Herald censors criticism

by frog

The New Zealand Herald has censored part of a 200 word article that the Greens were asked to submit on campaign finance reform for yesterday’s edition. It deleted the opening paragraph that was critical of the Herald’s coverage of the issue, and replaced it with its own commentary at the end of the article. The article was ironically called ‘In their own words‘.

The paragraph that the Herald deleted from the article without consent or consultation was:

“Help! Herald editorial misleading about Electoral Finance Bill (EFB). Won’t print Green articles. Only have 200 words here, excuse grammer. See www.greens.org.nz.?

The Herald then added its own commentary at the end of the article:

“Dr. Norman says the 200-word restriction limited the style of his contribution.?

Here’s the article (which was submitted within the 200 word limit):

We need campaign finance reform

Dr. Russel Norman, Green Co-leader

Help! Herald editorial misleading about Electoral Finance Bill (EFB). Won’t print Green articles. Only have 200 words here, excuse grammer. See www.greens.org.nz.

EFB does not stop anyone saying anything anytime. EFB places no restrictions on press. EFB places no restrictions on paid issue advertising.

EFB only caps advertising spending if trying to persuade people to vote for or against a party – cap at $120,000. Repeat, EFB only caps electioneering spending. EFB caps party advertising spending at $2.4m.

National responsible for EFB. National evaded party spending cap by using Exclusive Brethren for parallel ‘vote National’ anti-Green campaign. Showed loophole in existing law.

If don’t close loophole, parallel groups can spend unlimited millions in ‘party vote’ campaigning.

Result – politicians owned by those who funded their campaign, not by voters. That’s why need cap on election spending by parties and other groups. See USA for evidence – best elections money can buy.

Human Rights Commission agreed with Greens’ changes to protect freedom of speech.

Rallies against EFB organised by Business Roundtable member. BRT members made secret donations to National via secret trusts. See ‘Hollow Men’ by Nicky Hager.

National opposed Green idea of citizens’ assembly to decide campaign finance rules.

Don’t be duped.

frog says

Published in Campaign | Society & Culture by frog on Sun, December 9th, 2007   

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