2 September, 2021
“Trustworthy, insightful, important” — one thing we can say for our mainstream media is that they must think we are a pretty thick lot. The New Zealand Herald’s generous assessment of its own performance is paralleled by Stuff’s brag of “truthful, independent and trusted journalism”, and incredibly enough, also asking us to support “Independent NZ-owned journalism”. Did they mean to say “Government-owned Journalism’?
Both our main print media have bagged the trust claim. Perhaps many have been somewhat over-trusting, given how quickly the ambitious Jacinda Ardern was elevated to sainthood by so many media commentators. And then we have the consistent stories of her daughter, Neve, now three years old, as appealing as toddlers and little ones always are. So we get details of her birthdays, photos of her being carried around, even at official ceremonies; of the cakes her father and mother self-deprecatingly show they have made for her… the presents given… and the promise now of her parents planning to get married in summer in Jacinda’s partner’s home town. No doubt details of the bride’s dress will be available to hopeful female journalists in particular — probably, however, with fewer as enthusiastic as previously. To their credit, at least some of our more experienced women writers are beginning to be critical of the almost daily performances of our theatrically-inclined Prime Minister.
However, although our arguably now corrupt mainstream media outlets are signing up to follow the government line on the divisive agenda Ardern’s coalition is forcing upon the country, it is good to see the courage of some of our journalists beginning to challenge what is happening.
It is utterly untruthful of our media outlets to claim to be ”independent and trustworthy” when being basically bribed by the government. In a display of largesse for which we taxpayers are forking out, officially (mis)called the Public Interest Journalism Fund, we now have what should more appropriately be called the Government’s Self-Interest Journalism Fund.
Stuff itself, in the recent pay-outs by government, has received $300,000, with the requirement to produce a “cultural competence” course for journalists “to fundamentally shift representation in New Zealand media”. The Spinoff, handed out $207,000, must agree to do a podcast series “to explore Maori issues”. This is pretty small beer, given that Maori Television, NZME, Pacific Media Network, Newshub and eleven so-called support partners, awarded more than $2.4 million, are reportedly required to hire 25 Maori and Pacific cadets, some of whom are required to be “diverse”. Whether this must embrace those apparently sexually-disorientated, self-defining as transgender, or one of the now reportedly 52 different gender identities, is not made clear.
Other news outlets are also to be paid by the government, as with the NZME, for producing a weekly bilingual section in the Rotorua Weekender… as long as it covers iwi (Maori neo-tribal) issues. Radio New Zealand, the biggest recipient, currently receives $48 million a year from taxpayers and gets an additional $806,000 for its podcast, The Detail. As has been pointed out, not only all these handouts, but the $3.5 million paid for the childish, misleading, and cartoonised television advertisements — misrepresenting the “Three Waters” theft of the country’s water — has taxpayers funding their own indoctrination.
To use the word corruption is unchallengeable, when any government pays media outlets to propagandise the public — with the same outlets untruthfully claiming to be independent and trustworthy — while basically being bribed to follow a far-Left agenda. That this should happen in not (quite yet) a totalitarian régime, but in what was once thought of as a democracy, with a free press, is quite staggering.
Ardern’s government is blatantly taking over the media, an important part of any plan to destroy a democracy. It is more than shameful for those at the top of media management to be accepting these bribes, with the inevitable resulting pressure on all journalists to conform. It is to the great credit of those few who are increasingly reluctant to do so –- but who are now at risk of losing their livelihoods.