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Fairfax bans reporters from covering inequality

July 21, 2013

9781927131510-crop-325x325Editorial staff banned from writing about visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade. and Dominion Post publishers Fairfax Media have barred their reporters from covering lectures on inequality by visiting London School of Economics Professor Robert Wade.

News staff were told early last week not to cover Wade’s visit, and to ignore press releases relating to it.

In fact, the only information a search of Robert Wade turns up on, is Deputy Prime Minister Bill English defending himself in The Southland Times after threatening Professor Wade after a TVNZ Q&A appearance, and English’s “rebuke” from The Dominion Post.

Orwellian denial is nothing new at Fairfax – this blog has outlined their history of ignoring academic research in favor of populist National Party “solutions” – and it’s a moot point whether they are formally working to support Government propaganda, or simply have a common alignment of Rightwing dogma.  But, it certainly speaks volumes that, immediately after Bill English bullied Professor Wade with the threat; “Don’t you say that again!”, Fairfax told their reporters not to give him any coverage.

Professor Wade is in New Zealand for the launch of Max Rashbrooke’s book “Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis”, which he contributed to. In a series of lectures and media appearances, he has noted that New Zealand has seen significant increases in inequality in the last 20 years, at a greater level than in other Western nations.

This has clearly touched a nerve, angering those defending the status quo, and bringing out the bully boys on the Right. Deputy Prime Minister Bill English wagged his finger threateningly at Professor Wade after a TV appearance, essentially warning him not to report on his research.  And, as blogger Martyn Bradbury points out, inequality may well be the big issue of next year’s election, so it’s little wonder the National Party and their media allies are trying to shut down Professor Wade’s research and Rashbrooke’s explosive book.

Warning their reporters not to write about Professor Wade points to a chilling and sinister level of public manipulation from New Zealand’s largest news media publisher, and confirms what this blog has asserted for many years – that Fairfax are putting Rightwing propaganda ahead of genuine news, and attempting to pervert the fragile state of New Zealand’s ailing democracy.

Just this week, The Dominion Post avoided talking about allegations that energy minister Simon Bridges misled parliament, reporting only on the giant billboard that Greenpeace had posted near Fairfax’s Wellington office, after other media had covered it.  They then named Greenpeace as ‘Wally of the week’ for spending valuable funds on the billboard.  Perhaps, if newspapers did the job their subscribers paid them to do, it wouldn’t be left to charity organisations to hold a corrupt Government to account.

If you are sick of New Zealand being fed one-sided propaganda by this Orwellian media organisation, please join us on facebook,  boycott Fairfax publications, and avoid

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  1. Dan M permalink

    Great article, just wondering if you might be able to amend with a hint at the source for the allegations. Not that I do not believe what you are saying, but sources are helpful when arguing the point with others.

  2. Cheers Dan. This leaked through a concerned employee – their position is obviously sensitive so I can’t name names, but I trust that the source is absolutely sound, otherwise I wouldn’t have published.

  3. Welcome back, Neil!! You’ve been sorelyt missed!!

    • Thanks Frank.
      Yep, been in semi-retirement, but this landed in my lap and I couldn’t not report it.
      Just a hefty shot across the bow to let Fairfax know I’m still paying attention. 😉

  4. This is so twisted, and yet sadly typical..

  5. There is nothing more unequal than the history we are not privy to.. Thanks Neil.. Now wonder the Reid research poll timing so interesting.. Wondered what it was that might have got a few rattled.Makes me wonder at the vehemence at the Labour Man ban pan or was that pots and kettles rattling?

  6. Surprised at how widely this story has been disseminated on the blogosphere considering that there is no citation given, nor is there any evidence provided whatsoever for the allegation. Happy to be corrected on this but looks like this is a chimera.

    • I have made it very clear why my sources haven’t been named.
      Also, I have asked Fairfax Media for a categorical denial, and for the “official” reason why this story wasn’t covered. They have produced neither.

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