Liam Bateman writes
Political news media has had mixed fortunes in recent weeks. Here, ONE News has recently taken on some stellar talents like Dita De Boni and Andrea Vance, who always bring a smile to my face when I read an article or hear a report from them. John Campbell has recently joined Radio NZ and remains absolutely committed to the reporting he conducted on Campbell Live and Mike Hosking’s illness has made Seven Sharp watchable for once. Sadly, on the opposite side of the coin, we see 3 News becoming more like Fox in terms of bias as Brooke Sabin makes unfounded smears against Andrew Little, which makes it very hard to believe my swing voter friend who believes the likes of Paddy Gower are left leaning, and The Sun in Britain has recently attacked Jeremy Corbyn for his bow at a Remembrance Day service in London. It’s got me asking, what happened to political neutrality? It’s looking like it’s becoming normal for news sources, whether right or left leaning, to be actively biased and skew the truth in a way to influence voters.
We have seen some strong bias from media in recent years here in New Zealand, with Brooke Sabin’s most recent attack being a minor example. When former leader David Cunliffe was accused of having aided Donghua Liu amongst other associations with Labour, John Armstrong called on Cunliffe to resign before the whole thing was seen to be nothing but a lie. Mike Hosking’s appointment as debate moderator was widely criticised and rightly so, although I knew it was unlikely to be as extreme as the satire from Hauraki or from Bradbury. While media bias is nowhere as extreme as other nations, some of the recent attacks are extremely unacceptable.
International media outlets are much more extreme, especially in the United States, with the infamous Fox News, which has been lampooned by many as a propaganda network and has been the victim of many a John Oliver segment. But sadly, in Britain, Rupert Murdoch’s papers hold sway and Corbyn’s victory has made the papers look even more desperate to stop Labour from getting back into Number 10. The Express, the Daily Mail and the Sun have launched an attack making the bizarre claims his bike is a symbol of him being a Marxist, he welcomed an asteroid hitting the earth, one of his ancestors ran a workhouse and make no pretence of their anger and hatred, labelling him Marxist at every turn. Sadly, we see RT showing a left wing bias with people labelling it a mouthpiece of the Kremlin, anti-American and anti-West with the Guardian, a well known left leaning newspaper saying RT was the “prostitution of journalism.”
I have nothing against people having an opinion, we all have the right to one and I do enjoy civilised, well thought debate through sharing these opinions, but when major news outlets actively skew facts, report half truths and attempt to influence the voters of their country, that is when we must take a stand. We do not want a media that actively lies or report only a small portion of what is actually true and something must be done to bring back a standard of decency to political journalism in this country.