Thursday, July 12, 2012

McNaught on the media

the Herald today has "Twelve Questions with Anita McNaught". But rather than being the usual celebrity bullshit, there's actually some interesting stuff in there about modern journalism and the cost of our media's relentless cost-cutting:

I've watched foreign news coverage shrink year-on-year in the New Zealand media. I also think it's vital to have New Zealand voices out there in the thick of world events, reporting back. NZ television pays a lot of money to organisations like the BBC and ITN to run and re-edit their material.

But at the end of the day it's still the British perspective and the NZ one is different.

Very different. Ask a kiwi about the "war on terror", or the banks, or the European Union, and you'll get a very different answer from the one you'll get from the British establishment. We're being fed a foreign perspective on world events, which in turn influences how our government responds to them.

McNaught is also pretty blunt about the institutional limits on what she does:

it's hard now for journalists to openly question - let alone oppose - those who ultimately pay their salaries. Climate change is a much bigger story than Al Qaeda. The world economic crisis is the greatest unfolding investigative story ever still to be completely told. People are living in a criminal system masquerading as "free market economics". But is the corporate media equipped to tackle this?
And this is why we need well-funded public service media: to tell the truths the corporate media doesn't want us to hear. Instead, we're cutting it and preparing to privatise. This doesn't just undermine our media, but our democracy.