Tuesday, December 15, 2015

HEADLINE MANIPULATION

I was going to write about what I suspect was the final political poll for the year which saw National increase its share of the vote to well over 51% and Labour inch up 0.1% to 31% but I won't, except to say that the Maori Party will be pleasantly surprised with their 2.1% support.

So instead let's focus on what (if it were true) is the quite alarming headline in today's Herald here that almost one child in three in NZL was living in 'poverty'. Were that the case then I, for one, would be marching in the streets and Labour would be riding high in the polls, but it ain't.   Drill, down further into the article and you find that the number of children living in 'material hardship' which had increased from 14% in 2007 (under Labour) to 21% in 2011 (under National) has now dropped back to to the 2007 level.    

For most people, not pointy headed academics, the words 'poverty' and 'material hardship' mean much the same thing so are we to be forgiven for a degree of confusion?

I do agree that one child living in poverty is one too many but poverty is a relative term and, while the government has a part to play in helping to alleviate true poverty, it can never provide the total answer.  In the end it comes back to the individual.   I suspect Lindsay Mitchell would have some sage comment on that.

And in the meantime crap headlines from crap media rules OK.  

 

4 comments:

Andrew Berwick said...

I do agree that one child living in poverty is one too many
Nope, the problem with NZ is not enough kids starving - not to few!

The Veteran said...

Andrew ... are you really serious because, if you are, YOU have a serious problem (and, BTW, think you meant too ... wanting in literary skills too!!!!!)

Anonymous said...

Is this the same crap media that is applauded when publishing a Labour/NZFirst/Green politicians transgressions?

Just a word on relative poverty. A kid today without a modern laptop/tablet is as disadvantaged as a 1960's kid unable to afford books.

Lord Egbut

The Veteran said...

Egbut ... Go back to what I said ... one kid in poverty is one too many. But the media, banding about terms like poverty and extreme deprivation as meaning quite different things, when to Mr & Mrs Average they are interchangeable, only serves to muddy the waters.

You mentioned relative poverty and no great argument from me. I note too that according to the Anglican Church here a measure of poverty is when the child is not afforded a two week holiday away from home. That, I think, is pushing the envelope a tad.

Finally, you and I both know the media takes great delight in promoting transgressions by politicians of all shapes sizes and persuasions. In that context and your nice Mr Corbyn can do himself a favor by not writing references for con-men (and possible terrorists). The statement from his office that he did so without knowing the full facts of the case is even more damning.