Is it not standard journalistic practice to put your allegations to the subject of your investigation prior to publication? Hager testified in the High Court that
… where the allegations were serious and the evidence was far from being solid enough to publish with confidence, I would definitely have gone to the person being accused to hear their side. Not only is that fair to the person concerned but also it would form a vital part of the checking of the facts. The person’s response would be very important as to whether I proceeded to publish the allegations about that person.
A Wellington journalist who should have known better wondered why the New Zealand Army took so long to respond to Hit and Run. The reason was they received no advance copies. They were still reading it into the night.