Thursday, 8 October 2009

Local media does bad

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.

That’s sad.

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.


  1. I'm not so sure.

    While it's common for people to say that they "don't believe a word that's written in the paper" etc, they go right out and quote it as gospel.

    "I saw it on the news".

    Can't argue with that, then ...

  2. It's what you get after 10 years of Labour government, State (= Labour Party) Radio and TV stations dominating the airwaves, and major newspapers also effectively dominated by government advertising and press releases.

    What a free press? Start by closing down RadioNZ (Especailly), TVNZ, and banning all government press offices and spin doctors (ministerial and departmental).

    Then, perhaps, private individuals could raise the funds to deliver investigate to every above-average income household in the country - after all, it's basically the only independent outlet we have left, apart from blogs.

  3. Yes, it's amusing that Ralston says that.

    I also find it amusing that those who have been on tv in the long distant past like Perigo, Ralston, Wilson (the latter two might still be on tv - I never watch anything other than Sky so I don't know) just can't shut up.

    These folk love their long forgotten 'fame' and are still trying to rack up airpoints on it. They still think they are interesting. They are not.

  4. Bill Ralston is generous with his cigarettes. If you chat to him in a bar in Ponsonby and he is lighting up one, he will offer whoever he is talking to a B&H ciggie too. I recalled him offering me one at a bar in Ponsonby some years ago and I think that you (PC) and LGM were sitting at the corner table near the entrance on that night. Bill is a good bloke.

  5. FF

    I was standing right next to you! I remember you challenging him to a debate about the philosophy he was trying to impress a young lass with. He sure backed down in a hurry. You're right though. He was friendly and approachable.

    That was a good night out!


  6. Ralston's long gone. Has TVNZ actually improved? Come on....has it?

    It's rather like blaming Laurie Mains for the state of the current All Blacks!!

  7. Laurie's longer gone than your mate, Cactus. And the direction in which Bill took was down. Unlike Laurie.

    Has the TVNZ News improved? Try this report from the Dim Post, which matches what I've seen every time I turn it off:

    "The Herald reports [that TVNZ are] using the disappearance of Aisling Symes to pimp their psychic mystery show 'Sensing Murder.' Nice one. I gave up on TVNZ news a while ago – they still have a handful of good reporters (Lisa Owen) but most of their current crop of journalists are overdressed teenagers who can’t stop grinning through the live cross because they’re buzzed to be covering such an awesome tragedy."

    So what do you think?

  8. So the answer is no TVNZ has had time to get better and it hasn't.

    The "live cross" matches playing Stephen Donald for stupidity.


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