Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ranting About Media

The reason I can sometimes be damning of NZ Media is that I'll always remember the coverage of the last elections (and the election before that, and before that) when people were interviewed on the street as to who they were/had voted for and why. 98% of those people said exactly the same thing "He/she seems nice". We mocked Americans soundly for voting in Bush Jnr twice because he was someone people would most want to have a beer with, but I'm not sure why since that seems to be our voting strategy as well.

If we're not informed voters how can we call ourselves a democracy?

Things I would like to see in 2013:

1. Get Key and co to front up on prime time media shows. If they keep on refusing, make that the story. Document how many times Key has turned down requests and compare this to previous leaders and leaders overseas. This has been an on-going running joke in media circles, but how about making it something shameful and disgraceful instead, because that's what it is.

2. The Housing Market: compare our situation to other places such as Ireland and Vancouver. Look into what the cause of the property bubble on our economy. Why are National so reluctant to put the brakes of foreign ownership, and when Key screams 'racism', don't let him derail.

3. Prisons - Idiot Savant already covered some issues here, but call me suspicious but is the State going to be implementing this or is this going to be tendered to private commercial interests, say like, Serco. By the way, this massive corporation is also involved in Detention Centres in Australia, it's controversial as it gets, and yes, barely a squeak over here.

4. I did a blog post a while back on what I felt was an uncomfortably close relationship between the Associate Ministry of Education and Talent 2 here. The media was fantastic in the way that it picked this up, and by that I mean that it printed John Banks statement assuring there was nothing in it and seemingly never looked further in to the issue. Investigative Journalism for the win! Who else in Government is besties with these companies that we're tendering multi-million contracts to - well, I guess we'll never know what goes on in the backrooms of Government.

By reading/watching international media I've seen enough news linking politicians to businesses (Cheney/Halliburton anyone?) to know that when power and money converge sometimes ethics takes a back seat (and is then taken into the woods and buried) - I think politicians and big business have an almost free ride in the NZ press in comparison.

5. Thanks goes to the Senior Political Commentators (tm Daily Show) who asserted that that Green Party hates business (printing currency is madness they scream - maybe it is, you never explained why), which is just as helpful as someone in his position declaring that the National Party hates poor people - yeah, I can certainly take you seriously from now on in (ffwd). Thanks also goes to the segment of Brendan Horan being door stopped so we could get his expression as he closed the door, after which you packed up and drove to the cemetery so they could get a shot of his mother's grave for your story. Who says gutter journalism can't be hard work, especially on car mileage.

6. Can we please have some investigation into the legislation process, the fact that because we only have a unicameral parliament, a short sitting period, an over-use of fast-tracking that can skip committees and consultation in a single bound, that comparatively speaking next to other first world democracies we're one step away from being a banana republic. Oh, and by the way, that means that there should be closer scrutiny as to what's going on, not more human bloody interest stories.

6. Can media stop with setting every reality crime show in South Auckland? Fairly sure enough crime is committed in other parts of NZ without having to permanently set up shop there, but then again I suppose this gives white viewers a thrill in seeing a constant flow of brown faces pushed in to the back of police vans.There's no racism in New Zealand, lol.

7. The main news channels have an hour set aside for news, but putting aside sport, weather, ad breaks and chimpanzee's cuddling kittens, it's 20 or so minutes of actual news. The investigative half-hour slots, taking aside the ad breaks and requisite Nanas knitting tea cosies for charity segments to get people actually watching, means 10 minutes for reflective news. Can we all now agree that this isn't working, that a workable Fourth Estate can't function with those time limitations and that the public needs to fund this because otherwise we'll get more shots in a couple of years of people stating that yes, they're voting for x, y and z because they seem nice. Bring back TV7, or something. Blah, we're all doomed.

And ps 8. Bill English was once quizzed in the corridors of Parliament on the economy. He said that we had nothing to worry about because of the Chinese market. There was jaw droppage and swearing on my part, because are you kidding? This was the governments economic way out of the global recession - piggy backing on China?!  Again, nobody picked this up, nobody said anything. Not a peep. And NZ's economy certainly doesn't have a history of massively tanking after another country stopped buying our goods in the past (PSSST, IT WAS ENGLAND). Bloody hell, NZ. Bloody hell.

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