Well, Granny Herald breaks the news: “NZ’s murder rate halved in past 20 years”:
New Zealand’s murder rate appears to have almost halved in the past 20 years despite an overwhelming public belief that crime has got worse
An overwhelming overwhelming public belief that crime has got worse? Where would we the dumb old public have got that idea? I know – perhaps from these recent Herald headlines:
- David Garrett: Our more violent society demands a more punitive prison system
- Number of murders rises sharply
- Rise and rise of fatal knife violence
- NZ’s poor violent crime rating ‘no surprise’
- Why have we become such a violent society?
- Minister ‘in denial’ over crime rate
- Act outlines campaign for harsh, quick justice
- Hide pushes tougher law and order stance
- Is increased violence damaging NZ’s image abroad?
- Jump in boys’ violent crimes alarms judge
- Nats: We’ll end parole for repeat violent offenders
- National keeps parole hard line
- Alarming figures on teenage crime
- Family violence blamed for rise in crime figures
- Huge increase in pleas for help to end violence
- Crime out of control, say fed-up marchers
- Family offending pushes violent crime up
- Police have no faith in crime statistics
- NZ becoming hotspot for ‘crime tourism’
And so on. Individually each one an attention grabbing headline – no harm surely? But collectively, over years, they amount to misleading the public. Newspapers used to acknowledge their duty to educate and inform. What are they for now, apart from selling advertising?