The Commercial News Media

We’ve got a very strange situation here in New Zealand. One of our foremost newscasters has entered into a relationship with Sky City Casinos.
Reports are sketchy, but it is understood that he gets paid a $2000 per month retainer. He gets free meals and other benefits purely for being seen in the casino gambling.
There is moral outrage. People are questioning whether he should be promoting gambling. That’s not my issue right now. My main concern is to do with media and impartiality. He has taken a major hit to his credibility because he can’t be seen to be asking any difficult questions about Sky City’s operations – and there are plenty of questions about that right now.
It doesn’t help that the radio station that he works for is well known as one to intersperse advertorial content with journalism, so that you can’t really tell the difference between them. Announcers on this radio station have absolutely no problem with promoting a vitamin supplement in the same way that they might discuss a political issue.
I’m going as far as to say it’s completely turned me off 1ZB. I’m listening to podcasts much more than I used to.

3 Comments to “The Commercial News Media”

  1. Kevin 28 April 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Really? This bothers you? News media lost impartiality the first time they took advertising money and it’s been on a downward spiral every since. Impartiality in the media is a myth these days.

    • Steve Voisey 28 April 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Yes. It bothers me.
      No, we can’t trust that anyone doesn’t have an agenda. But when 1ZB wraps ads up so they look like stories, I turn off.
      Have a look at mediawatch on RNZ or media7 on tvnz7 for a robust criticism of NZ’s journalism.

  2. Claire 28 April 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    I have not been able to listen to commercial radio for years. Too many advertisements, advertorials, the inability of the DJ / radio announcer to play their own selection, control of ‘the message’ by the corporations who own the media outlet and their total obeisance to sponsoring corporations. Is there such a thing as free speech anymore? The foremost newscaster’s relationship with Sky City Casino is merely a more public example of what already happens. Kevin is right. And yes Steve, we do need to keep TVNZ7.

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