Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media



The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly.

When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities and indignities exposed in Dirty Politics, what is actually more important is the fact that Slater, Ede, Lusk, Farrar and Collins et al successfully exploited NZ’s mainstream media. They succeeded because our media is weak, under funded, highly competitive and almost entirely commercial. Ratings count, headlines are everything and delivering maximum eyeballs and eardrums to advertising is the ultimate goal. Democracy, public good, integrity, natural justice, ethics, humanity are less important.

Interestingly, none of Cameron Slater’s favoured journalists worked at Radio NZ, our countries last non-commercial news outlet. All were in the cut-throat world of commercial media. It strongly reinforces the argument that NZ desperately, desperately needs more non-commercial news media – television, regional television, regional radio, online and even print.

As Nicky Hager says himself in summing up his book…

“The problem is not the journalists. The problem is commercialised news and repeated cuts to newsroom staff. Without serious action, it will only get worse. A change is needed so that quality news is recognised as an essential public good and publicly funded like other essential services. The most hopeful option is a dramatic increase in long-term public funding and statutory independence for non-commercial television, radio and (perhaps eventually) printed news media.”

We couldn’t have put it better ourselves. Creating strong non-commercial media is the long term fight that will wipe out the power of bloggers like Slater and Farrar, neutralise the anti-democratic influence of Crosby Textor and its NZ acolytes, and put an end to the attack politics as practised by parts of the current administration.

This is one of the main reasons the Coalition for Better Broadcasting was established in the first place – to improve NZ’s media for the benefit of all New Zealanders, our public discussion and our democracy.


  1. Absolutely. John Key and his ilk would never have lasted as long as they did if it had not been for the bias, laziness and sensationalism of the main stream media. I still wonder what Slater has on Gower and Hosking. Nobody able to read and write can possibly be this stupid…

  2. It can’t be about lack of good journalists. These NZ journalists work for Al Jazeera. (They aren’t young, cute and naive enough to work on TV news here)

    Alexi O’Brian
    Elizabeth Paranum
    Tariq Basley
    Nicole Johnson
    Wayne Hay
    Tania Page
    Anita MacNaught
    Merana Hond
    Sarah Coates
    Kim Vinnell

  3. Very disturbingly, in Radio NZ’s recent restructuring, according to last Sunday’s MediaWatch programme, the role of Head of News has been disestablished in preference to other managerial positions.

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