Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How journalism looks now

13 Responses

  • Russell Brown,

    Richard Bilton talking about the Panorama report hours before it was broadcast, on The One Show.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • nzlemming,

    I usually roll over and turn Wallace off, but I'm glad I didn't yesterday. It was a good segment. Either he's got better at removing himself from the interview or it was deference to the power of the subject.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • David Cohen,

    I like Mark Jennings, and I admire what he and Tim Murphy are doing with Newsroom. But his comments on autism in the link you gave are, as you say, unhelpful. He says that 'no one can explain' the rising incidence of autism. In fact, it is easy to explain the reported spike, which of course has to do with the definition of autism being greatly expanded in the diagnostic criteria. Giving equal time to thoroughly discredited anti-vax quackery is therefore NOT the 'other side' of the epidemiological story, as any reputable source would attest.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 10 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to David Cohen,

    Giving equal time to thoroughly discredited anti-vax quackery is therefore NOT the 'other side' of the epidemiological story, as any reputable source would attest.

    Exactly. If you want to talk about autism, talk about support or people's experiences, or research on autism. If you want to talk about vaccination, talk about vaccination. The connection between the two is entirely a matter of quackery.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • David Cohen,

    The stand to Reid’s piece says, ‘Few health debates are as polarising as the one that rages over whether vaccines cause autism in children.’ This is completely incorrect, because no such health debate ‘rages’ in any medical forum. It goes on to say that campaigners against vaccination ‘point to a growing autism epidemic’ and the stories from ‘thousands of parents’ who supposedly say their children have become autistic after being vaccinated.

    In fact, ‘thousands of parents’ say no such thing, and Reid quoted not one of them claiming anything to that effect.

    A far better drumroll might have been to state that ‘few health claims’ have been as comprehensively debunked as the purported link between a long-discarded agent in some vaccines and the incidence of childhood autism, which has been on an uptick since its diagnostic criteria was significantly expanded. In the meantime, ‘thousands of parents’ are left wondering why the media persists in recycling arrant balderdash rather than looking at ways to improve social conditions for these vulnerable kids and their families.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 10 posts Report

  • Thomas Goodfellow,

    Even with the best of intentions, it's the natural tendency of power to run things to suit itself. And it should be a natural function of journalism to resist that and expose it.

    Absolutely - since much of what's presented as news journalism is pseudo-objective to the point of being supine that it's a joy to see a solid point of view put solidly. What David Allen Green noted about human rights applies quite well to proper journalism:

    it is important to note that the whole purpose of human rights law is, from time to time, to frustrate governments and others with power.

    Human rights law which allows politicians to do what they would have done anyway is not meaningfully human rights law at all.

    Of course, government do not like human rights law – they also dislike legal aid and judicial review – as it empowers the individual to stand up to the State.

    So the protests of senior politicians (of all parties) about human rights law should never be taken at face value.

    [quoting from about-the-human-rights-act-and-echr - which starts with the Home Secretary of 2011 telling a direct lie about human rights legislation. Her name is of course Theresa May]

    Germany • Since May 2012 • 12 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Philip Matthews’ extremely strong editorial for Saturday’s Press

    I like that Philip Matthews always has his byline on his editorials, they should extend that to all editorial writers.
    ...and that he is such a reasonable and intelligent writer - we can always do with more of that.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to David Cohen,

    Thanks for that David. That comment annoyed me too.

    There is also some evidence that diagnoses are now levelling out as standardised diagnostic tools catch up with the child population. No epidemic after all.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • andin,


    To use an overworked word, truth is rarely ever found at the midway point between opposing views. To think it does, reeks of intellectual laziness.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1891 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,


    So long to the old stalwarts: Trans-Tasman Newsletter and The Main Report.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The Trans Tasman was barely disguised apologia for establishment neoliberalism. The irony of seeing it hoist by it’s own petard is delicious. Another right wing publication for the pompous stuffed shirts of business, MSM political "journalists" and politicised senior public servants has gone west, sorry for not caring.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I didn't say I was caring, just noting....
    ...when the alpha predator scavengers can't make a go of it round the 'print waterhole' ya know it really is drying up and blowing away,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    …when the alpha predator scavengers can’t make a go of it round the ‘print waterhole’ ya know it really is drying up and blowing away,

    I watch this streamer on twitch. His streams are entirely free, as he plays he interacts with the chat and you can get a computer generated voice to say something to the gamer and the stream if you pay a little money. You can subscribe to indicate your support for money, and you can tip the gamer. He also runs the odd ad and he has a youtube channel where aspects of the game are discussed and analysed.

    I hear tell he makes around 300K NZ a year, mostly from entirely voluntary contributions from his engaged community. He’s being doing this for the last six years, since he was 23.

    The question I pose the news media is how come some dude can make 1.8 million in donations playing a game and interacting with people and someone like Jonathan Pie can get 300k subscribers and 150k views per video, how come they can’t make a dime selling their product?

    No one wants to pay for the shameful, gutter scraping rubbish in the NZ Herald. Who wants to pay for something that clearly has no respect for itself, let alone it’s readers?

    No one is interested in smug, biased and out of touch publications where propaganda is dissembled as news by out of touch “journalists” who more often than not are old men and who are in symbiotic relationships with the subjects of their stories, and on whom they rely for a steady flow of “news.” I mean, modern news sites which re-package PR for uncritical release can hardly bleat about the debasement of truth and facts by fake news when they’ve doing nothing but spread propaganda, selective truths and fake news themselves for years to serve their masters!

    The future of news is I think internet sites like the TYT network. They are biased, but the admit it and they are honest. Which beats the pack of lies and self-serving bullshit we get from the like of the Trans-Tasman and the Herald…

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report

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