Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Media Take: The Easter Show

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  • Russell Brown,

    Attachment Attachment

    We trended! We beat Paul Henry! From last night and this morning respectively.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    I suppose this is the 'pre beatup' to get people interested in watching your show when it screens. But Im suprised the other guests arent given a bit more space in preview.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 314 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Curtis,

    Well, you can always watch the show. It screened last night. This is just what I thought about it. I don't see how it's a "beat up".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    I find it hard to feel sorry for people like the Tamakis. They may do some good to some people, but their eye seems firmly fixed on the bottom line.

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    42% declare no religious affiliation at all

    I think you need to parse that one a little carefully, because I'm assuming you're including those who tick the "object to state" box. I'm one of them, because even though I've made no bones that I'm a devout Catholic (before you ask - "it's complicated" is not just a really bad rom-com and a Facebook relationship status) I also don't think the state has any legitimate public interest in collecting data on people's religious affiliations.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I think you need to parse that one a little carefully, because I’m assuming you’re including those who tick the “object to state” box.

    I think it probably balances out with all those people who've given the religious affiliation of their tiny children.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews,

    A very interesting show, thanks. As someone who sometimes covers religion as a journalist, I can see the value in what Francis Ritchie is doing with NewsLeads. It's a bewildering area to write about if, like most reporters (I guess), you are generally secular or actively atheist and you're either trying to prop up a routine, seasonal "Christianity is in decline" story or you're writing about the Tamakis or Catholic child abuse. More ordinary religious stories don't get a look in and the churches haven't been very good at communicating beyond their own communities. There is often a defensiveness and wariness, and I don't entirely blame them.

    Interesting too to see the Tamakis in a Maori context. I think they have mellowed and what they do is more nuanced and positive than has been depicted by an often negative media. But Brian continues to be a pretty terrible spokesman for the church; Hannah is much clearer and more articulate. It's like watching the Clintons in action.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 656 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I also don't think the state has any legitimate public interest in collecting data on people's religious affiliations.

    ...and could occasionally have highly sinister interests. In The World At War, one of the Dutch interviewees said they had become so used to filling out annoying forms that when the Germans took occupation and sent out a form collecting a bunch of officious bureaucratic details, it never occurred to them that the small tick box "Has a Jewish Grandparent" was the whole point of it and thousands of Jewish families were rounded up that might never have been, just through being a bit careless about protecting their own privacy from the state. I sometimes wonder if the supposedly crashing Jewish population in Europe is down to this and other salutory lessons that there is little to be gained, and a hell of a lot to be lost by telling governments (aside from the Israeli govt of course) that you are Jewish.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Francis Ritchie, in reply to philipmatthews,

    Thanks, Philip. I'm really glad to see I made some sense :) If you ever need help with a story, feel free to flick a message my way and I'll do what I can to help. I can't make any guarantees, but I've got a decent understanding of the breadth of Christianity and where there are gaps in my awareness I can hopefully point you to people who might be able to help. I'll DM you my email address via Twitter.

    Since Apr 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to philipmatthews,

    It’s a bewildering area to write about if, like most reporters (I guess), you are generally secular or actively atheist and you’re either trying to prop up a routine, seasonal “Christianity is in decline” story or you’re writing about the Tamakis or Catholic child abuse.

    Or you’ve got Family First clamouring with a quote, whether they understand the story or not, and purporting to represent a Christian perspective.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Wallis, in reply to philipmatthews,

    But Brian continues to be a pretty terrible spokesman for the church; Hannah is much clearer and more articulate. It's like watching the Clintons in action.

    Not sure I follow - does Brian like cigars?

    Point Chevalier • Since Jan 2013 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Another great show. I was quite keen to see the Tamakis in action, and my first impression was that they weren't anywhere near as creepy - nor as charismatic - as I expected. Blame the media, I guess. Pity they degenerated into incoherence. Did I hear one of them apparently claim that England was the homeland of Christianity? I was getting a bit tired by that point, so may have misheard. I may have to go watch again. And the comparisons with ISIS were really scary and suggested they really don't know much about the Middle East. ISIS is a very modern phenomenon, and you'd think defenders of the Christian faith would be aware of the many Christian groups well-established in Iraq and Syria since before Islam existed who are now high up on ISIS's list of targets.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Or you’ve got Family First clamouring with a quote, whether they understand the story or not, and purporting to represent a Christian perspective.

    Sure, but as I said on Twitter if the media are going to treat religion seriously then media organizations need to do Journalism 101. Put in the hard yards to learn your shit -- because every story has a context and history. Do the work to cultivate a broad range of credible sources, not just the easy click-bait Rentaquotes. And please, God, can everyone -- from the most junior reporter to top-of-the-masthead editors -- stop going for the easy, reductive get. I know it's hard out there, but sometimes it's really important you put getting the story right above getting it right now.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    One thing that came up talking to our crew beforehand was that two of them knew people who'd been basically kicked out of the Destiny flock for failing to keep up their payments. That's a bit troubling.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Put in the hard yards to learn your shit – because every story has a context and history

    And apart from anything else, I'm quite sure there are a lot of genuine news stories out there for the getting, especially in Auckland, where the churches are manifold and entwined with communities.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Francis Ritchie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I'm quite sure there are a lot of genuine news stories out there for the getting, especially in Auckland, where the churches are manifold and entwined with communities

    The trick there is finding them. Usually the churches doing the best work aren't well equipped for good PR and often couldn't care less as they focus on what they do. I'm still trying to work out an easy way of connecting journalists to some of those stories... though I'm not sure if there is an easy way. Hopefully as NewsLeads gets known in the Christian community I might just happen across good stories from time to time and be able to pass them on.

    Since Apr 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Francis Ritchie,

    I'd like to know more about the way Destiny has presented since Janine Cardno, their longtime PR person, walked out. My guess is that they've become even more internally-focused. As I said, it's as if they're not skilled at talking to the world.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Francis Ritchie, in reply to Russell Brown,

    As I said, it’s as if they’re not skilled at talking to the world.

    I wonder if, sometimes, we underestimated what it takes to relate well to people who are different from ourselves. It’s something I’m wildly conscious of when I spend time with diverse groups of people… I want to communicate in a way that enables people in any context to hear what I’m truly trying to say. I’m not sure many people can shift their mode of communication from group to group all that well. I know that I stuff it up plenty, and I’m conscious of it. Not everybody is.

    Since Apr 2015 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    I also don’t think the state has any legitimate public interest in collecting data on people’s religious affiliations.

    As we all live with the history Ben Wilson refers to, I completely understand peoples’ reluctance to answer questions on religious affiliation. However, the state can have a legitimate public interest in collecting data on people’s religious affiliations, for various reasons.

    e.g. The number of Catholics having children could affect future demand for Catholic schooling, and thus (since most Catholic schools are integrated) the education budget. The same’s probably true for Presbytarians, Jews, Anglicans, and other religions which have “Special Character” integrated schools.
    e.g. Hospitals may look at the religious makeup of their catchment area to decide on allocation of space/time to priests of different religions and denominations.
    e.g. Will there come a point when it might be reasonable to have a fixed autumn holiday rather than the annoyingly (particularly since it affects school holidays) moveable feast that is Easter? Alternatively, if the percentages of New Zealanders of some other religion were to grow significantly, should we be looking at including other religions’ holy days in our public holiday schedule?
    … down to smaller scale things like schools needing to estimate how many halal/vegetarian sausages to cater at a sausage sizzle.

    So, if the goal is ensuring people are well-served, diversity is respected and included, then there can be good reasons why the state would want to know the religious makeup of the country.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Francis Ritchie,

    I wonder if, sometimes, we underestimated what it takes to relate well to people who are different from ourselves.

    Almost certainly -- and it can also be very challenging for people who are used to being in very hierarchical structures with very clear and rigidly enforced top-down lines of authority. An analogy, I think, is the difference between Pope Francis (who developed a more consultative, collaborative style while Archbishop of Buenos Aires) and his predecessors. That doesn't mean Francis is going to be ordaining women, opening family planning clinics and conducting mass gay marriages in St Peter's any time soon. But it is noticeable that he doesn't talk to the world (or the church) like it's a not very bright puppy who is going to get slapped with rolled up newspaper if it doesn't stop peeing on the rug.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Alternatively, if the percentages of New Zealanders of some other religion were to grow significantly, should we be looking at including other religions’ holy days in our public holiday schedule?

    And it may also be useful for policy makers to know how many people aren't religious.

    So, if the goal is ensuring people are well-served, diversity is respected and included, then there can be good reasons why the state would want to know the religious makeup of the country.

    Agreed. Even just as a way for smaller religions to say "we are present".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere,

    That was a thoughtful and interesting show, Russell. I was struck by the contrast of Clay Nelson with the Tamakis: the former answering the questions frankly and directly, the latter seemingly getting lost in their own answers.

    It really was troubling/revealing to see Brian Tamaki's counter-response to your point about census data indicating a minority professing a Christian belief: "if you really pressed people, I think they would pick Jesus". Worse perhaps - if I understood it correctly - Hannah Tamaki's response Nelson's point that their approach was similar to ISIS/ISIL amounting to a defence of ISIS: if they can do that "over there" then we should be able to do it here.

    You're right - there didn't appear time for an inquisition - but I doubt it would have been productive had you really attacked them: when faced with a curly question, all I saw was deflection if I'm being generous; confusion if I'm not. I can see why you felt sorry for them: they were out of their depth.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 33 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This part's interesting:

    The number of people affiliating with Hinduism increased 39.6 percent since 2006 (from 64,392 people in 2006 to 89,919 people in 2013).
    Of those who affiliated with Hinduism in 2013:
    • more than 1 in 5 people (20.8 percent) were born in New Zealand
    • 31.8 percent were born in the Pacific Islands
    • 42.9 percent were born in Asia.

    The number of people affiliating with the Muslim religion increased 27.9 percent since
    2006 (from 36,072 people in 2006 to 46,149 people in 2013). Of those who affiliated with Islam in 2013:
    • more than a quarter (25.7 percent) were born in New Zealand
    • 21.0 percent were born in the Pacific Islands
    • 26.9 percent were born in Asia
    • 23.3 percent were born in the Middle East and Africa.

    The proportion of New Zealanders who profess no religion is almost equal among Europeans and Maori -- 46.9% vs 46.3% -- and "Maori Christianity" was the denomination that fell the most. But do all those Maori call themselves atheists? Probably not. It's all quite complicated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Pdogge,

    I think it is sad, very sad of the influence these people have and I am reminded of Isaac Asimov's quotation : " The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

    Tauranga • Since Feb 2008 • 14 posts Report Reply

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