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Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Had to Blink Twice

Why did I have to blink twice? A columnist is dumped for daring to write an opinion piece ? Isn't that what they are supposed to do?

I have no objection to columnists writing whatever they choose, so long as what they write does not stray outside the bounds of ordinary decency. What is objectionable is the practice of reporters inflicting their opinions on their readers in the guise of news. What this person appears to be guilty of was parroting her father's opinions.

It seems to be a crime justifying dismissal for someone to hold the same opinions as does her father. How many times have I seen pro Islamic propoganda or outragously pro-Labour/anti-National propoganda published in New Zealand by left leaning columnists?

I would be fascinated to know the identity of the person who wrote to the papaer complaining that she was writing 'propoganda in the guise of personal opinion.' Now there's a leftie phrase if ever I heard one. Could it possibly be the defeated candidate from Blenheim?
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Posted by Adolf Fiinkensein | 10/13/2005 03:04:00 PM


Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

She wasn't dumped for having similar beliefs as her father, she was dumped for copying from a speech that her father had given.

10/13/2005 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

Oh and the complainant was Lynn Williams of Lethfield.

10/13/2005 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares maxim are a bunch of fundies in drag

10/13/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Interesting observation Peter. I agree plaguiarism is a heinous sin. However, I'd have to say the impression I gained from the article was that the complaint related to the content rather than to the plaguiarism.

10/13/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Jesus Crux said...

oh for FUCKS SAKE, that was like the only opinion piece i ever read in the Press, fuck them and their bullshit. i'm writing a letter to the editor to complain, those fucking bastards.

10/13/2005 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I must find out how to spell plagiarism

10/13/2005 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

The letter goes:

Alexis Stuart's column (Oct 14) was a revelation. The same old Maxim Institute propaganda masquerading as personal opinion but more cogent than usual.

Both style and content reminded me of Bruce Logan. You know Bruce, the MI's director who wrote a similar article for the Northland Age (Sept 8). In fact so similar some of it is identical.

For example, both wrote:"Diversity is not a value, it's a description of reality. One cannot display diversity as a value, let alone a virtue. Neither is community a value - how does an individual display community?...Excellence is an outcome; it is certainly not the possession of human character."

Either Alexis wrote Bruce's article (unlikely), Bruce wrote Alexis's column (possible), or Alexis cribbed from Bruce's article and didn't acknowledge her source (possible). Which ever, just how many mouthpieces for the Maxim Institute does The Press need - or is it want?

10/13/2005 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

The Press Editor's response is

The editor, Paul Thompson, replies: The Press columnist, Alexis Stuart, will no longer be writing for the newspaper as a result of the concern raised by the correspondant.

The newspaper has confirmed strong similarities between her colim of October 4, Labour's New Values a Distortion of Decent Virtues, and an article written by Bruce Logan, director of the Maxim Institute and Stuart's father, including one paragraph that was almost word-for-word identical. Logan's article was submitted to various newspapers and published by the Northland Age on September 8.

Stuart blamed a misunderstanding which arose after she sent a draft of the column to Logan and later sought his advice on it. It appears that Logan included aspects of the draft column in his own article. Furthermore, one paragraph from his article was inserted in her column that was published by the Press.

Stuart has apologised for the lapse and says there was no intention to deceive the paper or its readers.

The Press has been aware of Stuart's relationship to Logan since commissioning her as a columnist, but has expected her to present her own, independent point of view in her articles.

The Press is deeply concerned to ensure the integrity and credibility of all material it publishes, including contributed articles, and to avoid any suggestion that this has been inappropriately sourced. On learning of the problems in Stuart's column, the decision was made to immediately cease the paper's relationship with her.

The Press sincerely regrets the situation that has arisen.

10/13/2005 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Metcalfe said...

IIRC this is the third person to be axed by The Press for dodgy journalistic ethics. The first was Hans Petrovic, the long time film reviewer, who was sacked for copying film reviews from on-line British Newspapers. The second was a bizarre case of a fictional contributer created by another contributer as a joke. When the deception was uncovered, The Press severed its relationship with the creating contributer.

10/13/2005 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ashley Clarkson said...

"The Press severed its relationship with the creating contributer."

What about the fictional contributor?

10/13/2005 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I'd have to say it seems to be a huge over reaction. Would it have been the same had she been a leftie? I mean, wasn't she a concientious and hard working journalist?

10/13/2005 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ashley, the creator was a Rightie but the creation was a Leftie. What do you think happened?

Plagirism is a serious offense for a journalist I reckon. They are paid to write, not simply type.

Wasnt there another case of plagirism at an auckland paper not so long ago?


10/13/2005 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Kimble stick an 'a' in it.

10/13/2005 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stick your a in it adolf

10/13/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh wait, I see what you meant, hahahaha sorry

10/13/2005 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Kimble, that really was bloody funny. Hell man, you react even faster and more vigorously than I do.

10/13/2005 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Randominanity said...

Sorry adolf but plagiarism is a cardinal sin in the news business. The Press didn't have a problem with Alexis's opinion, just that it wasn't her own. paul Thompson was quoted on ZB this afternoon saying the problem was whether Alexis was independent of the Maxim Institute. He couldn't resolve that satisfactorily so she had to go. Had she attributed the offending paragraph she'd still have her job.

In this age of the internet and the power of google it was a bloody stupid mistake for a columnist to make and the editor, in my opinion, has done the right thing

10/13/2005 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger darren said...

Kimble is right.
Reenee Kiriona of the Herald copied chunks of an article by Lester Thorley of the Waikato Times for a profile on a rugby player.
She was censured by the paper, but kept ther job.
Below shows how the NBR covered the article and Russell B wrote a piece on it in the Listener.

10/15/2005 03:49:00 PM  

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