Fishy angling lets Banks off the hook
Two Johnnies spared by Stuff’s journalistic suplex.
Kim Dotcom’s visit to Parliament yesterday provided a number of potential news angles. Fairfax Media avoided all of them.
Instead, they once again reverted the inverted triangle of news writing, and entered the story from the one tiny positive Dotcom delivered to the underfire Prime Minister and his slipperiest employee, John Banks.
So, while the New Zealand Herald had “Dotcom: ‘Hurt’ by Banks denial of friendship”, and an intro saying he “believes the Epsom MP should stand down from his ministerial portfolios”, Stuff.co.nz ran with the polar opposite, telling their readers that “John Banks has been through enough and it’s time to move on”.
In fact, Fairfax’s angle was so far down the less partisan Herald’s list of newsworthy points, that Stuff’s intro was the very last paragraph in their story. As one Opposition MP pointed out; “Anyone would think they’re different events!”
Radio New Zealand reported that “John Banks knew, says Kim Dotcom” and “Dotcom went public after ‘hurt feelings’ over Banks. So un-newsworthy was the Fairfax angle, that RNZ didn’t report it at all. TVNZ news had “Government ‘threatened’ by Banks affair – Dotcom”, and TV3 focussed on the absense of Banks himself during Dotcom’s visit, only referring very briefly to Fairfax’s “news angle” at the end of their story.
Only the Prime Minister’s mates at Fairfax led with a positive angle for the two Johns, an angle so flimsy, and so indicative of clutching at straws, that it cannot be taken as anything other than Fairfax’s latest attempt to protect John Key from the New Zealand public.
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