Who is Andrew Little? Can Andrew Little win the media battle with John Key?

Labour Leader Little Andrew

Labour Leader Little Andrew

The media has already been writing up Andrew Little as the new messiah, yet they have not done any of the kind of deep analysis of him that sensible political media should be doing.

They are largely buying into the spin that Andrew Little is going to be better than Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe in the media, without explaining why.

The big issue for Andrew Little is his grim, dour persona does not help him connect with voters. The voters of New Plymouth proved this in 2011 and 2014, demonstrating that the usual “he is really good in person” doesn’t apply to Andrew Little.

It is harder to imagine him connecting with people on TV, as the camera is not kind to him.

Little faces an even bigger problem.

He is up against John Key, an extremely gifted politician who is exceptionally well liked. That is a problem in itself, but the bigger problem is that Key has a superb relationship with many of the media personalities who are not reporting on politics.

Even after what was described as a terrible week before parliament broke up Key was still able to visit popular FM stations and talk to the DJs who all obviously liked him.

Can Andrew Little convince the pop radio DJs to have him on their show, and can he build the kind of rapport with them Key has?

Or will the vast majority of voters who do not read the politics section of the paper, listen to red radio or care about politics  keep getting the message that Key is a good guy who is doing a good job.

The political class may be driven to distraction by the great unwashed not seeing Key they way they do, or Little the way they do.

This doesn’t change the fact that Key is extremely popular in sections of society that usually ignore politics.

Can Andrew Little compete with this popularity?


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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. 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 who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

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