On Armstrong’s blast at Campbell and Edwards

John Armstrong has been critical of Gordon Campbell and Bryce Edwards over their coverage of APEC and the Trans Pacific Partnership. In Blogging parasites don’t let the facts get in the way he says…

Edwards’ and Campbell’s claim that there was precious little analysis of key Apec issues, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is simply not borne out.

What did they Edwards claim? (Online including on NZ Herald) in NZ Politics Daily – 11 September 2012: 

There was a lot build-up and reporting from the APEC meeting in Vladivostok, but nothing much actually seemed to happen. There are only so many ways you can work ‘Pussy Riot’ into a story about trade negotiations. The alternatives seem to be writing about: your hotel, waiting three hours to glimpse Putin, the buffet, bridges or interviewing your laptop about why nothing is happening.

One common theme seemed to be how trade deals are being used by both the US and China to gain dominance over each other.

Gordon Campbell, who has described most of the New Zealand media reporting of APEC as ‘indistinguishable from a DPMC press handout’, had probably the best analysis of the summit’s real significance and how the Trans Pacific Partnership is where the real deals are being done – see: On APEC, and its significance for the TPP talks.

You can also get an idea of Edwards’ interests from his selection of links on a topic:

John Armstrong (Herald): Putin-Key talks short on specifics
Corin Dann (TVNZ): Russian economy on the move
John Armstrong (Herald): Curse of Russky Island strikes
John Armstrong (Herald): Key to push Putin on stalled FTA talks
Vernon Small (Stuff): Vladivostok prepared for spotlight
Fran O’Sullivan (Herald): PM must make most of his opening act
Ryan Bridge (RadioLive): Russian dolls are hollow on the inside

So he linked to quite a range of APEC reports. Notably he put Gordon Campbell at the top of the list with his TPP blog.

And there are five links to John Armstrong articles, some of which are accounts of experiences in Vladivostok that aren’t exactly sizzling political exposés.

But that is probably a reflection of the fact that while bloggers can flit all over the web from their usual offices or homes political journalists on an event assignment in a foreign city have much more limited story options to deal with. I presume that often nothing much is happening while they wait for things to happen.

And if Armstrong was getting frustrated while waiting for something to happen in an uncomfortable foreign environment then it’s easy to understand he might fume at criticism from bloggers flitting around the net from the comfort of their armchairs.

At least when Armstrong wants to let off steam and make a point he has a forum with a wide audience to do it on.

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