Giving one side of the story again

October 5th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

A lawyer e-mailed me on this. You can see at this site a massive article in the SST about a woman called Erica and how in a marital dispute she could not afford a lawyer, and how the Judge didn’t allow her to miss a court hearing due to her having cancer. It quotes her saying she needs $300,000 for her future medical care. The entire article is based on what she said, and no attempt was made it seems to talk to anyone else.

Two weeks later, this article appeared, quoting the Family Court principal judge. He provided an extract from the oncologist who said “This is a low grade disease …”, and also how she had withdrawn from various sale agreements which had been reached, and then finally refused to communicate with her ex-husband anymore to try and reach a resolution.

It gives a very different perspective to the original article, and this information should have been in the original article. How is it good journalism to just take allegations, and not seek a response?

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15 Responses to “Giving one side of the story again”

  1. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    It is a bit rich expecting balance from the SST.

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  2. Positan (390 comments) says:

    There’s very little in the way of “good journalism” anywhere these days. What can be entered in print, captured on tape or by digital means, or extracted by inference from someone else, becomes the generation potential or slant for whatever space-filling writers seek.

    Sunday papers are read by those in need of vacuous entertainment – not by anyone in search of dependable information.

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  3. Nigel (516 comments) says:

    “And whilst there is no evidence of tumour progression at present, this is something that should be anticipated and closely monitored”

    I’m no doctor, but that does not sound good. After reading both I think the SST article was pretty even, her cancer is in remission, but it’s expected to return ( which is what the above quote means to me ), that’s a decent amount of pressure I think.

    I do think there is a strong arguement she expected him to provide everything, but he also controlled all the assets bar the house, so which came first the chicken or the egg.

    Tough situation, certainly she would not be the first women to be left believing cancer was a factor & that’s a deep scar to deal with.

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  4. PaulP (150 comments) says:

    Exactly why I cancelled my subscription and didn’t bother with their offer of a few weeks free recently. Reading it ruined my Sunday rather than enhancing it!

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  5. greenjacket (466 comments) says:

    Wow. Crap quality biased ‘journalism’ from Sunday papers. I am surprised.

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  6. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Stop calling them ‘journalists’.

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  7. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Actually, would be interesting having a guest post from the school of journalism. To see what they think about the state of play in NZ.

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  8. slightlyright (93 comments) says:

    The NBR is just as bad, they ran a story on an invercargill accountant last week and a complaint that had been lodged (not heard simply lodged), having done no background at all, if they had even made a few phone calls they would know that the women behind it is a complete nutjob, who has been trying to shop her woe is me story everywhere

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  9. peterwn (3,274 comments) says:

    Happens all the time. just ask John Key what he thinks about this sort of thing.

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  10. hj (7,031 comments) says:

    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/staging

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  11. Auberon (873 comments) says:

    It’s all a bit similar to the case of the “couple” whose house is in the path of the “holiday highway” north of Auckland.

    From TVNZ (and similar articles ran in the Sunday papers):

    The Government has been branded “heartless” for allegedly refusing to negotiate with a couple whose home runs through a proposed ‘holiday highway’.
    Labour say Moirs Hill couple Bob and Jill Scott have an unsaleable property as a planned route for the Puhoi-Wellsford Road, north of Auckland, runs right through the middle of their house.
    Labour says the New Zealand Transport Agency has told the Scotts they have no money to purchase the property.

    So why do this “couple” who I understand are actually divorced, despite the photos in the papers showing them arm in arm, want to sell so urgently? Well as I say, I’m told they are no longer in a relationship and she wants to move overseas. Why the NZTA should have its schedule of negotiating with homeowners governed by their personal relationship circumstances beats me. Construction isn’t due to start on the road for some time. But it’s good fodder for the made up Sunday newspaper news, and the easily sucked in by Labour TVNZ.

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  12. iMP (2,386 comments) says:

    DPF I totally agree with this post. The state of NZ journalism is woeful and it badly denigrates democracy in NZ. The HErald has exposed something I find quite disturbing about some NZers who seem to ape overseas media myths rather than think for themselves.

    http://conzervative.wordpress.com/2012/10/05/are-kiwis-aping-us-media-myths-herald

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  13. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    And the defence was that the SST had made it clear they were just sharing experiences of Family Court users. Obviously doing some basic fact checking was all a bit hard.

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  14. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    I wonder if anyone may have paused to consider the following: did Principal Court Judge Peter Boshier have consent to release priviledged documentation to the media without the primary consent of both parties to the dispute? All seems a bit “desperate to be relevant” coming from Boshier?

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  15. Letterman (184 comments) says:

    Seems like Kiwis don’t need the SST to tell their Family Court stories – and these people aren’t for the most part anonymous: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/New-Zealand-Family-Court-Stories/195310380525508

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