Media Stories Waihopai Verdict

Here’s an annotated list

of Media Reports of the Waihopi Ploughshares trial and verdict

they’re chronological, from Press, TV, Radio and social media.

I reckon they tell a story about the kind of media coverage and public discourse brought about by creative and committed direct action – like the Waihopai Ploughshares. 

For a perspective on where media coverage fits in the spectrum of NVDA outcomes, read this piece from a nonviolence discussion list which discusses media strategy.

17 March 4.15 pm. In the foyer of Court 3. The Jury's Out. What will they say?

There are 43 stories, several with substantial links and/or discussion threads. 

The list is more representative than exhaustive (for example there are several blogs, and the bigger ones carried one or two stories most days).  There are more daily papers than surveyed here.  In some fields my selection is arbitrary, based on what was easiest to do. 

Towards the bottom you’ll find my final Report for Scoop, through which you can find links to all my Court reports.  Sarah, a documentary film-maker, plus me were the only recorders who stayed to cover the whole public part of the trial.

Please notice the extensive public discussion, in several movements, started by the trial and the verdict.

Throughout the process there has been jubilation (and clarity) from the defendents, and their supporters.

Initially there was accurate factual reporting from journalists who witnessed at least part of the evidence directly.  There was a lot of media in court for the final day of closing arguments, and the Judge’s directions to the jury.

For getting the actual defendents’ words out, radio provided opportunity in depth, while TV carried the headlines.  TV broke first with comments from the defendents.  Radio broke first with accurate legal reporting.

I’m afraid that, apart from the Otago Daily times, and a minority of good coverage in the NZ Herald, the NZ press disgraced itself with a slew of ignorance and speculation that it tried to pass off as news.

They said "Not Guilty" on all counts."

The hollow commentariat of the Tea-Party right made a clarion call to confusion, bigotry and prejudice to replace that left-wing pinko invention – the jury trial.  Talk-back loved it, and the PM followed his Solicitor and attorney Generals in calling for the verdict and the law itself to be questioned (without wanting to make specific comments).

Now we’re in the third movement, and serious commentary (including from Adi and Peter) has re-emerged with gravitas. 

I’m tidying up and organising my notes on the trial and what it can mean for the peace movement.  I’ll post them here as they emerge.

One thought on “Media Stories Waihopai Verdict”

  1. Hi Brian,
    Your reporting of the trial are still being discussed by our group here in Wellington. How’s the write up on the judge’s statements during the summing up going? Various interested people are asking for a more detailed write up (transcript if possible) to gain better understanding of the legal issues involved.

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