The media, as the gate-keepers of the public interest, may be shutting the door on us as voters as a result of hacked emails.
It is acknowledged that the media protects the confidentiality of its sources, and reporters have been prepared to go to jail to uphold this long-held convention.
I respect this, but at the same time question whether they can guarantee that they have not been “gamed” by this Rawshark or WhaleDump source; and if they know who or what it is, for how long have they known this?
As voters we have right to question whether they actually know who they are dealing with, or whether they are taking the position that the third estate is best to decide what is and is not in the public interest. A free and open election is the corner stone of democracy, and the way an anonymous source is being permitted to “accuse” people of certain actions, runs counter to this.
Surely, if the media, including the NZ Herald, are going to continue to use him or her as a source of their copy, we should be given credit for being able to make our own judgement about this person or organisation, particular as the disclosures have been so politically selective.
Rawshark is being reported directly as “saying” certain things… when perhaps this person or organisation should be reported more accurately as “claiming”. Whaleoil’s Slater and Collins are both saying an alleged social media source is being tampered with. I have no truck with either individual, but it is good enough for the media to nail its colours to the disclosures of a source that may be gaming them or us?
Anonymity has long being eschewed by media – except, it appears, when it is convenient to inject such into the heart of the democratic process.
I recall that initially, Hager said he did not know who his source of the stolen emails was on which he based his book. More recently he has changed his stance, and now says he does.
For what it is worth, my guess is that it is not a person but an organisation, based outside of New Zealand. This would be a greater shame.