Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How do we all move past our differences, get together and save the world?

6 Responses

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Well bringing people together would be helped by not running Andrea Vance pieces like this:


    I just wrote to the editors:

    What is with this Andrea Vance piece 
    she starts with an alleged quote:
    "The Most Effective Leader on the Planet. Saint Jacinda, a leader for our troubled times. One of…the standout leaders of this crisis."
    - a ‘quote” that can be found nowhere on the web aside from starting this unacknowledged OPINION piece.
    the next paragraph;
    "The global praise for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s leadership during the coronavirus pandemic reads like the extravagant quotes transcribed on movie posters."
    with an internal link to an Atlantic article
    which does have the headline:
    "New Zealand’s Prime Minister May Be the Most Effective Leader on the Planet"
    That is **not** extravagant and is **not** what Vance’s lead “quote” says – that is pure ’dog-whistle’ and misleading.
    It also ignores the Atlantic sub-heading :
    "Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style, focused on empathy, isn’t just resonating with her people; it’s putting the country on track for success against the coronavirus."
    The Atlantic article isn’t about ‘hero worship’ it is about ‘effective leadership’ – something Vance does acknowledge but then goes on to try and dilute and diffuse.
    Please retain some perspective.
    Ian Dalziel
    Pedant Patrol

    Maybe she was just being sarcastic…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Well bringing people together would be helped by not running Andrea Vance pieces like this:

    My theory of the past month has been that we're all processing anxiety in different ways. This certainly isn't Andrea's best work. What's she doing here? telling everyone off?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Telling us more about herself than anyone else.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong, in reply to Sacha,

    Note to self: nominate clickbait as word of the year. Isn’t it great / doesn’t it grate to see so many kiwi journalists master clickbait.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Sure, the headline is clickbait: but most headlines are, and they're often not written by the contributor, but slapped on by an editor afterwards. The body of Vance's opinion piece is more nuanced, and the main point is explicitly not any attack on Ardern, but a more general warning about the dangers of placing all trust in one charismatic leader rather than thinking for ourselves. It's not a great piece, but it's hard to see it as a major outrage either. Much the same mundane point would have been equally valid in some parallel universe where Bridges is PM, and has charisma. Indeed, Vance actually does point to Key's tenure in that regard. The opening "quote" is a sloppy amalgamation of separate quotes from separate unattributed sources, but it doesn't contain anything that hasn't been applied to Ardern somewhere … however, more often overseas rather than in NZ, so not centrally supporting Vance's thesis.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Yes, nuanced is a fair description.

    It's really an extension of the media mirror game, which is more evident now than ever before. The NZ media report on Ardern and/or NZ, and then they relay international reports on Ardern/NZ (often of dubious merit), and then they comment on the response in NZ to those international reports, and so the cycle continues. Each day a new contribution (today, Bloomberg).

    Because we are globally insignificant, this is a new experience for us: what is happening in NZ is being widely reported (accurately or not) not because we are important, but because the virus is. Covid-19 is happening everywhere else, so the different approaches and results around the globe are news. For the most part, this overseas commentary isn't really about New Zealand at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1333 posts Report Reply

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