When journalism becomes propaganda

We are seeing this in New Zealand now, where journalists are as much a part of the story as the ones who are supposed to be the subject of the story. An environment where journalists manufacture stories.

Witness the way the media attempted and in many ways did manipulate the election in order to make it a “fairer” contest. The tea-tape story is one such manufactured story, manufactured by a camera man and then manufactured by two news agencies who profited from the story, with one agency almost certainly assisting the “freelance” cameraman with his legal bills.The tea-tape saga is brought into far closer scrutiny with this story from Powerline:

One of the clichés of popular science is that the very act of observing changes the phenomenon being observed.  This is obviously not literally true of all physical phenomena; it would seem to apply more to social science than the hard sciences.  But it surely applies to journalism.  We’re long past the point where we note with any surprise that journalists are part of the stories they cover, especially election campaigns.  At some point, though, journalism crosses the line and becomes part of a propaganda campaign.

There were a few reported instances back in the late 1960s and early 1970s where TV crews showed up at college campuses with anti-war signs to pass out to students to make sure they got the right visuals.  And then there’s this devastating expose by a young Italian journalist named Ruben Salvadori about how photojournalists have become not merely part of the story of Palestinian unrest on the West Bank, but the instigators of it.  This eight-minute video clip is devastating:


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  • Anonymous

    That’s a pretty good “Pallywood” clip.
    More on Pallywood here – 

  • Jeremy Thomson

    CLICHE of science? Let me guess, liberal arts major right?

    Lots more Pallywood at honestreporting.com


  • Peter Wilson

    Not only is news manufactured, the personalities in the media portray themselves as participants.

    Witness the roundtable discussions the PM has had with Gower, Campbell and any other interviewers. They act like they are part of cabinet and are being consulted over the issues.

  • Anonymous

    The MSM coverage of anything to do with Israel is abysmal.
    The so-called “occupied West Bank”? That is part of the original land set aside for Israel (the “British Mandate for Palestine”) – 
    Have a look at the map on the above page.
    You will see that what is now Israel is now a fraction of what was originally allocated to it (about 20%, one site said).
    Oh, but this is still too much for the Arabs (some of whom are Fakestinians).

  • kevin

    We even have a (small fry) local media effort to confirm…
    You may recall the blue Nats/ Key bus promo launch in Auckland. Plenty of various media contained within the bus. Upon leaving the site there was a loud scraping heard from inside the bus (cue video media zoom in on Key looking slightly nervous), a quick shot of a car alongside with a dent, with the assumption the bus had hit the parked car (I thought that was the case as well when seeing it on the the TV ‘news’). But the fact is, the bus which has scrape slide blocks under the front bumper, slid up onto the kerb slightly as the bus was leaving the  bus park. Hence the (media magnified) scrape noise. Not a single mark on the bus and the car probably had the dent for months.
    As Mike Williams says “it’s all about  the perception”.

  • Dave

    Now you can understand why Frank booted those idiots out of Fiji….

    • Gazzaw

      You’re spot on Dave. Like when Dreaver manufactured the story about starving Fijian children by giving them money to eat grass in front of the cameras.

  • Dave

    Dreaver and Field destroyed any faith I may have had in the MSM. Having spent many years in Fiji (until recently) and seeing the drivel that was reported about the place, I truly wondered if Goebbels had dug himself out of his grave and was giving propaganda lessons to those two. Their problem is that they see themselves as the story, and as the great saviours of ‘democracy’ throughout the Pacific when they are merely drones tasked with informing the public at large of the FACTS.

    They failed miserably, and Frank did the right thing when he gave them the heave-ho. 
    Good riddance!

  • Mooloo

    Another example in the herald today . Gareth Morgan  the scientists he read a book on global warming you know, lecturing to the great unwashed and explaning how even though the ice shelf in Antartica is growing and the south pole is colder sea levels will rise untold metres in the next 50 years. Ho hum he is taking 40 ordinary kiwi’s down to Antartica, they might not be able to make it because the ice is to thick!!. Has he set up a Carbon credit business. With regards to these outfits , The only ones I have meet in NZ are a bunch of useless shit kickers you wouldn’t trust with your cat., a by product of the warming rort.

    • Gazzaw

      I didn’t know that Morgan had set up a carbon credit business. No wonder he became an AGW fan overnight! An Antipodean Al Gore no less.

    • Anonymous

      Notice next to his photo is the phrase “Gareth Morgan on the economy” and yet not one word on the economy in his entire article. It suprises me not he has set up a carbon trading business to cash in on his AGW scaremongering to go along with all his other articles that promite his book on retirement.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure if this got covered at the time as I was quite busy. But did anyone notice that Garth George is no longer going to be writing for the Herald as “the editors decided… that [his] column does not fit in with their future plans for the opinion pages.” Just further evidence that they are excising anyone with a conservative, right wing view (don’t worry DPF you’re not in danger). Just going to be more and more left wing bullshit.

    • Beans

      Depends. They gave Tracey Barnett the heave-ho as well which disappointed me greatly as I am no longer able to watch with glee as she gnashes her teeth and wails at the ousting of her Sun God in print come November.