Hard News by Russell Brown


Essay Question

1. Compare and contrast the following:

(a) The New Zealand Herald's editorial of Dec 8, headed Chance for MPs to turn over new leaf, in which the paper blasts the decline of Parliament under the previous government and looks forward to a new era of respect and good practice.

(b) The Herald on Sunday's editorial of Dec 14, headed Bulldozed rush of legislation makes mockery of democracy, which offers strong criticism of the new government's use of urgency, describing it as "disturbingly at odds with democratic Government".

(c) Bill Ralston's Herald on Sunday column of Dec 14, headed Shock news as Government promises kept, which describes the "painfully slow process" of select committee scrutiny as "thankfully missing" from the current Parliamentary programme and contends that "John Key is sensibly using the honeymoon period to get anything potentially unpopular through the House before it causes too much fuss."

(d) The New Zealand Herald editorial of Dec 15, headed Much needed boost for small business, which says "capable and conscientious workers have nothing to fear," from the new 90-day probation law, but allows that it is "unfortunate" and "not on" that National passed the law without select committee scrutiny or discussion with the Maori Party.

(e) Today's New Zealand Herald editorial headed Government yet to show its character, which proposes that the current legislative programme is that of "a party still finding its purpose in office."

Which piece most clearly expresses its ideas? Which is most likely to leave the reader confused?

Which piece contains the most facts? Do any contain notable errors of fact?

What do you think is the intention of each author?

Show examples in your answer.

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