Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wananga declaration of interest

On December 2 I was engaged to provide some media advice to Rongo Wetere regarding the Auditor General's report on Te Wananaga o Aotearoa. This came up as a result of previous postings on this site, and is the first formal or informal contact I have had with Wetere on a non-journalistic basis.

Blogging doesn't pay my bills. I am a freelance journalist, and I earn a living by selling words to media outlets, or other services like media advice to people on the other side of the equation. To avoid conflicts of interest, I don't sell stories about people I am giving media advice to.

This blog is an outlet for my analysis of events, or for stories I think should be told. It does not exist to spin stories for clients - I doubt that would be effective, and it is certainly not worth the risk to my credibility and integrity. If I am wrong about something it is because my analysis is flawed, not because I am paid to be wrong. I have 20 years of reporting Maori issues, and no client is worth putting at risk what that entails.

Having said that, I don't feel I need to stop writing about the wananga just because I have offered Rongo Wetere some advice (which he may or may not have taken - going by the Auditor General's report, if he took my advice, it would be a first). What I can offer is my analysis of the publicly available material and the media coverage of it, and perhaps point out where I feel people are missing the point.

Apart from that, the usual disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are those of the writer, and not those of Rongoe Wetere, Te Wananga o Aotearoa or any other party.


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