AM Show failed Ashley Bloomfield…and Mike King

The AM Show and its host Duncan Garner failed in their duty last week.

Mental health advocate Mike King made an unacceptable personal attack during the show on Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield, calling him “a nasty little man who is killing our kids”.

Garner’s response was: “They’re big claims to make. We’ll give him the right of reply.”

They weren’t “big claims”. They were an extreme attack that could well be found to be defamatory in the unlikely event that Bloomfield took civil action. Continue reading “AM Show failed Ashley Bloomfield…and Mike King”

That interview and its no-go-zones

We enter dangerous waters when we deem some subjects above criticism and those who invoke the topics to be voicing immutable truth.

Last week news media around the world found themselves navigating shoals and reefs in a Force Five gale created  by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

The Duchess, Meghan Markle, invoked not one but two topics from that growing list of sacrosanct subjects – racism and mental health – and, while I have no doubt that life in the Royal spotlight pushed her to the edge of stability, their choice placed her words above criticism or even analysis.

Continue reading “That interview and its no-go-zones”

Let’s find the sources of Small Democracy

Government assistance and the call for social platforms to pay their way have highlighted the role of the news media in Big Democracy – holding power to account and ensuring an informed electorate – but what about Small Democracy?

Small Democracy exists in  the finer ends of the community. It is the stuff that enables us to live and work in an equitable and informed way at a local level. 

It cascades from region to city to district to suburb. It targets all the community and it targets sections of the community. 

At each layer, there is a need for robust information.

Continue reading “Let’s find the sources of Small Democracy”

These are moving times

The Tuesday Commentary takes a break this week while we move into our new apartment. As you can see, the books are packed ready for the shift.

No journalist likes to leave a hole in the page so here is the beginning of a book I wrote in 2014, Trust Ownership and the Future of News: Media moguls and white knights (London, Palgrave). The issues it addresses are as real today as they were seven years ago.

Continue reading “These are moving times”