Category: Politics And Media

Dysfunctional HRC Targets Hate And Disharmony Streamed session A Fig Leaf For Commission Push

Green MP Golriz Grahraman is a high profile advocate for controlled speech,

A ministerial report from retired Employment Court judge Coral Shaw was a damning indictment of the Human Rights Commission, which was described as “dysfunctional” and “toxic”. Justice Minister Andrew Little is working with the State Services Commission to resolve problems which he said had been apparent to him, before media reports about its errant handling of a sexual harassment complaint. “Problems at the Commission came to me previously from a number of sources,” Little says. ”I made the judgment that the failure with the sexual harassment complaint was a product of a dysfunction at the Commission,” he says.

RNZ community engagement editor is in the media – but is expected to support restrictions on speech.

There have been other examples of mission creep at the Commission – with a focus on development of its own profile and what AUT history professor Paul Moon sees as evidence of an “ideology” developing at the Commission. In my opinion the Commission human sometimes act like a state-sanctioned activist, a role that is even more problematical with Labour and the Greens in power. The activist tendency is playing out in a nascent debate over “hate speech” – or “disharmonious language” as the Commission calls it. Two meetings on the topic held in Wellington, tomorrow, Tuesday May 22. One – led by Internet NZ – is being streamed and includes Golriz Grahraman amongst speakers. None of the speakers are promoters for free speech. It is chaired by Dr Paul Spoonley, an academic tipped for the role of Race Relations Conciliator. 

 

HERE IS THE FULL LIST OF SPEAKERS: https://internetnz.nz/event/hate-and-internet

 

The Internet NZ session is attached  to a closed and private meeting of NGOs organised by the Human Rights Commission.  a source familiar with the planning said that the streamed speakers was a public shop front while in the private meeting led by the Commission.

“ This is a fig leaf for what is going on at the HRC closed meeting,” the source says,

Internet NZ has acknowledged tomorrow’s session was linked to the controversial comments by Israel Folau, who responded to queries and said that under his religious views, homosexual people would “ burn in hell” if they did not repent.

Andrew Little sees problems at the Human Right Commission but sees a review hate speech rules in the future,

Attempts to pin down expectations for the HRC- organised meeting were fraught. The Commission insisted it was not working toward new hate speech legislation. Internet New Zealand initially wouldn’t discuss the allied meeting,

The upshot is that renewed debate about hate speech – at a time when the world is  obsessed with the notion of fake News – appears to be  being led by a Commission that is organisationally dysfunction. In my opinion the is taking too little stock of the importance for freedom of speech.

Labour may be wary of the HRC currently. But Little indicated he is prepared to limit freedom of speech.

Paul Moon has long questioned the lack of transparency at the Commission and an unwillingness to discuss its position on hate speech.

A July 2017 Commisssion report referred to concern about a more nebulous concept, “disharmonious” speech.

Moon says the Commission refuses to spell out what that means. Disharmony is not necessarily a bad thing.

Moon detects a mood at the Commission to introduce more controls over speech. akin to greater state oversight like those in Canada and in the UK.

Israel Folau and his comments that homosexuals would “ Burn in hell. The notion of hell – let alone that of a fiery tempest – seems olde world. How many people take his views so seriously they should be banned,

Yet numerous celebrities -including All Black TJ Perenara – and Newshub political editor Tova O’Brien – exercised their outrage and said Folau’ comments were beyond the pair. There is no room in my world for people who think gay people are going to hell” O’Brien said.

Many people did not like what Israel and Maria Folau said – but should they be silenced?

Freedom of speech does not exempt Folau is exempt from consequences and he got a sound whacking on mainstream and social media.

Views were expressed. People had an idea of the competing freedoms,

The HRC has been active in this space for a long time and regularly holds forth on perceived racism sexism, and transphobia 

We have now come to expect interventions from the state agency with chiding of people who break unstated moral rules, 

Dr Paul Spoonley is chairman of the Internet NZ speaker series and is tipped to be the next Race Relations Conciliator/

The Commissioners wax lyrical about Christchurch everything from utterances or the N word – which it had pre-arranged, a Chinese restaurant which used crass phrases on its menu and tweeting transexual former male who competed as a woman. Itmis not so much these views are advances, but that alternative opinions ar being shut out.

There is now an expectation that the Commission will make statement on any perceived example of what it calls disharmonious speech. What we know nowise that the state agency now comments on all incidents that involve race, gender or even tenancy problems.

 Little defends its media activities, but suggests problems may be due to a lack interest by National over the past nine years.

Andrew Little points out that the Commisssion has a role to promote understanding of human rights.

He said that in two or three years there may be a review so that New Zealand Human Rights laws are consistent with those overseas.

“It may well be that is the time to consider whether there has to be a beefing up over the coverage of hate speech,” he said.

“I am acutely aware that is an area that has the potential to seriously infringe on freedom of speech.”We need to find a line that is beyond obnoxious butclearly harmful and damaging” the minister said. 

The Internet NZ event is a shop front window with the real activity behind the scenes involving the Commission and lobby group. The most disturbing aspect is that the discussions are taking place in the name of diversity, where some opinions – on the importance of freedom of speech – does not have a champion.

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Can Radio New Zealand Trust Labour?

CAPTION: Clare Curran and Carol Hirschfeld.

Labour Party plans for big changes at Radio New Zealand are in a deep hole, after the Broadcasting Minister’s errant breakfast meeting with RNZ news boss Carol Hirschfeld.
Revelations about the encounter sparked a political storm, but Clare Curran has kept digging, and said this week that “this is a democracy” and she can meet with whomever she likes.
Th upshot is that Labour should consider abandoning its broadcasting policy, or the minister. There has been a breach of trust.

Can Labour implement its transformation of RNZ + ?

Curran’s breakfast with Hirschfeld, at the Astoria cafe on Wellington’s Lambton Quay, came two days before the minister was due to meet RNZ chairman Richard Griffin and chief executive Paul Thompson. Both men are known to be sceptical about Labour’s plans.

We don’t know the topics the two women discussed. It beggars belief, though, that either of them thought the breakfast date was acceptable.
The issue of most concern, however, is not that Hirschfeld attended an inappropriate meeting with a Cabinet minister. (There are strict rules against ministers trying to influence state-owned media.) It is that she repeatedly misled Thompson, her boss, by insisting that she had merely bumped into Curran at the Astoria. He, in turn, assured a parliamentary committee that the encounter had not been not pre-arranged.

Remember, this breakfast was back in December. Hirschfeld was then RNZ’s head of news and New Zealand was in the full flushes of Jacinda euphoria. The Labour Party, in its broadcasting policy, was dangling a $38 million funding carrot in front of RNZ.

But staff say that apart from Hirschfeld, RNZ’s top management was treating the policy – for a full-scale TV channel, RNZ Plus – with caution.

RNZ was right to accept Hirschfeld’s resignation. The incident has damaged the state broadcaster, which has long tried to overcome the overblown claims that it was biased in favour of the Left.

But RNZ staff I spoke to said Curran was getting off scot-free. Given the tensions between Curran and RNZ, should the PM step in to ensure Labour’s policy can be implemented?

eGriffin and Thompson have been wary of Labour’s plans for an RNZ TV channel. But in light of the Government’s belligerence on the issue, they couldn’t ignore the policy, and Hirschfeld was appointed to a new job overseeing the development of video, with a particular focus on Morning Report and Checkpoint.

Hirschfeld – who has a background in television – is said to have been a big supporter of the Labour proposal.
Staff I spoke to shared the concerns of Griffin and Thompson. They viewed the policy as unsustainable and feared it would take resources away from RNZ’s core skill base – radio.

The number of people watching video is so tiny that the cost cannot be justified. As one staffer said: “Ever since she [Hirschfeld] got here, it has been about putting in TV everywhere.”
More video content is seen as inevitable, but television is expensive and the proposed $38 million is a drop in the ocean.

Richard Griffin Inadvertantly lied to a select committee.

Now seems a strange time to be moving into the challenging TV business.
Labour’s policy rightly addresses a need for public broadcasting that is ignored under the present commercial-focused broadcast system.
But turning RNZ into a TV channel while ignoring Television New Zealand seems irrational.
Maybe with a minister cooperating with the RNZ board, such a move could be made to work.
But Curran’s action has severely threatened the trust relationship with RNZ. It is hard to see how RNZ Plus can proceed, under this minister at least.

 

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Genter Talks Like An Activist, Not A Minister

CAPTION: It is Activism 101. But dismissing citizens as “old white men” indicates Julie Anne Genter has not adjusted to her new role.

Green Party activists have been slow to adjust to the New World Order: a Labour-led government where they are part of the ruling coalition and not just agitators looking for attention.

Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter epitomised the mismatch this week with her comment that “old white men” should stand down to make way for more diverse corporate boards.

Stuff reported:

Women’s Minister Julie Anne Genter says old white men need to “move on” from company boards to help close the gender pay gap. Speaking to students at Christchurch’s Cobham Intermediate School on Thursday, Genter said the private sector needed to address the low level of female representation on New Zealand company boards if more businesses were to be led by women.About 85 per cent of board members were male, and many were “old white men in their 60s”.“Some of them need to move on and allow for diversity and new talent,” she said, later clarifying she had “no problem with old white men” on company boards generally.

It was a minister of the Crown talking to kids. It seems that “pale, stale males” ― as some other critics call them ― are ruining it for everyone again. It’s a bad call to dismiss a whole section of the population like that. It shows that she still hasn’t got to grips with her role.  Identity politics are not going to help resolve the equal pay issue. 

Genter is trying to be co co-leader of the Greens

I am ambivalent about the older male dominance of corporate boards. I can see the logic of encouraging more diverse people with diverse backgrounds. More worker involvement in business certainly works in Germany.

But whatever happens, the focus of corporate boards is going to remain on delivering profits to investors. Women directors will still make the same harsh decisions that men sometimes make. More-diverse boards will include clever people, but still include racists and sexists on occasion.I worry about the language used by Genter and the activist media. I’m not sure I want activists ― especially those who use terms like “old white men” ― telling businesses who they should not have leading them.

Removed from the double-speak of justification, the term “old white males” is ageist, racist and sexist. It is unnecessarily alienating.To her credit, Genter engaged with her critics. But she has an unfortunate tendency to think she knows better than everyone else and does not try to convince people she is listening. Her reaction does not generate optimism for the future. Genter is making her own bid to become joint leader of a party where deriding “old white men” and “pale, stale males” is acceptable. 

Her role as associate transport minister makes sense given her expertise in transport planning.

Genter is not alone in being stuck in the activist rut. Golriz Ghahraman and Chlöe Swarbrick have not moved on from being in election-campaign mode. Swarbrick has been accomplished as a new MP. But Genter and Swarbrick gave Parliament a firm ticking off when a majority of MPs did not back the Greens’ bid to partially legalise cannabis.

James Shaw doesn’t talk activist jargon.

They lost the vote, they screwed up. A politician’s job is to get people on their side, and they failed to do that. Likewise, the collapse of the Greens’ vote in the election after Metiria Turei’s confession about her questionable welfare and electoral issues is not blamed on a shambolic party, but on an errant media. The Greens are backed by whiny journalists and media commentators who target the hip activist audience to sell ads.

But she is a minister of the Crown and needs to talk to all New Zealanders – not just her pals on protest marches.

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UPDATED: Opinion is entrenched in the state TV newsroom TVNZ HAS NO EXPLICIT WRITTEN POLICY ON ITS JOURNALISTS WRITiNG OUTSIDE COMMENTARY

UPDATE, Sometime TVNZ 1 news presenter Miriama Kamo wrote an article of The Spinoff, 

TVNZ News managers said through a spokeswoman: “A number of our journalists and presenters contribute to other media outlets –  be it as radio hosts, as print columnists or panel guests. Some of these roles require personal opinions to be offered.

“We’re realistic about the fact that our journalists and presenters are people who hold personal viewpoints and there are occasions where these can be expressed and healthy debate can be engaged in.  While we don’t have an explicit written policy for our people taking on these roles, additional media responsibilities are assessed in a case by case basis to ensure the editorial strength of our newsroom, said spokeswoman Rachel Howard.

Do you remember the days we did not know the personal politics and opinions of newseaders?

Today in “The Spinoff” the sometimes TVNZ One News newsreader, Marae and Sunday host opined that people were wrong to comment about there being less animosity at Waitangi.

“Why do we praise ‘peaceful’ Waitangi Day celebrations? It suggests that agitators behaved, that they weren’t naughty, that they towed the line to allow everyone to have a ‘nice’ day.” she asked.

I tend to agree with her. But I was surprised to see that a high-profile and ostensibly independent newsreader and current affairs like Kamo presenting her personal views on politics. 

I imagine Kamo views her role as an interviewer on the current affairs programmes Marae and Sunday as justification for her taking a position. But I think news reading is special and there has never been a time when neutrality is more important. Its an old-fashioned view but her opinions in Spinoff queer the pitch for her newsreader role, in my opinion. Maybe its a one off But it’s a worrying trend at TVNZ and state broadcasting in general,

Kamo said in Spinoff

I find praise of a peaceful Waitangi Day jarring. The absence of protest is not the indicator of a successful Waitangi Day. Whether protest occurs or does not occur is not the measure of anything other than the mood of the marginalised. And if it is the measure, then it is for Māori to decide whether Waitangi celebrations were ‘successful’…. Every year, Waitangi Day is approached with trepidation – how much protest will there be, what form will it take? National leader Bill English was spooked by it, suggesting to RNZ that his decision not to attend Waitangi last year saw marae trustees organise themselves this year to see ‘dignity restored to that event’ – read, no protest. In his view, this is why the new government received a warm reception.

… the onus is not on Māori to smooth the path for others to come into their home; a home that has been, figuratively and literally, systematically dismantled and destroyed over decades. Labour too has a lot of ground to make up, so it’s good that Jacinda Ardern spoke with verve and hope for a more equitable partnership. Her warm reception reflects the historic grassroots support by many Māori for the party, the ongoing excitement around the prime minister’s leadership, but also her pregnancy.

It was a strong articulate opinion. But if she continues to be a pundit it queers the pitch for her reading the new.  I’m hoping this is not a sign of things to come. 

Hosking was never sold as being neutral – Kamo is.

Kamo objected to Mike Hosking over his arrogant utterances about the former mayor of New Plymouth Andrews Judd, It was a low point for Seven Sharp, in my opinion. TVNZ producers became too loose handling Hosking’s opinions. In some ways Hosking was less problematical. Seven Sharp was not a bulletin and there was no pretence that he was neutral, 

The state broadcaster hired Hosking to rark with a right wing viewpoints that he had promoted in other media for ages.. admittedly, she did not express her views on TVNZ. If TVNZ really valued her opinion, its surprising they don’t appear to have run them on TVNZ.co.nz website.

I’d argue that the neutrality is more important now than it has ever been

TVNZ would’ve had to give Kamo the go-ahead. I asked spokeswoman Rachel Howard about the approach. She  said that presenters giving their personal opinions has been around for years.

That is true. Paul Henry was very opinionated on Breakfast. TVNZ did not mind that while ratings kept up. Hilary Barry has liked to promote her feminist sensibilities to the world.

Now Hilary has been moved from Breakfast to Seven-Sharp, she is being replaced by Hayley Holt, the former Green Party candidate, though TVNZ says she knows her politics can’t intrude on the show,

Kamo has some strong and well- articulated views.

But I am pleased that Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie keep their opinions to themselves, as do Samantha Hayes and Mike McRoberts on Newsbub.

It would-be worrying in the current environment if TVNZ decides that newsreaders don’t need to be neutral. 

 

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Lordy Lordy, Lorde What were her managers thinking?

CAPTION: The Israeli bombing of Gaza, July 2014.

The debacle over Lorde playing in Tel Aviv says a lot about the sorry state of music industry marketing. Way back, somebody in Lorde’s management team decided the Devonport songstress should have an  image far beyond her ‘making fun’  danceable original music. She has been clever enough to support the idea, in a uniquely Kiwi kind self confidence.  She is the millennial with a mind of her own -a hero to the young, and to young women especially.

Peace !

 

Now, her managers have announced she will be playing in Tel Aviv in June, and there has been debate in the media whether this is smart amidst growing international tension of the issue of Israel’s approach. Others aligned with the Palestinian side insist it is not moral at any time and that Israel’s actions have been beyond th4e pale.  Indeed, New Zealand has played a key role in challenging Israel’s past action,  sponsoring a reprimand ion Israel n the UN, and infuriating the Israelis. The decision to juxtapose the Lorde brand with Israel at a time of growing international tensions and warnings of n infitada is strange timing. It may prove to be be another example of the flawless and deft-marketing. But, at the moment. it looks more daft than deft.

 

Stuff wrote: Fans of Lorde are calling her out for choosing to perform in Israel’s major city of Tel Aviv while the country is subject to an organised boycott movement.Lorde announced on her Twitter page that she would also perform in the Russian cities of Moscow and St Petersburg in mid-2018.The pro-Palestinian movement, called Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), calls for the “freedom, justice and equality” of Palestinians under Israeli controlWhile some fans were pleased with the news, others weren’t shy to show their disappointment.”Don’t play in Tel Aviv while they have the Palestinians under a brutal occupation! 

The decision to visit Tel Aviv follows that the US government to move its Embassy to Jerusalem. Donald Trump’s decision has been a boon for Israel. Now amidst other musical boycott. the Lorde concert is – on a very small scale – another win. I’m sure her managers will have rationale. An experienced old musician is one thing. But Why do they put a 21 year old from Devonport in that position?

Lorde might see her appearance as healing. rather than incendiary. Certainly her biggest fans will agree with her decision , no matter what it is. Fan is short for fanatic after all..

Some Palestinian activists have complained she should play on the West Bank as well as Tel Aviv. But Tel Aviv will have a lot more wealthy fans than Ramallah. The best thing to hope for is that she finds somethining that turns marketing clufootedness into a smart dance move.

In any case, where is the line regarding musical boycotts? If you boycott musicians visiting Israel, should you do the same boycott of Sydney because of allegations about Manus Island? There is a danger boycott become censorship.

Nick Cave says musicians should not be bullied.

There have been other issues over musicians boycotts of Israel.Australian Nick Cave criticised the boycotts and said he was going to going ahead with his Israel concert, despite opposition from musical activists.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/the-peacemaking-power-of-lorde/

 

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Jacinda Should Not Gossip To Comedians

Jacinda Ardern needs to be more careful talking to her media mates about government business. There was a kerfuffle this week when the PM  blabbed to her comedian mate Tom Sainsbury at the Vodafone Music Awards. She suggested Donald Trump at the APEC conference had mistaken her for Justin Trudeau’s wife.

Jacinda’s pal Tom Sainsbury

She says she was just passing on what she heard. It’s not clear whether Trump did think that. But after publicity this week that was the embarrassing story picked up by international media. Its unfortunate for a capricious man like Trump. At the very least, the loose lips episode makes New Zealand look hokey.

Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford host’s an outdoor show.. Jacinda and Clarke are also matey with Jesse Mulligan, the RNZ afternoon host and TV3 “The Project” co host. Gayford is an occasional panelist on RNZ’s “The Panel” and was actually on today.

Continue reading “Jacinda Should Not Gossip To Comedians”

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Jack And Jacinda Went Up The Hill …

CAPTION. Some think Jack Tame has been too mean to Jacinda.

Jack Tame’s interview with Jacinda Ardern on Breakfast this morning was not great television.

Jack Tame and Jacinda Ardern

Tame interrogated the PM for six minutes on how she incorrectly recounted hearsay – how Donald Trump had purportedly mistaken her for Justin Trudeau’s wife. It was a lot of time for what Tame admitted was a trivial matter. But the PM wrongly relaying gossip about the President of the US is not wholly trivial. Ardern could have reduced the wasted time by fronting up straight away instead of fudging.

As I say, it was not great television. But it was good journalism from the TVNZ breakfast host. Labour should be grateful for the lesson that Ardern has to move from being a cheerful MP chatting to her mates behind the scenes at the music awards. She has to be especially careful gossiping to media mates, like comedian Tom Sainsbury.

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NZ “Asleep At The Wheel” Over Chinese Whispers

US human rights campaigner Sophie Richardson has added to alarm bells about Chinese government and Communist Party propaganda targeting New Zealand. Washington-based Richardson is the China director for Human Rights Watch. She says that New Zealand has been “asleep at the wheel” over the growing influence of the People’s Republic of China.

Sophie Richardson

Richardson was responding to a report “Magic Weapons” issued in September by Canterbury University professor and china specialist Anne-Marie Brady. There is nothing secret about the strategy. But it has been expanding and has not been challenged in nine years of National, and amid growing economic ties.

Continue reading “NZ “Asleep At The Wheel” Over Chinese Whispers”

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Maniapoto Leader Tipped For Maori Television. Changes Ahead.

CAPTION: Maori businessman Keith Ikin is tipped to lead Maori TV

The Maori TV board is expected appoint Maniapoto Maori Trust deputy chairman Keith Ikin as its new chief executive. He replaces Paora Maxwell who resigned on May 8 ending his contentious term on August 31. Ikin has a background in management. He is currently general manager of Landcare Research, and deputy chief executive of the Waiariki Institute of Technology.

Challenges at new Maori TV studio

On May 8, Zagzigger.com wrote:

Paora Maxwell has resigned as chief executive of Maori TV just as the channel moves to a new base in East Tamaki. Maxwell’s resignation comes part way through his contract and is attributed to unspecified “changes in his personal and business circumstances.”  Maxwell had previously been head of the Maori unit at Television New Zealand and the process for his appointment – championed by Maori TV chairwoman Georgina te Heuheu  – was at the centre the centre of controversy.  Maori TV sources linked his resignation to tensions in the relationship between management and Maori TV board over the selection of long-term commitment to a new leasehold building in East Tamaki. a source said. The building (which has an out-of-the-way location) has required substantial spending on a fit out and has limited studio space.

Continue reading “Maniapoto Leader Tipped For Maori Television. Changes Ahead.”

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Is It Wrong To Want Neutral Reporters?

After the Three political debate, Newshub brought in analysis from right wingers and lobbyists Jenna Raeburn and Matthew Hooton. There was Left wing pundt  Morgan Godfrey, and one journalist, Fairfax political editor Tracey Watkins.

 

I’ve been thinking about media coverage of the election – the good the bad and the ugly.

Media have made impressive attempts to focus on policies and sensible analysis, and in my opinion, we have been pretty well served. There has been plenty happening and media coverage of the 2017 campaign was not hi-jacked the way it was in 2014 with “Dirty Politics.”

For two or three weeks. media were fawning over Jacinda Ardern and it seems that the personal enthusiasm of some reporters managed to slip past the eyes of TV sub-editors. Meanwhile, TV coverage focused on the views of partisan pundits.

The worst example was in the MediaWorks coverage of the second leaders’ debate where two of the three “commentators” were lobbyists and Right-wing pundits. One – Jenna Raeburn – was later seen on Facebook dancing the National Party campaign bus with deputy PM Paula Bennett. One was from a union Morgan and only one was a journalist, Fairfax political editor Tracey Watkins. Elsewhere as a participant in Three’s “The Project” Ardern had been soft interviewed by the team including her pal, Jesse Mulligan. The Project is clearly aimed at a liberal audience. It’s relationship with Ardern is too cosy, in my opinion,

For two or three weeks. media were fawning over Jacinda Ardern and it seems that the personal enthusiasm of some reporters managed to slip past the eyes of TV su-editors.. Meanwhile, TV coverage increasingly focused on the views of partisan pundits. The worst example was in the MediaWorks coverage of the second leaders’ debate where two of the three “commentators” were lobbyists and right-wing pundits. One – Jenna Raeburn – was later seen on Facebook dancing the National Party campaign bus with deputy PM Paula Bennett. One was from a union (Morgan), and only one was a journalist- Fairfax political editor Tracey Watkins. Elsewhere as a participant on Three’s “The Project” Ardern has been soft interviewed by her pal, Jesse Mulligan. The Project is clearly aimed at a liberal audience and its relationship with Labour is a bit too cosy.

Who we trust with political coverage? It’s a personal thing. People will see media bias at both ends of the political spectrum with journalists accused of all sorts of malfeasance.

Who can we rely on? My starting point is far from exhaustive, and it reflects my age – and my centrist personal politics. It also reflects a view objectivity and neutrality are valuable traits in journalism. Here are my reckons on some of the mainstream commentators who try hardest to remain neutral.

Corin Dann, political editor TVNZ

Corin Dann, TVNZ

Dann has always impressed as unrelentingly and palpably neutral in his coverage of politics. This was particularly the case when his “Three” counterpart Paddy Gower became infused with his tabloid styl, campaigned against Labour. But he also avoids tabloid tricks – placing voters and not voters at the centre of his interviews. TVNZ Q & A interviewer Jessica Mutch has also established a strong reputation remaining straight in her coverage of politics.

 

 

NZME head of business, Fran O’Sullivan.

Fran O’Sullivan. The NZ Herald.

O’Sullivan is clearly focused on the business world, so, naturally gets lumped in as a commentator from the right.  She comes with a clear perspective on how politics affects the sector. But she has been around long enough to know that there are nuances in issues like overseas trade, Her political and economic columns in the NZ Herald have taken a non-partisan perspective and reflect on issues like trade. She has been fair at handing out brickbats and bouquets, Other business writers mentioned in despatches include NBR political writer, Rob Hosking.

 

 

Duncan Garner, Mediaworks The Dominion Post.

Duncan Garner, Mediaworks

Duncan Garner’s positioning as a journalist and commentator appears to be as a swing voter sat between the Left and the Right. That means he has detractors from both extremes can both bay for blood. I like the fact that he attacks political coverage from the perspective of ordinary people and in my opinion has a handle on what is important to New Zealanders. He is vigilant and like all good journalists, an equal opportunity stirrer. Also mentioned in despatches is The Nation presenter Lisa Owen, who may be our best political interviewer overall.

 

Guyon Espiner, RNZ Morning Report co-host.

Guyon Espiner

Espiner has not really got the best voice for radio, but he has shined this year covering the election. A close friend of Garner he has a reputation for remaining politically neutral, and not backing one side or the other. RNZ Caucus podcast series paints him and fellow political broadcaster, Tim Watkin and Lisa Owen as insiders. But he is persistent and supremely confident up against politicians. Espiner’s recent interview with Winston Peters will go down as one of the best altercations ever between a politician and a journalist. John Campbell clearly has a great talent, but I have trouble separating him from the political views he espouses.

 

 

PUFFERY

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/96870203/dont-underestimate-a-green-with-it-back-against-the-wall

Finally a postscript for what for me was the most disappointing aspect of the campaign coverage so far. A tendency for media companies to allow journalists to editorialise . The political reporter came close to PR puffery, in my opinion.

Stacey Kirk hosted a cosy chat between Greens founder Jeannette Fitzsimmons and candidate Chloe Swarbrick. This might be okay six months out. But it was a poor show eight days before an election.

 

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