Friday, February 07, 2014

The racist Herald

Yesterday was Waitangi Day, and to celebrate it the New Zealand Herald stuck a white-power logo on its front page and declared itself to be a "protest-free zone".

[Photo by @AniOBrien; I'm stealing The Standard's copy until Flickr solves its security-certificate problem]

As I pointed out yesterday, this is pretty much par for the course for the Herald. The newspaper was founded by a racist to promote the theft of Maori land. And I expect there's a rich vein to be mined in Papers Past and in more recent archives digging up their history of racism.

But there's another issue here. The Herald purports to be our "newspaper of record", and yet it has taken an editorial decision to erase one side of our national debate about who we are as a country completely from the conversation. That's deeply troubling for our democracy and a failure of their duty as a media organisation. Its also quite likely a breach of basic press standards, notably those of balance and non-discrimination. If you'd like to do something about that, you can complain to the press Council here.