In his valedictory statement in Parliament Charles Chauvel took a nasty swipe at “two better known right wing blogs” – obviously Whale Oil and Kiwiblog – with wild accusations. This indicates some paranoia in Labour circles about supposed unfairness in media.
But it’s not only Government institutions that need strengthening. Democracy requires a free, well resourced, unbiased fourth estate.
Journalists working in much of our under capitalised, foreign owned media are under constant pressure.
This comes from many quarters, including the constant need to sell newspapers and airtime, and also the need to compete with instantly available online sources.
In the case of the two better known right wing blogs those online sources are proxies for the present Government, and much copy is supplied to them directly out of ministers offices at taxpayers expense.
A general dumbing down, but more importantly a loss of independence have been the inevitable results.
To those of uas who want to read and listen to unbiased domestic news and analysis, or even for those of us who don’t really care whether John and Jacinda are still New Zealand’s sexiest politicians, there remains a diminishing number of options.
The quality of reporting and analysis now offered by PBS, ABC, the BBC, as well as the effect they have on the standard of other media, are simply not available here.
It’s high time for the re-establishment of a strong, independent, well resourced multi media broadcaster in New Zealand.
It’s more than a little hypocritical talking about unbiased balance while making major unsubstantiated accusations at two “right wing” blogs under parliamentary privilege, and making no mention of left wing blogs with obvious connections to Labour.
Video report here: Chauvel Leaves With A Parting Shot