Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Damned lefty journos!

Over at Kiwiblog, a debate has broken out over the latest Pew Centre survey, which shows that journalists are predominantly liberal, substantially more than the average US voter.
Of course, as Rex Wilderstrom says, many journos can produce straight news despite their political leanings.
Indeed, I was once praised for a piece on unions using new technology by my lefty workmates.
As someone with 15 years journalism experience I can confirm that righties are in a minority.
Typically in the newsroom, as a 'conservative' , I would be in a small minority, sometimes of one, whether I was in the UK, Australia or New Zealand. And be it a trade mag or daily newspaper.
There are several reasons for this.
One is journalism is likely to attract those of a campainging, let's change the world bent.
Though we all have to start somewhere, even covering flower shows before you are let loose on your local council or community board.
Media companies tend not to be the best of employers and pay rates have lagged other groups, sometimes not even moving at all. Prices have risen faster. Thus, the average reporter might be somewhat 'anti-employer' based on their own treatment. Indeed, I am more left wing on employment issues than other issues based on my own treatment.
And if you are more capitalist in nature, where money matters more, you will probably move into public relations, a 'sell out' I may make myself one day soon.
However, the impact of this on the wider MSM and populace is bad.
If newsrooms are dominated by lefties, the media will increasingly see things from one view.
What might outrage the latte left in Grey Lynn won't be of interest to the blue rinse brigade in Remeura or the farmers in the Waikato.
The newspaper will just become an Helengrad echo chamber talking to half of the country.
This is why the Sunday Star-Times is significantly losing readership. It is shedding readers by the ten thousand for its overwhelming liberal-left values. More right-wing readers are being turned off by it and the paper is also failing to chase those stories that appeal more to the right. It is not getting the scoops. It has lost touch with much of New Zealand.
The more centrist Herald on Sunday thus prospers as it is more pluralistic and accessible to all.
As for television news, TV1 and TV3 survive thanks to their cosy duopoly. But of there was real competition?
The TV news especially has been widely condemened for its pro-left bias and sycophancy to Dear Leader. But what can we righties do about it?
Well, it is easy to slag off 'lefty journos' but I doubt you will win them over with abuse.
Far better to be constructive. By all means say where they have got it wrong but help them to get it right. They are more interested usually in getting a good story than serving Dear Leader. APN and Fairfax pay their wages, not the Liarbour government. If they had the goods to bring down Dear Leader, they would do so, even if most might prefer to bring down John Key.
I recall the avoidance of the Doonegate issue in 2005, where the former Sir Humphreys blog had the evidence Helen lied to a sunday newspaper editor to help get rid of the former police commissioner, and only Investigate took up the story, complete with a media 'cover up' angle.
I doubt this will happen again. For Election 2008, the blogs have more power. Kiwiblog has as many readers as a medium-sized daily, if not more. David Farrar has many influential readers in Wellington too. The newspapers have their own bloggers, some of which take comments too.
Thus, in 2008 Sir Humphreys would have been able to post its comments on Colin Espiners blog, for example, and berate him directly for not looking into Doonegate. Other readers would see the evidence too. No longer could the story be ignored or sat on.
Anyway, if you are unhappy with your media, tell them and point the reporters in the right direction, as it were. Write letters, emails, suggest story ideas. Editors of whatever bent want to be in touch with their readers. And if you have a few million spare, set up a newspaper.
I'm sure Auckland has the market for a right-wing afternoon tabloid, perhaps based on the London Evening Standard model, or the 'Metro' frees of the UK, of MX in Australia.
Finally, while we might despair at media lefties, at least, it seems, the nerds are on our side, with PC World US noting strong conservative leanings among the techies.
Obviously, they are the bright ones!


Anonymous said...

Kind of hard to deal with the Newspapers, but TVNZ (and RadioNZ even more so) can be dealt with easily:

either sell them as going concerns - or my preference: close them down, sell the assets & frequencies, and that's it!

dad4justice said...

Klark and Key to Burns : drop dead deadbeat dad.