And they call themselves journalists

Karl du Fresne has hit the nail on the head in his blog post called The purpose of journalism.? Quote:

Today?s Dominion Post reproduces part of an editorial from the Sydney Morning Herald commenting on an Australian philanthropist?s pledge of $100 million ?to strengthen Australian journalism and help restore faith in its central role in a healthy democracy?. The editorial comments: ?The challenge is not just to produce information but to package it and focus it so it has an impact on society and brings about concrete change.?

Right there, in one sentence, the left-leaning SMH demonstrates two of the besetting faults of modern journalism and the reason why public confidence in the media continues to decline. The first is the assumption that the mission of journalists is to change things ? a mindset encouraged by journalism courses taught by leftist ideologues. The second is the conceit that journalists know what?s best for us.

One of the best definitions of journalism that I?ve read comes from The Elements of Journalism, by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel. It defines the purpose of journalism as ?to provide citizens with the information they need to make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies and their governments?.[?]? End of quote.

How does the New Zealand media stack up against those simple but effective measures of journalism?

It’s woeful.

Here are just a few examples of appalling ‘journalism’ over the last few days.

  • Stuff is currently running a series of stories about climate change, and at the bottom of the story is a disclaimer saying that while they welcome robust debate, they don’t intend to provide a venue for denialism or hoax advocacy.? This has already been covered by Whaleoil and you can read more about it here. This is a perfect example of ‘journalism’ doing the exact opposite of what it should do.? They have come right out and said that they will only support one side of the discussion.? Dissenting voices will not be heard.


  • The UN global compact on migration is going to be signed by many foreign nations on 10th – 11th December.? This is a document that could potentially have a huge impact on our country and way of life. It is not totally clear whether the current government, which campaigned on reducing immigration, intend to sign it or not.? Yet not one journalist bothered to ask Ms Ardern about it in her press conference on Monday.? The media need to ask the hard questions about this. As Karl has so eloquently said, it is their job to provide information.? That is their raison d’etre and they are failing abysmally.


  • The latest poll results show Labour, Greens and NZ First have all dropped support.? Sally called it in Backchat last night, when she said: “Expect a baby dressed in Christmas fancy dress being wheeled out in 3 2 1 …”.? She wasn’t 100% correct with the fancy dress, but there was a story on Clarke Gayford being a stay-at-home dad.? Oh look, a baby!? A nice little distraction from the bad poll results.


  • Tonight on Three News, there was an article about the compensation for Housing New Zealand tenants evicted because of meth contamination.? The article described it as “botched” testing. Well, that got me yelling at the TV because the results weren’t “botched”.? The reason tenants are being paid compensation is because the acceptable level of meth contamination was lowered.? Such blatant propaganda, it’s hardly believable.? Implying that National “botched it”, and the fabulous crim-hugging Labour party has swept in and “fixed it”.

Does all of that sound fair and balanced?? Does it give us enough information to make our own decisions about the matters in front of us?? Or are we being treated like a bunch of dummies, expected to blindly follow an agenda with no dissent allowed?