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From: Keith Newman <knewman@pcmag.co.nz>
Organization: PC Magazine
To: ror@aardvark.co.nz
Subject: Keith Newman's response to Martin Taylor

Monday, April 21, 1997,

Martin Taylor,

Thank you for submitting your response to Vikki Bland's April column for publication in our Letters to the Editor section.

Unfortunately several factors make it impossible to publish the letter in its current form. I received the letter on April 17, after PC Magazine New Zealand deadlines had closed and the letters page had been laid up ready to go to film.

The conditions placed on publishing the letter: that it be "in the May issue…have prominent placement…(and be) published in its entirety …without editing or comment" are unacceptable. Certainly the letter was highly charged with emotion, contained factual errors and assumptions and was defamatory to columnist Vikki Bland.

I believe that it is in both our interests to ensure any letter destined for publication is accurate. I have held your letter over for publication in the June issue of PC Magazine should you wish to revise its content. Certainly it will have an editorial response from myself and/or Vikki Bland but at least we have time to work on that prior to the June issue should you wish to pursue the matter.

I have no problems publishing letters that are detrimental or even critical of my publication, as a cursory glance at our letters page will show. However, we do not wish to enter into a situation where the correspondence about an article becomes defamatory in itself.

I note with dismay that the letter was supplied to various other media, and in fact it is now accessible through the Internet, including at your own home page. Vikki is very concerned and upset at the allegations which challenge her journalistic integrity. Ms Bland is an extremely competent writer and I stand behind her research and her right to hold a strong opinion. It is also the view of our lawyer that the publication of this letter is defamatory of Vikki Bland.

We regret this action on your part and are of the view that the matter should have been dealt with by focussing on the facts and not on personal attacks.

Yours Sincerely,

Keith Newman
PC Magazine New Zealand

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