11 privacy steps every journalist should take to protect themselves and their sources

11 privacy steps every journalist should take to protect themselves and their sources
Published by Aimee O’Driscoll on June 29, 2017 in VPN & Privacy

NZ Herald: US warship visit to New Zealand

Visit would show America, not NZ, has changed stance, writes Nicky Hager

How do you make sense of more than a million leaked documents?

The story behind the massive leak of documents revealing the extent to which the world’s wealthy go to avoid and evade tax and New Zealand’s part in the investigations

The Manipulators, chapter 10 of The Hollow Men

The Australian strategists Crosby/Textor have returned to the news working for the British Conservative Party. We are reproducing a chapter about their operations in a New Zealand campaign, including leaked reports that show clearly how they think and operate…
(See also http://www.nickyhager.info/crosby-v-hager-defamation-proceedings-as-political-weapon)

Bruce Jesson Lecture, Maidment Theatre, Auckland

The second part of the lecture will be about investigative journalism. But before that, I want to use the opportunity of this lecture to talk much more widely, sharing some thoughts about the state of politics in New Zealand today.

2011 Election analysis: I’ve just been internalising a really complicated situation in my head

The news declared that the National Party had had a ‘historic’ election victory on Saturday but, if that was true, National Party people would be looking happier. The reality is much more complicated.

A short history of the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS)

The SIS history divides into three eras: Cold War (1956-1990), post-Cold War (1990-2001) and War on Terror (2001 to the present).

Wikileaks: the first cables released in New Zealand

These are the first US embassy cables released in New Zealand, in full except for one name being redacted.

“Crosby v Hager”: defamation proceedings used as a political weapon

I have just been through an eleven month defamation case. Fortunately, we mostly won. About 20 to 1 if it was a score. If I was ever going to be sued like this, I am pleased that the suer was a man of Lynton Crosby’s standing and that his case against me was so weak….

Unfortunately, defamation is a tool that can be used by any well resourced company or individual against people who have annoyed them or who they do not like. This has serious implications for journalism and public accountability — potentially chilling freedom of speech about the people who most deserve scrutiny and criticism — since the sad fact is that it is much safer for a news organisation to criticise poor people than rich and powerful ones.

Questions frequently asked by journalism students

How can a busy journalist ever have time for investigative work?

I understand that time feels like an insurmountable barrier to ever being able to do investigative work. However after looking at real examples around the world I don’t think time is as important as motivation, creativity and persistence. Journalists who really want to pursue something often find a way.

Interview with Nicky Hager 2008

Nicky Hager is interviewed about lessons for the public from his book and the film The Hollow Men

The Hollow Men: Documentary film

Award-winning documentary maker Alister Barry (Someone Else’s Country, In a Land of Plenty) brings this exposé of behind-the-scenes politics in an all-too-real political thriller.

  • DVD copies of “The Hollow Men” documentary are available by mailorder priced at $30 each, including gst and postage. Simply email alisterbarry@paradise.net.nz indicating how many copies you would like and your postal address.

“Propaganda then and now”, notes of a lecture at Auckland Museum on Wednesday, 2 May 2007

I will be talking tonight about the history and characteristics of propaganda, starting with the WWII versions as seen in the “Towards the Precipice” poster exhibition here at the museum and moving on to contemporary examples that together help us to understand the world we live in.

Investigating and Exposing

This chapter is about some of the powerful tools an individual can use to dig out useful and important information that exposes wrongdoing and empowers the public. Starting with the story of the research behind my book on anti-environmental public relations, Secrets and Lies, I want to decsribe how a sensible person with time, persistence [...]

Investigating public relations companies

PR is a huge feature of modern politics. Every journalist spends a lot of his or her time coping with and trying to see through PR communications and tactics. However the issue for journalists should not just be surviving PR tactics and spin, but turning the spotlight on it….

“Investigating Intelligence Activities” (speech notes), Global Investigative Journalism Conference, Copenhagen, 26-29 April 2001

Intelligence agencies can appear hopelessly impregnable. The information is inside the walls and we are on the outside. But security is usually more impression than reality. In every government agency (and private companies), no matter how strict the security, the secrets walk in and out of the doors every day as people go to and from work.

Echelon – a story about how information spreads (or doesn’t)

My 1996 book Secret Power on New Zealand’s role in the Echelon network was written secretly, as I feared the intelligence agencies would try to block publication of a book based on extensive interviews with their staff….

Researching Echelon

Many people have asked how I uncovered information about Echelon. They are experiences I think are worth sharing….

A Brief Guide to Leaking

Appendix Secrets and Lies Public information is the number one requirement of a healthy democracy. Although we live in a so-called information age, governments and private companies have become increasingly adept at restricting and controlling public access to all sorts of important information. For a while there was movement towards greater freedom of information; in [...]

Exposing Dirty PR Tactics Across the World and in Your Street

Introduction to the United States Edition of Secrets and Lies As public relations companies export techniques for manipulating democracy around the globe, citizens in every country urgently need to share knowledge of these tactics and how to deal with them. Secrets and Lies is a rare and detailed exposé of how modern PR companies can influence [...]