- Date published:
8:39 am, April 11th, 2015 - 139 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, john key, journalism, Media, national, tv - Tags: campbell live, Media, mediaworks, politicising the media
Valiant Campbell may have provoked political antagonists too often
Newsman has not shied away from challenging prime ministers on air
But [Todd Barclay’s] precipitant victory roll just adds fuel to an already stoked fire over whether the review of the Campbell Live programme has been commercially inspired or whether there is a deeper political agenda at play.
Campbell has done some powerful journalism. His focus on the Canterbury Rebuild after a series of strong earthquakes devastated communities has been advocacy journalism of the first order. At times this has embarrassed the Government. But if it has resulted in Cabinet ministers getting out from behind their powerful government-funded PR machines and tending to the necessary flashpoints, TV3 should be applauded.
Campbell himself has been a frequent thorn in John Key’s side. He has not been afraid to challenge the Prime Minister directly where some of his rivals have adopted a more supine stance.
Supine is a polite word for it I guess.
But with new management at MediaWorks, the driving considerations have changed. Within the senior commercial world, it is said that when Mark Weldon applied for the top job at MediaWorks he drew on his relationship with Key and the public-spirited work he did outside of his prior role as chief executive of the stock exchange such as chairing an economic summit after the GFC to help build credibility for a role in a sector in which he had no prior experience.
He was also passionate about the role media could play in ensuring success of the broader New Zealand Inc. The issue is whether his strong — and very loyal — relationship with Key has clouded his view as to the extent to which a strong media protagonist like Campbell should challenge a personal friend.
So there we have it – Key’s loyal and personal friend is out to shut down the last investigative journalism left on TV. Just a bit too inconvenient for an arrogant and incompetent government in its third-term death spiral I guess.