web analytics

On that Trevett piece

Written By: - Date published: 12:37 pm, April 29th, 2009 - 23 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: ,

Continuing with today’s media criticism theme, I’ve got to disagree with my comrade Eddie’s post this morning about the Claire Trevett piece in the Herald where she appears to celebrate John Key’s obfuscation over his position on the supercity rather than demanding answers herself.

While it would be easy to attribute the style of the article to political bias or to Trevett and the Herald indulging in some kind of conspiracy to protect Key, I think that’s too simplistic an answer. It’s also unfair.

The fact is Claire Trevett is one of the country’s best journalists and I’ve always found her to be scrupulous in her professionalism.

That’s what’s got me worried. I long ago gave up expecting anything of substance from the likes of Jane Clifton, but to have one of our country’s best journos treating political reporting as sports commentary speaks to me more of the deep malaise that’s infected journalism in this country.

My critique here is not one of partisan bias, it’s about a journalism that focuses on ‘the game’ rather than the substance of how politics and the choices our politicans make have a huge impact on people’s lives.

All this style of reporting does is disempower ordinary people by reinforcing the idea that politics is an elite spectator sport removed from the concerns of daily life.

True, Goff’s performance in the house yesterday was shit, but journalists shouldn’t have to rely on politicians to ask the questions for them. And they certainly shouldn’t be praising them for their obfuscation.

Our media can do a lot better than this.

23 comments on “On that Trevett piece”

  1. edoze 1

    Meow, cat fight . . .

  2. vinsin 2

    Well put Tane, that’s almost exactly what i thought after reading the article.

  3. BLiP 3

    I agree.Trevett was only doing her job.

    Alas, Tane, you seem to believe that there is even a little debris left from the annihilation of the principles of the Fourth Estate by the concentration of ownership into the hands of a small coterie of multinational profiteers. Fox News is ultimate manifestation of this.

    Journalists are no longer appointed for their ability to keep the state honest and report accordingly, rather the are trained and appointed as glorified advertorialists. There are notable exceptions – you’ll generally find them around the margins of the Opinion Pages, far away from the what used to be content and is now just soy filler to separate the advertisments.

    Can’t have the audience too emotionally involved in the news, can we? No. Far better that they are spoon fed pap so as to engender a sated and gentle state to faciliate the absorption of advertising.

  4. Stephen 4

    All this style of reporting does is disempower ordinary people by reinforcing the idea that politics is an elite spectator sport removed from the concerns of daily life. etc.

    Excellent, thoughtful stuff, i’ve never heard it put that way.

    • Daveski 4.1

      Actually, it couldn’t be further from the truth. In NZ, the great majority have little time or interest in politics or politicians. The passionate minority is tiny and overtly political blogs like this are are significant part of the minority.

      I’m not being critical of anyone just stating my experiences in the “heartland”. The masses do not share our interest in politics or politicians. (1 demerit for presenting opinion as fact but no more or less than the quoted comment).

      • George Darroch 4.1.1

        People care very much about things that affect their daily lives. Tell someone their car rego is going up, their tax is going down, they’re waiting longer for surgery… etc.

        It’s only those who think that politics is something for politicians who think that the ordinary person has no interest in politics.

  5. Eddie 5

    Yeah. She’s part of a culture and that culture is a dismal failure. I probably went a bit too hard on her personally. It was just such an awful piece of so-called journalism, it boiled my blood. If that was from a blog, noone would read it, just far to shilly.

    • edoze 5.1

      What the, get the kiddy gloves off.

      Go in for the Annette king hit, just don’t let the floor hit you on the way down. . .

  6. Brickley Paiste 6

    You don’t really seem to disagree with Eddie at all. It rather more seems like you’re trying to protect the reputation of someone you respect or perhaps someone with whom you are friends.

    I agree with Eddie. Blame the journalist. I hate how individual journalists are seen to have no agency or moral ability at all. She could have written a better piece. She didn’t. You seem to say as much in your putative “disagreement”.

    And I don’t think he was being simplistic but rather simple. The problem is simple: political journalists are suckful. That isn’t simplistic. And if Trevett is the “best in the country” that’s damning with faint praise.

    And can we really reasonably or honestly call a newspaper who published the “Unauthorised Biography of John Key” — who’s authors now work for Mr Key — as taking part in a conspiracy? It rather seems to me to be an open policy of despising Labour and giving unthinking support to that grinning prick who now leads the government.

    In fact, I should probably erase this post because it was articles such as Trevett’s that inspired me to stop reading the Herald entirely. Since then I find that food tastes better and I have a renewed appreciation for the fact that I exist. I urge you all to try it.

  7. Time for another disclaimer from me due to a few collegial questions.

    The Felix that posts here on a regular basis is not the one that works for Newstalk ZB in the Press Gallery.

    It’s rare to find someone that shares my name but that is the case here.

    As you were.

    • BLiP 7.1

      If you are – really – a political “journalist”, then:

      GO AND DO YOU FUCKING JOB AND STOP SLACK ARSING AROUND!

      Useless prick!

      • Tane 7.1.1

        Guys, you’re not going to improve whatever issues you have with the media by personally abusing journalists.

        • BLiP 7.1.1.1

          The MSM is a lost cause and the less the blogosphere has to do with it and the people involved, the better.

          • r0b 7.1.1.1.1

            Have to agree with Tane on this one (and in doing so I acknowledge that I’ve been guilty of being very tetchy with a certain journo recently). Blogs aren’t some self contained universe, they’re about influencing the real world. Call the MSM to account, try to reform it for the better, but it doesn’t help the cause to be personally abusing random journos.

    • BLiP 7.2

      I’m sorry.

      My intemperate comment was a call to all journalists, and political journalists in particular; a call for them to “get on with it”, to “do the job” and stop pumping out pap. It was not my intention that it be personal.

      Just before I typed in the comment, I had been reading about someone who actually wanted to be a journalist. I realise now it would be best if I was to consider more carefully the views of the person I was responding to, rather than making grand sweeping comments open to endless interpretation about something I read somewhere else.

      I don’t know Mr Marwick and I doubt that he knows me. However, if he should take personal offence at my comment then I apologise and seek his forgiveness.

      And, thank you to the locals who have pointed out the error of my ways in a civil maner.

  8. felix 8

    I can vouch for the other Felix above. I have never and would never have anything to do with that piece-of-shit organisation.

    • jerry 8.1

      Is any organisation you disagree with a piece-of-shit or is ZB a special case for some reason ?

      • felix 8.1.1

        It’s one of the many ways I might describe something I don’t like. It’s a very simple use of language. Do you really not understand the context? Are you a retard? What are you really trying to say, jerry?

        • jerry 8.1.1.1

          just interested in why you dislike/consider them a piece of shit – is it particular hosts ?

          Do you ask anyone who questions you whether they are a retard ? Seems to me it would be more retarded to blindly agree with a webpersona such as yourself.

          • felix 8.1.1.1.1

            just interested in why you dislike/consider them a piece of shit – is it particular hosts ?
            If you have to ask, you’ll never know.

            Do you ask anyone who questions you whether they are a retard ?
            Only if I think they might be retarded.

          • jerry 8.1.1.1.2

            Ah so no real reason for disliking ZB and you accuse people of being retarded for fun …… are you about 15 and commenting here in between surfing porn ?

  9. As bloggers there are surely ways of reading the so-called msm.

    Allow me example a learning from the NY Times, where a common understanding among readers and journos was to take the final pars as ‘intent’ for the article.

    Using the same technique couldn’t you strategize the aforementioned NZH journo for her third par —Mr Key needs a diversionary tactic or four to blunt the Opposition’s attacks on the Auckland Super City.

    Work it, of course, like for why does he need diversion of one or more types..?

    Seems to me the essence of Opposition’ readership and their bloggers etc.. given that the remainder of that piece attempts trivialize matters where’s the problem with developing nuggets to your own gain..?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    17 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    17 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    17 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    7 days ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere