Bryce Johns

APN, The New Zealand Herald, Fairfax and Finkelstein’s Independent Media Review.

Mr Bryce Johns, Editor of New Zealand’s Herald On Sunday, the most extraordinary hypocrite, a man with his own history of DUI convictions (that story next).

Our readers may well be interested in knowing that following the media scandals in the United Kingdom (involving Rupurt Murdoch’s News Corp empire) and a smaller outbreak here in Australia (again with the finger being pointed at News Corp; and Fairfax) the Federal Government last year announced an inquiry of its own; which was to be headed up by retired High Court Justice, Raymond Finkelstein.

Lauda Finem had of course supplied many submissions to Finkelstein’s inquiry, in the hope that we might enable change and more importantly redress for the victims of the media’s excesses; the faceless individuals who have over the years been wronged by corrupt journalists, editors and the greedy men, women, power brokers and shareholders alike that, in the name of profit, ensured their ongoing employment and an immunity from prosecution by anyone other than the very wealthy.

At last Justice Finkelstein’s report has arrived and we’ve had a little time to flick through its 460 odd pages. It appears to us that, with the exception of the retired judge’s naive and elitist recommendations, the man has  to some degree hit the nail on the head with many of his very accurate observations.

More to the point, however, Finkelstein’s report has inspired some vigorous, very accurate and healthy debate in the media. One such commentator, Journalist  Michael Gawenda, has produced a number of extremely cogent arguments.

The Herald on Sunday’s Celeste Gorrell Anstiss

In one piece, written for the Australian, Gawenda rails against the behaviour of his own colleagues; the men and women, all journalists, tasked with bringing the  TRUTH to the citizens of Australia:

“It is my experience that editors and journalists are more interested in burying complaints from readers than addressing them, that mistakes and ethical lapses are acknowledged only grudgingly and that most media organisations have wholly inadequate mechanisms for dealing with complaints by readers, viewers and listeners.”

Finkelstein himself , it seems, has also drawn great  inspiration from Tony Fitzgerald QC  and his Royal Commissions report into corruption in Queensland. At  par 4.51 Finkelstein includes a long quote from Fitzgerald, beginning:

“The media is able to be used by politicians, police officers and other public officials who wish to put out propaganda to advance their own interests and harm their enemies.”

The Fitzgerald Royal Commission whilst concluded almost two decades ago has a great deal of relevance today. It has been our own experience that the behaviour of the media, journalists and editors alike, especially in New Zealand, has not improved and this malignant behaviour must, at any cost, be stamped out.

We will soon be bringing you a series of stories, including taped evidence, that relate to a very recent occurrence of the media’s perversion of a story, wherein we are able to evidence, with certainty, that the publication responsible acted with pure malice and quite possibly at the behest  of the very same type of corrupt individual Justice Finkelstein eludes to at par 4.51 of his work.

At par 11.10 of his report, in a chapter titled “Reform”  Finkelstein accurately observes and concludes:

“the news media can cause wrongful harm to individuals and organisations by unreliable or inaccurate reporting, breach of privacy, and the failure to properly take into account the defenceless in the community”.

The above independent observations and conclusions very much correlate with the stories we’ll be posting very soon. Whilst being of particular interest to our brothers and sisters in New Zealand, these up-coming posts will definitely have relevance to all Australians, even if only for the reason that  many of our pacific neighbour’s media organisations are wholly owned subsidiaries of Australian Media giants such as Fairfax.

As we have all seen, in the case of Murdoch’s News Corp, the perverse institutionalized culture of a multinational media organisation is not alone capable of doing the right thing by their readers and of course their “news worthy” targets.

As a result this sickening corruption is unable to  recognise international borders and will continue to wreak havoc, (unless shackled), blinded by their profits alone.

With the aforementioned independent observations in mind; we recently posted the story of a New Zealand real estate agent, Ms Marnie Adams and how her privacy had been invaded by New Zealand’s Herald On Sunday and a somewhat  junior employee,  journalist Celeste Gorrell Anstiss.

It was clear to us, and undoubtedly any other intelligent reader, that this publication had  set out intentionally to humiliate Ms Adams by publishing highly personal and confidential information that was wholly unrelated to the crux of the story; Ms Adams suspension as a real estate agent.

Evident again, to any intelligent reader, was the fact that her disgruntled ex-employer (a cashed up major realty franchiser, who, coincidentally, advertise’s extensively with the Herald On Sunday) had been seminal in the stories publication and undoubtedly responsible for supplying the, otherwise confidential, information needed for Anstiss to have written what amounted to the most dreadful offal; complete with a photograph of one of Ms Adam’s employer’s “For Sale” signs; an image which, we believe, was intentionally designed to damage Ms Adams by featuring her cell phone number (the number had been disconnected when we called it). On the evidence we have, these photographs appear to be a hallmark of the papers editor, Bryce Johns, a little more about that in our up-coming posts!

The editor of the Herald On Sunday is an ex Fairfax staffer and it happens to be, without irony, that our up-coming stories again involve Bryce Johns and importantly Fairfax New Zealand journalists in general,  present and past (some, like the aforementioned editor, having migrated to other industries and players such as APN).

New Zealand, given its small size, obviously has a very limited pool of journo’s (even more so, if the sole criteria was talent) and it could well be argued that this fact alone has spawned a type of organisational incest that has resulted in some very ugly deformities in the industry; which arguably would not be found in larger populations or with tighter media ownership laws.

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