Here’s Radio NZ’s Mediawatch review of the (let’s be kind): pre-reporting of a Labour Party leadership coup, and Duncan Garner’s part in further lowering the public’s trust in the media — if that was possible. [Discussed earlier in my post, Leave Duncan Garner alone! (And stop blaming the weed.)] It’s worth a listen.
— extract from Radio NZ Mediawatch 14 July 2013. Full episode available here at radionz.co.nz
Trust is a fickle thing. A journo’s ‘good sources’ sometimes can (and do) lead them astray, making the reporter and their news outlet little more than a puppet — a tool in a bigger game. (See: Every source leaks for a reason, Patrick.)
Later in that same episode of Mediawatch (listen here) veteran Australian political correspondent Kerry-Anne Walsh discusses the machinations and twisted loyalties of media-as-players (or pawns?) in Kevin Rudd’s overthrow of Julia Gillard as Australian Labor Party leader and prime minister. Walsh’s book, The Stalking of Julia Gillard documenting it looks good.
In my view it’s dodgy, bordering on corrupt, for a journo (whose duty is to the public, surely?) to take sides or to act as a guided or unguided missile in ego-fuelled scrambles for power. Such shenanigans are best left to the attack bloggers. They erode public confidence, even as the journo breathlessly pants ‘destablization campaign’, in a manner akin to how The Daily Mail huffs & puffs about Amanda Palmer: ‘OH MY GOD, NIPPLE!’
The credibility of ‘da news media’ is a fragile thing, subject to depreciation and decay in value like any capital.
There’s an old joke about an upper middle class man in Victorian England observed being shunned at ‘the club’ by his fellows. Someone asked one of the club members what heinous crime he’d committed to warrant the cold shoulder, to which he was told: ‘That’s Garner. He touched his capital.’
Events like last week’s, and Duncan Garner’s sad-to-watch thrashing about in the aftermath, trying for all he was worth to smear Clayton Cosgrove, and attempting to shout down the fact that he, Duncan, had published FALSE REPORTS (sorry, D, but that’s how it looks) certainly don’t build the ‘capital’ of public trust in the media.
We all look like bunnies.
(PS I like and respect Duncan Garner, in case that’s not clear. And he has no shortage of courage.)