OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: H4x0rs and You

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  • mark taslov, in reply to Sacha,

    I’m fascinated by some of the perceived gulfs...

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • lynne walker, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    Surely we can expect that journalists have the capacity for both, or have a dual covering of the situation. I am sorry , but from a lay person's point of view journalists not understanding just doesn't cut it. They should seek the right knowledge.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2011 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • William Ray, in reply to Sacha,

    Sorry if it came across that I was assuming an interview was asked for and didn't happen that's not the impression I meant to give. I'm just curious why the other side of the argument wasn't present in the story and wondered if that was because they declined an interview.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to William Ray,

    Agreed but if those parties won’t front to explain themselves it’s hard to complain the story was maliciously biased against them.

    If I understand Keith correctly, the target of the HDPA story is the person Keith recommended to the journalist as an expert commentator.

    It's not really acceptable that the journalist would write a story re-casting that person as a villain without checking back with the person who recommended him to ask "hey, this guy you put me onto -- is he a bad guy?"

    Anyway, I gather at least one person did try and directly talk HDPA out of the angle. The idea that she didn't have the opportunity to get it right doesn't hold up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • William Ray, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It's not really acceptable that the journalist would write a story re-casting that person as a villain without checking back with the person who recommended him to ask "hey, this guy you put me onto -- is he a bad guy?"

    I agree Russel but I wanted to check that conversation actually did happen rather than assuming it didn't.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to William Ray,

    Sorry don’t understand your objection, could you explain a bit further?

    Keith’s original story was outing the security flaw at MSD and had nothing to do with this particular hacker as far as I can see.

    Ah. So you're talking about Paul Craig, I thought you meant Ira Bailey. Who is, like Keith, emphatically NOT a hacker but has been described as such.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • William Ray, in reply to Lilith __,

    Ah I see. No worries.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to William Ray,

    Ah I see. No worries.

    Now, if only certain journalists would engage in such a practice, like understanding stuff before leaping to judgement.
    Nice to see so many new faces, as it were. (cos we can't actually see you, it's not like we're GCSB or anything:-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    hey, this guy you put me onto

    Rob O'Neill on Media3 said it was important for NZ journalists to look after one another's sources as well.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Keith - you must have known before, at least in your gut, that the bulk of journalists in NZ are shallow, two faced, opportunistic and principle lacking folk. I am sorry to say so, but it is the bloody truth. NZ media has sunk close to gutter level, when you bother to look at the news and information presented. It is NOT information, most of it is "infotainment" of little value, of little substance, and there is almost NO investigative journalism left. So you learned the hard way.

    There are still a few journos about that do the hard work, but they are far and between, do not get the credit they deserve, are mostly underpaid and also often disillusioned with the commercialised environment now ruling the whole "business".

    You are making sense, are right, I believe, in saying that many stories like that on TVOne are just not worth even broadcasting, but they do. They get away with all this, because sadly too many are ill informed, brain-washed and ignorant.

    We need more blogs, more alternative reporting and investigating, we need more guys like you and your mates, to dig up the shit that happens every day.

    Also we need a new attempt at alternative, independent, "public" or at least less commercially focused broadcasting media, to show that it can be done, without wasting money on over-paid, over-painted and manicured newsreaders on crappy channels dominating the scene. Get back to basics. We still have Triangle here in Auckland, for how long? Stratos is gone, so TVNZ7.

    I hope we get something good again soon. The existing crap is indigestible and an insult to intelligent consumers. Your blog is refreshing and worth following.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    It’d be sweet if we focused on the reporting and not the person.

    Can I get back to you on this M Brown. Im formulating some thoughts.
    'morality does not exist outside of us' or something along those lines

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Lew Stoddart, in reply to lynne walker,

    Lynne,

    Surely we can expect that journalists have the capacity for both, or have a dual covering of the situation. I am sorry , but from a lay person’s point of view journalists not understanding just doesn’t cut it. They should seek the right knowledge.

    Well, ok, but if "must understand complex specialist information" is going to be a compulsory standard for covering a story, you're going to have to accept a lot less in-depth coverage of complex issues.

    Because if every journalist demurred from covering a story unless they could answer "am I an expert in this subject?" in the affirmative, most of them would publish a great deal less than they do, and you'd all be complaining that the media were ignoring the things you care about.

    Marc,

    the bulk of journalists in NZ are shallow, two faced, opportunistic and principle lacking folk. I am sorry to say so, but it is the bloody truth.

    This argument has been fashionable since well before Woodward & Bernstein, and while there's some merit to it, it's is just as simplistic and lacking in context as Heather's story was.

    L

    Wellington, NZ • Since Aug 2010 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marc C,

    Keith – you must have known before, at least in your gut, that the bulk of journalists in NZ are shallow, two faced, opportunistic and principle lacking folk. I am sorry to say so, but it is the bloody truth.

    It's not the truth, it's your opinion. I think it's a glib and poorly-founded generalisation, but you're entitled to it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I think it's a glib and poorly-founded generalisation, but you're entitled to it.

    While you can never be proved wrong when applying Sturgeon's law, it does have the effect of letting the air out of everyone's tyres, including your own.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Pete Sime,

    I think between the Leveson Inquiry, Gina Rinehart's Fairfax shenanigans and the commercial imperative that infuses New Zealand's media, the public has a right to be suspicious of journalists in the Anglo-Saxon media culture. Outrage and sensationalism gets bums on seats and the more of that, the happier a network board is with the advertising revenue.

    Dunedin • Since Apr 2008 • 168 posts Report Reply

  • William Ray, in reply to Pete Sime,

    Got disagree with you about Gina Rinehart’s Fairfax shenanigans. As far as I can see journalists have opposed her influence, which if anything suggests the public should trust them more.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    graft n scoop....

    “must understand complex specialist information”

    ... but whatever happened to MSM reporters having "Rounds", specialist areas in which they built up knowledge, contacts and credibility, usually under the tutelage of some seasoned editor, or, er, grizzled 'hack' ...
    This seems to have almost disappeared, as the norm....

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • James George,

    I'd be the last person to want to protect the sleazebags who comprise NZ's media, reporters or the self-appointed commentariat, but it seems to me that there is a big gulf here between what many posters are asking journalists to be and what is actually possible out there in the 'real world'.

    I hate to go all metaphysical on a Sunday morning, reality is a subjective beast. It isn't just readers of fishwraps who struggle with that. Anyone who has had to have a position argued for them by a barrister in a court of law, knows how negligible the chances are of lawyers seeing an issue from the same perspective as their client, and then presenting that perspective properly to the court.
    We know this from sitting at our keyboards trying to convert our thoughts into intelligible sentences that properly convey reasoning that is internally easily comprehensible, yet sometimes impossible to articulate.

    This is why it is always bad to talk to a media person or a policeman, you never know the frame of reference the other person is entering the situation from. Worse you are putting yourself in a position that is thoroughly unfamiliar to you, but is not so for the other, who makes his/her living by being successful at these interactions therefore knows exactly how to play the scene out.

    Keith's error was in falling for this duplicitous scumbag's ploy that the two of 'em were just engaging in a bit of journalistic collegial mutual assistance, when clearly as far as the scumbag was concerned she was on a story and Keith was just another potential target to be burned if her job required it.

    Surely those of you who have spent time with journalists out on the piss have heard the appalling way that the hacks regard everyone who isn't one of 'them'; how they delight in dragging out old war stories about deceiving 'targets or sources' into saying something the person didn't want to say, but which suited the angle the journo was running.
    I know I have, and I find it sickening but that is the reality of competitive capitalist media enterprise.

    The sooner everyone wakes up and realises this, the sooner the model will die in the water. Why? Because by refusing to engage with this scum, we leave them stuck for stories, relying entirely on press releases and other forms of dictaphone journalism. Yes that is pretty dystopian, a world dominated by paid for voices, but only in the short term.

    Press releases and associated attempts at beat-ups do fill up space on newspapers & the prison camp style controlled web-sites which msm maintain to flog their real-estate listings, but the public hates them and is leaving the mainstream outlets in droves.
    And not just because as the sleazebags would have, that people prefer to get their news for free (the cost of a fishwrap barely registers for most of us), but because the content is so boring and predictable.

    Its a sense of habit which leads me traipse around the various media sites daily, but I find myself spending less and less time on them because they are just great cess pools of poorly informed scum seasoned with lashings of popular prejudice. As I said before we're individuals with subjective views of the world - all of us, and the more that mainstream media try to appeal to their readers with a transparent lowest common denominator outlook on a reality that is taking place in the news consumers back-yards, the more readers they are going to lose.

    Since Sep 2007 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Could be worse - the Strayans have claimed our Kimbra. The humanity.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Clarke, in reply to Sacha,

    I want to leave Planet Earth. Now.

    -36.76, 174.61 or thereab… • Since Nov 2006 • 164 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to James George,

    Surely those of you who have spent time with journalists out on the piss have heard the appalling way that the hacks regard everyone who isn’t one of ‘them’; how they delight in dragging out old war stories about deceiving ‘targets or sources’ into saying something the person didn’t want to say, but which suited the angle the journo was running.
    I know I have, and I find it sickening but that is the reality of competitive capitalist media enterprise.

    No, actually, I haven't.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22830 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to James George,

    this duplicitous scumbag

    Personal attacks don't strengthen your argument. Play the ball.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    A good example of the sort of story I assume is easier to do - but including quotes from people involved and with expertise about the situation. Warning: contains tennis and small town intrigue.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19707 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    … but whatever happened to MSM reporters having “Rounds”, specialist areas in which they built up knowledge, contacts and credibility,

    With me, as with Russell I suspect, this was what attracted me to journalism, unlike Russell I was useless at it so, instead, went into the useless field of construction.. Back in the day a career in Journalism seemed like an adventure, a trip into an exciting world of intrigue and discovery, a world where you had to use your wits and knowledge, your experience, contacts and skills in research.
    Yeah, I know about deadlines and how you have to, at some point, run with what you have but that was no excuse for a shit story, no excuse for jumping to unfounded conclusions or just making shit up.
    I don't know whether I would have made a good journalist, I'm just glad I didn't become a bad one. That would have been worse than useless.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Dismal Soyanz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    But every scientist I know would be only too happy to spend the half hour or hour to explain in lay language, preferably with access to a pencil and paper to draw pictures.

    Absolutely.

    Although I prefer to use a whiteboard. From my interaction with experts in my own field and across other disciplines, getting an explanation in simple terms is never that hard. Getting them to shut up, sometimes is...

    Given the time/space constraints inherent in either TV or print reporting these days, it is almost a truism to say that they will not get the whole picture. After all, some of us have spent whole careers/lifetimes trying to understand the damn thing.

    So I have plenty of sympathy for the journos who are trying to push the square story into the round time/space slot (Dr Who, anyone?). But the answer is surely less about expressions of loathing aimed at the those who work within the mainstream and more about strengthening the alternative. Yes, there will always be those who believe that Granny tells us the truth (the whole truth, and nothing but) in the same way that there will be those who think cage fighting is fun and tobacco is not harmful. They will be with us always. What we need (and have, to some degree, praise be to the Omnipotent) are informed voices who have the willingness and ability to (loudly) call the mainstream on their errors.

    Long live teh interwebz.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 310 posts Report Reply

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