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Dom Post editor proud to be “setting the news agenda”

May 26, 2012

So much for fair, accurate and balanced reporting.

Dominion Post editor Bernadette Courtney has pointed to an increase in readership as a justification for spinning the news into propaganda.

But, let’s be clear about several points here. 

Firstly, her piece on page three of today’s Dom Post quotes “readership” rather than “circulation”.  This is an old advertising sales strategy to make a publication with poor circulation look more popular.  Readership means the number of people who flick through the paper in the smoko room at work, or in the cafe while they’re waiting for their coffee.  It is not a reflection of the numbers who actually buy the paper.  The fact that the Dom Post is the only daily newspaper in the Wellington region probably has something to do with its high readership, but this in no way means we’re happy about the ongoing political bias.  According to their figures, I am a “reader” myself, and you probably are as well.  And, I’m sure that Pyongyang’s only daily newspaper has great readership figures too.

Secondly, with the region’s ever-increasing numbers of unemployed, there will no doubt be an army of folks turning to the Dom Post’s pages in their efforts to find work.  This is hardly the glowing vindication of partisan political coverage that Courtney claims when she writes: “we take this as a signal that our readers enjoy our commitment to setting the news agenda”.

Her careful wording here is no doubt a response to mounting criticism of Fairfax Media’s Rightwing political bias, and I suppose that, when a media corporation cannot deny publishing propaganda, they must somehow attempt to defend it.

Clearly, Fairfax think it’s okay to mislead New Zealanders and to take the piss out of our democracy, as long as they are selling newspapers.  Please share this blog and join us on Facebook!/groups/fearfacts/ to let them know that this is certainly not okay.


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