Saturday, October 29, 2011

Propaganda in New Zealand

One of the big things that the Labour party started and which National seem to have down to a fine art form is the amount of propaganda in the media.

I was in Auckland City yesterday and happened to see a small sea of tents in Aotea Square. The protest is still going. What protest you may ask? I remember seeing it on TV3 News. They were reporting that NZ's peaceful example of a worldwide protest was peaceful and ending "tomorrow". I'm sure that was more than a week ago. It's still going.... Doing a search of the TV3 News website shows a few opinion pieces telling us why we should all think that it's a half arsed protest. I'm of course talking about "Occupy Aotearoa".

So it's not finished, it's supposedly half arsed and yet there are still people in Aotea Square. I see this as a movement away from the "let's just trust the government is acting in our best interests" and more a move towards "Hey! We're still here! You remember us? The people you're supposed to be representing...".

A few months ago there was a protest around the "filesharing" act (by the way, this page is essentially a file that I've just shared with you... We ALL share files...). Anyway, the protest got next to no coverage.

And you have to wonder why. Protests traditionally have made great stories. "People are unhappy and shouting about it!". Instead we get a "There were a couple of hippy's in town today. They've since been moved on". Where is our outlet for dissent? Why are the thinkers now being marginalised? And if media was all about money, then wouldn't they want to jump on these stories?

Labour, back in Helen Clark's day, got a bill passed around filming embarrassing moments in parliament. It turns out politicians can't make decisions if they're worried someone's going to film them picking their ears/noses/other orifices.

National keep threatening (and acting on) shutting down state owned media - TVNZ 7 is receiving no more funding next year despite being the smartest channel on our screens and National Radio have been threatened numerous times. The current government have also essentially lent MediaWorks a lot of money for their radio spectrum licensing. Add to this that RadioLive (owned by MediaWorks) had John Keys do an hour show.

What is this all about? When's the last time you saw Phil Goff, Metiria Turei or Russel Norman get any decent air time? I can understand Phil Goff not getting airtime - he's forgettable. Russel Norman was part of the Mt Albert By-Election (National have fielded Melissa Lee again which just makes me think that they're not really fighting for the seat at all) but did little more than put up some boards. From what I've seen of Metiria Turei - she's one smart cookie with grounding in a very practical place. But those are just my impressions. Surely the media (especially the news) is about representing the stories out there, not colouring them to the current government's ends.

I'm at a loss as to how to end this post. Do we protest? Isn't that a bit like a tree falling in the woods? Do we boycott? Would any of you give up one of the few channels of news in protest? Any ideas you may have would be well appreciated....


  1. I happen to have a sneaking suspicion that the photographer who took all the pictures for the National Party billboards is a secret labour supporter. All the candidates look washed out and grey (though that may just be the genetic makeup of your average National Party candidate).

  2. Isn't that just because, rather than eat our brains, the zombies are working from the inside out?

    All they have to do is take over government and then get rid of any smart tv. Rot our brains instead...