Audrey’s journalism fail

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, March 24th, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

Like most on the left I’ve pretty much resigned myself to the Herald’s current bias toward National but today’s effort by Audrey Young is a new low altogether.

You see it’s not just that she writes up all of John and Paula’s lines it’s that she provides no balancing comment.

The result is that her story reads like a government statement.

This kind of thing could be excused if the story was a wire piece put together to take the story out as fast as possible but it wasn’t. It was a piece filed for the next day’s paper with plenty of time to quote some reaction.

In fact by 1:37pm yesterday she could have quoted the Green’s co-leader person Metiria Turei saying:

Beneficiaries make meaningful contributions to society. They pay taxes, volunteer in their communities, and support children and other family members. They deserve to be treated with respect, which is sorely lacking from this Government.

By 2:54pm yesterday she could have quoted benefit rights activist Kay Brereton saying:

This government has sat on its hands while tens of thousands of Kiwis lose their jobs and now the minister responsible for this dire situation, Paula Bennett, is blaming the very people she has failed.

At any time she could have picked up the phone and asked Labour’s acting wefare spokesperson, Ruth Dyson, what she thought just like RNZ did or Phil Goff like NZPA has.

But she didn’t. She gave only one half of the story and that was the government’s.

I’ve got a lot of respect for Audrey but if a journalism student handed in this story as an assignment they’d fail.

26 comments on “Audrey’s journalism fail”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Ruth Dyson??? Don’t you mean Annette King?

    • IrishBill 1.1

      No I mean acting spokesperson. Annette wasn’t available yesterday. I’ll fix the post

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    Its becoming a pattern with Audrey.
    Armstrong has long been Nationals policy parrot.
    I think she has become part of the team in the beehive.

  3. I don’t think the Herald is totally biased towards National – they carry critical op-eds and stories all the time. But their gallery office has certainly been captured by the government. They rewrite the governments press releases into more condensed versions but that’s the only function they provide. It certainly isn’t journalism.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I wouldn’t say total bias either but they currently have interests that are more aligned with National than labour.

      I like Audrey and I’ve previously had a lot of respect for her work but I think you’re right in your analysis of gallery capture and having Paddy go over to TV3 won’t help (btw is he getting any better? I haven’t watched for a week or so).

      Danyl, do you think Kevin Taylor’s personal relationship with his ex-colleagues has anything to do with it?

      • TightyRighty 3.1.1

        what about the rampant left wing bias in the other big N. Island daily the dompost yesterday? i didn’t see to many balanced comments in their yesterday. the op-ed pages was one big left wing policy hurrah. i complained last night, mainly by using it for BBQ fuel, but on reflection this morning, it’s all swings and roundabouts for when the government and it’s suppourters re allowed to post self-promoting pieces. i don’t read the full op-ed section in the Herald every day to exactly know, due to being to busy to indulge in supporting lazy journalism, but i’m fairly certain it works the same way.

        • Bright Red 3.1.1.1

          “rampant left wing bias” in the Dom?

          you mean on Tuesday when the Dom ran an op-eds by Former National Chief of Staff Richard Long and Former National Minister Simon Upton?

          or are you thinking of today, when it has “Dream is over, Bennett tells unemployed” on its front page and a pro-mining, fact-free editorial?

          • IrishBill 3.1.1.1.1

            I thought the Dom gave good balance with the nightmare story on the front page and the reaction quotes/human story on page two. The photo of Bennett they used was particularly unflattering.

            • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m just saying, you can hardly accuse them of leftwing bias. That doesn’t mean that I’m accusing them of rightwing bias.

              • IrishBill

                I agree. I also expect a right-wing bias in editorials as they are the voice of the business class. The Dom is very good at keeping its news balance however.

          • TightyRighty 3.1.1.1.2

            can’t you guys read a full comment? or is it just SOP to only focus on one point? as i mentioned, it’s all swings and roundabouts in the dailies. there are plenty of left wing biased articles in the herald too, it’s just you get all wrought up about the same few columnists. Tapu-misa and rudman can hardly be labelled with your favorite ephitet “RWNJ’.

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Audrey Young isn’t a columnist, that’s kinda central to the point.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          Obviously the dream hasn’t finished for TR.

  4. tc 4

    Quite Irishbill but if she handed a balanced pice into her masters at granny herald she’d be sent back to re-draft the press release to masquerade as a balanced opinion piece.

    These aren’t journo’s anymore in the msm and IMHO the best journalism exists on blogs such as this which can balance, listen to both sides and rebut with reason, intelligence and the weight of statistics to back the assertions.

    Style over substance and don’t let truth get in the way of the spin is precisely the way NACT want it…..cambell tries sometimes but the call of the advertisers and the lobotomised 7pm timeslot sucks him back to banality everytime.

    labour take notes…..this is how you control the swinging voters via the msm.

  5. Danyl, do you think Kevin Taylor’s personal relationship with his ex-colleagues has anything to do with it?

    Nah – on the contrary I think that probably complicates things a little bit.

  6. The fixation with the Herald is the political equivalent of NZ rugby’s fixation with blaming the referee for the RWC loss in 2007. I had a discussion late last week with a couple of experienced business types who were ranting about the left wing bias in the media (clearly giving different examples than the above).

    If you don’t like what someone writes, don’t read it. And don’t quote it in blogs which then lends some credibility to it and draws attention to it.

    • prism 6.1

      Daveski Follow your own advice, don’t read and contribute to this blog.

      IrishBill: A little respect for other commenters please.

    • A Nonny Moose 6.2

      This is basic journalism Daveski. Granny is situated as one of the main media outlets, and has been for many years.

      The “don’t like, don’t read” admonish is lazy – if everyone stepped down from constructive criticism of the media, then they’d have unchecked reign to publish whatever the hell they wanted. We have a responsibility to them as they do to us.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Compare with this earlier piece by Jane Clifton, who actually seems to sit in the House during debates

    “Prime Minister John Key added his congratulations for Dr Smith’s winning Belgian Blue cattle, saying: “Blue things always do well!”

    And that was about as nice as it got for the Speaker for, within minutes, Mr Key was pretending not to hear Dr Smith telling him to sit down and shut up a pretence facilitated by turning his body away from the throne so he could claim not to have noticed the Speaker on his feet.”

    Key ignoring the Speaker ? Who knew

  8. dave 8

    This has nothing to do with Kevin Taylor. Young was at a media conference. She reported it. endastory. you don’t appear to understand balance in media stories.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Nothing to do with Taylor ? . Key doesnt open his mouth without his minders present to hustle him away when the questioning gets difficult

  9. dave 9

    Young was at a media conference , she reported it. End of story. You don’t appear to understand media balance in stories – and Kevin Taylor has nothing to do with it. NZ Herald is not a blog, you know…

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      She’s reporting the policy, Dave, not the conference.

      You can tell by the way she writes

      Me Key (sic) at a press conference referred to the fact that both he and Paula Bennett had had first-hand experience of the welfare system

      “a conference” about the thing I’m writing about, not “the conference” I’m writing about.

  10. Bright Red 10

    dave. journos’ jobs are not to go to media conferences then report what the speakers said.

    If that was their job, we could just read the press releases instead of bothering with journos.

    Journos’ job is to cut through the spin, usually by seeking contra-opinions, not just offer it up on a plate.

  11. prism 11

    Interesting facts from Audrey’s piece.
    “The moves are expected to cost $88 million over four years but savings are estimated to be around $100 million over the same time.
    Estimated savings will be $57 million over four years. Mr Key said the reforms were not focused on saving money in the short term but on “improving outcomes for beneficiaries.” But they would also help the sustainability of the welfare system.”

    That’s the bit I liked where King John said its not about saving money in the short term but on improving outcomes for beneficiaries.

    “At present 345,000 people are on a benefit and the annual welfare bill is $4.8 billion.
    How many of these are OAPs like me? We are the largest cost to the nation, and should be expected to put time in at volunteer work, casual, part time work while we are able. We should be expected to put something back into the community, not think we can live comfortably on others relying on a myth that “I’m living on the taxes I’ve paid all my life” as if they went into a retirement fund. Muldoon stopped that because it didn’t provide enough but replaced it with large expectations of income with no expectations from the government of contributory work in return. Its unsustainable and unfair on NZ taxpayers, but go on kick the DPBs and unemployed and sickness and invalid beneficiaries, while able-bodied 65-70s are around. And when I suggest volunteer work for all such olders I have been roundly criticised. They are so stupid, because they choose not to face that what will happen is that the age will likely be raised for all to be in paid work till 70 years. Which means WINZ on your back, harrassment etc. Pushing for volunteer work recognition would get around that – Marilyn Waring’s ground-breaking work on its value probably has never been issued from the parliamentary library.

    “Changes were also announced to the childcare assistance paid to providers meaning that fewer well-off families will qualify – though current users won’t be affected.
    From September, qualifying threshold annual incomes for one child will be cut from $77,272 to $72,800; for two children from $88,296 to $83,200 and for three or more from $99,320 to $93,600.”
    Government aways seems unwilling to get alongside families and treat them as important and offer them help when needed. And many taxpayers gripe about paying good tax money to help families though research has shown the high expense of caring for children.
    And apparent high incomes seem quite different if the income is amalgamated from two, one at $45,000 and the second at $27,800 equals $72,800. Trying to both work to pay off a mortgage, with incomes round the median as these would be, also hoping for a family at the prime age of 20-30 years having just one child and hoping to manage – well it isn’t big money and the childcare help would be sorely missed.

  12. Ron 12

    “If that was their job, we could just read the press releases instead of bothering with journos” which is basically what we got yesterday in most media.

    It’s all very well to include balance later in the story but when every story started with “The Deream is Over” “Beneficiaries have had it too good too long” etc the spin from the Government’s releases out weighs any attempt at balance.

    The thing that most irritates me is that journos are making no effort to report that people on the UB and DPB are constatntly monitored, required to0 provide prooof of their job seeking and having their benefits reviewed.

    This is pure dog whistling, crowd pleases rhetoric. You just have to listen to the “m,an in the street” responses to it. The Tories will be loving it.

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    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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