Spam Journalism – Close Up

Despite the fact that there appears to be an overwhelming abundance of out of work journalists in the market at the moment, the ones who are managing to stay employed have taken to doing hachet jobs.

Close Up nothing but spin merchantsTake TVNZ’s Close-Up.

On Monday they decided to repeat on a story that they had obviously been fed by Epilepsy New Zealand, and had failed to do the rudimentary research that would have enabled them to tell the truth, rather that falling hook line and sinker for some PR rubbish they had been fed to satisfy someone in Epilepsy New Zealand’s agenda.

The story goes that the Epilepsy Foundation was set up as a fundraiser for Epilepsy New Zealand (two separate bodies)..well…almost right – The Epilepsy Foundation was certainly set up to donate money to organisations that help with Epilepsy, but it has certainly never been tied to Epilepsy New Zealand. And then the Foundation went and did some fundraising, in fact they employed a marketing company to do it all for them, and then they ran some events – so far so good right? EXCEPT, now Epilepsy New Zealand is bitching and whinging because they reckon they have been ripped off by Epilepsy Foundation and should have gotten more of the money.

It went something along the lines of “Epilepsy New Zealand only got 2% of what was raised” The repeater Robyn Janes blamed the telemarketer – but it was all they were ever going to get, and they knew this. Turns out it is in the constitution of the Foundation that all donations they receive go to their capital fund, which they then invest – and donate the interest only. Yes DONATE the interest to the Epilepsy organisations (which for the last three years has been Epilepsy New Zealand.)

Looks like someone at Epilepsy New Zealand has gotten greedy and is using the media to try and get the money now. Swallowed hook, line and sinker by Robyn Janes at Close-Up.

I have been informed today that previously mentioned vile repeater, has been travelling the countryside, turning up unexpectedly at charities doorsteps berating them and badgering them to get her pre-determined story – that not the whole dollar you give to charity gets there. No shit! It goes to helping with business expenses too. When I buy a sausage for charity I know that some of my money goes to paying for the sausage, bread, tomato sauce and onion. Doesn’t everybody? Surely this is just a totally nothing story trying to make people who do good things feel bad.

Isn’t this how we actually want not-for-profits to run, to actually have some financial responsibility and create investments so that they can become self sufficient to some degree. Surely this is better than constantly putting your hand out because you spend everything you get today rather than thinking about tomorrow as well.

Sort it out Close-Up, get some real stories that actually mean something, and stop being someone’s PR bitch. Mark Sainsbury and the Producer should make sure his repeaters are telling the whole truth not some spin before he fronts the story.