The Saturday edition of the DomPost failed to correct its fragile Friday report about councilors meeting to complain they hadn’t had a phone call from the new mayor. Instead, the newspaper repeated it. Its summary on Saturday was that “a group of six councilors were concerned” they hadn’t been contacted by the new mayor within 24 hours of her election. But Friday’s report was wrong.
In a strange turn of phrase, the Friday report said the councilors “had met to confirm” that the mayor hadn’t yet spoken to them about the makeup of her new council. One of those named was first-time councilor Paul Eagle. But he was not at the meeting. He’s not a dissident. He supports the new mayor’s inclusive policies. John Morrison was also named. He says the report was a “beat-up.”
Councilor Ray Ahipene-Mercer was the spokesperson for the group in Friday’s report. He should be explaining why he provided false information. And if and when the DomPost gets around to apologising and issuing a correction, it would be interesting to know why it published six names without first checking with each of them.
Weekend deadlines may be the excuse for no correction being published on Saturday. On another council-related subject, it took the paper 48 hours to publish the correction and apology which appeared on Friday in response to a report which appeared on Wednesday. In such circumstances, words have to be chosen with care.
There’s been another correction to a DomPost article about the Wellington City Council. This one was published on the WCC Watch website. It seems the paper was wrong when it reported that Ian McKinnon had ruled himself out of contention for consideration as deputy mayor. “He does not rule himself out … if the incoming mayor is happy with that,” says the correction, issued from the mayor’s office before it had been vacated by Kerry Prendergast. He may now, however, have ruled himself out – because of his participation in the reported meeting with dissident councilors. If he was there. But unlike Councilors Eagle and Morrison (and Councilor Cook, who was first to suggest the report was wrong), he has stayed silent on this subject.