web analytics

The Dom Post’s op-ed pages

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, December 15th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: Media - Tags:

Reading the Dom Post’s editorial pages over my morning coffee today, I had one of those moments when you suddenly remember how insufferably, shamelessly right-wing our print media can be.

Top left is an editorial attacking the teacher unions and confirming the newspaper’s support for the National Party’s education policies.

The feature op-ed is the regular opinion column from Richard Long, chief of staff to former National Party leader Don Brash (no disclaimer).

Across the page from him is another regular opinion column from former National Party cabinet minister Simon Upton (again no disclaimer).

Below Upton is a syndicated article from climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg, writing about how the Copenhagen summit is a waste of time and we should just rely on technology to save us.

Next to that is a piece lifted from The Times aimed at building public sympathy for an Israeli military strike on Iran.

Even the feature letter is an insane rant attacking Barack Obama and Al Gore.

The Herald cops a lot of flack for its right-wing partisanship, and rightly so, but I’d argue the Dom Post is even worse. The only time we regularly see a left-wing voice in that paper is old left dinosaur Chris Trotter’s (now fortnightly) column. What I’d give for a Tapu Misa or a Brian Rudman.

Perhaps the biggest giveaway is the fact the paper feels the need to label Trotter’s column “From the Left”. It would be simply unthinkable for the Dom Post to label Richard Long, or Simon Upton, or their own editorial as “From the Right”. For the Dom Post, ‘from the right’ is the default editorial position.

That’s why I’m not too worried about the death of newspapers. There’s a reason they’re so biased to the right, and it’s because the barrier to entry is owning a newsroom, a marketing department and a printing press. It can only be a good thing when these barriers finally collapse and we’re no longer reliant on the class interests of newspaper owners to filter our democratic debate.

34 comments on “The Dom Post’s op-ed pages ”

  1. sk 1

    Eddie, your comments prompted me to read the Richard Long and Simon Upton op-ed’s. Both a good reads. Perhaps Richard Long’s cut a bit too close to the bone, given the reaction in ‘The Standard’ to Phil Goff’s poorly titled and crafted speech (but with an appropriate target, as Long acknowledges) was over-the-top, and contributed to an adverse news cycle .. . just thinking

    • Eddie 1.1

      It’s less about the content of Long and Upton’s pieces today as it is about the structural bias towards the right. Regardless of the line they’re taking on the day they’re coming from a right-wing world view and offering right-wing solutions to our problems. As is the editorial, as are the syndicated columns in today’s paper.

      As for Goff’s speech, “The Standard” doesn’t have a view on it. I do, and I don’t resile from my comments. If Goff wants to dogwhistle to racists then adverse media coverage might be the price he has to pay.

      • Boris Clarkov 1.1.1

        From the extremities of the far-Left that the anti-Kiwi Hate Party, Labour, occupies, “Balanced” is interpreted as “structural bias towards the right.”

    • Bright Red 1.2

      you think the one post (http://www.thestandard.org.nz/goffs-speech/) that the standard wrote on the speech, that was pretty moderate and went up over a day after the speech was given titled the news cycle, which had already taken place by the time the post was put up and which the post itself commented on?

  2. A Nonny Moose 2

    When I dispensed of some media outlets in my life recently, I got accused of “relying on getting my media from biased internet panderers with no filter on their politics”, and that I would do better to rely on traditional modes of delivery – like TV and newspapers – which have no bias what so ever.

    Uh huh.

  3. fizzleplug 3

    Terrible that the views of the majority should be printed in a widely distributed forum.

    • Sam 3.1

      No, these are the views of very few, very biased, right-wing political commentators. I don’t see how you could possibly measure that claim at all.

      • fizzleplug 3.1.1

        Look at the tendency of government in this country’s history. New Zealand has always had a right-leaning population. (and yes, I’m aware that sometimes National got in when they got less votes due to FPP. Doesn’t change anything though)

        • Daveo

          and yes, I’m aware that sometimes National got in when they got less votes due to FPP. Doesn’t change anything though)

          Um, yes it does. But even if we accepted your nonsense proposition, you’d still find it hard to argue that the Dom’s overwhelming bias towards the right in any way reflects the range of New Zealanders’ political opinions, much less the opinions of the heavily Labour-voting population of Wellington.

          • fizzleplug

            It doesn’t need to reflect the range though. Why should it? It reflects what people want to read, which is why it prints it.

            Less people than you think like Labour in Wellington. It was a cult of personality thing – love Helen, don’t like Labour. Keep voting for them cause still better than English/Brash.

            • Sam

              Well clearly reason and facts simply cannot overcome hearsay and anecdotal evidence! You win!

            • Sam

              Well, clearly hearsay and anecdotal speculation caries far more weight than evidence and facts! You win this one!

              • fizzleplug

                I’m dying to hear the facts backing up your claim that the majority of New Zealand has a left-leaning stance.

                Go on.

                I can wait.

              • Eddie

                I’m dying to hear the facts backing up your claim that the majority of New Zealand has a left-leaning stance.

                That’s not the argument in the post. Did you even understand the point I was trying to make?

            • Daveo

              The Dom Post is a monopoly, people have no other choice if they want to purchase a newspaper.

              Also can’t say I share your self-serving analysis of why people in Wellington vote Labour.

              • fizzleplug

                It’s the only local newspaper, but by no means the only paper available in town.

              • Daveo

                It’s the only daily newspaper that covers local issues.

                That’s a feature of our news media landscape and it’s to do with our size, it’s also why our newspapers pretend to be objective rather than openly nailing their preferred party’s colour to the mast.

                It’s… oh fuck it, nevermind. You’re too thick for me to be bothered debating with you.

              • fizzleplug

                Bye now.

                Yes Eddie, I understood. But I digressed very quickly (my attention wanders).

              • ben

                The Dom Post is a monopoly, people have no other choice if they want to purchase a newspaper.

                Of course it’s not a monopoly, unless you think the relevant market is traditional newspaper. People can get their news online or tv or radio. And if people want made up sh*t they can always read a post on global warming by Marty.

          • Pascal's bookie

            He’s a rightie I think,
            which means that while he may not want to change the world,
            he is looking for a new English.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      RWNJs, such as yourself, aren’t the majority.

  4. ben 4

    Eddie, remember, you are the outlier here as a left wing activist. Nearly all politics in NZ is to your right. With that in mind isn’t your complaint about right wing bias simply a matter of perspective?

    I haven’t seen a NZ-specific study but academic studies generally show relatively left wing bias in media.

    • Eddie 4.1

      I’m not asking for left-wing bias here, I’m just asking for some balance. Surely even you can see the Dom is tilted heavily in favour of the right.

      Studies I’ve seen tend to show that journalists lean toward the liberal left, but editors are deeply right-wing and conservative. Guess who makes the editorial decisions and chooses the op-ed writers (here’s a hint, it’s not the liberal-left trainee journalist on $24k).

  5. Sam 5

    I agree. I often find myself thinking I’d be more inclined to actually pay for a newspaper if it wasn’t so horrifically biased and full of useless drivel, both in terms of worthless so-called professional political opinion and the fluffy feel-good pieces. Or indeed simply pieces that aren’t a wholesale reproduction from a news agency.

    If only the left have the buying power of the right! 😛

  6. While Richard Long is an inerrant source of drivel, Simon Upton is occasionally worth reading. I was hoping that he might respond to Bob Brockie’s visceral attack (yesterday) on his ministerial legacy in science, but it doesn’t seem to have happened. I don’t think that the Dom’s opinion pages are all that unbalanced as a rule – they just happen to have these commentators on Tuesdays. Which is good – because the rest of the week slightly more reasonable people turn up (aside from Chris Trotter).

  7. Below Upton is a syndicated article from climate sceptic Bjørn Lomborg, writing about how the Copenhagen summit is a waste of time and we should just rely on technology to save us.

    No, there’s an article from Lomborg pointing out that govts will not keep whatever promises they make about cutting carbon emissions, just as they haven’t kept their Kyoto promises, so perhaps we should adopt a more realistic approach with some chance of actual improvements arising from it. If you’re saying this view is right-wing, we’re left to assume that “right-wing” is synonymous with “sensible,” which I doubt was your intention.

    No dispute with the rest of your assessment though.

  8. gomango 8

    I wouldn’t describe Lomberg as a climate change skeptic. In fact he believes global warming is a significant issue and is on the record as saying so. What he is skeptical about is the ridiculous governmental response, believing there are far more effective ways to address the issue than the ineffective, vested interest heavy debacle that is underway in Copenhagen.

  9. Rex Widerstrom 9

    What I’d give for a Tapu Misa or a Brian Rudman.

    For the love of God, no.

    First, that’s like saying the Socialist Worker is too left wing and pining for a column by Micael Lhaws to fix it.

    Okay, no I take that back. They’re not that bad. But what I mean is, we need less of people from whom we’ve already heard, ad infinitum, on virtually every topic on which it’s possible to form an opinion.

    Go on, play this little game. Name a topic, then try to work out what Rudman or Misa would say about it. Bet you’ll get it right a good 85% of the time (and of the remaining 15%, 10% of it will be because there’s some topics neither will ever bother with). As you would with Lhaws, Garth George, etc etc.

    Second, you’re asking for one bunch of people who interview their word processors to be replaced by another, who interview them from a different angle.

    I want to read opinion… of any colouration… that challenges me to think and at least goes to the trouble to throw in a new fact or two, or presents known facts and draws a conclusion I might not have though of.

    Rudman and Misa? No thanks. For intelligent NZ left wing opinion backed by research I’d rather read Marty G, lprent and yes, even Eddie.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago