Telling readers and governments what they don’t want to hear

Photoshopped image credit: Luke

Even democratic governments will try to influence the media narrative. When Nicky Hager ran his hit job on Whaleoil in his book Dirty Politics he failed to mention the e-mail communication between John Key’s office and our editor Cameron Slater, telling Cam to change posts that were critical of the then National government. Hager also left out Cam’s GFY replies.

The Chinese government have been more successful at controlling the narrative than Key’s government. It has been revealed that the Chinese edition of the?NZ Herald?has?altered and removed articles from the?NZ Herald?to make the Chinese government look better. Most media in China are state-run and those that are private, self-censor to avoid trouble.quote.

It has also omitted articles entirely that discuss the Chinese Government in a negative way, in one case taking a much more sanitised version from a Chinese wire service.

STUFF end quote.

Examples of changes that they made include a 2017 article about a Chinese pensioner in New Zealand being robbed. The translation of the article removed three paragraphs about the pensioner being a Falun Gong refugee who had escaped persecution from the Chinese government.

Another 2017 article about research on alleged Chinese political operations within New Zealand removed several quotes.

Interestingly Whaleoil has had some readers and subscribers in the past who have also wanted to control the narrative. Some saw Whaleoil as a National party supporting site that should avoid criticism of its leader, policies and politicians.

Some readers didn’t like some of the opinions expressed on the blog and threatened to remove their subscriptions if the narrative wasn’t changed due to Whaleoil’s perceived influence on its readership. Our editor’s response to these demands was the same as it was to the demands from John Key’s office.

Whaleoil does not write what its readers or the government want to hear. We write what they need to hear.