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NZ media asleep at the wheel

Written By: - Date published: 1:37 pm, November 18th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: john key, Media, workers' rights - Tags:

Democracy is quietly dying in NZ but you’d never know it by the media’s response.  The government is rushing through a slew* of legislation under urgency and it doesn’t even rate a mention in either the Herald or the DomPost (the DP devotes half a page to Harry and Kate’s engagement for god’s sake).

National Radio mentioned the employment laws going though last night (8000 submissions on that one) but had nothing this morning even though one of the bills going through in this indecent haste is Rodney Hide’s Local Government Amendment Bill. Hundreds of people and organisations made submissions on this bill which opens the gates to communty asset sales and the virtual privatisation of water.  BTW last night Phil Twyford made a great speech about this.

And could someone from the media ask John Key to front an important issue for a change please, he is still the Prime Minister, right?

* the second reading of the Courts and Criminal Matters Bill, • the first reading of the Māori Purposes Bill, • the interrupted second reading and committee stage of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill (No 2), • the second reading and committee stage of the Holidays Amendment Bill, • the passing through their remaining stages of the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, the Education Amendment Bill (No 2), and the Child and Family Protection Bill, and of any bills into which those bills may be divided, • the committee stages of the Ngāti Apa (North Island) Claims Settlement Bill and Whanganui Iwi (Whanganui (Kaitoke) Prison and Northern Part of Whanganui Forest) On-account Settlement Bill, and • the second reading of the Television New Zealand Amendment Bill.

31 comments on “NZ media asleep at the wheel ”

  1. ianmac 1

    So there is a good (?) reason to use Urgency! The quickness of the eye deceives the distracted MSM.

    • Sean 1.1

      I wish that the the media was good enough that the government needed to distract it in the first place.

      Sadly, it isn’t.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    (the DP devotes half a page to Harry and Kate’s engagement for god’s sake)

    They had a big spiel about it on the news last night as well and nobody cares and yet they missed that bit out.

    I’d still like to see some coverage from the MS about our PM saying that he wasn’t going to hold his MPs to account and that it was up to others to “ask the right questions”.

  3. tc 3

    Is not so much asleep at the wheel but more a case of not even being in the vehicle.

    • It’s actually more being paid to look the other way or else get fired. Remember the journo who wrote about the little gem he overheard about Johnny loving it if the wages came down? They came down on him like a ton of bricks just to get the message across.

  4. tc 4

    just looking and wtf is the TVNZ amendment bill doing anybody ? Can I guess that it’s relaxing (removing) charter requirements or similar.

  5. factchecker 5

    Neither of the employment bills are law yet. They have not passed their 3rd Reading.

    [lprent: Obviously on my spam list for past behaviour. But a relevant comment – passing through. ]

  6. Carol 6

    As there’s currently a shift away from neoliberal economic policies, and the whole thing is up for debate, maybe it’s time for the MSM to reconsider some of it’s main underlying philosophies. Especially, NZ TV MSM news should be making a shift away from their Faux news model they’ve imported from a very different country, and look for something more relevant to NZ. The approach they use focuses on drama, conflict, ratings, using visual images, whether relevant or not, and a false application of media balance (ie, they present both sides, but the way one side is framed is often very positive and the opposition portrayed in a negative light.)

    And I have started switching off the channel or TV altogether, every time the engagement of the royal bludgers is mentioned – is it true that with Freeview, the channels can tell how many people are logged in & when they log off?

    tc, check today’s question time – questions being asked & answered in the House right now about TVNZ and the shift away from the charter.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      News coverage focussing on celebrity meltdowns (and preparations for such meltdowns e.g. weddings), sensational crime, weather and sport is a waste of both space and time. The journalistic equivalent of fast food snacking in the dumpster.

    • Bill 6.2

      “As there’s currently a shift away from neoliberal economic policies, and the whole thing is up for debate, maybe it’s time for the MSM to reconsider some of it’s main underlying philosophies.”

      A shift away from neo liberal economic orthodoxy is a shift away from ‘down the corporates’ pants friendly’ economics. The MSM are corporate entities. They won’t reconsider any underlying philosophy (how can they?) but may well flail around looking for some effective reactionary strategy as the tide goes out on their fav economic model.

      My guess is there will be a lot of fear spinning over the coming period…ie this is bad, but omg! look how much worse it would be if we changed horses, abandoned ship or got our heads up out of the sand!

      We already sort of get that type of coverage insofar as prescriptions involving bank bailouts get positive or neutral coverage and coverage for alternatives are about zip. When the alternatives can’t be ignored or silenced through media employing the services of ‘the cone of silence’, we’ll get the fear trip.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Yes MSM what MSM? Anti spam word “seriously” and I have to agree who cares who the Prick marries, oh I mean Prince.

  8. Alan 8

    Just so we’re quite clear here, it’s William and Kate, not Harry. Harry is the brother and, thanks – I didn’t need those images in my head!

  9. JonL 9

    “is it true that with Freeview, the channels can tell how many people are logged in & when they log off?”
    Who knows…or cares…
    If I relied on the MSM for my news (which the majority still do), I’d have a very different view of the world……..
    As an aside, when a power glitch in East Australia knocked out Channel 7 for 15-20 mins some years back, and the screen was blank, ratings had channel 7 with 600,000 viewers for the period………go figure

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      With the digital boxes, possibly. Certainly not with the satellite dish systems.

      “As an aside, when a power glitch in East Australia knocked out Channel 7 for 15-20 mins some years back, and the screen was blank, ratings had channel 7 with 600,000 viewers for the period………go figure”

      That’s because the ratings figures are calculated from a very small group of people that have special devices connected to their TVs that monitor what channels they’re watching. From this, they statistically extrapolate out what the total audience figures should be. In theory the sample population is supposed to mirror the national demographics, but from the lecture given by someone from TVNZ to my media studies course at uni a few years ago, the NZ sample didn’t reflect it very well.

      • Carol 9.1.1

        I have a freeview digital box. It seems to work much like a mini networked computer, and regularly updates itself when new channels go online. I would like to think the TV companies can tell if I “vote with my remote control.” I had heard that digital TV would provide instant feedback to the channels on viewership.

        I mentioned the ratings kind of feedback, because that is part of what influences our TV news coverage. I suspect that most voters don’t get their main news info from the 6pm news, but enough of the “floating voters” probably do, and that could influence an election outcome. That is why we need a more balanced and critical news media that informs people more about important political developments. For instance, only just over 50% of people say they will vote NACT in the next election. That means that plenty of people are not influenced by the glowing coverage the MSM gives them. But the people (including many “floating voters”) who are most likely to accept what the MSM dishes out, are precisely the ones who don’t get any news from elsewhere

        Geoff Lealand at Waikato Uni is very hot in the inaccuracies of ratings measurements. He says that in Aussie the ratings are gathered by two companies, and they come up with different results. In NZ only one company does the ratings, and the country’s population is too small to get an accurate measure from the samples.

        • Lanthanide

          Yeah, the general vibe I got from the TVNZ woman is that while they do use the ratings, and they are important, they’re not the be-all-and-end-all, as they appear to be for some channels in the US, for example.

          • Carol

            Interesting, Lanthanide. So that would suggest they make their own calls on approach and content, and likely to be based on a slanted view, whether or not they intend it or are aware of the implications of their slant/bias.

  10. Drakula 10

    Carol; when the MSM put one side in a good light and another in a negativw light asa you pointed out it is usually known as bias a word they don’t like to hear.

    I do not own a TV so I don’t waste time and energy watching the adverts between the programed breakes.

    It is very good for one’s mental health.

    If you want reliable information the web is the place, although Murdock and Packer want to dominate itas well.

    • Carol 10.1

      Drakula, yes it amounts to bias. But I’m not sure how aware the makers of such news are aware of their biases. They may believe they are including opposing views fairly objectively, at last some of the time. Daily news is created quickly, following a few rules, or patterns set by the broadcasters. Part of the Faux news approach seems to be to use the goodies vs baddies approach of entertainment TV.

      Avioding TV news and/or all TV can be a good approach – I have done that during some periods of my life. However, anyone interested in how society & politics are operating these days, can learn something by seeing how off and online news media operate. I’ll be interested to see in the next national elections, how influenced voters seem to have been by the old TV news media. eg Brown won Auckland, even though it seemed most older forms of MSM seemed to present him more negatively than they did Banks.

  11. Carol 11

    Hmmm… well let’s see how THIS gets reported in tonight’s TV news – I’m not optimistic:


    Mr Key was in Porirua this afternoon campaigning with National’s candidate in Saturday’s by-election, Hekia Parata.

    When they arrived at the North City Plaza this afternoon, Mr Key and Ms Parata were surrounded by supporters of left wing candidate Matt McCarten.

    The supporters followed Mr Key around the mall shouting abuse and chants.

    They shouted that workers’ rights were under attack and that Mr Key had “one law for the rich and one for the poor”.

    A heavy security presence surrounded Mr Key.

    Mr Key ignored the taunts – which led to cries that he was turning his back on the poor and that he was scared of them.

    Stuff refers to the protesters as putting JK under “seige” and as “gatecrashers”… yes, Bill, I can see the MSM going from negative slurs to fear.

    • ianmac 11.1

      The shouter that attacked Matt McCarten got a good showing on last night’s news.
      Be interesting how they deal with the shoe on the other foot. Or is it a boot?

      • Carol 11.1.1

        Well, there you have it – according to TV3 news, the pro McCarten anti-Key, anti-GST protesters were “rent-a-mob” and, like the candidates, were not from Mana, but shipped in to treat key with disrespect – according to Key, they have a right to protest & he will treat them with respect, even if they don’t treat him with respect.

    • M 11.2

      Reminds me of when Shipwreck was top dog and visited a shopping mall – there was a huge police presence – seems to be a theme for National leaders

  12. Carol 12

    And 75% on TV3’s online poll say the royal bludgers are a bore,
    and yet, they are on the promo again for tonight’s 6pm news. Is anyone at TV3 paying any attention?

  13. tc 13

    I reckon the likes of media watch on radionat should get visual on find a home on stratos or similar because it’s accurate, unbiased and very intelligently assembled.

    Simply listening to it makes you realise what a kindergarten level of ability is on show in our MSM today.

  14. randal 14

    the media has been emasculated for some time now.
    journalists are not scholars and have no deep understanding of the world and most of all they know that any threat of legal action will result in their immediate dismissal.
    and they are being shoulder tapped by the their tutors so o0nly the right wingers are actually getting the jobs anyway.
    all in all it is a very sad end to reporting the truth and events that has slowly been forced into only promoting the owners ideiology and to hell with the rest of it.
    its like fast food.
    more and more bun but less and less substance and nutrition.

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