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Mediawatch: Running the numbers on the PM’s media schedule – Another somewhat biased piece of reporting – Sloppy Journalism #43

21/06/2021

Interesting piece for a number of reasons

I have been a listener to this RNZ programme for some years and have found the programme interesting, relevant and useful. Rarely have I taken exception to an item. However, I have not been enamoured of Hayden Donnell pieces as was the one under consideration today.

My overall impression was that again this was a rather biased piece, not up to the programme’s past standards. It gave the impression of balance, but I came away with the impression that the article was written to give a more positive view of Ardern, than was warranted. The impression was heightened when I took into account the attacks of a personal nature on Mike Hosking and Barry Soper.

Ardern commented:

“I don’t think anyone would argue that I’m not available, I’m not able to be questioned on issues of the day, but I do want to do a better job of reaching into some other corners where people might not get information from sources like ZB or even the Herald,”

Note the caveat ” I’m not able to be questioned on issues of the day

This tends to support Hosking’s comment:

She hates a hard question. She hates fact. She hates accountability. She hates not being fawned over.

And Tim Watkins comment

You’re the prime minister. Suck it up, deal with it, toughen up, and actually front up,” he said.

Recent radio has encompassed:

one on The Rock where she was asked about her TradeMe account and another on The Hits where she shared that she had set a date for her wedding.

Several of Ardern’s recent media bookings have reinforced the theory that she’s only interested in softball questions.

Earlier this month, she appeared for a relatively unchallenging podcast interview with David Axelrod, a former senior advisor in the Obama administration.

Donnell summed up

But while she may no longer be engaging in weekly verbal warfare with the nation’s most popular commercial radio broadcaster, it doesn’t appear she’s eschewing scrutiny altogether. 

She’s still sucking it up and fronting up – albeit for different audiences with different concerns.

Overall, I still think Donnell came to a relatively soft conclusion

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