During an introspective moment tending to the barbecue, I concluded that Society is in the middle of a revolution. We are re-assessing the meaning of “Truth” and the role of public institutions in maintaining it. It’s no great analysis, I know. The amazing political, social, technological and media changes are been debated in all corners of the Internet. New Zealand faces the same existential issues as the rest of the world. And we are stumbling through them in our own way.
Your attitude depends on your age and demographic. I was part of the late baby boomer generation who grew up with the conservatism of the sixties and hippy idealism of the seventies. I went to a Polytechnic, not university. Though it is called a university now. Rogernomics indoctrinated me and I distrust the State being involved in most things, especially media. But I am a journalist by trade – and believe in hearing a lot different perspectives while forming my own opinion. The state of media is in some ways the most obvious example of our revolutionary milieu.
Media-wise we are in strange days. Once people had to stick to the facts. Now opinion and fact are mixed up, and personal opinions and ideologies are flouted openly by some. in olden days that would earn a rebuke from the news editor, In one recent case in Stuff a personal attack on another journalist earned a public congratulations from the chief executive.
An example: Media commonly paraphrase alabaster-skinned commentators and political activists railing about the evils of “old white men”. Presumably they have explained it to their dads in advance, that it does not include them. Sometimes it is changed to middle-aged white men. Sometimes it applies to ALL white men. At best it is lazy and inaccurate. At worst it is ageist and racist. But lets not go down that road. Not everybody blames Pop. There are a lot of very good journalists about and media are producing some comprehensive analysis. You know who we are talking about. But there are many who are out of touch with mainstream values, and who see themselves as promoting their own political opinion.