Lots of people have been sharing this image on the World Wide Web.
Many of them, including former Green Party leader Russel Norman, believe it’s evidence that shadowy National Party figures are controlling New Zealand media.
Newsworthy decided to look into it.
As background, NewstalkZB’s story is sourced from fellow NZME. publication the Herald.
It had published a story on a result from its annual Mood of the Boardroom survey, which shows chief executives want John Key to try harder to find a successor.
A Newstalk reporter took that to mean the ‘Key’ brand is over.
That’s a weird conclusion. It doesn’t match up with other survey results, including this one showing Key is still chief executives’ second-favourite National politician.
NewstalkZB political editor Barry Soper says the first version of his station’s story was wrong.
He asked for it to be taken down and rewritten. The updated version is almost identical to the original Herald story.
“The decision to take the story down was mine. I read the original one in the Herald in the morning and when I got into the office and saw an inaccurate version had been posted online by us I had it rewritten.”
That decision wasn’t influenced by anyone, he says.
“I’m most certainly not an apologist for John Key.”
Liam Dann, the Herald’s Business editor, says the edited version of the story is more accurate.
“It was never about getting rid of John Key. It was all about succession planning. They’re still quite positive about Key.
“I think it’s just been over-egged by someone.”
Maybe you’re saying "Soper and Dann would say that, they’re journalist schills for National".
But if you think about it, the edited story makes more sense.
The chief executives of New Zealand’s biggest corporations aren’t usually among John Key’s most strident critics. They don’t often come out swinging against the popular leader of their traditional political ally.
Or as Dann puts it: “There isn’t a conspiracy to silence the left-wing branch of the CEOs.”