nzpol

Reporting in the wake of Dirty Politics

262 comments  

So how did I come to write this?

After Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics book revealed how some political operatives have influenced media coverage, you’d expect journalists to be a bit more careful now on the campaign trail, right? Not to risk being played.

There are understandable pressures on daily journalists and Hager made clear his utmost respect for the challenges they face when interviewed on Media Take. Newsrooms no longer have the time or the staff to check over stories. Perhaps they also lack the time and space to reflect on the ethics and standards that guide a profession with such a privileged place in our democracy?

When a political party campaigning for re-election claims their opponents are ‘politicising’ an issue, it’s not OK for a professional journalist to just say that the opponent ‘denies’ the claim without saying where it came from. When we have heard for the last few weeks about such lines being regularly fed to compliant media outlets, it really won’t wash. So when one of TVNZ’s political reporters tweeted this:

I was moved to retweet some responses..

After seeing the same line from another reporter at the event, I was annoyed…

Unsurprisingly my tone (sorry Katie) prompted an offended response..

I sought to clarify who I was really annoyed about..

And others offered remedies..

‘Not taking sides’ is a false touchstone when you’re dealing with unequal power..

A few exchanges followed, touching on Jay Rosen’s highly-relevant notion of ‘savvy’ political journalism. Thoroughly recommended article, that, especially if you’re a political journalist.

Yet still

Rumi contributed this unfortunate misdirection..

Other journalists joined in..

The issue is beyond party politics and nothing I wrote indicated otherwise. Unhelpfully, the line was repeated in a skewed summary of the conversation..

“But the reply that really sums it up is Ruminator … so much of the criticism of the media is based on them reporting things that those criticising them don’t agree with, or like.”

Nice smear, Mr Beveridge. Academic standards seem to be suffering lately as well. You did motivate me to write this though, so thanks.

Matthew has since updated his blogpost. Cheers.
Others stayed faithful to the original issue..

Let’s see what makes it to the screen.

Responses

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261 comments
andy_williamson
andy_williamson

@kaupapa that's good! comes down to lack of critical reflection: there's a story, use story, don't think about source/why it's a story!

KeirLeslie
KeirLeslie

@gtiso in the context of Pike River, I find journalist pity infuriating, and to be frank quite contemptible.

KeirLeslie
KeirLeslie

@gtiso It's not to say that being a journalist isn't sometimes challenging etc. But at the same time, it's still a real nice job.

gtiso
gtiso

@RuminatorNZ @kaupapa shall I share with you the abuse I got from a senior journalist after doing nothing more than criticising his magazine

RuminatorNZ
RuminatorNZ

@gtiso @kaupapa I don't doubt for a second that you were abused. But that doesn't make it ok to be rude to people. We are, after all, humans

gtiso
gtiso

@RuminatorNZ @kaupapa It's okay to be rude to some people. Eg, Cameron Slater, his enablers & apologists. Just try to punch upwards.

RuminatorNZ
RuminatorNZ

@gtiso I think also because I'm friends with so many journalists I'm a little bit partisan in terms of wanting to stick up for them.

RuminatorNZ
RuminatorNZ

@gtiso by the way, are you free for coffee this week or is my cred in tatters?

RuminatorNZ
RuminatorNZ

@gtiso @kaupapa this is where we differ. I try to be ... I dunno ... fair? Decent? It's hard to explain. But we all have different values.

Kristina90
Kristina90

@RuminatorNZ So to me it's understandable that people are short with them. I though it overreacting to call it abuse. @gtiso

Kristina90
Kristina90

@RuminatorNZ Most people aren't. So how do we know which to trust, especially given the revelations of the last few weeks? @gtiso

jamescardno
jamescardno

@RuminatorNZ @gtiso It only gets weird for me when people hold the system to a higher standard than anyone in the system does or ever will.

gtiso
gtiso

@RuminatorNZ @kaupapa You're free to strike the tone you like sensibility. Just don't demand it of everyone in the name of dubious standards

ceraahwd
ceraahwd

@gtiso @RuminatorNZ "the class-struggle, practically as well as theoretically, took on more and more outspoken and threatening forms" - Marx

Trackbacks

  1. […]  Legendary Kiwi social commentator Sacha Dylan brilliantly captures the ongoing tussle between Kiwis and the mainstream media in this fascinating post – “Reporting in the wake of Dirty Politics“. […]

  2. […]  Legendary Kiwi social commentator Sacha Dylan brilliantly captures the ongoing tussle between Kiwis and the mainstream media in this fascinating post – “Reporting in the wake of Dirty Politics.” […]