Friday, February 2, 2018

Frank Newman: Junk news cut and paste

A headline from a press release by Oxfam NZ, read: "Richest 1% of Kiwis bagged 28% of all wealth created last year". The press release issued as part of a global campaign to coincide with the annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Press release HERE)

The NZ Herald "reported" the release by extracting large chunks of text, without interviewing anyone that may hold a contrary opinion. (See NZ Herald HERE)

Here are extracts from the Press Release.

"A staggering 28 per cent of all wealth created in New Zealand in 2017 went to the richest 1 per cent of Kiwis. While the 1.4 million people who make up the poorest 30 per cent of the population got barely 1 per cent, according to new research released by Oxfam today. 

"Trickle-down economics isn’t working. The extreme gap between the very rich and the very poor in our country is shocking. As new wealth is created it continues to be concentrated in the hands of the already extremely wealthy.

"To end the global inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not the very few rich and powerful.

"Let’s have a national conversation about tax. Labour’s Tax Working Group and the opportunity it provides New Zealand to examine the structure, fairness and balance of the New Zealand tax system, is a huge opportunity to ensure our economy reflects the fairness that is innately Kiwi. It also offers an opportunity for New Zealand to provide an example to many developing countries in using a fairer tax system to reduce the extreme gap between the very rich and the very poor."

Quite frankly the press release is junk PR, and the media turned it into junk news.

Even if the Herald did not have the inclination to obtain a counter comment from someone local, it could have added balance into the report by extracting comments from an article published by the Foundation for Economic Education called "Oxfam Cares More About Ideology than Poverty". (See article HERE)

It appears the Herald chose not to undertake even a cursory Google search to bring balance into its reporting.

Frank Newman, an investment analyst and columnist. A former councillor on the Whangarei District Council, he writes a weekly article for Property Plus.


Brian said...

Junk News equates into Bias Reporters
Frank is quite right in his analysis; we as a nation only get a Left wing version sanitised to demonise the Right in Politics.
For a long time decades in fact, the Socialists have been insidiously entering the Media, in their desire to control what is published, and eventually controlling what we the public should know, and be informed about.
The victory achieved by Maori Iwi in the continuation of perennial Claims is very obvious, when any opposition to this NZ version of Dane Geld is quelled immediately by labelling the critics as Racists. Consequently this passes into print, into our T.V. and radio without a murmur of discontent, from an apathetic public too indoctrinated, or demoralised to challenge its contents.
Our major papers have generated into mere social journalistic rags, imparting local items and banal news which ignore the real issues that confront us all. This ostrich like attitude is an insult in any democracy; but contributes no end to the justification of the decisions passed by our representatives in Parliament. Of which, the Appointed ones follow their Party instructions to the letter, with the remainder unsure of whether to be honest stand out against injustice, or merely take the easy option.
One has only to view the NZ Herald on Saturday to realise that independent journalism is a thing of the past, with their major World News items on the USA gleaned from the Democratic Party whose continual onslaught against President Trump is always to the fore.
On Environmental issues, there is clear media evidence of support for our Luddite Greens in every incident. Little mention is paid to any Green Party action over spillages incurred by Local Government Authorities; such as the one which affected the Auckland Beaches. Instead we are bombarded with instantly with hostile anti-farming rhetoric, and rejoicing in the prosecution of a Farmer who accidently incurred the wrath of Environmentalists.
Just where are the fair-minded debates on our T.V and Radio over controversial issues, when both sides have an equal opportunity to present their view points. Just is there any really independent Chairman or women left to conduct a meeting fairly and without bias? Preferably one with an audience not selected and stacked with a majority of hostile young radical left wing supporters! Brian

Frank Newman said...

As a matter of interest, here is the first principle as published by the NZ Press Council

"Accuracy, Fairness and Balance
Publications should be bound at all times by accuracy, fairness and balance, and should not deliberately mislead or misinform readers by commission or omission. In articles of controversy or disagreement, a fair voice must be given to the opposition view.
Exceptions may apply for long-running issues where every side of an issue or argument cannot reasonably be repeated on every occasion and in reportage of proceedings where balance is to be judged on a number of stories, rather than a single report."

By not giving "a fair the opposition view" it would appear the NZ Herald is in breach of those guidelines.