It seems Whaleoil readers aren’t the only ones fed up with the Prima Donnas in the Old Media. Michael Laws takes a sober look at what is going on:
One of the great dichotomies of democracy is that we don’t trust those that we elect to lead us. This does not stop us getting very passionate and involved every electoral cycle. We have one of the highest electoral turnouts in the Western world.
The same point might be made of the relationship between the New Zealand news media and the public. We are avid consumers of news – we just don’t trust the people charged with managing that information.
There’s good reason for this. Politicians have acquired an unenviable reputation for promising sunshine and delivering rain. Journalists, for reporting the rain as snow. Charged with delivering the truth, they deliver their own version. It’s the final scene of Orwell’s Animal Farm made post-modern.
The best example of this is the parliamentary press gallery – a gaggle of competing egos, and any number suffering a God complex. TV3′s Patrick Gower was a perfect example last week, claiming that his job “is to hold the Government accountable . . . we’re the eyes and ears of the public”.
No, it isn’t. And no, he’s not. His job is not to act as judge and jury – it is to relay the facts and let us make up our own minds. That’s the fatal misstep that so many journalists make: they really do believe that they’re our moral arbiters and secular priests.
The problem is that many news rooms are trying to achieve an outcome. Let’s “get him”, let’s “tell this story”, let’s “pay him/her back” for some transgression.
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