Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Poll Day 2: Queasy

106 Responses

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  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Pete George,

    Media are a critical (two meanings) part of our democratic system but their increasing power, their increasing use of that power and their virtual unaccountability (especially to voters) is a major concern.

    Again, the consolidation and subsequent cartelisation has a likely hand in this. And I say it again: the ComCom really needs to look into all this.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Since I do not now, never have and never will get to dish out ministerial warrants why does it matter?

    Well, I do get a party vote. And I will judge the party on its ministerial management. But asking my opinion on ministerial for a television poll, is nearly satirical.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    It may be that Gower has a zinger about John Key for us tonight. If so, I hope it’s better and more fairly framed than last night’s story was

    I was polled in this poll. On the basis of the questions asked me, he doesn't.

    There should, however, be a story along the lines of One News' "should Collins resign over Oravida?" Because I was asked that!

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I find it very hard to watch Mr Gower any more. He is consistently and very overtly biased in his political reporting. He may have inside knowledge that causes this bias but if he wants to grow up to be a journalist he needs to learn to set that aside when reporting.

    I find it difficult to understand how a newsroom that contains John Campbell (who has become a very good journalist) and the team that supports him, can also contain Mr Gower. It strikes me as odd.

    As for the polls, they are the news equivalent of reality TV, sometimes entertaining (Can't. Turn. Away.) but never a source of knowledge.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    I was polled in this poll. On the basis of the questions asked me, he doesn’t.

    There should, however, be a story along the lines of One News’ “should Collins resign over Oravida?” Because I was asked that!

    Thanks. Can you shed any light on my questions above? Because Patrick doesn't seem inclined to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Russell, I like your questions, and I'd add this one:

    "When are the media organisations going to provide statistical literacy training for their commentators?"

    The confidence limits were + or - 3.9%, and we have them rabbiting on about shifts in numbers that were often fractions of the standard error, let alone the confidence limits.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    I'm still hoping they also asked whether John Key's silly-hat addiction was 'worthy of a Prime Minister'. But my yardstick remains last election, when they polled people on who they thought was going to win the election

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I find it difficult to understand how a newsroom that contains John Campbell (who has become a very good journalist) and the team that supports him, can also contain Mr Gower. It strikes me as odd.

    Me too

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Danyl notes another distortion - only comparing the last couple of results:
    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/why-are-msm-poll-stories-bivariate/

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    "The missionary position's always been alright for us, so why change?"

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

  • Paul Rowe,

    The issues of importance to Young People

    Lake Roxburgh, Central Ot… • Since Nov 2006 • 574 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis,

    Can you shed any light on my questions above? Because Patrick doesn’t seem inclined to.

    Sorry - honestly can't remember all the details (it was probably 10 days ago I was asked). I do recall that the Cunliffe question did use the phrase "worthy of a PM", because I thought it odd and difficult to answer, but not whether "secret trust" was included in it. I think it came after the whole business of ranking Key/Cunliffe on honesty, etc (there also were questions about understanding the economy and so on), but couldn't swear to that on a bible.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 206 posts Report Reply

  • The Ruminator,

    You guys actually think Gower is pro-Nat and anti-Labour? Did you see him salivating his way around the Oravida offices?

    ooooh look! Another photo of Judith Collins

    Gower just likes getting a story that riles anyone up be it right or left. He’s kerrrrazy and a bit hyperbolic but I’m pretty sure he’s even handed.

    We all just think the media is anti-whicheverside-we’re-on

    Edit: grammar

    Since Apr 2013 • 54 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to The Ruminator,

    Gower is pro-Nat and anti-Labour?

    I think he appears to be (and in his job appearance is reality) pro John Key and very anti all of the Labour leaders on whom he has reported.

    That is slightly different from being pro Nat anti Labour.

    He is also almost always focused on the people in parliament and not the policies or business of running a country. The exaggerates the cult of personality that has come to dominate our politics - to its detriment IMO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4458 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to The Ruminator,

    We all just think the media is anti-whicheverside-we’re-on

    But News reporters are meant to be balanced, well according to Brian Edwards. Deeper in his blog he says

    But we have laws in this country about reporting in news and current affairs programmes. In those programmes journalists are required to be balanced in their reporting and analysis. The rules for TVNZ and TV3 are quite different from the rules for Fox News for example. Comment must also be clearly distinguished from straight news.

    Is that true that we have laws requiring news journalists to be balanced?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to The Ruminator,

    Gower just likes getting a story that riles anyone up be it right or left. He’s kerrrrazy and a bit hyperbolic but I’m pretty sure he’s even handed.

    We all just think the media is anti-whicheverside-we’re-on

    Edit: grammar

    So basically his primary loyalty isn't to a political party, but to TV executives.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    You guys actually think Gower is pro-Nat and anti-Labour?

    No, but I am uncomfortable with the trend - Paddy is far from alone - of journalists wanting to creep onto the stage and into the spotlight.

    That said, the journalist as 'star' has probably been around for longer than I care to admit - Paul Holmes certainly didnt mind the limelight.

    I guess the realisation of the inevitable mismatch between the unashamedly romantic and idealistic view of the journalist as a defender of truth and justice and 'reporter-of-facts' as opposed to the journalist as 'maker and shaper of news' and as a media 'personality' is what rankles me.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Kata,

    Where is the most appropriate place to complain about the increasing prejudice of Gower's reporting. The same place we complain about Hosking's and Henry's openly biased party political broadcasts? I have never seen such a plethora of prejudicial "reporters" editorialising before. The worst part is that tax money pays for the government funded channels.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2014 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    I'm with Ruminator, Patrick Gower is a classic old-fashioned beat up artist, who'd sell his mother for a story that leads the bulletin and has him in the centre. He wouldn't sell his granny because he already has done. Back in the day he would have chain smoked, drunk like a fish, worn a fedora with a "Press" card tucked into the band and focused on a front page lead. He doesn't give a rats if the story is about David Cunliffe or John Key or Judith Collins. Its the story that counts and he tests a story subject to the max. If the subject makes a mistake however inconsequential its simply confirmation of the story. I've known a few journalists who would pull punches or make them harder depending on their political views but Gower is too focused on the psychodrama in which he is the leading character to ever do that. More people become journalists with Gower's motives than ever do to push a political line. The latter are also frankly pretty boring.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    I find it difficult to understand how a newsroom that contains John Campbell (who has become a very good journalist) and the team that supports him, can also contain Mr Gower.

    "Fair and balanced" innit.

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 324 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Tinakori,

    Patrick Gower looks to me like he's on HST. Certainly a centre-stage ego and a whatever-it-takes man, but that's not by itself a failing. Much of the blame lies with the channel news execs and their "culture". Maybe 3 see a rampaging Gower as the "balance" antidote to John Campbell's star.

    The need remains for a clear distinction between reportage, campaigning journalism and commentary. The MSM media seems unable to draw that line, or even figure out that they differ, and that goes for print and television.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Tinakori,

    I’m with Ruminator, Patrick Gower is a classic old-fashioned beat up artist, who’d sell his mother for a story that leads the bulletin and has him in the centre.

    I'm trying not to push the bias line, not least because I'm mindful of how much I enjoyed Gower's barnstorming romp through the Oravida offices. He can get stories by actually reading the fine print and his recent interview with John Key was excellent.

    But I am troubled by this framing of this question and I really think 3 News reporters have to stop using the Prime Minister to articulate their story angles, especially when the subject is Cunliffe. Key's great talent, as we say in the trade, but it's lazy and creepy.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    3 News reporters have to stop using the Prime Minister to articulate their story angles

    ++++1 That's it.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2898 posts Report Reply

  • Pete George,

    I don't see it as political bias generally, it swings both ways. I thought last night was done poorly and I also didn't like him doing over the Oravida office, I thought that was pointless and diverting from the important stories in China. It's not all bad, I think his interview with Russel Norman on The Nation was very good overall.

    But too often Gower (and others) get a story in mind and construct it for their own ego, choosing and making news rather than reporting on others.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2011 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    "I find it difficult to understand how a newsroom that contains John Campbell (who has become a very good journalist) and the team that supports him, can also contain Mr Gower. It strikes me as odd."

    Now, John Campbell is a political journalist, but the political is with a small "p".

    In other words he comes at everything from a left wing social justice angle so will sink his fangs into a politician on the same side who he feels is not living up to their shared standards and will praise a right winger or liberal who is prepared to favour something that overlaps with his own left wing conservative values. That's fine because it is so obvious, you could never accuse him of pretending to be balanced or even nuanced on the subjects he tackles. He and Gower are on the same channel and both are prominent on that channel. They don't balance one another because one is political and the other is not. There is no sign of a liberal version of John Campbell.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

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