As a Boomer I have been conditioned, throughout my life, to watch the six o’clock news, which usually meant the TV1 bulletin. Then, about eighteen months ago, growing tired of the increasingly pro-Labour, leftist tenor of their reporting, I switched to TV3.

Imagine my disappointment when I found, personified by their political reporter Jenna Lynch (the 2022 “political journalist of the year” no less) that Newshub’s effort was no more than a clone of TV1 in its levels of political bias.

This bias culminated in my switching back to TV1 after Lynch’s vitriolic attack on Winston Peters for airing his concerns about the obvious bribery inherent in the Public Interest Journalism Fund handouts.

Handouts that required their recipients to orient their editorial policies to support the highly debatable, leftist ideology of Labour’s Maori caucus and “Actively promote the principles of Partnership, Participation and Active Protection under Te Tiriti o Waitangi acknowledging Maori as a Te Tiriti partner”.

Payola (a word I use deliberately) that Newshub and the rest of the MSM had readily accepted.

Two channels then, but only one set of opinions, and that, in a nutshell, is the reason for the demise of Newshub. As Peter Williams commented in a recent piece on his substack: –

The reality is that Newshub, like every other mainstream media outlet, was not a truly independent voice. It was in lockstep with every other MSM outlet on the significant matters of our time – treaty issues, climate and Covid. It didn’t offer any alternative views…was there ever any thought given to changing the editorial stance? Was there ever any eye turned towards the success of right-leaning networks in the US, Australia and Britain?…I doubt it very much.

In the leadup to the election we desperately needed a MSM channel that presented the views of the majority of Kiwis who voted for the new Government and who clearly are not leftist in their thinking, so why did we not have one?

One reason could be that such a newsroom might have struggled to find journalists to work for them, given that a Massey University Journalism Study in 2022 showed a massive 87 per cent of journalists in New Zealand hold political views that are left of centre, including 20 per cent who go as far as to describe themselves as “hard left” or “extreme left”.

But the reason goes deeper than that, not just in NZ but in the USA too. The following extract from a recently released book Suppression, Deception, Snobbery, and Bias: Why the Press Gets So Much Wrong?And Just Doesn’t Care, by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer comments:

…the only group of Americans who say that the press understands them are college-educated Democrats. So what you have is a group of college-educated Democrat voters, the mainstream media, telling stories and reporting news only for fellow college-educated Democrats…The press has driven itself into a very narrow ideological cul-de-sac where they can now only relate to fellow college-educated Democrats… Additionally, both the reporters of a newer generation and their editors believe part of the job of a journalist is to sort right from wrong and tell the reader so.

Just substitute the words “leftist elites” for the word “Democrat” in this extract and you have an equal indictment of the NZ MSM.

Which also got me thinking. If our university-educated, leftist journos are simply spouting the views of our university-educated, leftist politicians, then what exactly are the qualifications that this latter group possesses that make them so laudable? And how do these qualifications compare with their opponents on the right.? Which is when it gets really interesting.

Looking at the university qualifications of key Labour figures of recent times Hipkins, Robertson, Ardern and Sepuloni you find their liberal arts degrees, tellingly at Bachelor level only, are degrees in Arts, Politics, Public Relations and Political Science, all of which have little relevance to the real world.

Similarly with the Greens, Marama Davis and Swarbrick have basic BA level degrees in the esoteric fields of Diplomacy, and Philosophy, plus a law degree for Swarbrick, but she never practised, so again, no experience of the real world between them.

And finally, with Te Pati Maori where both Ngarewa-Packer and Waititi have no qualifications at all.

Compare these with the qualifications of the new coalition government where Luxon sports a Masters in Business Management, Collins with LLB and LLM law degrees plus a Masters in Taxation, Seymour with his Engineering degree and Van Velden with Economics, Peters with his LLB, and even the rotund and orotund Jones sporting a Masters in Public Admin.

Altogether a higher level of intellectual achievement, and, most tellingly, achievement in fields with application to the real world, not some lightweight liberal arts subjects suited only to the navel gazing practised in the political enclaves of Wellington by our increasingly out-of-touch leftist elites.

And so, full circle to the demise of Newshub, the clone of TV1 in pandering to these leftist elites, which failed because it failed to recognise what its audience wanted. With the “younger generation” increasingly uninterested in viewing mainstream, free-to-air news, TV3 persisted in allowing its journalists to air their leftist opinions.

They were blind to the fact that the “older generation” was the demographic that did still view the six o’clock news. This demographic, with the real-world experience to know that socialism is not the answer to the world’s problems, is more conservative in its values and wants more balanced reporting, which they simply did not, and still do not, get from the MSM. So they switched it off.

One final comment. I use the past tense “did still view the six o’clock news” deliberately since, after the farce that was the Ngaruawahia, Ratana, Waitangi Day reporting by our supposedly unbiased public broadcaster, I no longer watch TV1’s “News” either.

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