown young woman ex MPs” is nothing but a racially motivated comment. What has race got to do with this issue? Disgusting!

        This is exactly what Jackie and her people are trying to highlight? Wrongful statements. Golriz Brown? OMG

    • They deserve to be treated equally under the law, just like anyone else; not crucified by a media frenzied kangaroo court based to some extent on inuendo and political bias.

    • So if you were caught drink driving, not suggesting you would be, you would expect your name in the media from day one? even before you had the right to a fair hearing?

    • Mainblack can i ask who was drink driving? Kiri has never been charged with that offence? See there we go again, factually incorrectly reporting something for the public to read when it simply is not true!

  6. Whilst you “applaud people who make mistakes for putting their hands up and changing their ways”, it’s worth noting that serial offender Kiri Allan is pleading not guilty to her various offences.

    • Defence lawyers often do that as a strategy to get a better sentence for their client. The plea will later be changed to guilty. Keep it in mind for the day when you appear in court for tax evasion or for being a belligerent dickhead,

    • Andrew, clarification on your words “serial offender”? All i see for Kiri is unsubstantiated accusations from the police and we all know what the New Zealand police are good at eh? You only have to look at Alan Hall, Arthur Allan Thomas and others that have been convicted from the untruths the police say.

  7. It’s Nu Zild. Name suppression comes automatically if you play professional sport, are a big note philanthropist or act in soap opera, otherwise suck it up.

    • Spot on Richard. The mixed martial arts boxer even though found guilty was not given a conviction due to the impact it would have on his career. How about Kiri?

      • All Blacks and other senior rugby people involved with DUIs and partner assaults in particular over the years, have had a gentle ride through the court system also–not always but often enough.

  8. The fact is news editors know very well the public are more interested in the fire at the end of the street than what is happening on the other side of the world.
    If its a nobody shoplifting, no one cares, if its a celebrity, a rich lister or a politician that’s news gold.
    Its not harassment, its theft by a politician, and like it or not it’s newsworthy.

  9. They allegedly did the crime, they won’t do any time and they’ll collect the pension.
    If it had been Casey Costello you’d be telling the media to go harder
    Straight up hypocracy

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