Stuff news, in an unprecedented act of gutter journalism, has launched a new form of reporting today.
The Seek and Destroy Squad aims to ‘name and shame’ persons who are not yet suspected of any criminal activity, in an attempt to stir up hostility against the named person.
The goals of the squad resemble a vigilante approach, where a target is selected and subjected to ‘street justice’ rather than going through due process.
An article on the house explosion that occurred in Christchurch on Friday, published this morning, targeted a gasfitter who had reportedly serviced the connection at the home the day before the explosion.
The article also targeted the man’s business.
An anonymous source at Stuff who disagrees with the implementation of the new squad spoke exclusively to our Herald today.
“Normal news isn’t getting enough attention,” he said. “Vigilantism is in right now, and the editor who thought up the Seek and Destroy Squad wanted to play on that.”
Members of the Seek and Destroy Squad even bragged in the article of harassing the man at his home before he had had an opportunity to speak with investigators.
Of the journalists whose names appear under the article, our source said, “They just want to big-note themselves.”
“They feel their normal articles don’t get enough attention so they want to get it through being a part of Seek and Destroy.”
The journalists who wrote the article are listed as Sam Sherwood and Martin van Beynen.
“The Stuff editors also want to play on social media justice,” added our source.
“People like to take aim at alleged wrong-doers online, and the powers that be want to encourage this.”
However, it would appear the introduction of the new squad has so far not received the type of response Stuff was hoping for.
The vast majority of the just over 500 comments under the Facebook post have strongly condemned Stuff for targeting the man.
“This [is] disgusting Stuff. Leave the poor man alone, naming him and his business is a really low move but fronting at his home is just the lowest of low!!! I’m sure you have only added to the stress he is under. ” said one commenter.
“The “journalists” at Stuff are such vultures. No respect for anyone.” said another.
Many people agreed Stuff was engaging in ‘gutter journalism’ and that visiting the targeted man’s home for comment before he had spoken to investigators constituted undue harassment.
At the time of the publication of this article, the Seek and Destroy Squad article has remained up in a show of defiance.
Our source tells us the journalists involved in the squad have said they “will not relent” and are “actively looking for a new target”.
Citizens, beware. The Seek and Destroy Squad may mark you, next.