Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Who watches the watchers.

For the longest time I have tried to avoid as much daily news as possible. Apart from the depressing version of life that is presented to the masses on an hourly basis, I see a more hideous agenda at play; that of the media becoming our moral compass.

Some years ago I made a decision not to watch the television news, and I have been much happier since.
Basically I believe it's mostly bollocks. Any time I personally have been involved in some news story I have been dismayed over the inaccuracies of the reporting. I once even rewrote an article for a reporter to clear up some issues over technical accuracy - the editor changed it back saying the original draft made better copy. I challenge you - next time you listen to the news, look for reporter bias - and listen what they are trying to make YOU believe.

Sure, as humans we cant help but have opinions. The problem I see with most (if not all) media, is a lack of balance. So many journalists now seem to be pushing their own personal agendas along with their stories. This I wouldn't have a problem with if the reporter said "I believe..." or "I think..." . But they don't.
They always seem to speak opinion as fact - and often they are just plain wrong.

I wonder sometimes if we can actually have news without opinion. Perhaps not. Even so I would prefer a report that served up the facts, and an item that didn't attempt to make our minds up for us. Perhaps that type of reporting no longer exists, because what a TV or Radio station report now simply reflects the bias of their owners. At least FOX News in the USA is honest enough to not hide this behind this fact.
In the years ahead I cant help but wonder if people will simply choose to tune into the news bias "they" want to hear. Moral compass indeed.

A local example of an issue that has been fucking me off lately, is the Tony Veitch affair.
I refuse point blank to justify domestic violence in any shape or form, but the way the media have continued to report this incident has been atrocious.
Encouraging opinions from the public, when the all the facts are unknown is ,at best, trial by media. Interviewing social commentators, who are simply pushing their own platforms is ethically bankrupt. Just today - the New Zealand Herald reported further information from "a source that does not want to be named". This person or persons unknown revealed more inflammatory information to the public on this matter. There is no proof supplied stating this information is correct, the anonymity ensures there is no right of rebuttal.

Frankly it stinks to high heaven.

This is a matter for the Police to pursue privately after detailed discussions with both parties involved. Emotions may have paid a large part in the attack, but for justice to be done here the facts of the case must be investigated by those with a vested interest in the truth, not special interests or audience numbers.
One can but wonder how far this reporting will go on. I would hope that eventually someone would offer both parties the help they require to move on with their lives. Mr Veitch obviously has a long road ahead of him. What he has done is very wrong. I just wonder if the New Zealand public can get off their high horse long enough to offer their heartfelt assistance to those perpetuating, and being impacted by, domestic violence.

I do however, have some searching questions about Mr Veitch..

Do you believe you can find it in your heart to forgive?
Must someone be destroyed completely to be redeemed?
Can he ever make amends for what he has done?

I just hope your answers don't depend on what TV news you subscribe to.


Anonymous said...

I suspect the view from the high horse is too fine to walk away from.

Interest added to my student loan over a 3 month period, $612.78. And yes, I did make a payment 3 months ago.

I wonder how many of NZ's students will never get home from overseas because nobody made it clear that even if they were repaying their loan from jobs taken overseas to try and pay the loan fast, that the interest rates would be so high. And that it's not about repayments starting after you earn over $15,000 nz ...

At my present repayment rate, I'll owe $100,000 by 2020 - $70,000 more than I had to borrow to get my degree.

Parents, teach your children how to work hard through university, support them, pay for it, whatever but never ever let them sign up for a student loan unless they're guaranteed a good job on the other side of it and for goodness sake, don't let them leave the country.

Mark J said...

I'm just happy I worked out who Anonymous was :)

Why aren't you posting under your normal name? I've been trying to catch up with you for over a week on Skype, but unlike me you've probably got a life :)

Jacie said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you about 'news' reporting. I gave up reading newspapers years ago because of the subtle and even more often not so subtle bias. A few months ago I also gave up my lifetime habit of turning on the tv news as soon as I woke up. So often these days news is turned into entertainment which is quite frankly sick! These days if I want to know what's going on (and some days I must confess I don't!) I read a variey of online news sources from Reuters to Al Jezeerah. Don't know anything about Tony Veitch (apart from what I've just read online) - he's admitted he did wrong though so would have to give him credit for that and hope that it was in fact an isolated incident - good thought-provoking post though Mark

Manictastic said...

News never was objective and it will never be. The only thing which is dangerous with news is that people will start taking the news source which most closely relates to their views as the only objective news source. That limits perspective and creates ignorance and one-sidedness.

Mark J said...

Thanks for all the comments guys.

Manic - you've hit the mail on the head with your post. Exactly the point I was trying to make :)