Ever done something, seen something or been involved in something that’s made the news? Have you been able to recognise what’s been reported as being anywhere close to what you know actually occurred?
If you answer that the way I think you will, then rest assured you’re not alone. A new UMR poll suggests that NZers generally discount what they receive from our local media:
- Only 35% of NZers believe the media is accurate. That many?! I’m surprised.
- Around one-quarter of respondents said local media is definitely inaccurate – and these weren’t just the people who still read the Sunday Star Slime.
Frankly, that’s appalling - but for our shallow, vacuous unreliable local media it’s a richly deserved result. What Lindsay Perigo called “braindead” when he walked out on the TVNZ newsroom in the early 1990s would now be seen as too intellectually challenging for prime time viewing – and sadly, there’s no sign of any improvement.
But do you know what I find truly amusing? It’s that I first read this news about the news at Bill Ralston & Janet Wilson’s blog, where Bill takes the opportunity to put the boot into the “tabloid trivialisation of news, which again undermines audience and reader respect and trust.” And why is that so amusing? Because it was Bill, if you recall, who spent four years doing to TVNZ news what he’d previously done to Metro magazine, taking them both resolutely down-market into tabloid land, destroying whatever remaining credibility either once had, and with it their audience and readership respectively.
So “warnings” about credibility from Bullshit Bill should be taken with a little pinch of something he’d put on his long lunches.