All posts tagged “savvy


Reporting in the wake of Dirty Politics


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.