REVIEW: The sacking of an editor

How the editor of the New Zealand Listener was dismissed after a row with the Board

  • Jeremy Rees Radio New Zealand
Keywords: editorials, journalism, magazines, media freedom, New Zealand, NZBC, NZ Listener


Commentary: On 25 July 1972, the Board of the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation decided to terminate the editorship of Alexander MacLeod with three months' pay, effective immediately. The Listener had only had three editors since its launch as a broadcasting guide in 1939. Its founder Oliver Duff and successor Monty Holcroft, the revered editor of 18 years, built it up as a magazine of culture, arts and current events on top of its monopoly of listings of radio and television programmes. Both men managed to establish a sturdy independence for the magazine which was still the official journal of the New Zealand Broadcasting Service, later to become the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. So, the dismissal of the editor was a sizable event. The National government of the day in New Zealand ordered a Commission of Inquiry into whether the sacking was above board and whether it was politically influenced. This article is the story of the commission's findings.



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Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Dismissal of the Editor of the New Zealand Listener. (1972). Presented to the House of Representatives by Command of His Excellency the Governor-General. Commissioner: E A Lee. Wellington, NZ: Government Printer. Available at the Alexander Turnbull Library, P 658.313 NZ.COM 1972

Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand (n.d). Available at

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How to Cite
Rees, J. (2020). REVIEW: The sacking of an editor: How the editor of the New Zealand Listener was dismissed after a row with the Board. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 26(1), 294-301.