Are NZ media left or right?

An age old argument is whether the media favour or lean left or right. One common claim is that editorially they lean right but most journalists tend to lean left. I think it’s far more complex than that.

The alleged leaning of the media is often stated in relation to the leaning of the person of accusing them of favouring the other lot and not giving enough weight to their preferences.

Last month Justin Hu tried to pigeon\hole New Zeaaland media and political blogs – Subjective New Zealand media objectivity/bias chart\ –  but that seems to be a work in progress, after a lot of online discussion and criticism he adjusted his chart.

It came up on Reddit yesterday: What NZ media are neither leftist nor right and have no political opinion?

I’m truly tired of hearing stories with extreme leftist and politically correct opinion. (News hub is guilty) It seems that so much media in NZ is extreme left with all there political opinions. Does anyone know of any neutral NZ media with no right leaning nor left opinions but just tells the news as it is? Hard facts.

No media can be entirely neutral – especially not from everyone’s perspective. And no media publishes on ‘hard facts’. And if they did they would probably be accused of only publishing selected facts that resulted in bias.

An attempt to judge the media here:

I think you would struggle to call our media extreme left.

Stuff and Herald probably have centre right editorial stances but both seek leftist commentators. This probably is a result of having a traditional media base.

TVNZ is simply too bland to say it has any political persuasion. news hub is all over the place but O’Brien is clearly a fan of Jacinda. Garner is simply a dick and I have never been able to work him out.

ZB is clearly a right wing mouthpiece. Most probably a result of the fact that it is talk back.

Then you come to the independents. RNZ is largely left these days but morning report is objective and Espinar is great. Campbell clearly sits centre left.

Then you have Newsroom that is edited by Hickey and Murphy both of whom are left wing.

And blogs:

Then you come to the web natives. spinoff, standard and the daily blog (and scoop) that have left wing editorial stances. Although I agree with someone else that the Scoop has largely gone downhill and largely just straight releases press releases but Gordon Campbell is as left as they come.

Then on the right you have kiwiblog and even further Whaleoil.

All four of the above mentioned blogs (not Scoop) have clear political leanings and are to varying extents political activists promoting their preferences, and far more commonly, trying to trash their opponents.

Are any extreme?

Just out of interest what do you consider extreme left and extreme right?

Because those terms are relative to your beliefs, what one person might consider extreme right another might think is more center right.

Relative to one’s political perspective:

A general rule of thumb is that if you are a left-wing person, then all media or right-wing and vice-versa. Interpretations of media bias are a very common way to see the persecution complex in action.

Declining standards?

The reason for journalism’s decline is changing economics. Opinions are cheap, repeating press releases even cheaper. Everything has to generate its own clicks. Advertising is dead, but PR is very much alive to buy articles with.

Consistent editorial lines, a multitude of outlets and more personnel to report did make news higher quality in certain senses.

Many claim that there is a lot more crap published by media, and publishers and broadcasters are certainly under increasing financial pressure.

But we have far more available to see and read.

There was a time when almost all my news came from one newspaper and one TV channel, with a bit of variety from a Sunday newspaper.

I can find a lot more than that now if i look for it.

And I can find balance if i look for that too.

Bias can easily be detected if that’s what you want to find.

I’m only biased towards my own views, but I do try to consider and present other points of views and arguments too. One of the best ways to to this is allow other views to be expressed without restrictions.

32 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  October 15, 2018

    “I’m only biased towards my own views…”
    What does that … mean ?

    • Gezza

       /  October 15, 2018

      I’m biased towards my own views robert. I don’t have a left or right bias and I’m probably not exactly a centrist either. But my views aren’t locked in. I’m always prepared to change them in the light of observation experience and argument.

      • robertguyton

         /  October 15, 2018

        Particular views can be tabled “left” or “right” easily enough. If you did that with yours then placed the two lists side by side, which would be the longer, do you think?

        • Gezza

           /  October 15, 2018

          List me some topics. I’ll have a go.

          • robertguyton

             /  October 15, 2018

            Bulk funding of schools.
            New oil and gas exploration permits.
            The Honours System (Sir Gerald!).
            3-strikes
            Double-bunking.

            • Gezza

               /  October 15, 2018

              Bulk funding – against
              New oil and gas exploration permits – against
              The Honours System – cancel remove all knight and damehoods granted in the last 10 years – except mine and Sir Alan’s for reasons not required to be specified.
              3-strikes – retain – might need review but no evidence its not working or that the need for it has disappeared.
              Double-bunking – against

            • robertguyton

               /  October 15, 2018

              Okay…
              Rail
              cameras on fishing boats
              joining Trump’s global war on drugs
              co-leaders
              the 5% “bar” for parties entering Parliament
              babies in the House
              single use plastic bags
              new coal mines

            • Gezza

               /  October 15, 2018

              Rail – Freight: would like to see more use made of it; needs to be economic though; commuter rail in large cities – same.
              Cameras on fishing boats – compulsory
              Joining Trump’s war on drugs – against users, stupid, but against suppliers of the lethal highly addictive destructive drugs – for
              Co-leaders – no problem as long as it’s just the Greens and they don’t have different policies.
              the 5% parties bar – undecided
              single use plastic bags – gonna miss them in the house but not in my stream. Waiting for an entrepreneurial solution to bringing own bags. Just as interested in seeing a reduction all the other unnecessary plastic packaging, which is even harder to dispose of.
              new coal mines – against unless local use only and we’d import same coal from elsewhere

            • National Standards
              Charter schools (as opposed to “special character”
              Night classes
              Golf

            • Gezza

               /  October 15, 2018

              National Standards – uniformed. I like a hard and fast objective standard for reading writing and rithmetic, not scaled – just pass or fail thru, and at end of year.
              Charter schools – should have let those in place continue. Relaxed about new ones having to meet special character requirements. Would have been interesting to compare results in a few years time. With the teacher shortage being amped up now, it sounds like state & special character schools might end up having some unregistered teachers. Very ironic.
              Night classes – I like them, I’ve done a couple, the quality varied but they were a social activity. If you mean should there be more funding for them – it depends how many more levies I’d get taxed with to pay for them.
              Golf – too expensive. A interesting & challenging outdoor for the well-off. Golf carts should be banned.

  2. Gezza

     /  October 15, 2018

    I think politically, and especially compared to say the US or even the UK, nz’s online print mainstream media is probably “about right”. It’s pretty balanced in the sense that both the government and the opposition get equal prominence, although we form our own views on how well or fairly we perceive they are reported.

    For tv, In news commentary angles or ‘slant’ I would say 1News which I prefer and invariably watch is also reasonably fair and balanced. My biggest complaint about them is their sensationalist approach and their tendency to report without much in the way of research or analysis. Their sound-bite video clips for the Opposition leaders are often about 1-2 seconds, but to be fair Oppos usually whine about everything governments do and condensing it is probably not difficult.

    • robertguyton

       /  October 15, 2018

      A sound bite of a Pomeranian yapping used whenever Simon or Paula speaks would be just as useful as hearing their words.

      • Gezza

         /  October 15, 2018

        It was the same with Andy when he was the Labour leader, robert.

        • robertguyton

           /  October 15, 2018

          It was.

        • PartisanZ

           /  October 15, 2018

          Andrew Little didn’t suit being a political party leader …

          He’s a statesman.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  October 15, 2018

            A very angry statesman.

            • PartisanZ

               /  October 15, 2018

              No, an angry party leader … He’s now doing exceptionally well as a senior Minister … best I’ve seen in a long time …

            • Corky

               /  October 15, 2018

              Only because of his make over. The beard thing gives him gravitas..as long as you don’t dissect what he says.

            • Gezza

               /  October 15, 2018

              I don’t think he’s doing exceptionally well. I think he’s doing ok, although his inability to produce some figures and descriptions of low-level offenders made him look stupid and uninformed. One of their more competent Ministers, if still a bit wet behind the ears when dealing with Winston, although hopefully he’s learned from that. Has some guts to go and argue face to face at Nga Puhi hui – I think that will garner him respect. I think he’s genuine. Matched up against some of the other Cabinet Ministers I can see how he could look to be doing exceptionally well.

  3. Corky

     /  October 15, 2018

    The media is Left leaning. And I can prove it. You can’t go through our education system and come out the other side with an understanding of thrift, entrepreneurship, business acumen and hard work.

    So, naturally a young journalist views anyone with a Porsche and a nice home as da fillfy witch. That bias cannot be hidden in news reports. Sooner or later it seeps out. Anyone who isn’t fillfy witch, but is obviously not a lefty is a Conservative religious nutter. Anyone not fitting that box is a greedy businessman who needs to be regulated because he exploits his workers.

    • robertguyton

       /  October 15, 2018

      Corky’s proved…it.

      • Corky

         /  October 15, 2018

        Yeah, I know. Now back to training your Nashi, Robert. The Greens are a little like Nashi. They held so much promise, but in the free market they can’t deliver..and will slowly sink into oblivion.. grown by a few home hobbyists as a ”conversation piece.”

        • robertguyton

           /  October 15, 2018

          They’re just not as nice to eat as pears, are they. Mine doesn’t require training and fruits prolifically. Much of that fruit goes uneaten. That means I don’t fret when the kereru are gobbling down the buds as they are now. I do get a bit het up, however, when they dine on my Victoria plum and the rare pears we’ve collected from around the region.

        • Blazer

           /  October 15, 2018

          try growing a …pear’ yourself Corky…and let us..know.

        • Corky

           /  October 15, 2018

          Don’t like them. Don’t grow them. Plant a pear for your heir, as the saying goes. No thanks. I grow more subtropical fruit that Robert can’t. Grow that is, sometimes they don’t fruit. But live and learn..my chocolate sapote is to die for, Blazer.

          • Blazer

             /  October 15, 2018

            wrong…’pear’…

            • Corky

               /  October 15, 2018

              Blazer, I’m sorry, your comment has gone ”pear shape.”

          • Blazer

             /  October 15, 2018

            ‘pear shaped’…like your BMI profile?
            Try wearing glasses as well ,it will make you look intelligent…ask Trump..Rick Perry.

            • Corky

               /  October 15, 2018

              My BMI profile is fine. Carnitine has taken care of that. You could do with a little more muscle on your chest and legs. And, maybe a little voice coaching to reach those higher notes.

  4. robertguyton

     /  October 15, 2018

    Corky – I’m growing (and they’re fruiting) Dead Man’s Fingers (Decaisnea).

  5. sorethumb

     /  October 15, 2018

    You need more angles that left/right. Some of it is vested interest plus world view (= your paradigm of the world) and various ideologies.