Brian Edwards Media

Posts Tagged 'Twitter'

That odious non-journalist, Jonathan Marshall, is up to his old tricks in Australia and it’s not a pretty story.

Over the last couple of weeks Judy and I have  received phone calls and an email from Cathy Barker. Cathy is the wife of former  Spliz Enz  drummer Michael Barker.  Cathy and Michael are the parents of  teenager Tristan Barker who has become infamous in Australia –  where he has just finished school  –  and beyond for his anarchic and generally offensive rants on Facebook and Twitter.

According to Australian media reports, Tristan has ‘hundreds of thousands’ of teenage fans who hang on his every word. His Twitter page reveals that he currently has just under 15,000 followers, so I suspect his fan numbers may be exaggerated. But that’s still a lot of people and his on-line presence is undoubtedly significant.

Tristan’s methodology, by his own telling, is to slaughter as many sacred cows and offend the sensibilities of as many people as possible in order to make us all think. He is clearly highly intelligent and writes well.

But his outpourings are properly unacceptable, I would have thought, to even the most liberal mind. Here in New Zealand, Netsafe Executive Director Martin Cocker has described Tristan’s actions as ‘inciting of acts of hatred’. Whether that is Tristan’s intention or not,  I think Cocker may well be right.

Unsurprisingly, Tristan who is a Kiwi and whose parents live in Rotorua, has attracted the particular attention of the Australian media, most recently for allegedly assaulting Channel Seven’s Today Tonight reporter Dave Eccleston who had travelled to Rotorua to interview him. Eccleston required medical treatment. Tristan appeared in Rotorua District Court this morning, charged with common assault. He was remanded on bail until April 3.    Read the rest of this entry »


How Twitter brought us news that our family in Christchurch was safe – a remarkable story.




Christchurch was my first New Zealand home. I arrived there with my wife and baby son Laurie in September 1964 to take up a lecturing job at Canterbury University. My first office was in what is now the Christchurch Arts Centre, damaged in yesterday’s horrendous earthquake.

My two daughters, Naomi and Rebecca were both born in Christchurch.  Four months ago Rebecca’s son, my newest grandchild, Inigo Peter, was born there too.

It would be strange if I did not have a particular affection for the city.

It was there too that I spent one of the happiest periods of my professional life, as a reporter on the regional magazine programme Town and Around, getting to know the New Zealanders of Canterbury and the West Coast in a way not possible for most new immigrants. They took this gaunt, skinny Irishman with his bizarre accent into their homes and hearts with a warmth I would never quite feel again as a broadcaster on the national stage. The entire district became my village. I ceased to be a stranger in a strange land. I felt that I belonged. 

Rebecca, her husband Andy and four of my eleven grandchildren now live in Sumner. Judy and I spent most of yesterday watching the television coverage from the devastated city. Communication with my daughter seemed impossible. Phone, email and text brought no response. Were they all right? We scanned the TV coverage for clues about how Sumner had fared, but most of the footage was understandably about the ravaged central city.

Judy had brought her laptop into the living room and was… tweeting!  Read the rest of this entry »