Auckland Saga – The Prequel

As alert and diligent readers of will be aware, I have just returned from a short but intensely enjoyable trip to Auckland. Revelling in my status as “full time beer commentator” – if only for a week between jobs – I arranged a beer-packed schedule to take full advantage of an all-too-rare chance to try some of those fine Auckland beers which seem scared to leave the city limits.

I’ve got 26 pages of handwritten notes (and about as many bar receipts) which I hope to turn into a couple of mainstream media articles and a series of blog entries exclusively right here on the blog *cheap pop*

However, these plans were cast into doubt when loyal reader Belinda, a South Island journalist, sent me a troubling news story:

“2 journos fired for drinking with subjects of story

When reporter Craig McCool and photographer Mairin Chapman of The Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette went to a local party to research a series on drinking among young adults, they saw nothing wrong with partaking of the libations themselves.

But editors did. The result: The two were dismissed, and the paper ran an editor’s note this weekend explaining the incident.

“Their conduct is unacceptable and violates the standards that we uphold every day as journalists,” Editor Rebecca Pierce said in the note, published Saturday. “We don’t condone it and we can’t ignore it.”

My initial reaction was to wish that I could write for something with a name as cool as the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette simply for the business cards alone. Then I got to wondering about how short on names US papers must be because there was clearly another (non-Michigan)newspaper also called the Kalamazoo Gazette. Finally, I became very worried.

Clearly, such editorial standards would be a significant – nay, fatal – blow to my journalistic style. Fortunately, as it would turn out, my editor – the erstwhile Mr Luke Nicholas – had exactly the opposite response as was demonstrated by the good-natured berating he gave me for not drinking enough beer!

All the details and much, much more coming soon right here.



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