On Sunday’s TV3 news political editor Patrick Gower was critical of Bill English’s hesitancy when answering a question about the implementation timeline for National’s policy that every child at primary school will be able to learn a second language if they want to.
As far as Gower was concerned it showed a failure by English.
So instead of TV3 offering a proper critique of the policy with comments from educationalists (who would applaud the policy while deriding the extra money on the educational disaster which is national standards) TV3 reported to its viewers what Gower regarded as some sort of weakness by English in communicating the policy.
It was all about Gower point-scoring against a politician.
Phil Goff received the same treatment a few years back as Labour Leader when he couldn’t recall off the top of his head the detailed figures of the revenue a capital gains tax would bring in several years down the track. Another failure. Another point for political journalists.
This sort of rubbish reporting has become a daily occurrence where the political commentators see their role not as reporting or analysing the news but as media personalities whose job it is to catch out politicians on our behalf.
If you want discussion or analysis of policy – forget it. Coverage of policy is as shallow as a birdbath. It’s the political sideshows that make the news.
It seems media corporates think politics is too boring for mass media broadcasting – just look at the Herald’s website – and so the job of political journalists is to sex it up to increase ratings. Baiting politicians provides the entertainment to squeeze into the small gaps between the advertisements.
These media organisations also believe we can’t think for ourselves.
Instead, political journalists – just a handful left now – tell us what we should think.
How many times have we heard one of them deliver something like this:
“This is a bad look for (name of political party) – they will be hurting with this revelation/policy/pratfall. They can expect to be punished in the polls – people won’t like this”
Then the self-fulfilling prophesy is reported.
“As we predicted they are down in the latest poll because… blah blah blah”
This is what corporate-controlled broadcasting has reduced political discussion to – a series of sideshows where they tell us what to think.
It’s all very Orwellian and makes an unanswerable case for high quality, public service broadcasting.
But for this election campaign at least we can only expect more of the same.
It’s rubbish reporting by rubbish journalists.