The Waikato Times had a big article on a family struggling to make ends meet in Hamilton. The mother is quoted as saying she could never vote National, used to vote Labour but this time thinks the best option for her is to vote Greens.
Nowhere in the article do they mention her partner, and father of her child, is the Green Party candidate for Hamilton East – Max Dillon.
This is not a trivial oversight. It undermines the entire article. It means either the Waikato Times never asked if they had a political affiliation, or they knew and didn’t care.
I think the fault lies not only with the newspaper though. To agree to be interviewed as a typical struggling family, who have decided to vote Green, without disclosing the father/partner is the Green Party candidate is rather unethical.
UPDATE: This appeared today:
This is very interesting. First it tells us that this was pretty much a Green Party sting. Even worse according to the Waikato Times they say they specifically asked Ms Campbell if she had any links to the Greens.
It is interesting that they used Twitter to obtain interview subjects. It makes it far more likely those with a political agenda will be interviewed as they are more likely to volunteer. Once upon a time media would have used networks to hunt out a family to profile. Better to profile someone who does not volunteer but somewhat grudgingly consents. They are more likely to be genuine.
If the Waikato Times did ask Ms Campbell for any links to the Green Party, then one can’t hold them responsible for being lied to. However we don’t know exactly what they asked and exactly what the answer was. I think there is still a lesson here – they could have searched Twitter or used Google and discovered the link quite easily.