Change must be highly contagious

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought much-needed and urgent changes in journalism around the world, with more to come. New Zealand has so far been shielded from the worst effects of the contagion and this year will determine whether our media have been lulled into the same dangerous complacency that stopped the country’s shoppers from using contact-tracing scanners while infection rates skyrocket overseas.

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We could all do with a laugh

Last week I suffered a rare bout of depression. I was pursued by the Black Dog due to a situation over which I had no control. It wasn’t the Coronavirus pandemic but that didn’t help. Nor did the news media.

I negotiated my way out of the darkness with the help of my wife, my brother and a good friend. I realised most of the stresses in my life – like editing a newspaper – had been matters over which I could exercise a measure of control and my black mood was caused not by the current situation but the fact that I couldn’t fix it.

The depression lifted with the realisation that I had to rely on others to resolve the issue.

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Post-lockdown NZ media revert to attack journalism

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Journalists endanger one of the cornerstones of their profession when they lose sight of the fact that politics is a contest for power. And in New Zealand right now their vision is blurred.

Emboldened by opposition politicians eager to exploit real or imagined weaknesses in the post-lockdown management of Covid-19, some news media are indulging in a blame game.

They are the eager messengers of ‘knocking stories’ that seek to reverse public perceptions that the Government and its ministries did a good job in containing a virus that is decimating other countries.

Not that the Labour-led government did everything right. It didn’t. However, in the giddy pursuit of accusations and culprits, journalists are losing their sense of balance. And, in the process, public confidence in our health systems is being undermined. Continue reading “Post-lockdown NZ media revert to attack journalism”