A little spin goes too far in a pandemic

Pandemics require two things: The efficient administering of effective vaccines, and truth.

I need reassurance that the country is receiving both.

The first is the only way we achieve herd immunity without the need for large funeral pyres. The second is vital to maintain public confidence and faith that the Government will get the job done.

Weeks before New Zealand Herald columnist Matthew Hooton wrote his column last Thursday suggesting the supply of vaccine was running out, I had that niggly journalistic sensation in my scalp that there were things we (the public) were not being told. Continue reading “A little spin goes too far in a pandemic”

A four-letter word spells trouble for media

New hate speech laws are heading our way and we may have grounds to dislike them. In fact, we might hate them.

Communication Minister Kris Faafoi has provided Cabinet with an indication of what we can expect in legislation that was flagged following the Christchurch mosque attacks. We will see legislation that seeks to change the incitement provisions of the Human Rights Act and make incitement a criminal offence under the Crimes Act.

The thinking in Faafoi’s 11-page Cabinet paper parallels some of the thinking in proposed British legislation that is considerably more wide ranging. The UK Bill attempts to regulate harmful digital communications in way that far outstrips our own laws in that area by imposing on the likes of Facebook and Twitter a ‘duty of care’. Continue reading “A four-letter word spells trouble for media”

Double fault by tennis superstar Naomi Osaka

 

Tennis superstar Naomi Osaka has put the ball over the line again with her refusal to “do any press” at the French Open.

What she couched as support for mental health is, in fact, a grandiose gesture that suggests the 23-year-old is getting too big for her Nike Air Zoom GP Turbos.

“I’m writing this to say I’m not going to do any press during Roland Garros,” said Osaka in a statement posted to her social media accounts. “I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes’ mental health and this rings true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We are often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me.” Continue reading “Double fault by tennis superstar Naomi Osaka”

Ego poisons radio’s culture

Commercial radio really must stop feeding the Ego Monster.

By over-inflating the self-worth of some of their employees, the broadcasters create risks for the public, toxic environments, and rods for their own backs.

The problem is not limited to radio hosts, although they are the most obvious manifestation of the abnormality. It affects executives and, indeed, anyone in the organisation who buys into the belief that they are personally contributing to success in the latest audience ratings. Continue reading “Ego poisons radio’s culture”