Media bias has been a topic of conversation for lefties this week. TV3 has shown, shall we say, questionable judgment, Karol has set out the divergence of treatment shown by the Herald to National’s and Labour’s state of the Nation speeches and the media in general have jumped on National’s framing of issues. Sam Durbin at Recess Monkey documents recent events well in this post.
He concludes as follows:
Now I’m not going to defend some of the poor communications from Labour, particularly around the Facebook stuff, and they certainly have provided the avenue for attack through some carelessness in crafting. Let me be frank – Labour absolutely must get its act together immediately.
But the fact remains that key members of the media have been shirking their responsibilities to report in an unbiased fashion. The claims that Cunliffe has mislead New Zealand are a John Key media line that they are running for him, without even questioning that they could perhaps have got it wrong. Gower’s story that really started it all off is nothing more than a delusional flight of fancy, accusing Cunliffe and Labour of deliberately doing something terrible, and then chewing them out on every platform he can stick his face, voice, and words onto. Perhaps he’s the malicious one here? Did he deliberately forget to read the section labelled QUESTIONS in the material?
Bad press comes in a number of forms. It can occur through the use of framing of issues offered by your opponent, the repetition of statements as fact when they are not, and down to something as simple as the choice of photographs for articles.
A comment from Olwyn yesterday rasied the issue of the choice of photographs by the New Zealand Herald. Because the photos of David Cunliffe that they have used recently make him look, well, a bit naff.
Exhibit A is this photo from Monday’s state of the nation speech which has been used in at least two articles.
Exhibit B is this photo:
You would think that with all of the Herald’s resources they would have slightly better photos of David.
It is not that hard to get really awful photos of someone. With the benefit of a digital camera multiple shots can be taken quickly. You just set it to take photos continuously and no doubt one of them will look really bad.
As an example of this following is a photo I took of John Key. It was by far the worst one that I took so of course I released it.
This behaviour can be expected of me. After all I am a partisan hack that thinks that Key and National are causing irreparable damage to my country and that they need to be removed from office.
But the Herald is part of the main stream media and is meant to report on the news, not distort it. It is not meant to take political positions, just inform the population what is happening.
Of course the alternative is to bypass the media and talk to people face to face to engage them in politics. This may represent the best chance that Labour and the Greens have of succeeding this year.