Here’s the programme for the inaugural Auckland gathering of the NZCIJ, which happened on Saturday November 21, 2015 at AUT University.
12:15 By the numbers – Prof Thomas Lumley
Every week on statschat.org.nz, Auckland University professor of biostatistics Thomas Lumley embarrasses journalists by picking apart stories based on their shonky interpretation of facts and figures. The material can be as disparate as junk surveys pitched to journos by PR companies, through to government accounts and data. Prof Lumley will talk to us about the commonest mistakes journalists make when they explain and interpret stats and how to avoid the pitfalls.
1:15 Going Native – Mihingarangi Forbes & Annabelle Lee-Harris
The Native Affairs reporting team had to make decisions and face challenges Pakeha journalists would not recognise when it broke the Kōhanga Reo National Trust story on Māori Television. Mihingarangi Forbes and Annabelle Lee-Harris talk about the pressure their team came under from their home marae, the cultural backlash they felt from the old guard of Māoridom, and the taboos they were said to have broken.
2:15 Afternoon tea break
3:00 How to go under cover legally – Helen Wild
What should journalists in print, radio and television consider when they want to do undercover work? Lawyer Helen Wild will help you traverse the complexities of covert filming/photography, door knocks, entering private property, hacking, tapping, or using illegally obtained information. If it goes south, how much fall-out will hit you, and how much will fall on the media organisation you work for? She’ll explore the issues around protecting sources, arguing public interest and the repercussions of not nailing down every legal step. Helen is a litigation lawyer with particular expertise in media law and managing complex litigation. Until recently she was Senior Counsel for TVNZ for 8 years.
4:00 Breakout Sessions
1. The OIA – Ben Thomas
The Official Information Act is a tremendous piece of legislation in principle – but those who handle journalists’ requests are becoming increasingly unprincipled. Ben Thomas, former press secretary to Chris Finlayson, will share insights into the way our requests are handled behind the closed doors of government. Ben was once a journalist, then became a press secretary and is now a public relations consultant. In each of these roles, he has made use of the Official Information Act. Ben’s perspective on the OIA takes in all three angles, giving him insight into how the act is used and where its strengths lie.
2. Amazing apps – Caleb Tutty
The internet is filled with amazing tools which add value to our reporting – if only we knew where to find them. The Herald’s Caleb Tutty will guide us through a bunch of apps simple enough for the most ham-fisted reporter to use for: ordering large piles of documents, analysing timelines, building data tables, recording mobile phone calls, and doing picture-based searches. Caleb will also point you to a web page full of useful links. Caleb is a senior news developer at the NZ Herald and part of its data journalism team.
4.40pm: Why it matters – Steve Braunias
Author, journalist, satirist and writer Steve Braunias spoke recently at a Wintec Press Club event about an “Age of Stupidity” settling across the media, and urged those who love journalism to fight against this dumbing down. We’ve asked him to follow this thread for the closing address at the inaugural Auckland gathering of the NZ Centre for Investigative Journalism. Steve writes for the New Zealand Herald, The Spinoff Review of Books and is the author of seven books including The Scene of the Crime, which has just been released.
5.20pm: Time for a drink
Registrations are now closed.