Clearly, this is in response to social media chat that it may prevent or mitigate the effects of COVID. It may also be in response to a warning issued by Medsafe yesterday that, "Ivermectin is NOT APPROVED to prevent or treat COVID-19, which means that Medsafe has not assessed the safety and efficacy for this use. Inappropriate use of ivermectin can be dangerous."
The Stuff article sounds plausible and good on them for
putting the "truth" out there if that's their intention. But here's
the problem. Not many people trust Stuff anymore, and that goes for mainstream
media generally. That mistrust may be caused by the propensity of some
politicians (domestic and overseas) to claim the media is biased or promotes
fake news, but the media must also shoulder some responsibility
Stuff, in particular, has gone woke and taken advocacy
positions consistent with a view promoted by central Government. As a result,
growing numbers no longer believe it is impartial and do not trust it as a
reliable source of information, at least not as much as they did even a few
The political environment is also different. We now have a
government with an authoritarian attitude, intent on reversing many things that
have to date been taken for granted. By its own admission it is introducing
fundamental social change, and alarmingly has extended its influence into the
private sector media, like Stuff who receives financial assistance from the
Government to "sustain" itself. People will therefore logically be
suspicious that the quid-pro-quo is toeing the Government's line. Whether that
is true or not is a secondary issue - the point is there is now a reason for
people to come to that view.
Is it therefore no surprise that many readers are turning
away from the mainstream media and onto alternative platforms like Youtube or FaceBook.
Surely the best way Stuff could convince people that what it publishes can be relied upon is for its writers and illustrators/cartoonists to return to the principles on which good journalism is based: Accuracy, Fairness and Balance. Then more people may believe what they say.
Frank Newman, a political commentator and investment analyst, is a former local body councillor.