Saturday, January 26, 2013

 

Media and Pub Crawl

In 2012 we had a bit of media attention back home in NZ due to a complaint made about the pub crawl by Dylan Clements. All allegations made by Dylan were later investigated and were found to be false. However, the letter sent by Dylan to the news outlets and the High Commissioner still attracted a lot of attention and newspapers (online and print) splashed an awful lot about our "alleged" behaviour.

When I stepped in to answer phone interviews (I had about 20 of them, mainly me disputing everything) and with the kind assistance of the Met Police who was happy to give his number to the media - the Police also rejected the allegations - *most* newspapers were quite happy to amend their stories.  However there was damage done to our reputation in London. People at home were "disgusted" by the event and those who had never even left NZ or been on the crawl judged us all to be drunken reckless idiots. Obviously with an event as big as this there will always be people that will act like dicks, however we experienced ZERO arrests on the day and the feedback from the participants, the bar owners and the police was nothing but positive.

This is proof that despite our massive numbers and the fact that we are drinking from 10am, we are still a lot better behaved than events that take place in New Zealand - (Wellington 7's for instance)

It wasn't just the Police or myself who helped fix this, everybody who spoke to their home town newspapers back home made things better, and there were dozens of you! Once again it was proof that the Kiwi community in London is a lot stronger when we work together, and we didn't let people like Dylan win.

This year the media will ask me and others again about this and I expect some similar "reporting" will be done. The news LOVE a good drunken scandal to get the armchair complainers back home wound up.

I have decided I will be careful with any comments I make to any media, especially those who decided to "report" the allegations without doing any investigating. What you guys do is your choice, as we all showed the media that they were wrong to report their "story" and many papers (Herald, Stuff.co.nz etc) looked stupid. I know it isn't much, but this is OUR day and if they want our family, friends and others to judge us on flimsy news reporting then I don't want part of it.  This event has lasted for decades and nobody wants it to end.

I don't include TV3 in this, they have been very supportive of Kiwis in London. But of course if you're going to be on camera, it will be played on the TV at home and I am sure you all know some of the people back home will judge us no matter what!

Cheers!


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