New Zealand’s Media seem obsessed with Balance or Balancing the Argument.
It’s fine to hear the other side of the story, as long as there is someone credible telling it.
But if the other side of the story is being told by parties/people like Act or The McGillicuddy Serious Party, Ken Ring or organizations like “New Zealand Climate Science Coalition”, “Sensible Sentencing Trust” or “The New Zealand Council of Infrastructure and Development”, then we need to be told by our media that basically these lot are a bunch of nut jobs or industry barrow pusher.
Don’t get me wrong I am a strong advocate of free speech; But it’s the media’s responsibility to take a good hard look at who these people are, and what these people are saying, then do their own research, before giving them any more credibility than they deserve or publishing any of their propaganda or comments.
Of-course some of these organisations I suspect are backed with money, lots of it, so there again the media need to find out who the backers are and inform us and if these organizations won’t make that information available, tell us that and only that. The purpose of many of these groups is to muddy the waters, to make it seem like there is genuine debate so that people, through the fallacy of moderation tend to believe the truth is somewhere between the two sides. Industry funded climate change denier organisations are the classic example.
Kiwis aren’t stupid, we normally can smell a rat, all we need are the details, we can work the rest out for themselves, but at the moment we aren’t getting that from our media and all the more reason why places like the Standard are so necessary, as our Media seems too busy finding the balance.
[aww, MrSmith, you made us blush. But, yeah, balance is so often used as a cheap and false proxy for objectivity, which is itself a myth. As is ‘horse-race’ political coverage. Far better for people to admit they have values and biases, put forward their arguments and let them stand or fall on their merits.]