Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Arthur Allan Thomas'

On the Death of Pat Booth

Pat Booth

I got to know Pat well when we were both teaching in the journalism course at AUT. Like me, Pat hated meetings and did his very best to disrupt them with humorous asides. Usually with considerable success. My favourite example is of a debate on the future of semiotics in the curriculum. Pat’s contribution was to the effect that they should be sent back to wherever they’d come from. I wholeheartedly agreed. But behind the humour there was a highly principled journalist and an honest man, devoted to his calling and the truth. His role in the Arthur Allan Thomas case is itself testament to that. I am privileged to have known you, Pat. I doubt you will be resting in peace – far too much unfinished business: truths to be told, wrongs to be righted. Cheers mate!

5 Comments ,

Ewen Macdonald, the UMR Research poll on his guilt and a ‘triple jeopardy’ scenario.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five days ago UMR Research published the results of a poll of 750 New Zealanders 18 years and older. Their  news release was headed ‘WHAT NEW ZEALANDERS THINK OF THE SCOTT GUY MURDER TRIAL’  and began:

 ‘Just 20% of New Zealanders believe Ewen Macdonald did not murder Scott Guy, according to a UMR Research poll released today.

‘UMR’s fortnightly Omnibus Survey shows 48% of people believe Ewen Macdonald is guilty, 20% say he is not guilty, and 28% said they were unsure. 4% of respondents refused to answer the question.’

UMR came in for some fairly sustained flak from letter-writers to the papers and bloggers for conducting the poll at all. At first I tended to share their disapproval. Macdonald had only recently been tried by a jury of his peers for the murder of Scott Guy and that jury had unanimously declared him not guilty. The UMR poll effectively constituted a re-trial of Macdonald for the same crime with the same evidence, but with a much larger, though considerably less well-informed, jury. That jury, it seemed, had found him guilty. Double jeopardy!

I was about to get stuck into UMR for this gratuitous breach of natural justice, when I suddenly remembered that, in a discussion of the trial and its outcome on TV3’s The Nation some days earlier, I had confidently declared that although Macdonald had been found not guilty by a jury of his peers, he had been found guilty ‘in the court of public opinion’.  The UMR poll had done nothing more than test that hypothesis by seeking the opinion of 750 adult New Zealanders and found it to be correct.   Read the rest of this entry »

36 Comments , , , , , , ,