web analytics
The Standard

Media: call it as it is

Written By: - Date published: 11:56 am, September 14th, 2012 - 6 comments
Categories: accountability, john banks, john key, Media - Tags:

It’s a regular gripe of mine about our media that they don’t establish facts. I don’t find the “he said, she said” reporting style in the slightest bit helpful, and indeed encourages us, the public, to see all news as gossip and reduces our respect for our system.

Some things we don’t know the truth of, and reporting of separate opinions is valid.

But some things we do know the facts, and if what “he” or “she” said is wrong, the media shouldn’t be afraid to say so.  In fact, it’ll give us more respect for them.

So when John Key says that “John Banks hasn’t broken the law” – even putting aside the fact that “not having broken the law” is hardly an acceptable standard of cabinet ethics, or John Key’s promise to raise ethical standards – he’s lying.  We have the police report that says that John Banks did break the law: they just can’t prosecute on the false declaration charge due to a statute of limitations.

The media might be afraid to use such a powerful word as “lie”; I can’t see how John Key can’t know otherwise, but the media might figure – that like Banks – they cannot prove that Key didn’t know his declaration was false. But they can still make it clear that what he is saying is in fact wrong.

More establishment of fact would also lead to less outrageous “spin”, if politicians are going to be called on it.

Which would lead to more trust in politicians, more trust in society, and we all win.

Establishing fact is meant to be an important part of the fourth estate’s job.

Get on with it.

6 comments on “Media: call it as it is”

  1. Tom Gould 1

    Bunji, reportage is about entertainment and selling and making money. Lovely old fashioned notion about ‘news’ and ‘informing the public’ though. I can remember it too.

  2. tc 2

    If they reported facts and demanded answers with a relentless focus on reporting the truth Key and Blinglish along with a few others wouldn’t have lasted the first term.

    Tranzrail, Blind trusts and a host of other lies would’ve seen key’s smile and wave facade shattered as he doesn’t like any pressure from the media, gets all snarky and the facade drops revealing the real JK.

    Blinglish would’ve gone over double dipton. A fact based report would have showed Helen demoted 2 ministers for indulging in a similar breach of cabinet rules giving Shonkey no choice or be hung out as the hollow man he is or demote the Rorter.

  3. BernyD 3

    I hear what you’re saying, the observational aspects of reporting don’t get the priority they deserve.
    It’s seems more opinion than fact these days.
    They want us to hear various interpretations of fact not the reality.
    “What does it mean ?” is something they will always try and answer vicariously.
    It’s at a point where the Journalist can’t say or interpret anything for themselves.
    If they are civilised then this is a bad thing.
    If they are not then it is still bad, because we cant see it clearly.

    “So reporters need to express their own opinions more ?”

    :-(

  4. mike 4

    “So when John Key says that “John Banks hasn’t broken the law” – even putting aside the fact that “not having broken the law” is hardly an acceptable standard of cabinet ethics, or John Key’s promise to raise ethical standards – he’s lying. We have the police report that says that John Banks did break the law: they just can’t prosecute on the false declaration charge due to a statute of limitations.”

    Ah but John Key has said he’s not going to read the report. So if anyone says to him, “But Banks did break the law according to the police report,” he can just shrug his shoulders and say I haven’t read that. So it’s difficult to call him a liar about this. But you can call him plain old wrong.

    Key is doing a hear no report, see no report, speak no report because the police report says that his standard of cabinet ethics is worse than “don’t break the law”, it’s “don’t get prosecuted.”

  5. Blue 5

    You seem to be under the impression that we still have a fourth estate.

    When is the last time a reporter broke a major political story? The most we ever get in this country is when someone on the inside leaks something to the media, handing them the story on a silver platter.

    When an OIA request turns up something of significance, it’s almost never a media organisation that put the OIA in, it’s a blogger or a citizen.

    The political reporters are a hand-fed lot who dine on press releases, press conferences and pre-arranged, scheduled appearances and announcements, as well as a healthy diet of gossip and giggles as the politicians use them to settle scores.

    I don’t think any of them would even know how to go about investigative journalism if they were allowed to do it.

    The closest we’ve gotten in recent times to what’s really going on is the recording at the National Party conference pre-2008 election and the teapot tapes.

  6. blue leopard 6

    I agree with your gripe Bunji,

    Perhaps our media reflects a certain anti-intellectualism* aspect we have to our culture, if this is so, our media’s non research based conveyance of subjects is compounding this weakness.

    I know I am a better person when I have discussed a given subject with someone who is more informed than I, where they have introduced me to the relevant information/complexities involved.

    * I define intellectualism here as an activity in which one’s mind is employed involving the researching of issues and facts involved in a given subject leading to perspective and thoughtfulness as opposed to (a) dry intellectualism or (b) knee-jerk attitudes arising from base prejudice and/or uninformed base instinctual responses devoid of any real engagement of the mind faculties.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 8

  • Defence Force’s Hotshots given cold shoulder
    The latest victim of the Government’s cost-cutting drive looks set to be an organisation that has provided vital services and support to defence force staff and their families for 67 years, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Labour understands Gerry… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Dairy price drop a blow to neglected regions
    The biggest drop in global milk prices for four years is yet another blow to the dairy industry and the many neglected regions that rely on it, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “This 13 per cent drop in… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Plenty left to do on human rights
    Labour is backing calls to have a Parliamentary Select Committee take responsibility for overseeing and monitoring human rights issues. “A just released three-year study into New Zealand’s track record on human rights, funded by the Law Society, makes uneasy reading,”… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Many regions need by-election levels of support
    Northland is not the only region struggling under the National Government, but unfortunately places like Gisborne, Whanganui and Tasman do not have by-elections on the horizon, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says. “A desperate National Party has thrown money… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Real changes must come from CYF review
    A well-overdue revamp of Child, Youth and Family cannot be just another cost cutting exercise, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour has been pushing for a review for some time. It was part of our policy at the election. ...
    23 hours ago
  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    2 days ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    2 days ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    3 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    6 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    7 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    7 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    7 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere