Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The humanity

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  • Katharine Moody,

    Russell, I think you are onto something when you say:

    "But the collective culture (especially with male journalists) is quite often about the pursuit of the weakened."

    Jane Bowron wrote this excellent article;

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/10527142/Death-throes-low-blows-election-night-had-it-all

    And similarly, I think she was quite uncomfortable with some of the low blows. Journalists shouldn't display all the ugly characteristics of bullies. That's for sure.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    Cunliffe made them do it

    As Keir points out, he and his proxies have also done it in the past. There is no contender with completely clean hands.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    I got that the other day. Didn't know why it happened either

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Labour should remodel its party organisation after the Greens, where it's clear that it's the membership's party and the MPs work for the party, not the other way round.

    Having the party members rank the list and requiring electorate MPs to move aside if their seat doesn't reflect their list position (e.g. if you're #30 on the list, you can't occupy a safe seat) would be a start.

    Ok, so ten or fifteen MPs would probably grump off to NZ First, but now would be an ideal time to do it when that makes no difference.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori,

    There is nothing at all unusual about what's happening. In this journalists are as non-partisan as it is possible to get. Blood in the water attracts the interest of them and their viewers, listeners and readers. Bill English got treated the same, as did Jenny Shipley and Jim Bolger (the latter moved his press conferences to his office to generate a less confrontational atmosphere and then cancelled them all together). Poor old Geoffrey Palmer was another example of the walking dead. If you look weak you get treated as prey and everyone tries to pick you off at the back of the herd - your colleagues first and foremost and then the media who watch and take part in the hunt like jackals and vultures (those not pejoratives just zoological observation). Occasionally, like Helen Clark after her first four years as Labour leader the weak and the preyed upon can change the momentum but it is rare. In Clark's case she had the good fortune to still be leader when the Bolger/Peters coalition started to turn off voters in a big way. She went from prey to one of the predators and the journalists went from laughter and condescension to respect and, in too many cases, awe. The manners of journalists have changed a bit but Paddy Gower does remind me of Bill Ralston who pioneered meathead TV political journalism (that's not necessarily a criticism by the way). But even in the more orderly and respectful days the underlying search for sensation is exactly the same.
    It's the news biz, for God's sake.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • Tinakori, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    But the collective culture (especially with male journalists) is quite often about the pursuit of the weakened.”

    Did you not see Tova O'Brien with Winston Peters and Rebecca Wright with Laila Harre on Saturday night?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2013 • 118 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Exactly. Labour lost, they are not the Government, they have not been accused of corrupt behaviour, there has been no scandal of conflict of interest, there has not been a suggestion of obstruction of justice, there has been no evidence of deliberate destruction of the reputations of public figures, there has been no reports of cash for favours. No, the party that did all that, the party that “won”, the party that now governs is not being questioned, not being held to account, not having its corrupt leader challenged it is being treated like a hero.
    And there is no point in telling the MSM to wake up, it doesn’t work on zombies.

    Magnificent!

    Giovanni Tiso wrote:

    Mary Wilson did that on Sunday morning.

    I think that was the most petulant, juvenile and hysterically unhinged thing I’ve ever heard on RNZ.
    Wilson was out of control like some 16 yo whose party has been cancelled and has to spend the next three weeks grounded.

    Mainstream journalism in NZ is a shambles. Really, it’s desperately poor and often pathetic. It’s a fucking joke and the rest of the world is seeing that as well as having an arsehole PM who can’t speak properly and likes to taunt those who oppose him with pre-school level insults we have shit television reporters, deluded and often deranged political columnists in our newspapers and gutless, craven radio presenters.

    And no, I don’t feel sorry for the gits having to sit on the marble floors of parliament for seven hours. There’s heaps out there doing it tougher in far shittier jobs.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to CJM,

    Mary Wilson did that on Sunday morning.

    I think that was the most petulant, juvenile and hysterically unhinged thing I’ve ever heard on RNZ.
    Wilson was out of control like some 16 yo whose party has been cancelled and has to spend the next three weeks grounded.

    Really? That is not her default setting ?

    Well I'll be ...

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 778 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    I find Patrick Gower quite endearing, sometimes (not so much recently), but he always looks to me like his face belongs in the pages of Viz magazine.

    I think I know what you mean. More Finbarr Saunders and his Double Entendres (fnar fnar!) than Buster Gonad and his Unfeasibly Large Tersticles.

    Or Roger Melly - the man on the tele.

    "Ohhh... look at these cute little puppies, children. Oh wait... this one over here has an enormous hard-on!"

    I used to love Viz.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1436 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    but I'm really wondering if some people hereabouts would only be happy if Paddy Gower was chasing Judith Collins around Parliament with a burning pitchfork.

    It would be a good start...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    Mainstream journalism in NZ is a shambles. Really, it’s desperately poor and often pathetic. It’s a fucking joke and the rest of the world is seeing that as well as having an arsehole PM who can’t speak properly and likes to taunt those who oppose him with pre-school level insults we have shit television reporters, deluded and often deranged political columnists in our newspapers and gutless, craven radio presenters.

    Sorry but that attitude, right there, even if feels good to get off your chest, doesn't strike me as one that is likely to lead to electability anytime soon. If we get locked into a 'blame the media' narrative I don't think it leads anywhere constructive. The media is us. And even then, their influence on the electorate is over-stated. Look at how even a rabidly partison media outlet such as Fox News in the US is unable to influence voters beyond the already converted. Believe it or not, a lot of people ignore the media, and make up their minds as to who to vote on other things.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    if Paddy Gower was chasing Judith Collins around Parliament with a burning pitchfork.

    It would be a good start...

    burning the midnight whale oil

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

  • Seriatim, in reply to Michael Meyers,

    The one I can't stand is "I'll take that as a 'yes'!!"

    Wellington • Since Dec 2010 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Bodmin, in reply to linger,

    Good comment , Of course the PM will be questioned prior to an election on all sorts of things including recently on apparent variations in stories in the media and the facts as they surfaced after questioning the PM about his involvement.

    Auckland • Since May 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to llew40,

    If we get locked into a ‘blame the media’ narrative I don’t think it leads anywhere constructive. The media is us. And even then, their influence on the electorate is over-stated.

    The framing of the six o'clock news and the daily papers drives the understanding of almost everything for everyone in this country. Don't confuse the exceptions (people here) with the majority.

    No, it's not helpful to get stuck in a "blame the media" narrative. However, just because that's not the only problem doesn't mean it's not a problem - the media doesn't get a free ride just because the Labour party has its own problems. Especially since Labour patently only represents a declining portion of the country.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Bodmin, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Go Sophie love your your comments

    Auckland • Since May 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Trevor Nicholls,

    Regardless of the target: a better start would be
    actual fact-based reporting and analysis, rather than simply
    brandishing the tar & feathers, and so tarnishing their brand

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1938 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The irony about that media stake out yesterday was that there was tweeting going on between some of the MPs inside and the journalists outside.

    If people were more collaborative and less competitive and combative, the journalists could have worked together to share the watch (after all no one is more than a text away). A friendly MP could have tweeted when their meeting was almost finished and the journalists could then gather in time for them to come out of the room. Cooperation builds better relationships so there would have been some polite Q&A and not that shouting, gotcha stuff.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3222 posts Report Reply

  • Bodmin, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Not only silly but a clear indication of the lack of understanding that the current media hacks have of processes such as the confidential nature of meetings
    such as a political party caucus. Will they wait outside the next board meeting of Fonterra or any other large NZ company.
    I hope they didn't get piles sitting on cold marble.

    Auckland • Since May 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    the collective culture (especially with male journalists) is quite often about the pursuit of the weakened.

    This is a form of bias that should be called: specifically bias against the weak and for the strong. Obviously it can be self-perpetuating, so the journalists help create the story.
    And it's the cowardly opposite to holding the powerful to account.
    Also: listening to Susi and Guyon badgering and hectoring various Labour players about the leadership on MR- and suggesting answers when they don't respond - has been very dis-spiriting. The Labour leadership shouldn't be a big deal at the moment anyway. But those two have been carrying on like they're owed someone's head on a silver platter- with parsley and chives.
    Tedious bad radio - self-entitled and unenlightening.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • llew40,

    The framing of the six o'clock news and the daily papers drives the understanding of almost everything for everyone in this country.

    Sorry - dont buy that. Seen the circulation figures for the Herald in South Auckland? Seen the declining figures on TV News?. For the news interested, one of the transformational aspects of the internet age has been access to different news and different perspectives on the news. For the uninterested, the off switch has never been more readily employed than today.

    Since Nov 2012 • 140 posts Report Reply

  • CJM, in reply to llew40,

    “Electability”? What does that mean. I’m not up for election? My rant applies to the way the MSM deals with the left as well as the right. It’s puerile and petty obsession with political celebrity, it’s arrogance, it’s anti-intellectual, pay-no-mind-to-the-detail-we’ll-fudge-that-together-later-in-our-glitzy-fucking-graphics production fetishism.
    Yes, I’ve got an attitude. I’m angry. Things are royally fucked and between APN, Fairfax and the national party stooges on the board of RNZ we have quite a little empire of bullshit set in place.
    Are they solely to blame for the state of the Labour party and their shellacking? No, of course not. But the creep is set in, the misinformation and obfuscation is absolutely intended and all of us, voters/consumers from the left right and beyond, deserve better.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Bodmin,

    Will they wait outside the next board meeting of Fonterra or any other large NZ company.

    One would hope someone is doing that, and asking the question "why did you wait until after the election for that announcement?"

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Greg Dawson, in reply to llew40,

    Sorry – dont buy that. Seen the circulation figures for the Herald in South Auckland? Seen the declining figures on TV News?.

    I didn’t say that everyone was reading/watching the main news outlets, just that the way they frame the story still drives the national conversation.

    And I’d still happily posit that it does in the face of the consumption decline – I reliably hear the talking points put out there by news stories from people who never watch the news or read the paper. It doesn’t have to be first hand to be influence.

    ETA: and of course the "new" media spend an inordinate proportion of their time discussing what the "old" media are saying

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 294 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    It is not misleading to say the divisions are deep and the grievances are bitter.

    I think we 'the public' - know that. It's not new news. It's been talked about for oh- about 5 years?
    What those who waited for 7 long hours were hoping for was something new. The impression I got was they felt it was their right to have some blood - after all, they could smell it.
    So what we got was dumb shouting and no chance of any other story out of this meeting than Labour's leadership problems. It's a choice - and in my opinion, a sucky one.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

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