A perfect example

May 15th, 2012 at 12:45 pm by David Farrar

The irony.

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister has sounded off at the , while insisting he is is not worried about what he sees as its more aggressive mood towards him.

Speaking on NewstalkZB this morning he singled out television news, the Sunday Star-Times and the NZ Herald for particular mentions.

He said the media are “in a more aggressive and hostile mood towards us”.

He did not worry about the media “despite what they think”.

“I am not that bent out of shape about that – I expected it,” he said. Former prime minister Helen Clark had warned him it would happen after the first term in office.

Pressure came on Governments more, because the media becomes more antagonistic.

He said he was not moaning about it – it was a matter of fact.

And the headline:

Key bemoans ‘hostile’ media

Really proves the point.

Key said over time the NZ Herald had become more tabloid under its new editor, with sometimes only one big sensational story on the front page.

“The Herald has turned more tabloid – that is an absolute statement of fact.” …

For instance, the Sunday Star-Times a few weeks ago had run a headline saying he had locked in former prime ministers’ entitlements.

“I am not locking anything in – it has been in the Civil List Act as long as I have been on this Earth.”

I differentiate between the Herald and the Sunday Star-Times.

The Herald is definitely more tabloid. It is a deliberate strategy, and to give them credit it is working. Their readership and circulation are both doing comparatively well from what I can recall. The impact of being more tabloid and sensationalist is that you tend to end up beating up on the Government more, because most issues are about the Government. If Labour was in Government, they would probably be bemoaning the Herald also (as Clark did – something Key specifically cited).

The Sunday Star-Times does take a very left-wing view on most issues, and is basically anti-National. The example of the MPs perks is a classic example. It was a total nonsense story. John Key has actually done more to reduce MPs perks and introduce transparency that the last ten Prime Ministers combined.

It is fine for a newspaper to be left-wing, so long as people understand that. Just as NBR tends to be centre-right on most issues. I think the few remaining SST readers are of the same persuasion as the paper.

It was trying to lift circulation, especially casual sales at dairies, and had brought over David Fisher (from the Herald on Sunday) as “an investigative journalist, so-called”.

He said former TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner had left for TV3, and that was a loss.

Personally I think David Fisher does good work, even though on some issues such as the secret tapes, we agree to disagree. I prefer journalists who investigate things, to those who rehash press releases.

Bill Ralston just tweeted that having Key praise Guyon is probably the kiss of death for him. Heh. He is sort of right, but I don’t think it would be fair to conclude that Key thinks Espiner was in any way soft on him. I can recall many instances where he has pushed Key hard. I think it was more a comment that he thought Guyon tends to avoid sensationalism.

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26 Responses to “A perfect example”

  1. RRM (9,633 comments) says:

    Key is spot on.

    And not just about the hostility – if you read stuff.co.nz, half of the articles read like something that a 7th former would get returned to him with a comment like “conversational style of writing is not appropriate, please try again”…

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  2. Paulus (2,554 comments) says:

    Easy – we cancelled both Herald and SST and told the top editorial staff why – not appreciated by SST.
    I like a daily newspaper but will wait 12 months to see if there has been any improvement.
    The SST, is correctly, the worse of the lot.

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  3. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Can we have one example of a good/ adequate investigative journalisim piece by a newspaper in the last two years please, because I sure as hell can’t think of one.

    The Herald is awful, absolutley awful, dross etc etc if it has a page three girl it would still not rank higher than The Sun

    You can be a left leaning paper and still have quality (The Guardian) but the unimaginative little gits that run NZ papers have no class, no ability and are not clever enough to be able to disguise their politics .

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  4. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Oh if John Key says it is so then it must be so!

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  5. YesWeDid (1,041 comments) says:

    I guess the honey moon was over when police marched into media outlets during the election campaign seizing evidence over the tea pot tapes.

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  6. Joel Rowan (99 comments) says:

    Guyon Espiner was always a breath of fresh air. As well as being rather balanced, he tended to avoid the “but minister, why won’t you answer?” type of interview. He could push the interviewee around a bit, but his style was vastly better than the likes of Taurima. I was disappointed when I learned he would be leaving TV1.

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  7. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    Everywhere I look the lefties are whinging. I think Key’s going the right direction, just not fast enough.

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  8. SBY (121 comments) says:

    If you want to know one reason why the media’s so tough on Key, look no further than the teapot tape fiasco. Key took a calculated gamble in attacking the media then, which worked in the short term but which he’s now paying the price for.

    That and, despite three years of Key’s promises, our economy is flat-lining. Journos are bound to start asking tough questions.

    And I’ve got a better headline for you: “Key moans about the media and then claims he is not having a moan.”

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  9. KevinH (1,147 comments) says:

    In his interview with Leighton Smith, John Key demonstrated a sound knowledge of the media and was able to quote from memory the current and past editors of the Herald ie Shane Curry replacing Tim Murphy and David Fisher from the H.O.S. whom John Key sarcastically described as an investigative journalist ,also joining the Herald to stop the decline in sales.
    John Key also demonstrated a high awareness of personel changes in T.V. describing Guyon Espiner’s move to TV3 as a loss for TV1 and that Duncan Garner is moving to Radio.
    Although John Key described his relationship with the media as being more antagonistic he described this as being normal and that he was comfortable with it and referred to a chat he had with Helen Clark at the 2011 swearing in of parliament where Helen described the first term as being ok, the second disastrous and the third term diabolical.
    The full interview can be found here:http://newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/244391859-Key-slams-NZ-Herald.

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  10. Elaycee (4,331 comments) says:

    Paulus says: “Easy – we cancelled both Herald and SST and told the top editorial staff why – not appreciated by SST.”

    Similar at our place – we cancelled the SST and when they asked why, we told them… we were sick and tired of the blatant bias week after week after week. They kept sending us the reminder notice for many weeks – but eventually got the message.

    No regrets. We don’t miss the SST one little bit…

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  11. BeaB (2,080 comments) says:

    After a week of no newspapers we feel happier, are grizzling less, our BP has gone down and we have a much better start to the day. I pick and choose from the internet and ignore the rest.
    I am old enough to be able to do the spin myself so have no patience reading someone else’s attempts and I have had enough of gormless reporters who can’t tell the difference between flaunt and flout. And think history began yesterday.

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  12. Concentrate (29 comments) says:

    Media tough on Key? You have got to be kidding. He’s been a media darling for his entire time as Prime Minister (which is fine people seem to like him). Some mild recent criticism and suddenly lets hit out against the media? Seems a needless matter to raise when the people that matter, (voters) are still on his side.

    “He said he was not moaning about it – it was a matter of fact.” Right so if I preface my moaning with “I’m not moaning” then it isn’t? Have to remember that.

    “He did not worry about the media “despite what they think” So why bring it up?

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  13. Viking2 (11,244 comments) says:

    Ha ha ha, circumstances make strange bed fellows. Who else rails all the time aout the Press. Your favourite uncle an d the man we love to hate.
    Winston of course.
    So maybe, just maybe, the pres are nasty.

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  14. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    Poor old John, none of his other rich mates have to cop a serve from the shareholders like he does. The dealmaker in chief waves his magic fairy dust on the punters and all they can do is bitch about gambling and job losses and low wages. Ungrateful curs, all of them.

    Surely the real story here is about the only journalist (and I use the term loosely in this case) left that Key can cope with is Leighton Smith. Leighton Smith???? Talk about the last refuge of a scoundrel.

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  15. flipper (3,819 comments) says:

    The last real Editor of the NZ Herald was Peter Julian Scherer, who followed Les Munro (mixed bag), Budge Hintz, John Hardingham and Noel Chappel.
    Gavan Ellis was a bit of wuss. Since Ellis, things have gone fom poor to horrible.

    The move to tabloid is clearly an attempt to cope with evolving electronic developments. Murdoch predicts that large print newspapers will be gone by 2020, and many by 2015.

    However, notwithstanding APN/Herald crap, the Fairfax mob are worse. They profess to uphold the traditions of quality journalism but then get into a financial arrangment (see their corporate accounts) with the greens and employ a germ like Hubbard to write the bile-laden red melon labour line, week after week.

    Key 10 Media Nil

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  16. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    As usual the truth is completely the opposite of what the lefties want to believe:
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbpol/244391859-Key-slams-NZ-Herald

    No moaning from Key, just statement of fact and a comment that it doesn’t bother him.

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  17. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    This ‘story’ comes from Vernon Small who normally only ever writes about his beloved Labour party except when he can come up with something to denigrate National. As a ‘political journalist’ he is a sick joke.

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  18. DJP6-25 (1,301 comments) says:

    BeaB 2:00 pm. Yes, you’re right. I haven’t read a print edition for two years. I get my news from the net. As you suggest, it’s easier there to detect the sites bias, and make allowances.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  19. tvb (4,240 comments) says:

    Newspapers are in the business of selling papers and attracting readers. They obviously figure there is good business in criticising the Government.

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  20. wreck1080 (3,797 comments) says:

    Tomorrows NZ herald front page story…..’Giant Alien Egg Floating In Space’, just above ’2 headed woman gives birth to Emu’.

    Just continuing the slide……

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  21. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    @fish_boy, swing-an-a-miss!

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  22. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    The irony.

    Stuff reports:

    He said he was not moaning about it – it was a matter of fact.

    And the headline:

    Key bemoans ‘hostile’ media

    Really proves the point.

    No it doesn’t.

    “I’m not moaning, but …” isn’t fundamentally different from “I’m not racist, but …” if you have to say it, it’s almost always not true.

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  23. RRM (9,633 comments) says:

    Yes, and stating that something is a matter of fact does not make it so… otherwise these threads would be dull places indeed.

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  24. RightNow (6,836 comments) says:

    Hey Graeme, do you realise Key didn’t even say “I’m not moaning, but…”?

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  25. Graeme Edgeler (3,274 comments) says:

    Hey Graeme, do you realise Key didn’t even say “I’m not moaning, but…”?

    Yes.

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  26. Pete George (23,278 comments) says:

    The ODT may have noticed the main steam media blindness to their own over reactions, but it’s usually not as overdramatic as the biggies anyway.

    Media ‘hostile’, but no problems: Key

    The Prime Minister says he doesn’t have a problem with the media, despite his comments today that the press had become more hostile towards his Government in its second term.

    The whole article seems to be reporting what actually happened and not blowing up a non-issue.

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