TV3 poll this week had Jacinda Ardern climbing higher in the Preferred PM poll, and closing on Andrew Little rapidly.
Not by coincidence she had this multi-page spread in Women’s Weekly a few weeks ago.
Now Jacinda defended her women’s magazines profiles on Q+A a few months ago:
KATIE You also get criticism for doing soft media, for appearing on Next Magazine’s cover and things like that. Why do you feel it’s important to do those sort of interviews?
JACINDA Yeah, as I said, you know, in the current context, do people watch Parliamentary TV? Do they seek out political ideas in the old traditional forms? No. And we have to be realistic about that. And if someone offers an opportunity for me to take issues like child poverty into another format and reach perhaps a different audience, then that’s an opportunity I’m going to take.
Now I agree with Jacinda. It is quite legitimate to do soft pieces as a way of connecting with voters on political issues. Many politicians do it.
But if you read the article, there isn’t a single mention of a political issue. It is 100% about holidays in Niue (where her parents live and work). It could almost be a travel advertorial for Niue.
So yes it is legitimate to do interviews and profiles with soft magazines, to connect to voters on issues. But is it legitimate when there is nothing at all about politics in there?
I wonder how many more months it will be until Jacinda is polling ahead of Little as Preferred PM?