S.A.P. 17 Dr Martin Hirst

My latest Socialist Academic Profile looks at Auckland University of Technology School of Communication Studies curriculum leader, Dr Martin Hirst.

According to the AUT website;

Dr Hirst joined the School of Communication Studies at AUT University in January 2007, after a 12 year teaching and research career in Australian journalism education. He has an extensive background in academic research in journalism and communication/media studies and is the co-author of three books: Look both ways: Fairfield, Cabramatta and the media (2001, with Antonio Castillo), Journalism Ethics: Arguments and Cases (2005, with Roger Patching) and Communications and New Media: Broadcast to narrowcast (2007, with John Harrison).

Sounds impressive. A very experienced man for a very influential position. Dr Hirst will be influencing the course content for hundreds of NZ’s student journalists. He will be in a position to influence the way they think and most importantly, how they write.

One experienced journalist, the Dominion Post’s Karl Du Fresne is not quite so impressed with the good doctor.

Writing in the Dominion Post du fresne discusses a recent journalism seminar he attended;

Cleverly titled Journalism Matters, the seminar in Parliament’s Grand Hall had the declared aim of promoting “quality journalism”. It mixed a recitation of age-old union gripes – such as claims of understaffing and low pay – with debate over broader philosophical questions about where journalism is heading.

While the roster of speakers reflected an unmistakably left-wing agenda, the seminar attracted a handful of executives from the two big newspaper groups, Fairfax Media and APN, and covered some issues that transcended industrial politics, such as the threat to traditional mainstream news media from competitive pressures unforeseen a few years ago…

The political theme continued throughout the seminar, perhaps reaching its low point when the curriculum leader in journalism at the Auckland University of Technology, self-proclaimed socialist Martin Hirst, declared that journalism was not about reporting the world, but about changing the world.

This highly politicised interpretation of journalism, which sees journalists not as reporters trying impartially to cover matters of public interest but as agents of political change, is now so entrenched in some journalism schools that it barely raised an eyebrow.

That criticism has led to a media spat between Du Fresne and Hirst and some rather incredible statements by the latter.

I quote from today’s Christchurch Press;

First Hirst praises leftist journalist John Pilger

John Pilger’s crusading work over many years is another example of what I describe as the journalism of engagement.

Then he attacks the virtue of journalistic objectivity;

Objectivity as a principle of journalism is no longer the holy grail. The fact that some jornalism editors are prepared to say so and put such ideas in front of their students is just a recognition of this idea. In the respected Columbia Journalism Review, Brent Cunningham has written a thoughtful piece called “Rethinking Objectivity”. He makes the point that often it is an excuse for lazy journalism and that it forces reporters to rely on official sources. He also argues that it allows the news agenda to be captured by the “spin doctors”…

Then he discusses his socialist views;

My politics are in the tradition of international socialism…I don’t believe for a minute that the charade of democracy practised in the free market west is the be all and end all of human political development.

Well just how “socialist is Dr Hirst.

I can report that Dr Hirst joined a small Trotskyist sect while at university in Sydney in 1975.

I can also report that he remains a Trotskyist to this day.

Dr Hirst is listed as a contributor to the Australian Trotskyist website Marxist Interventions, where he is described thus;

Martin Hirst has been active in socialist politics since 1975 and claims to have been the only Trotskyist to ever work in the federal press gallery as a journalist

The bulk of the sites other contributors are members of the Australian or its recent splinter group, .

ISO is part of the , which is led by the British .

ISO is therefore, technically the sister party of NZ’s .

You’d therefore expect that Dr Hirst might have made contact with Socialist Worker since arriving in NZ.

I quote from the comments section of Australian blog Intercontinental Cry;

just a quick line to let you know there was a very militant occupation of the Australian Consulate in Auckland this evening against the invasion of Aboriginal lands and in solidarity with our black brothers and sisters facing John Howard’s racist attacks…

Kia kaha
Joe Carolan
Socialist Worker, Aotearoa

very good speeches from all the groups in support-
Julia and Joe from Socialist Worker, Martin Hirst, Lecturer in Media studies at AUT, Jared from Workers Party, Jim Gladwin from Citizens against Privatisation, and statement read out from Kulin Nations and Aboriginal declaration of sovereignty’ by UNITY editor Daph Lawless in Consulate occupation that broke through police lines.

So there you have it.

Your taxes are paying a lifelong Trotskyist, who does not believe in objective journalism, to design curricula, to teach future Kiwi journalists how to work for “social change”.

Am I being fair to Dr Hirst here? Or am I being too “objective”?

You judge, dear reader. Its your world this man wants to change.


Author: Admin

Related Articles

50 thoughts on “S.A.P. 17 Dr Martin Hirst

  1. The picture above Rhone looks lovley, but uninteresting, where as the Brisbane bike paths are full of fun and adventure. I would use the bikes in Brisbane and i think you just need to give it more time to take off, after all, Rhone was not built in a day.I also think the all day travel on ferries and bus for Brisbane is too cheap, maybe add a dollar to this fair and include the bikes as part of your all day fair, this would certainly make up for the bike prices, plus you would get instant clientell, probably need more bikes.

  2. Hirst writes: “Zionism is the political expression of Israeli expansionism and military power in the middle east.”
    That’s putting the cart before the horse. Zionism as a secular political movement existed before the re-establishment of a Jewish State; so how could it be, by definition, an expression of “Israeli expansionism”? Rather, Zionism is an expression of the nearly 2,000-year-old yearning of the Jewish People to return to the national homeland from which they were forcibly removed.
    Given that Hirst is anti-Zionist he would see the very existence of a State of Israel on even one square kilometre of land as “expansionist”. So his tired sloganeering about “Israeli expansionism” is really a lazy leftist response to legitimate Jewish national aspirations.
    The problem is that, while Hirst may be perfectly charming to individual Jews and would wish no harm to come to them, he is, by dint of his Marxist beliefs necessarily antisemitic. Marx himself, while technically Jewish, set in stone a series of atrocious antisemitic stereotypes that have since permeated the political left to varying extents. Marxism, as an atheistic, materialist, anti-pluralistic ideology, is in direct conflict with Jewish values, practices and beliefs. It is no surprise, therefore, that Marxists who have argued for the spiritual extinction of Judaism have, on gaining power, made the transition to physical destruction even while declaring the Brotherhood of Man and freedom of religion. So, while individuals like Hirst may not be consciously antisemitic, their ideology places them shoulder to shoulder with those they like to consider their opposites – neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers etc. Maybe it’s a case of – at least where Jews are concerned – “opposites” attracting?

  3. Um, you’re still missing that apostrophe in the last line and I’ve gotta say this thread’s getting a little creepy. Especially the whole pseudo-intellectual stuff. Kinda reminds me of mein kampf (but with bad punctuation).

  4. Thanks Sam-an interesting and probably pretty accurate analysis. I don’t think any of us can really claim Orwell as our own.

    Kimmy=Thanks for that. I’m in bloody rough shape by the look of things

  5. Orwell, being a critical and open minded kind of guy, seems to have changed his political opinions in various ways throughout his life. So to say “he was a ….” is always going to be wrong.

    In Homage to Catalonia he notes that he joined a ‘Trotskyist’ militia out of convenience, while declaring his support for the Communist Party, he realised his mistake, and by the end of the war, was saying the anarchist position had been the correct one. He referred to himself as an anarchist (or the delightful term ‘Tory anarchist’) a couple of times, but seems to have actually believed that the power of the state was a necessity in emergencies – he appears to have been happy to work for the British government’s propaganda machine during WWII in the interest of combating fascism.

    Probably his politics in later life are best summed up as being philosophically anarchist, but acting as a pragmatic activist, willing to back the lesser evil in the interests of opposing totalitarianism.

  6. Marty:

    Let’s know how you get on in Kim Jong land.

    Good luck with the North Korean bloggers!

    Just go easy on working the young journalists up to change everything.

  7. Holy smoke!

    His Highness Kim Jong II is a fan of Trev’s NewZeal.

    Take Marty Hirst away, Kimmy. Send him back reprogrammed as a potential ACT candidate.

  8. Dear Doctor Hirst:

    I inwite you as president of Democwatic People’s Wepublic of Korea come Pyongyang for talk about journalist training.

    You wight man. We open country up slowly. We want many new newspaper where reporters and clerks jump weal high when Kim Jong say jump. We no want reporters who wite what happen. We want they wite what we all want to be like and twy to change to that.

    But you forget Trotsky bull first. Juche only way. You adopt easy. Big socialist. We weal socialist. Trotsky picky. In head picky. Ha ha.

    Wing me in Pyongyang. Cowwect call.


    Kim Jong II. (You call me Kimmy).

    Ask for Pyongyang exchange. Talk English okay.

  9. Democracies sometimes lapse into violence in politics.They are often, perhaps mostly, held to account for this at the polls.
    Trotskyists regard violence as a legitimate tool of politics. Bronstein/Trotsky never had the faintest twinge of conscience using force to suppress the democratically elected moderates and non-Bolshevik socialists and peasants during the Russian Revolution. Nor in massacring civilians in following years.
    And, most relevant, he used force to seize newspapers that opposed the Bolsheviks.

  10. “That is if we can stop your heroes, such as George Bush, from destroying it first with their oil wars and nukiller devices.”

    Pro-terrorist propaganda. Al Qaida love it. Perfect example.

  11. “force in politics”? Of course, that’s what the “american century” is about;
    Iraq another Vietnam – oh no, not more “force in politics”.
    Hitler’s brownshirts; Pinochet in Chile and other American adventures in Latin America.
    Right wing thugs like you Trevor, don’t for a minute pretend you don’t like cracking skulls.
    Stop your infantile ranting and get a life.

  12. Orwell was an interesting writer, and Animal Farm was an attack on Stalinism.
    However, Trotskyism wouldn’t have been any better if the vain poppycock Bronstein rather than Stalin had succeeded Lenin. The whole lot were blood-thirsty, ruthless, utopian fools.
    The point is that Trotskyists are Marxists, communists, totalitarians, and approve of the use of force in politics.

  13. Martin Hirst wrote: “I believe in the overthrow of capitalism through the conscious political organisation of the working class. With armed force if necessary.”

    What he means is his ideal society is a place where you do what you are told by those purporting to speak for the workers, or you get shot.

    What an emetic!

  14. I do not think any of the anonymous posters on this list have ever actually read George Orwell. As Dr Hirst points out, Orwell never waivered from his socialist politics. The right-wing myth built up about Orwell is not based on an accurate reading of his work, whether essays or journalism.
    You are all clutching at straws. Though it is not beyond reason that the average reading age of Trevor’s regular punters is substantially below the national average.

  15. This is a storm in a reporter’s beer glass.
    Most journalism trainees end up in public relations. I read that almost 200 work for the government in Parliament Buildings.
    A good Trot grounding will serve well future spin doctors of left wing politicians.

  16. Comrades, this has gone on long enough. Most of you are not prepared to identify yourselves – I’m assuming that Mr Louden is in fact the only one infesting this thread and that he’s reposting his own comments anonymously to keep the thread alive and improve his “hit” count.

    I will, for the last time, dip in here to answer the following:
    Dear Dr Hirst. Unless you respond to the allegations in the blog about your Trotskist beliefs, we can only assume the following.

    A Trotskyist-Marxist-Communist wolf in moderate socialist camouflage is in the news media flock.

    The old rams, wethers, and ewes — the media executives — munch passively on the grass, but the lambs, the trainee reporters are at risk.

    I am not technically a “Trotksyist”, though I’m sure the finer points of socialist theory are lost on most of you blinkered nubbins. I do, however, subscribe to a number of trotskyite positions. For example the concept of permanent revolution (which you should look up in a reputable source before frothing at the mouth).
    I am a supporter of the international socialist tendency (though not a member of any grouping – again this is for the record so you gumnuts don’t get in a lather about it).
    What does this mean?
    It means I dont now and never have supported the state capitalist regimes in the former USSR, Hungary, Albania, North Korea, China, Cuba etc. So you can stop right now insulting my intelligence and historical fact by making out that I’m some kind of Stalinist monster.
    I subscribe to the theory of “socialism from below”. That is I do not believe in the imposition of political orthodoxy on anyone – not even foolish drubbers who don’t know any better. It also means that, unlike those who claim to be “libertarian” and in favour of “liberty”, I actually believe in the ultimate freedom of individuals to pursue a life of happiness, health and liberty.
    the power of the working class, not a small bunch of hardcore “revolutionaries” will ultimately determine the fate of the world. That is if we can stop your heroes, such as George Bush, from destroying it first with their oil wars and nukiller devices.
    I believe in freedom of association and freedom of religion, though, yes, I am an aetheist and think that belief in any form of “god” is plainly stupid.
    I’m also disappointed that Mr Louden failed to uncover my alleged anti-semitism. And no, I’m not an anti-semite, but I am an anti-imperialist and therefore against the state of Israel – I am an anti-Zionist. Zionism is the political expression of Israeli expansionism and military power in the middle east.
    Oh and before you go off chasing more rabbits down burrows, I do not support terrorism, particularly state terrorism.
    I believe in the overthrow of capitalism through the conscious political organisation of the working class. With armed force if necessary.
    This does not mean that I rush off to the Waikato to do small arms training each weekend. Though regular readers of this particular blog may well be “survivalist” anti-government types I want to make it clear WE HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON.
    I’ll leave you to your dribblings now. I have better things to do.

  17. Baa, baa red sheep, have you any wool?

    Yes Sir, Yes Sir, three Presses full

    One for the editor, one for his dame

    One for the lads and lasses down Press Lane.

  18. Dear Dr Hirst. Unless you respond to the allegations in the blog about your Trotskist beliefs, we can only assume the following.

    A Trotskyist-Marxist-Communist wolf in moderate socialist camouflage is in the news media flock.

    The old rams, wethers, and ewes — the media executives — munch passively on the grass, but the lambs, the trainee reporters are at risk.

  19. Voters may have put Trevor’s Act party into only two seats, but that’s more than NZ Trots have.
    If the Greens hadn’t taken in NZ’s extreme left, it wouldn’t be in Parliament either.

  20. Yeah, a “hard nosed Presbyterian Calvinist from rural Queensland” who uses language like “caring, compassionate and considerate human being, who makes higher education a transformative experience for his students”


    Sounds a lot like common and garden style commie stuff to me. Ex Australian Broadcasting Corp.. and co-author of a book with Hirst.. well, sure as all hell to be objective.. right???

  21. Dr Harrison, Trevor is not a member of Parliament. He is merely the Vice President of the ACT Party. A small right-wing party with two MPs.

  22. Dr Hirst’s politics, as a Trotskyist, are highly relevant to his views that journalists’ mission is to change society.
    Militant Marxism of the Trostskyist bent and a free press are irreconcilable.
    Is the AUT training journalists for a totalitarian society? If so what does AUT know that we don’t?

  23. As a person who knows Martin Hirst well, and who has worked with him in higher education, over a number of years, I find your portrayal of him as a wicked Trot set to bring NZ to its knees, quite incredible. That is, lacking in credibity.

    That a Member of Parliament would use their position to make an ad hominem attack on an academic who is held in high esteem, is nothing short of a disgrace.

    Dr Hirst is well known in this country (Australia) for his thoughtful and forthright contributions to the debate about journalism, its ethics, its standards, and its future, and is published by leading publishers such as Oxford University Press. He is also a caring, compassionate and considerate human being, who makes higher education a transformative experience for his students.

    I look forward to some genuine debate on the issues, not personal vitriol poured the petrol can of anonymity. Indeed, I would challenge the owner of this blog to only post replies from those with the courage to identify themselves.

    And for the record, I’m not a Marxist, Trot, Maoist, or fellow traveller, but a hard nosed Presbyterian Calvinist from rural Queensland.

    Dr John Harrison
    School of Journalism & Communication
    The University of Queensland

  24. Great stuff Trev. Keep sticking it to these commies. It galls me so much that they hide their partisan extremist roots, and hang out in such mainstream venues as universities and pretend to provide objective instruction to impressionable young students.

    What untold damage these disgusting and poisonous leftist zealots must be doing to our societies, and the democratic system, to our education facilities and to the minds of the young.

    For sure, they have brought the craft of journalism into utter disrepute. Once a respected profession, journos are nowadays universally despised as megaphones for totalitarian big government, and seen as leftist propagandists who hold words like ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ and ‘individual’ in utter contempt whilst promoting anti-life anti-human ideologies such as Marxism/ Communism/ Socialism with horrible words like ‘collectivist’ and loaded phrases such as “social justice”.

    A plague on the world and surely the worst kind of influence within our education system. Little wonder so many students leave university with such a limited political perspective. Indoctrinated at the expense of a real education.

    Anyone here seen Indoctrination U?

  25. The nub of this debate is that Marty Hirst calls himself a socialist and doesn’t front up to being a Trotskyist activist.

    Socialist covers an almost impossibly wide range, including Hitler (Nazi — National Socialist), and the moderate socialists whom Trotsky led the Bolshevikis in subjugating.

    If I’m in a credit union in one way I’m a socialist but I’m sure not a Trotskyist or any other form of Marxist Communist.

    Orwell may been a socialist but he hated communists, Trotskyists, National Socialist fascists, and all other totalitarians.

    Hirst as a Trot activist is hypocritical in holding himself up as a scion of a free press. Trots are authoritarian and totalitarian.

  26. Marty:

    The pigs in animal farm were Marxists!

    Are you saying Orwell was a communist? If so you are even more deluded than most followers of butcher Bronstein.

    And as for teaching journalism for a free press. That’s a case of using democracy to destroy democracy.

    Trotskyists are wreckers!

  27. By the way, that photo of me is copyright and you should take it down.
    If you want a nice pic to illustrate your drab page, I can send you one.

  28. Trevor, I admire the way most of your commenters feel the need shout out, but hide their identities.
    You afraid of the thought police?
    It’s also interesting that they have to fall back on to ridiculous arguments about far away places they know next to nothing about, variations on the “go back to Russia” taunt.
    I for one don’t think North Korea’s socialist, but you guys would have just glazed over that part of my piece in today’s Press because it means I don’t fit your stupid stereotype of what a communist should be.
    As for Orwell, you should read John Newsinger’s great book “Orwell’s Socialism” and also what he himself wrote about politics until his death.
    He was a socialist till the day he died.
    The fact that the Stalinists in Spain wanted him dead and that he supported the Marxist POUM organisation while he was there and that he writes in 1984, “if there’s any hope at all it lies with the proles” should give even the thickest of you a brief insight.
    Stop trying to claim Orwell as an anti-communist and as one of your own, people like you made Orwell sick, in fact he would have despised the lot of you, you can’t win that one.

  29. Who has the revisionism about Orwell?
    Deadhead Trots and other Commies of course. Can’t they bloody well read?
    If they don’t feel at home in GodZone, that’s great.
    North Korea would love to have them, or Cuba until Fidel kicks the bucket.

  30. I’d like to say I agree with “Dangerous Communist”. I too feel at home in NZ.

    You guys need to revise your revisionism about Orwell and you should read Tony Cliff on state capitalism.

    1. Funny I think of Can’t Afford to Wait as a slogan in OPPOSITION to the puilbc option. If this system was in effect now, and I was ill, the last thing I would want to do is take a number and wait my turn for treatment and that’s assuming that I would receive treatment at all.

  31. Thanks everyone of you numbnuckasauruses for your kind words.
    I feel right at home in GodZone,
    bless you all
    Dangerous Communist

  32. For those who think Trotskyists are some sort of moderate, democratic communists, consider the huge role Trotsky played in the Red Revolution. He led the seizing of power by force and founded the Red Army.

    When the non-socialists and moderate socialists were dismissed by the Bolsheviks, in which he was No. 2 to Lenin, here is how Trotsky dismissed these rival, elected politicians:

    “You are pitiful isolated individuals; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on — into the dustbin of history.”

    Trotsky also said: “Not believing in force is the same as not believing in gravity.”

    A Trotskyist has no place as a lecturer in journalism in a New Zealand tertiary institution. Trotsky seized free newspapers at bayonet point in the Bolshevik revolution.

    The AUT should kick Hirst out.

  33. Orwell described himself as a democratic socialist. He was not a Marxist.Trotskyism is Marxist.

    Bronstein (Trotsky or Trotzky) the founder was a murdering totalitarian.
    What an insult for Hirst to try to appropriate Orwell to his totalitarian world view!

    And congratulations to NewZeal for throwing light on Hirst.

  34. Whoops in my comment I meant to type New Zeal points out the Sydney Trots are stirring up Aboriginal folk. Not New Zealand. Typo. Sorry.

  35. Nice work Mr Loudon!

    About the lefty stuff in the Christchurch Press. As well as Minto etc they have sent staff off to Australia to write about Aboriginal affairs.

    Now New Zealand points out the Sydney Trotskyists are active in trying to radicalise Aboriginal people.

    There’s got to be a dumb Trot somewhere high in the Press.

  36. Yeah: you wonder whether Hirst can make things any worse.
    I buy the Press, which printed Hirst, each day. It printed Hirst’s bullshit without any qualifying comments.

    How come I have to be directed to this blog to find out the truth about Hirst? Are the editors idiots or just Left wing zealots?

    The newspaper prints Minto and former Alliance candidate Gordon regularly too.

    I swear it’s like reading Pravada some days.

  37. Yes, Orwell saw the failings of the extreme left, including Trotskyism, when he fought in Spain.

    He then exposed the extreme left in clear prose. He may have been a moderately leftish man eventually, perhaps like a mid-Labour voter in NZ, but he saw through Trotskyism and Stalinism.

    Hirst falsified Orwell’s views. Is the sort of technique he teaches future reporters? God Defend NZ.

  38. Hirst is despicable. In an article in the Christchurch Press responding to criticism of him by Karl du Fresne, he hijacked Orwell.

    He made it sound as though Orwell’s insightful works supported Hirst’s Trotskyist views.

    Orwell in Animal Farm and other works devastatingly highlighted the horrifying totalitarian future under Stalinism and Trotskyism.

    How disgusting that the Auckland University of Technology would put such an anti-democratic activist in a position to influence hundreds of young journalists.

  39. Right On, Trevor!

    I quote again from my earlier post:

    The Dictatorship of the Professoriate

    Marxist intellectuals first slithered into the academy in the 1930s. They covertly increased their numbers over succeeding decades, and by the 1960s were a significant presence at universities throughout the Western world. After achieving critical mass in the liberal arts faculties, particularly those dealing with the study of society itself, they systematically excluded anyone holding viewpoints outside the leftist spectrum.

    Many academics now see themselves not primarily as educators, but as agents of an “adversary culture” at war with the world outside the university. Their agenda is to produce students who will go forth from the academy as “agents of social change,” committed to achieving “social justice” for “marginalised groups.”

    For three decades students have been taught that rather than living in free societies, they are trapped in a wicked caste system of race, gender class and sexual orientation crying out for revolutionary change. There are few, if any dissenting voices. Under the saturating drumbeat of this “cultural pessimism,” many intellectuals from “dominant groups” were induced to “switch sides” as Gramsci had envisaged.

    This Commie Martin Hirst is dedicated to expanding the role of Gramscian Marxist “Critical Theory” in helping the gullible and easily led into a destructive criticism of their own culture.

    As Patrick Buchanan puts it in Death of the West: “Critical Theory eventually induces ‘cultural pessimism’, a sense of alienation, of hopelessness, of despair where, even though prosperous and free, a people comes to see its society and country as oppressive, evil and unworthy of loyalty or love. The new Marxists considered cultural pessimism a necessary precondition of revolutionary change.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *