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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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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