The biggest and most serious threat to journalism?

What is the most serious threat to journalism? Big company ownership? The blurring of journalist lines? Woke journalism?

Or us, the consumers?

There have been criticisms and arguments about the ‘right wing’ ownership of media, and also left leaning journalists. Here is a new slant to it.

New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is getting attention fresh new force in US politics, or as a naive left leaning numpty.

If you want to read more on the issue of monopolies, anti-trust, corruption, and ways to address it, I recommend checking out . She literally wrote the book on it.

Another opinion on it in response:

But Assange/Wikileaks have a lot to answer for their interference in democracy with leaks targeting one presidential candidate. They have denied being deliberate or at lest effectgively agents of Russian in their attempts to disrupt  democracies. And they also got involved in Kim Dotcom’s fizzer of a ‘big reveal’, in an attempt to change the political landscape in New Zealand.

Wikileaks seemed to morph from whistleblowers into revolutionary activists.

There is also an issue with the blurring and crossing of lines between journalism and selective promotion of politicians and parties. Sometimes this may be a deliberate lack of balance, but in other cases it may closer to emotion and celebrity type infatuation – Jacinda Ardern has been ‘absolutely phenomenal’ in Europe, generating ‘huge’ media interest see from1 News (not just the effort of Joy Reid, her over the top praise was allowed and prmnoted by her editors).

What is also effectively activism via media is a problem.

There are real risks when journalism comes of second best to the unbalanced and emotive promotion of politicians or causes.

What can be done about it? We have a lot of choice now with media.

All of those media have serious flaws, but they also still do some serious journalism, without which democracies would suffer badly.

I think that one of the biggest problems is when people select which media suits their leaning and opinions, and they shun media that differs, or that challenges their beliefs.

I try to remain sceptical, especially of single sources, and I deliberately look for news and opinions from across the spectrum (generally avoiding the extremes). This is why I have delved into New Zealand political blogs across the spectrum – you can learn more from those who challenge your way of thinking.

But I think it is far more common for people to gravitate to towards what they want to hear.

There are problems with large media ownership, and activist journalism (including woke journalists), and the trivialising of news, the infatuation with ‘celebrity’, and the wolf crying (yesterday I saw weather predictions promoted as ‘breaking news’).

But consumers of news and opinion are a big part of this, especially with the growing use of click bait headlines and selection of trivia that displaces or overwhelms serious news.

Perhaps we the people are the problem here. We have far more news choices than ever, but we dictate more than we understand with the immediate counting of clicks, and our influence on algorithms.

The direction of journalism and news media may be a force of natural selection by the masses.

There is little we can do it but make our own selections, whether that moves with or against the tide of change or not.

Leave a comment

42 Comments

  1. Ray

     /  29th January 2019

    Look at all the hullabaloo about what seems to me the annual warmth we get in late January, something that has been happening for ever, well the last 150 years.

    Reply
    • Like reporting a forecast of a bit of typical summer weather as ‘breaking news’, as I saw yesterday.

      Reply
    • Ray

       /  29th January 2019

      And Glenorchy being hit by what the ODT calls dramatically a “weather bomb” ie a NW storm which is pretty normal for that area

      Reply
  2. Corky

     /  29th January 2019

    The biggest threat to journalism in Aotearoa is nothing because we lost journalistic integrity years ago. Hell, I think Perigo called the media ”brain dead” in the early 90s.

    The biggest threat to what’s LEFT of our media is…the weather.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  29th January 2019

      Well, not even that really. The tv news in particular even like to put their reporters out there in the field in the middle of floods and storms to try and make them look heroic.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  29th January 2019

        Yeah, sleet hitting a hooded Parker while trampolines fly in the background… best ego boosting scenario going.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  29th January 2019

          Yes, indeed.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  29th January 2019

            fake news,fake meat,fake orgasms…what next!

            Reply
          • Corky

             /  29th January 2019

            Lol.. the people strolling in the background ..classic!

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  29th January 2019

              He is also fighting against a wind that’s blowing the wrong way…he’s trying to make headway against wind that’s blowing grass and leaves in the other direction.

            • Gezza

               /  29th January 2019

              Yes, I thought that at first, but then I realised he is speaking into a microphone and he’s trying to shield it from the wind. What wind there is. I mean, it is obviously blowing, but it’s not the roaring gale he was trying to make it out to be. At least he’s famous now. That clip raced around the internet on social media.

      • Gezza

         /  29th January 2019

        The real thing

        Reply
  3. PartisanZ

     /  29th January 2019

    “What is the most serious threat to journalism? Big company ownership? The blurring of journalist lines? Woke journalism?”

    All of the above … and more … stemming from the creation of a political-economic environment that has led to big company ownership …

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  29th January 2019

      There are plenty of examples of quality journalism still around …

      But much of the media has become the Fourth Estate [Advertising & PR] of Corporate-Political elites & their ‘governance arms’ … namely governments …

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  29th January 2019

      You spin a dystopian storyline that has no ending, Parti… until we reach a stage when journalism is an anachronistic oddity of history….as we weave flax baskets in a communal commune run by the state..for the state.

      Reply
      • PartisanZ

         /  29th January 2019

        You see a dystopian storyline wherever any narrative doesn’t match your own neoliberal anti-Maori confirmation bias Corky … That’s all … Treatment is available …

        The usual Milton Friedman-worshipping crap, that anything ‘public’ must be bad and must trend in the direction of ‘Stone Age Culture’ … A viewpoint quite septic with Bullshit!

        Have a look at the history of Tait Electronics, founded and made not only successful but demi-global during those terrible ‘socialist’ days of Keith Holyoake, Norman Kirk and Rob Muldoon …

        Tait Limited (trading as Tait Communications and formerly known as Tait Electronics Ltd) was founded in 1969 by New Zealand electronics innovator and businessman Sir Angus Tait, KNZM, OBE. The company’s founding staff of 12 radio technologists[2] produced the first generation of all-transistor mobile radios in New Zealand.[6]

        In 1973, Tait released the Mini-phone series of mobile radios, which were adopted as the industry standard in New Zealand.[6]
        In 1979, Tait launched a range of portable radios and base stations, exporting over 25% of its production. The first wholly owned subsidiary was opened in Huntingdon, UK.
        In 1982, Tait opened facilities in Houston, United States … et al …

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tait_Communications

        and – https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/103835252/tait-communications-loosens-trust-ownership-to-sell-stake-to-investor

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  29th January 2019

        weave some XXL flax baskets for National…

        they have a surfeit of…’too hards’.

        Reply
        • XXL Hemp is better/stronger than harakeke

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  29th January 2019

            Your suggestion is noted, comrade Zedd. Comrade Parti, our Chief Minister Of Propaganda will be in touch. He has questions regarding your claim hemp is stronger than flax. We will test the tensile strength of both at an engineering plant we have just nationalised. If your claims are false, comrade Parti will not hesitate to torture you with propaganda before putting you out of your misery.

            The State always comes first.

            Reply
            • PartisanZ

               /  29th January 2019

              Zedd might prefer my ‘torture’ to the daily misery, torment and excruciation of listening to your endless negativity and personal attacks Corky?

            • Corky

               /  29th January 2019

              Personal attacks!? You obviously live a sheltered life. If you want personal attacks, have a look how other posters sometimes treat me.

              Anyway,that’s all very well… but is the tensile strength of hemp stronger than flax..I don’t think so?

          • seer

             /  30th January 2019

            zedd99, who are you? Taking the piss out of zedd?

            Anyway Banks and co about 250 years ago found out that harakeke is stronger than hemp, which is why they got excited about setting up an Empire harakeke industry here.

            Reply
            • I stand corrected… I read there is still debate, but NZ flax is considered at least as strong as hemp fibre

              remembered to chop off the 99 this time

  4. Gezza

     /  29th January 2019

    Parti says there are plenty of examples of quality journalism around, but not news outlets, in my view. The msm I think most of us agree is now generally rubbish. And it’s not the consumers who want it to be rubbish. It’s a case of that’s all we get. Like shit on every channel on Freeview tv some nights.

    I guess in a sense we are getting what we pay for, in that we all want our news to be free, which means advertising pays for our news ultimately – but centralised ownership is I think is the biggest problem with msm, because the profit-driven owners are what has driven the race to the infotainment and trivia-filled rush jobs we now see everywhere on msm outlets.

    That, and the celebrity presenter, reporter and interviewer approach which the media have adopted – the focus goes onto the presenter or writer instead of factual reporting & intelligent questioning.

    I still find myself asking questions reporters never ask when I see their efforts.

    Reply
    • NOEL

       /  29th January 2019

      Current MSM practice of reporting on items that appeared in social media feeds 24 hours earlier must eventually turn viewers off.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  29th January 2019

        1ewes is sometimes 3 days late showing items that were on AlJazeera tv the day they happened – and they often present them as though they just ocurred.

        Reply
  5. Zedd

     /  29th January 2019

    They used to have a term ‘Chequebook journalism’ when journos paid for info. NOW it seems the ‘clients’ are paying journos, to put a slant on their news items’ left, right or ‘other’ ?

    😦

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  29th January 2019

      It could be a governmental job to ensure nonpartisan news flow. One way might be for volunteers with time on their hands to engage with students through school and community projects. These people would be accepted as volunteers following a robust process involving many independent references. We could put our human resources to better use.

      MSM news bites are very risky to youth.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  29th January 2019

        One it becomes a government job to ensure non-partisan news flow you end up with partisan news flow. For the government. Showing on Aljaz tv this month:

        Reply
  6. Pink David

     /  29th January 2019

    “The fact of the matter is the current monopoly trend is societally & economically unsustainable.”

    Cool, so this problem will solve itself, and we don’t need to worry. The layoffs at the Buzzfeed clickbait factory does confirm this too..

    Reply
  7. Interesting post. I’ve been trying to make sense if the erosion of trust in journalism and this helps me scratch the surface

    Reply
  1. The biggest and most serious threat to journalism? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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