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Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Upheaval an opportunity for direction

For somebody who doesn’t necessarily like Taylor Swift, her lyrics have held a lot of weight in my life.

“I think I’ve seen this film before; And I didn’t like the ending”, she sings in her powerhouse ballad ‘Exile’.

The ominous turn of phrase only echoes the current turn of events being seen within media reporting of the newly elected government.

The media industry needs a level of self-awareness, and regardless of the policies that raise red flags for media independence, there still needs to be an inherent grasp on the principles of how media is supposed to function.

I am not afraid to admit that my own ideologies lean very left, but there has been a stark change in what is considered to be left.

I believe wholeheartedly in what was once seen as leftist ideology – freedom of expression, bodily autonomy, and other things like same-sex marriage and equal rights.

The problem comes when the line is so heavily blurred between left and right that no matter which government is elected to power, there is no win for anybody.

Media coverage of the current coalition has been, in my opinion, heavily convoluted to ensure public distrust and distaste in principle and policy.

While I don’t particularly subscribe to some of the ideology present by the three-way – based on personal experience and political belief – there seems to be an overwhelming level of cynicism within media coverage of our ever-evolving political landscape.

Sure, some policies make me want to pull my hair our from the root, but some of it makes an awful lot of sense.

I’m sure many right-leaning felt the same way under the previous Labour Government.

There’s a strange idea or thought that journalists shouldn’t have political views, which is farcical in a sense because there’s never going to be a person alive who doesn’t have an opinion.

The problem comes when it is abundantly clear that a mainstream media outlet has a grudge against the current government and continues to critique them for things that, if done under a Labour Government, would have instead been applauded – or at least critiqued less harshly.

Some might call this personal growth, wisdom, or simply just “growing up” but there’s a very clear window of opportunity here for New Zealand to restructure the way in which we report on political and governmental changes.

With NewsHub and TVNZ seemingly splintering and falling apart at the seams, this is a prime opportunity for us to re-establish how the media reports and responds to changing governments.

There will always be an opportunity for critique, but the level of this seen since the three-way coalition was elected has quickly delved into something vicious, illogical, and no longer considering the bipartisan aims of media outlets.

Some might argue that changing values over generations has resulted in media outlets honing in on people who haven’t “caught up with the times”, but the role of media is to represent the interests of its readers and the public – including those who might not represent their own.

I will gladly continue to critique and criticise the current government in a way that is hopefully constructive in providing readers with food for thought, but rest assured, I will be doing the same when we inevitably switch back to red.

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