Mike Hosking: Media have brought distrust on themselves - but there is hope

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 6 May 2021, 5:17PM
(Photo / File)
(Photo / File)

Mike Hosking: Media have brought distrust on themselves - but there is hope

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 6 May 2021, 5:17PM

A lesson in why it’s wise to see surveys essentially for what they are.

The headline was that we don’t trust our media as much as we did. The research is from the AUT Research Centre for Journalism Media and Democracy, and it found all news brands in the country have been hit in the trust department.

So on the surface you’re supposed to go ‘oooh, that’s a bit of a worry’,

But here’s the thing: when you ask broad questions, you get broad answers.

Asking do you trust the media is like asking do you trust the power industry, do you trust the government, do you trust the police. You can’t answer it properly.

As it stands, I don’t trust the media and I’m in it, but I trust bits and in that is the key.

Trust requires work. The media as a whole in this country is in a parlous and decaying state. Journalism sadly is frequented by too many inexperienced people, naïve people, thick people, and people on band wagons.

Not that that hasn’t always been the case. But the not surprising bit is, like so many industries, media has been hit hard in recent years.

Journalism isn’t what it was, it’s not valued as it has been, it’s not all that well paid, and as a result you end up with a fairly ordinary collective.

But if you want to, there is still plenty of gold left. There is plenty of brain power, experience, insight and cleverness.

You just have to be interested enough to dig for it.

The biggest scam in modern media and this is why the figures have fallen also, is too many still claim to be neutral, still claim that time honoured stance of no fear no favour, when I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt as a 40 year veteran of this game that they’re lying to you.

The last election campaign exposed some shocking bias, dressed up as neutrality.  So in a lot of respects they have no one to blame but themselves

But there is light and hope. New Zealand’s number is 48 – as in 52 percent don’t trust the media. In Australia its 38, in the UK its 28, so it could be a lot worse, and given that, there is hope.

Hope for a few people who need to tidy their act up and turn the tide.