JafaPete points me to a Rasmussen survey which finds 55% of Americans find media bias is a bigger problem than big campaign contributions. Not surprising in light of the current presidential campaign.
So does this mean NZ should have a media version of the Electoral Finance Act?
Well Rasmussen also found:
22% believe it would be a good idea to ban all campaign commercials so that voters could receive information on the campaign only from the news media and the internet.
This is the ultimate endpoint for the EFA – leave it all to the media, and stop all spending. Nicky Hager advocated spending controls should be in place every day of every week or every year.
Anyway back to media bias. I don’t think we have a huge problem in NZ, but there are some problems. It is natural that some editors and journalists have worldviews that influence their reporting. The problem is when they are not open about it. NBR for example is unashamedly a newspaper of the centre-right. I would say that the Sunday Star-Times is very much a centre-left publication – but they don’t acknowldge that explicitly.
The Herald on Sunday is whatever it takes to sell more copies
It would be very interesting for someone to do some quality research on media bias in NZ. I recall a decade or so ago a survey of all major media outlets, where each was asked to self-rate their editorial and reporting position. One could redo that,and then do a survey of journalists on how they rate each media outlet on the same scale.