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Critical rhetoric can be a positive thing

 |  Ady Cole-Ewen  | 

In the latest from the Mayor in the 19th January TCDC online weekly wrap up, he refers to “an “article” (his quote marks) published in a local community paper” about Maori wards which he said was inaccurate and offensive and for which he does not yet know at the time of writing whether the publisher will be apologising.

It seems that the Mayor does not get the difference between an “article” written by the newspaper’s staff and an opinion piece from an outside contributor which, as has been made clear previously, may not reflect the opinions of the Editor.

Opinion pieces in the NZ Herald by contributors such as Matthew Hooton or Richard Prebble may not reflect the views of the Editor, but they are printed nevertheless to allow the expression of a broad range of opinion.

 If there were factual errors in the piece about which Mayor Len is complaining, then the writer should correct them and perhaps apologise, not the Editor.

 The Mayor goes on to say that “anti-council rhetoric may ignite into more serious threats and action,” This seems a little overdramatic and oversensitive for one in his position and cannot be an excuse for the Mayor’s lack of discretion in using bad language in his won situation.  Politicians need to develop a thickish skin, as editors of community newspapers receiving actual threats have to do. No council is beyond criticism. There are many ratepayers and residents who feel the Council is not beyond reproach.

It also seems that the TCDC despite its claims of supporting small business does not include, for whatever reason, the local community newspaper which has an impressive circulation of 9000 and growing.  Many people I’ve spoken to value it and believe that its editor tries very hard to be positive, broad minded and even-handed but is also not afraid to cut through into local issues which need deeper investigation, a different approach, or more attention and more efficient solutions which may differ from whatever official line is being expressed or taken.

The Mayor seems to be concerned that his weekly column has been discontinued but after enquiring from the office of said newspaper, (the Editor was unavailable) the staff said this is incorrect and that it was due for inclusion in the coming issue and that sometimes the Mayor had been given more space than the intended quarter page due to more words than were allocated being provided from TCDC communications. I was informed there is no charge at all for this column and that the Mayor’s column was an initiative by the paper.  I have been looking for such a column in the other local papers and it doesn’t seem to be there.

 Ady Cole-Ewen Wharakao

In the latest from the Mayor in the 19th January TCDC online weekly wrap up, he refers to “an “article” (his quote marks) published in a local community paper” about Maori wards which he said was inaccurate and offensive and for which he does not yet know at the time of writing whether the publisher will be apologising.

It seems that the Mayor does not get the difference between an “article” written by the newspaper’s staff and an opinion piece from an outside contributor which, as has been made clear previously, may not reflect the opinions of the Editor.

Opinion pieces in the NZ Herald by contributors such as Matthew Hooton or Richard Prebble may not reflect the views of the Editor, but they are printed nevertheless to allow the expression of a broad range of opinion.

 If there were factual errors in the piece about which Mayor Len is complaining, then the writer should correct them and perhaps apologise, not the Editor.

 The Mayor goes on to say that “anti-council rhetoric may ignite into more serious threats and action,” This seems a little overdramatic and oversensitive for one in his position and cannot be an excuse for the Mayor’s lack of discretion in using bad language in his won situation.  Politicians need to develop a thickish skin, as editors of community newspapers receiving actual threats have to do. No council is beyond criticism. There are many ratepayers and residents who feel the Council is not beyond reproach.

It also seems that the TCDC despite its claims of supporting small business does not include, for whatever reason, the local community newspaper which has an impressive circulation of 9000 and growing.  Many people I’ve spoken to value it and believe that its editor tries very hard to be positive, broad minded and even-handed but is also not afraid to cut through into local issues which need deeper investigation, a different approach, or more attention and more efficient solutions which may differ from whatever official line is being expressed or taken.

The Mayor seems to be concerned that his weekly column has been discontinued but after enquiring from the office of said newspaper, (the Editor was unavailable) the staff said this is incorrect and that it was due for inclusion in the coming issue and that sometimes the Mayor had been given more space than the intended quarter page due to more words than were allocated being provided from TCDC communications. I was informed there is no charge at all for this column and that the Mayor’s column was an initiative by the paper.  I have been looking for such a column in the other local papers and it doesn’t seem to be there.

 Ady Cole-Ewen Wharakao


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