journalists

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INP/Photo

INP/Photo

Sitting Exams Under Cover Of Umbrellas

 

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Journalists as politicians

With the alarming uptake of journalists moving to grab jobs as politicians, mostly for the Labour party it might be timely to re-visit an article from 2010 about this very same issue in Australia.

Sure it is from Australia and from four years ago but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless.

Peter Costello, now a civilian, has bagged the practice of journalists going into politics.

From Channel Nine’s 2010 election commentary panel, the former lawyer and Liberal treasurer (1996-2007) was remarking on the defeat of Labor’s Maxine McKew , a former ABC current affairs presenter/interviewer and Bulletin journalist, in the seat of Bennelong.

In his column for The Sydney Morning Herald on August 18 he wrote:

“Every so often a journalist chances their arm in real politics. Maxine McKew is one. Her underwhelming parliamentary career shows how much harder it is to do than it is to pontificate.”

Putting the possibility of partisan bias in Mr Costello’s dismissive remarks to one side, the issue of journalists crossing over into politics is worth thinking about.

Is it a good idea given the role of the Fourth Estate in a democracy?

Journalists are meant to be independent ‘pontificators’, objective observers of governance and a key part of the accountability process. They are not meant to cross over into party politics with all the vile distortions (spin doctoring) which accompany contemporary adversarial games.

Journalists, particularly political journalists like Maxine McKew, know about the viciousness of politics in Australia. They know about vested interest influence peddling through slush funding practices. They know about factionalism, tribalism, smear, character assassination and zealotry. They know about media management and focus group rhetorical and policy manipulations which pervert honest engagement with the electorate.

When a journalist decides to leave journalism for politics without a cleansing career change in the middle it does bring into question their ethics and leanings for their most recent work. It is much the same if a politician immediately becomes a lobbyist straight after bowing out of politics. It smells a bit whiffy and looks slightly dodgy.  Read more »

The irony of it is terrifying

When you ask the public to sort the best jobs from the worst jobs, guess what they put last?

The Wall Street Journal reports

Best and Worst Jobs of 2013

CareerCast.com, a career website, ranked 200 jobs from best to worst based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook. To compile its list, the firm primarily used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies.

Any guesses what comes in last place out of 200 jobs based on physical demands, work environment, income, stress, and hiring outlook?

Read more »

Oh dear….

Journalists trained and skilled

Journalists trained and skilled

Why the circus and carry on in Wellington is just a beltway issue

The media are still carrying on like it is the end of the earth that someone gave an inquiry a list of dates, times and phone numbers.

They are being exceedingly precious and considering the general impression most people have of journalists they are at a serious disconnect as is usual.

This is the problem with the beltway, for those co-existing in Wellington with politicians. The far too cozy relationship leads to them thinking they are far more important than they really are.

The more left wing they are the more pronouced this affliction.

Most people in the country don’t care that someone in the media got snooped on, in fact I’d suggest that most people are high fiving and handing out “atta-boys” to John Key. The polls certainly seem to support that. Read more »

Hide on Stupid Repeaters

Rodney Hide carries on with his column explaining the stupidity of journalists when it comes to policy:

[R]eporters are a different kettle of fish.

They spend their lives reporting politics. It’s their job. You would think they would have a basic grasp of the difference between good policy and bad policy and some understanding of how policies impact society.  They talk and write as if they do. Turns out they don’t.

They don’t have a clue.

I vividly remember the first hour or two of my first end-of-year Parliamentary Press Gallery party.

A senior and respected political reporter bowled up to me. She was puzzled, she slurred. Why was the ACT Party so against Maori?

I was nonplussed.  I had just walked in. I naively explained that nothing could be further from the truth.

I realise now that my reply would have just proved for her that I was both a liar and a fake.

“Of course, you are,” she blurted.  “You guys don’t want Maori Doctors!”

I was more confused than ever — I still hadn’t got a drink.  I declared confidently that no one from ACT had ever said such a thing.

Oh but she said, you are against quotas for Maori getting into medical school.

I realised then that I had led a sheltered life before Parliament. I had never before come face-to-face with such mind-numbing stupidity.

I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to begin to discuss affirmative action with someone adult and so manifestly stupid.

I explained why quotas don’t work, why they don’t address the problem of underachievement, why they are counter-productive and why, actually, anyone supporting quotas was racist.

The ACT party, I said, was gloriously the only party in Parliament that wasn’t racist and fervently believed that the law should be applied fairly and equally to all.

It was only the ACT Party that demonstrably believed that Maori were every bit as capable as everyone else. She clearly did not.

But her eyes had glazed completely over and her mind had left the party as soon as I started to reason and to explain.  It was too tough for her.