Worse than “fake news” – sloppy news!

By   /   March 26, 2018  /   16 Comments

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Sloppy as in: where a supposedly reputable mainstream media outlet presents a news story, but with a glaring error.  Case in point, TVNZ’s story on 25 March, reporting that “$1.7 million of taxpater’s money had been spent last year on airfares and escorts to deport overstayers – more than in any of the last five years”;

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What’s worse than “fake news”? Sloppy news.

Sloppy as in: where a supposedly reputable mainstream media outlet presents a news story, but with a glaring error.  Case in point, TVNZ’s story on 25 March, reporting that “$1.7 million of taxpater’s money had been spent last year on airfares and escorts to deport overstayers – more than in any of the last five years“;

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The figures  presented were accurate enough.

The presentation, though, was misleading, with the intro statement reading;

The Government is spending a startling amount of money to get rid of overstayers in New Zealand, but few people are being deported and very little of that money is being recovered.

The most recent figure of $1.7 million related to 2017. (See image above).

The money had been spent by the previous, National government – not by the current Labour-NZ First-Green Coalition. By referring to “the government”,  TVNZ’s story suggested that responsibility for this spending lies with the current Coalition.

Silly slip-ups of this nature present an unfair critical picture of the newly elected Coalition government and let’s the National Party off the hook when it comes to owning their chronic mismanagement and waste of taxpayer’s money.

It may seem trivial to some, but it is inaccurate and misleading. It is sloppy news.

Not many people would have picked up on that error. The public may likely assume that the news reader’s reference to “the government” refers to the current Coalition.

The Coalition will have enough problems cleaning up nine years of National’s toxic legacies  without the msm trying to point responsibility to Labour, NZ First, and the Greens. (They’ll have their own stuff-ups to own up to in the future.)

Not good enough, TVNZ.

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References

TVNZ:   More than 10,000 overstayers in NZ and Immigration not actively looking for most of them

Previous related blogposts

How biased is the media? A Patrick Gower case study

When the mainstream media go feral

The GCSB law – Oh FFS!!!

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= fs =

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16 Comments

  1. John W says:

    A national MP this morning claiming on RNZ that the KIWI Build program aiming at 10,000 houses is a re branded national initiative.

    Obviously more lies or he is incapable of telling chalk from cheese.

    It is even worse with RNZ’s reporting of fake news surrounding Syria and the Middle East, the present fiasco maligning Russia based on accusation type propaganda without balance exposing the bigger picture.

    Such jounalism appears to be not allowed in NZ mainstream media and overseas sources are needed for some balance, and awareness of what misleading rubbish KIWIS are being fed.

    • Z says:

      Any comment by Nation regarding housing is fucking offensive given that they were the authors of the crisis.

  2. Doc says:

    A calculated omission Martin, a calculated omission.

  3. Michelle says:

    Yes Frank your right on the button and some of the most toxic areas are in state agencies like Winz/HNZ,NZ Police, ACC, Justice, Corrections, MBIE to name a few so toxic to the point of poisonous

  4. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    The news is choka block full of disinformation and spin. Almost every news item needs to disseminated and subsequently researched by viewers before they can draw any useful conclusions from it. Unfortunately this doesn’t happen, which is why the Western world is in the state it’s in. Call the “news” in 2018 what it factually is – “thinly veiled propaganda”.

    • John W says:

      NIT – it is a simple matter of who owns the news and banks which are the source of global power keeping anyone including Govts away from changing the privately held power to create money out of thin air.

  5. bert says:

    When you have media people like Hosking slagging off the new housing initiative as it only going to end up being slum housing, I only have one thing to say to Hosking…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBADD1L5uxQ

    Why can’t Hosking do some real work and look into the horrific National government of the past 9 years? Why? Because they benefited him.

  6. Andy K says:

    Isn’t the capitalisation of government in that statement inappropriate? The New Zealand Government, The Government of New Zealand, Sixth Labour Government of New Zealand, Fifth National Government of New Zealand; being appropriate.

    The written media in this country doesn’t have a great reputation for correct spelling or grammar anyway. Not being careful with such basics doesn’t instil confidence in their reporting.

  7. David Stone says:

    You’r being very polite Frank.
    How many people read the daily blog? Not enough to make any difference to the general effect this TVNZ item will have on public perception. It will have been a successful exercise in manipulation . Not any sloppy error. It is fake news. A typical example.
    D J S

  8. Observer Tokoroa says:

    To: Frank Macskasy

    Labour’s Lawyers – must immediately send Court Papers – seeking Apology and Compensation for the lies put forward by the presenting RNZ staff.

    There is absolutely no doubt that the staff used their misrepresentaion as a way of of maligning the Labour Government.

    Hosking should also be taken to Court.

    The penalities should be very Heavy – and applied to the individual involved.

  9. Z says:

    IMHO not minor at all. Well spotted.

  10. Gerald says:

    For nine years National laid the blame for any current problems at the door of the previous Labour government. Now TVNZ is blaming the current government for the mistakes and bad policies of the last National government. Bad biased reporting looking for headlines and not doing research, we deserve better.

  11. Jonathan Roe says:

    Hi Frank, I think you’re drawing a long bow here. It’s common journo practice to refer to the government as the government, meaning the ongoing administration and bureaucracy, regardless of which brand is in power.

    But TVNZ has conflated the present participle – “is spending” – with last year’s amount of expenditure on over-stayers. Broadcast media are prone to doing this because they seem to think every story has to be in the here and now.

    Not a “there are no sharks in the Waitemata” opinion piece by you but hardly a game-changer.

    Cheers
    JR

    • Mjolnir says:

      It may be “common practice”, Jonathan, but it doesn’t make it right. Not by a long shot.

  12. Michelle says:

    I see Carol Hirshfeld has just resigned from RNZ due to her having secret meetings with Claire Curran. Gee why did they not say she was not meeting her in her ministerial capacity just like johkey did many times.
    I see the tories seems to have eyes and ears everywhere never mind 5 eyes they have 6 eyes and 2 faces (they are 2 faced spies the gnats)

  13. Philg says:

    Good work Frank. The mainstream media in NZ is not even rubbish, it’s far worse than that, and misleading. At least horse poo is good for the rhubarb.