Every journalist that ‘outs’ a conspiracy theorist or extremist paints a target on their own back.
The anti-truth brigade thrives in dark places and shining a light on it and its associates is doing a public service. Yet it comes at a cost.
The tone of abuse that it generates is even darker than the places from which it emanates. Journalists – particularly female journalists – are being subjected to taunts and threats on an unprecedented scale and in forms that are deeply disturbing.
Paula Penfold of the Stuff Circuit team that produced the documentary Fire and Fury, which unmasked many of those behind the February-March protest in Parliament grounds, revealed in the Sunday Star Times last weekend that since its appearance she has been targeted with death threats, abuse “and, unsurprisingly, conspiracy theories”. She told the newspaper: “I’ve had lots before but never as many or as ugly or as threatening than after this documentary.”
Penfold’s situation was outlined in an article about the abuse three female Stuff journalists had endured for doing their jobs. Alongside Penfold were Kirsty Johnston, who revealed MP Sam Uffindell’s record at King’s College, and Andrea Vance, currently revealing the anti- brigade’s associations with local body candidates. Continue reading “Latter-day anarchists throw digital bombs at journalists”