The back story is similar to that of The Platform which launched under the banner of “Resistance Media” with Sean Plunket at the helm, around this time last year.
Another cancelled journalist, Peter Williams has joined forces with former ACT leader Rodney Hide, alternative media personality Chantelle Baker, who launched to stardom with live coverage of the parliamentary protest, and Paul Brennan who has multiple claims to fame in his diverse career including having worked at the Platform.
Brennan along with another former employee, Ani O’Brian may be representive of a culture of failure in staff relations at the Platform. O’Brian has ongoing proceedings in the Employment Court, as we understand do others yet to be publically named.
RCR would be in direct competition with The Platform which had distanced itself from alternative media and attempted to join the mainstream ahead of the coming general election.
Sean Plunket, is increasingly seen not only as having abandoned his cause but as increasingly aggressive and biased in his delivery.
RCR will likely appeal to the ear piece culture of this era and minor political parties who are more likely to get airtime with these hosts than with the mainstream.
DemocracyNZ, now the most visible of the minor parties will not face the usual minor party election restrictions with Matt King, a former National MP from 2017-2020 as its leader.
Without comment from the principals it’s hard to say how much this platform might influence the coming election.
Specifics beyond the announcement are yet to be confirmed. Neither Williams or Hide have responded to requests for comment at this time.
On September 16, 2022, Iranian journalist Niloofar Hamedi gained access to Kasra Hospital in Tehran, where 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was being treated following her detention by the Iranian morality police for allegedly wearing her compulsory hijab inappropriately.
[All women, including tourists, have had to wear a headscarf in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution]
Mahsa was declared brain dead and died in hospital three days after apparently being beaten by Iran’s morality police.
She had been detained on 13th September for what was described as a ‘re-education class’ after she was arrested next to a metro station in Tehran for failing to adhere to Iran’s strict hijab rules.
Hours later she was in hospital with a skull fracture “caused by a direct blow” and internal bleeding, according to hacked CT scans obtained by a London-based news organisation known as Iran International.
Around the time of Mahsa’s death, Hamedi tweeted a photo of Amini’s parents hugging and crying at the hospital. That picture quickly circulated, along with Hamedi’s reporting on Amini’s death.
In a short space of time the sequence of events had spiraled into widespread protests throughout the country (with authorities shutting down parts of the internet in a bid to disrupt the growing protest movement) that is now gaining overseas support almost a month later.
As a consequence of her news coverage, Hamedi was arrested by security forces on September (21 or 22)
Hamedi’s Twitter account, where she had originally posted the influential photo of Amini’s parents, was suspended without explanation.
A journalist who reported on Mahsa Amini‘s funeral has also been seized by police in Iran.
Elahe Mohammadi on the right (pictured with Niloofar Hamedi) – a reporter for the pro-reform Hammihan newspaper – had been summoned to face Iran’s judicial authorities.
She was arrested on the way there on Thursday, 29 September, according to that newspaper.
The Iranian Journalists’ Association has called for all journalists who have been arrested for covering the protests to be released.
While there are no figures available, it is feared that a number of reporters may have been detained alongside Hamedi and Mohammadi who are both in solitary confinement in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
Tehran officials reportedly said that Mahsa died of a heart attack and went on to say that she suffered from epilepsy, a claim that her father has denied.
Doctors say that Mahsa had blood and fluid in her lungs because she went into a coma soon after receiving a blow to the head, according to the news organisation.
Alongside a growing list of celebrities who have voiced their support for the protests United States National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, wrote in a tweet that Iranian authorities should be held accountable for human rights violations.
Former First Lady of the United States and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
British Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner
American model Bella Hadid
Hollywood icon Sharon Stone
Pop star Justin Bieber. Oscar-winner
Turkish singer Melek Mosso
Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi
Actress Eva Mendes
British Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling
New Zealand TV personality and Asteron Space Books author Gilda Kirpatrick
You probably have no idea who Niloofar Hamedi is. Just another strange name that you are not sure how to pronounce.
I seldom watch any television news produced in New Zealand as it is unreliable and qualifies for little more than bad entertainment.
Last week you probably saw a story about a storm somewhere on the planet being sold as the worst in history alongside the suggestion it wouldn’t have happened but for the evils of humanity causing man-made climate change … rather than a story about what international media have to say about our Prime minister.
Hamedi, is an Iranian journalist. I don’t hesitate to call her a journalist. I draw a very clear distinction between some parrotoxic reporter working in the New Zealand media … and a real journalist.
Hopefully Hamedi is still alive after being arrested on September 22 and taken to Tehran’s notorious Evin prison.
Alternative Media exist outside of Iran reporting on events in Iran. It’s the people’s voice that isn’t permitted inside the country. They beg the world, “Be Our Voice” and I’m doing my bit in support of that request.
#NiloofarHamedi is the Twitter hashtag that keeps track of the story. It could be “misinformation that is being used as a weapon of war” if we were to blithly accept the observations of our Prime minister about social media, but of course it’s not.
It’s not hard for me to see the familiar faces of people I’ve gotten to know and trust over the years detailing this story. I can write this whole post without even talking to them.
They will and do talk to me though whereas New Zealand media are too arrogant in their own estimation and seldom enter discussions. Not all to be fair, but the greater majority can’t defend what they write.
Why Hamedi is in prison, is because she reported on Iran’s now deceased, Mahsea Amini who was bludgeoned by Iran’s Morality Police for wearing a loose hijab.
Hamedi photographed Amini in hospital in a coma where she was being treated for injuries she received in custody.
The journalist’s Twitter account was suspended the day Hamedi tweeted a photo of the 22 year old woman’s parents crying at the hospital.
When Hamedi was arrested security guards seized all the journalist’s electronic devices, including mobile phones and laptops, while they raided the house where she was. We don’t know yet if she is still alive.
Journalism in Iran is essentially a crime looking for a story to convict those who dare and a life and death occupation to boot. Hamedi is not the only reporter or cameraman to have disappeared in the current uprising. It is their world and I wouldn’t want it to be ours but is that the way we are headed … and why international media rightfully ask, have we had enough of Ardern yet?
[You can see how the story does get mixed up though by others wanting to share these stories when you look at the dates above]
What really grew the original story is the arrest of the journalist. I don’t see anything being falsely reported any misinformation (false information) or disinformation (deliberate ruse).
Some people will say it’s their business. Stay out of it. We have politicians who pick their causes too, when it comes to human rights. In an increasingly global world, human rights have mostly been the liberties of the developed world and until recently we haven’t had to protest our own in New Zealand but now see the shadows of a new Dark Age on the horizon.
Golriz Ghahraman in particular who is a human rights lawyer (apparently) is very selective about when she stands up and about whose human rights she protests. I detest her behavior and her politics but I’d be the first to defend the human rights of my enemy because that’s the only way this can work in our developing world.
It’s beyond me when we can’t operate according to that principle. Human rights are human rights. There are no sub species and seldom demonstrable reasons for exceptions unless we want to lower ourselves to the occasion.
New Zealand has its own recent experience to reflect on, but the covid pandemic investigations are being stonewalled by Ardern’s government.
For months now we’ve had a similar situation in our own back yard in Tokelau. There’s more than 30 articles on this site alone about the unnecessary arbitrary detention and restrictions placed on those who were subjected to house arrest. It took a major effort from outside of Tokelau by multiple groups to give that story the life it deserved.
The Tokelau General manager broadcast the message on social media that is was their business, stay out of it.
When do you not do anything. When do you stand by and say nothing?
The current situation on Tokelau would suggest that the residents are still subject to both intimidation and other restrictions including communication with the outside world. Although MFAT have issued an assurance that all the house arrests are now over and those concerned are safe and well, there is no protest about what are still abuses of human rights in Tokelau.
Tokelau is comparable to Iran and we shouldn’t overlook that even if our mainstream aren’t reporting these events or are more concerned about wearable arts. Tokelau has finally acknowledged their own health crisis publishing an article in Radio NZ last Friday.
Whether it’s a journalist in Iran or a 15 year old girl in Tokelau, is beside the point. The civilised world is looking at New Zealand saying, “You’re going to be next if you don’t save your democracy” and your principled parliament.
On September 16, 2022, Hamedi gained access to Kasra Hospital in Tehran, where 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was being treated following her detention by the morality police for allegedly wearing her compulsory hijab inappropriately. Later that day, and around the time of Amini’s death, Hamedi tweeted a photo of Amini’s parents hugging and crying in the hospital. That picture quickly spread along with Hamedi’s reporting on Amini’s death, and eventually spiraled into nationwide protests.
As a result of her news coverage, Hamedi was arrested by security forces on September 21, following a wave of arrests that targeted journalists and students. Hamedi’s Twitter account, where she had originally posted the influential photo of Amini’s parents, was suspended without explanation.
Following on from the shock of an Australian journalist being stopped from entering New Zealand to report on last week’s parliament protest, we will at least see Yemeni interviewed by a NZ media outlet.
Initial reporting by The BDF suggests police interference:
Leaked emails show NZ Police wanted to ban Avi Yemini and desperately sought intel from Interpol to support their desire
The story was reported here on WOS with a link to a live broadcast from Yemini after he was stopped at the airport.
Next is Sean Plunket with an analysis of The BDF Story.
The Wairarapa Times-Age will issue an apology tomorrow, after the news outlet found itself left wanting … following the organisation’s involvement in ‘an extraordinary attack’ on local body candidates over the past week, which appeared to be led by Stuff News.
Following in the footsteps of ‘Wellington based’ Stuff News reporter, Andrea Vance, who went to staggering lengths in an attempt to embarrass a Northland candidate, a spokesman for the paper described their behavior as falling short of “Responsible Journalism”.
The Wairarapa Times-Age will print an apology to those candidates affected by the organisations failure to meet reasonable standards.
The paper at this stage hasn’t named any of its staff who where involved, although one is believed to be a young free-lance journalist hired through the government’s public journalism funding scheme.
There may be more to come on this.
Well, if you call a comment under an online post an apology in their paper?
New Zealand has been flooded with information over the past two weeks. We’re not a country trying to recover from covid, far less fortunate in our case, we’re a country trying to survive an insane prime minister and information overload.
Our media tell us daily, multiple times a day, the phantom menace is still out to get us. Alongside this Ardern and the Labour Party caucus are expected to expel their dissenting electorate MP, Dr Gaurav Sharma over allegations of bullying and corruption in the Labour Party – those allegations survived the weekend and rippled into this week as well.
Poor Quality – Poor Judgment, and Unprecedented-Unprofessionalism, flooded out of the Prime minister’s disinformation project and into our world courtesy of Stuff Circuit journalists Paula Penfold and Louisa Cleave and their propaganda programme Fire and Fury.
The source is funding the product – a lower standard of cheque-book jourmalism than that which pays pimps for information rather than accepting payment for distribution.
Penfold saying, that they hoped to save some people from rabbit holes when the text couldn’t have been more obviously constructed as an attack on alternative media and specifically directed at social media personality Chantelle Baker – I had previously picked Andrea Vance to be the assassin in waiting. I got that wrong.
Patrick Gower likewise labelled, “those people” “Information-Vandals” far more dangerous than others who throw bricks at our police.
Gower is an equally insane product of our media world and the country would be better off without his contribution to the narrative.
This media world, perpetuates a theme that the world around them is devoid of reality, lacks intelligence and the ability to understand what they know, while they talk about the violent rethoric which breeds hate for the elite and the media alike.
It takes incredible tolerance, patience, and commitment to put aside their deluge and sit down and write a critical analysis of their distorted world but thankfully some people have bothered to take the time to prove there is intelligent life out here where they no longer walk.
Their stated “commitment to democracy” somehow justifies breaking long established basic rules of journalism to make their point and to somehow preserve democracy.
This claim to preserve democracy is possibly the most disturbing, when Penfold has done numerous soft interviews since the release of Fire and Fury to justify the editorial direction, construction, content and context of her (I refuse to call it a documentary) media product.
Penfold couldn’t handle a decent interview and that’s manufactured integrity. Penfold for example gave BillyTK the tough interview he deserved but cannot apply the same standards to herself – Penfold is a coward who refuses to be interviewed in any fair and balanced way.
That fraud in journalism makes a mockery of the media awards, encourages a substandard industry and is increasingly rejected by the public audience.
Long before I got involved in the Tokelau Tunoa Story the usual letters had been sent to many MPs seeking help for those families under house arrest across two of the Tokelau Atolls.
The Tokelau residents refusing the mandated covid injections, although they have limited internet had been able to connect with a few sympathetic Kiwis.
“A year of house arrest, when no crime has been committed? Then clearly there is a much bigger issue at hand.” (Supporter)
IMANZ asked one concerned supporter to step up to head an online newsroom following the initial interviews by The Daily Examiner and FreeNZ.
“It’s not something I’ve done before but I’ll give it a go. It has been a year of many people trying to get ANY politicians to take notice.” Said our Team Leader (Who wishes to remain anonymous at this time).
“So it is great finally, to have an acknowledgment that they are not only aware of but have been supportive of the ongoing house arrests which they have indicated by saying they have engaged closely to ensure a “measured and balanced” approach… ” Our TL.
I’ve written this post to give a sense of how much work is involved to get some of these stories out into the open but also to say that it is possible to produce effective coverage down in the grass roots 5th Estate.
This has been a significant effort with our volunteer newsroom supporting several news outlets and the start of legal proceedings should the current exposure of events not bring about a reasonable conclusion.
It’s organised but all volunteer. I don’t want the misconception floating around that a little bit of social media did the job – that’s not how we got here and an acknowledgment is due not only to the team leader but the whole team that got behind this.
Let’s hope we get a good result now we’ve got this far.
When New Zealand was in the grips of Ardern’s Podium of Truth (or Struth, as some of us like to call it) this had the effect of focusing our mainstream media on her “Single Source of Truth”.
Persuasion, lies, coercion and dictates were part of that narrative – I’m not telling you anything new – just reminding you.
As, we watched commonsense slowly drain into history, independent media (such as myself) were ridiculed, abused, pursued by covid-police photographers, and targeted by political stalwarts and narrative addicts.
It is a time of my life that won’t be forgetten in any great hurry … apart from dodging the abuse, I spent hours, days and weeks researching overseas material to maintain a realistic and opposing perspective when in too many cases it was the only topic of conversation people could engage in.
Let’s be grateful for those many people who have given up careers and reputations to support those of us who believe, “Something is not right here.”
Others, Muriel Newman (NZCPR) in particular went across the Tasman to Australian media, producing interviews that drifted back across the Tasman. I mention that because those efforts do deserve recognition.
As New Zealand went into its Hermit Kingdom Lockdown, in the second half of 2021, we began to drift further into Ardern’s strange covid narrative and away from a world heading back to a normal that was increasingly distant from our “New Normal” which appeared to be hailed by Prime Minister Ardern, as some form of utopian better way.
News outlets in the UK and US openly ridiculed the obvious and often comical situations we were expected to digest as a truth to be happily lived with – we didn’t, we protested loudly at the steps of our parliament, as did our Commonwealth cousins in Australia and Canada.
As a country we are now struggling not only with the ensuing and ongoing disruption but the potential loss of One-Person-One-Vote, discussed here on The Platform.
There is still a blatant deficiency in our Opposition when it comes to unresolved issues like FENZ which has me quite puzzled. Why the lack of robust protest in Parliament about this in particular?
That aside, show me a country that entered into Communism willingly? There isn’t one. That is always other people’s ideology forced into the void of disruption as a best remedy – we’re here to save you they say, but it never has, no matter how long it takes to work that through.
New Zealand society is in that battle now, while our Pacific Dependency of Tokelau is still somewhere in our past, and Nuie is living with alerts and masks too.
Not everyone has made sense of this, and not everyone will do so, in the same way.
Europe has parliamentary inquiries looking at many aspects of the last two years. Christine Anderson, is a leading light in that respect – we’re not there yet, we should be, but we’re not.
For others the conversation on the street goes on. Whatever your point of view, unless you’re a covid-convert, we can all find some common ground in our own situations.