More of a Spaniel than a Rottweiler

Bryce Edwards daily political round up covers, predictably, the wailing of the media.

When it comes to holding those in power to account, the public watchdog is already more of a Spaniel than a Rottweiler. This isn’t to say that there aren’t some brilliant individual journalists, both in the parliamentary press gallery and amongst investigative journalists and political columnists. But as an institution, the New Zealand media isn’t particularly dominant, bold, or challenging, tending to go along with the status quo rather than against it, and often concentrating on the trivial over the substantial.

He is dead right. They only have themselves to blame for the situation they find themselves in.

Now, with the Fourth Estate having its strength and independence eroded by a government and public service that is more aggressive towards it, things could get worse. 

Easily fixed and I’m glad Bryce Edwards brought this up. The strength and independence can be easily restored if they stop bludging off of parliament and actually stand on their own two feet.

The cozy arrangements where they get free offices, phones and communications has lead them to becoming Pavlov’s dogs. One with no teeth and sloppy drool.

The easiest solution for repairing the integrity of press freedoms is to part them from their corporate welfare and stop paying their rent, and communications. This will enable them to free themselves from the tyranny of subsidy…and then be a truly independent fourth estate rather than the bludgers and parasites they have become.




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  • Brendon Taylor

    All I can say is hear hear.

    • Michael S2

      I disagree with Edwards’ claim of brilliant individual journalists in the Press Gallery. What I see is a group of egotistical narrow viewed people who have little idea of how real New Zealanders think and live. They sit in pampered comfort provided bythe taxpayer and interview each other about how bad the Government is. They have no understanding of business, belong to the EPMU and have a 1970s view of emplyers.
      The ones outside the Press Gallery are no better. Rachel Smalley and Brian Edwards on The Nation at the weekend were classic. How dare John Key give news stories to the breakfast hosts on MoreFM, they whinged. He should do that only on “political programmes”, presumably so the left-wing spin can be imparted. Never mind that commercial radio is listened to by real people who like their Prime Minister.
      And as for the Government eroding the strength and independence of the Fourth Estate as Edwards claims, they are doing that themselves by setting themselves up in opposition to the Government as more and more people outside the Beltway are noticing.

      • Steve (North Shore)

        Do you think John Key wants to listen to that silly bimbo Smalley raving in his ear and then continuous interupting?

        • Whanga_Cynic

          She is one rude bitch.

          • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay

            She has a shitload of teeth for one…

        • IWantToBeLikeMallardOneDay


  • JeffDaRef

    I think its beyond saving and is the beginning of the end (as we know it) for journalism, particularly political journalism.
    The rot set in a few years back when all the forms of media began cutting their costs and instead of having experienced journos on their books who could sift through the bullshit and bring us real stories we now have a bunch of graduates who regurgitate press releases and “public opinion” is now whatever their friends are saying on Facebook and Twitter.
    Sadly most of them have no life experience, are economic illiterates and believe anything pushed their way by the #heyclint’s of this world.

  • conwaycaptain

    What about a WOBH Parliamentary Correspondent

  • Blue Tim

    Well said. The hypocrites go on about govt. welfare for business yet somehow see themselves above it.

  • peterwn

    I did not know they had got their free phones back. Rob Muldoon in one of his more petulant moods made them pay for their previously free press gallery phones and calls.

  • drummerboy

    To get a press pass you have to apply, the person who reviews the applications works for one news(forget her name sorry). Which is a bit of a joke I think.

  • Patrick

    Brilliant individual journalists? Name them Bryce. I cannot think of one deserving of the description “brilliant”