John Campbell does not write opinion pieces he writes analysis! In defence (once again) of John Campbell’s columns on TVNZ


Usual attack on John Campbell from The Democracy Project...

7) What’s happening to the news media in New Zealand? As public trust in the media plummets, there’s increasing debate about whether this is due to journalist and broadcasters having political agendas and partisan leanings in their output. John Campbell, the TVNZ National Correspondent has been at the forefront of pushing a more activist-style journalism lately, and this has recently prompted debate about whether this is appropriate for a public broadcaster to take what his critics say is a leading role in the fightback against the new government. He’s accused of progressing a middle class social liberal agenda. This has caused former RNZ Mediawatch presenter Jeremy Rose to investigate this in a very good cover story for the latest North & South magazine – you can read a preview of it here: Objectively Speaking (preview)

Although Rose is clearly antagonistic to the case against activist journalism, he ends up reporting the views of many experts who are also troubled by how TVNZ is using Campbell. People like former RNZ chief executive Peter Cavanagh is quoted about the case, saying: “Removing objectivity from journalism is a very dangerous trend in an increasingly complex world… I have no doubt that it’s the blurring of the lines between fact and opinion that is driving the growing distrust many now have of mainstream media.” And current RNZ Mediawatch presenter Colin Peacock has said that Campbell’s recent work “does kind of cross a line for me” and says it’s not the sort of thing you’d expect from a public broadcaster. And Victoria University Wellington’s media studies professor Peter Thompson also wary of the Campbell trend, suggesting it might erode public trust and faith in the media.

John Campbell also gets a right of reply in the magazine, and here’s his key defence: “The (usually) right-wing Pakeha men railing against me, were they always able to recuse their world view from their journalism? But they thought they were. Or they didn’t realise they weren’t because they mistook their own view as universal or objective. That’s how cultural hegemony works.”

8) Rose’s feature story was provoked by a blog post that veteran journalist Karl du Fresne wrote recently that critiques Campbell. And Rose’s story is very much an attack on du Fresne as well. So du Fresne has now responded with a new blog post: The case for objectivity in journalism

Fuck du Fresne!

This little brown shirt crypto-fascist continues to cancel Campbell’s free speech by pretending that as the Public Broadcaster, Campbell loses his right to be critical of the Government.

du Fresne pretends this is about balance when the opposite is true.

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The Public Broadcaster is free of the commercial and political constraints other broadcasters face, the Public Broadcaster can speak truth to power and has the obligation to do so!

John Campbell is not writing opinion pieces, he’s writing analysis and thinking deeper than the current shallow mainstream media allows for.

Attacking his journalism and his analysis under the guise of balance is a false narrative designed to strangle his voice off.

If people of insight and oversight can see the looming social carnage this hard right racist climate denying Government is manufacturing, they have an obligation to speak out.

Dr Incremental, Max Rashbrooke attacks public sector leakers when it’s the best thing the Public Service have managed in 6 years!

This Government is taking from the poor to give to the rich, now they may have won the election, but democracy demands more value than bare knuckle majoritarianism and people of conscience of an obligation to expose and whistleblow against the extremes of this malicious Government!

Attempting to silence John Campbell by those who are first to scream ‘Free Speech’ like du Fresne does is an intellectual joke being taken seriously by The Democrat Project.

What’s next, linking to Graham Adams?

Media industry critic, and journalist, Graham Adams writes today about the media bosses lobbying for state subsidies and help in their battles with tech firms, and suggests that they’re not putting democracy first


These crypto-fascist free speech hypocrites are attacking John because they fear the insight and oversight he can generate with his thoughtful powerful analysis.

Fear is driving the desire to strangle him off, not media ethics FFS!


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  1. John Campbell showed his true political colours when he fronted the ‘homeless in cars’ nightly shows just prior to the 2017 election.
    Then after Labour installed as the government, nothing….no follow ups 1-2-3 years later to see what has changed.
    Why? –
    Because the numbers had increased under Ardern (as Martyn has blogged about many times)
    THAT shows Campbell up for what he is, not an unbiased, but a Labour shrill.

    • @ I’m right You are shrill too, and probably right, but the truly mature commentator doesn’t always speak sharply and pointedly.

    • dum dum dum, beating the far right drum like a dumb dumb dumb.

      Ignore all the pieces about low wages, the failure of gig economy, the rising cost of rents, inflation and everything else he covered. But pick the one thing you can dip your stick into. Sheesh must be good to be that smugly ignorant.

  2. Real journalists ceased to be when newsrooms outsourced their training to universities and media studies courses in the 90’s.
    We are living with the results.

  3. Yep, we’ll fuck you and fuck him as well, it’s wankers like you and him that have poked the bear that is us, read the fucking room!

  4. Yep, people say if Hoskings can do it why can’t Campbell. Simple answer. One works for a private company. One is paid by the Government he is criticising. Don’t bite the hand that feeds ya.

    • Except that overwhelmingly, the private voices predominate in this country and we need someone who will criticise the government. And the fact that he is being paid by them is either irrelevant or a good thing.

      Incidentally, du Fresne is a “sage”? Obviously someone has absolutely no idea of what the word means. I got into a bit of trouble on Trotters blog for my opinion of du Fresne – although to be theory did allow me to publish the story behind the opinion. The man’s a prick – not that I’m telling anyone here something they don’t know.

    • That rule did not apply during the previous government so why should it apply now? If governments make mistakes they need to be exposed, just because you have a twisted definition of mistakes is no reason for the rest of society to agree with you.

  5. If du Fresne is on the Democracy Project then it is an example of how democracy as we expect it can never be achieved. The reason; most of those who are so sure that they know what’s what and what’s right, are people who don’t think hard about society and economics and where common practice serves and where complex considerations make it essential to go beyond it. But as Bertrand Russell posited:

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.
    Bertrand Russell

  6. Who among us, especially journalists, is totally, always and irrefutably objective?
    Name just one and you’re lying. Objectivity in journalism is, and always has been, an oxymoron.
    Opinion writers, like du Fresne, can write anything they like, unfettered. And they do.
    It’s totally and always subjective and for me, occasionally crap. Like most of du Fresne’s opinions.

  7. Bonnie. I assume your rant about mistakes is aimed at me. Given that I never mentioned mistakes I find it incredible that you have decided my definition of mistakes is twisted and out of touch with the rest of society. This is especially so because I usually agree with all your comments. Perhaps we are both a little twisted !

    • Thats a kind reply, I used “One is paid by the Government he is criticising” as a reason for my mistake comment, I worked on the assumption that if you are critical of something then you think something is wrong with it.
      We had 6 years of all media being critical of the Labour government (often deserved which is why they are no longer the government) so I expect the public media to hold the current government to account when they do silly things also.

  8. Bonnie. I assume your rant about mistakes is aimed at me. Given that I never mentioned mistakes I find it incredible that you have decided my definition of mistakes is twisted and out of touch with the rest of society. This is especially so because I usually agree with all your comments. Perhaps we are both a little twisted !

    • You need to get a few more tools, it seems that all you have is a hammer so all you see is nails. Just in case you need an explanation I am saying that it appears that everything you don’t agree with is “leftist ideology” when the main issue appears to be that you are living in the past.

  9. It’s simple really, and obvious.

    Examination will reveal that the right wing have always waged war on public broadcasting and rational critique. Particularly from the “intelligentsia” at universities etc (you know, from the best and brightest, those people trained and paid to actually research and analyse).

    Better to fill up the airwaves with media hacks (e.g. du Fresne, Hoskings, Du Pres etc) and endless columns of opinion vetted and dictated to by ever concentrated numbers of profit driven corporations.

    For the past few decades we have had an ever-increasing volume of partisan opinion shovelled at us than rational discourse, increasing with every incremental attack on public broadcasting.

    Support public broadcasting. Even if only because the rightwing hate and fear it.

  10. I like this, in an ironic, sadly funny/depressing kind of way. When a journalist uses facts to prove a Govt is creating policy which is based on wrong evidence, shows a Govt is abandoning its social mandate, abandoning its mandate to improve life for the majority of of citizens even……. That is non-partisan?? Facts are facts, and they are what matter. Evidence is evidence, and if that is counter to a particular flavour of Govt policy, then those facts should be brandished everywhere.


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