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.