Newspapers favoured Key - study
Tue, 27 Nov 2012 8:14a.m.
A study has found four of the country's most-read newspapers were biased during last year's election campaign, with Prime Minister John Key receiving far more coverage than then-Labour leader Phil Goff.
Research by Massey University Associate Professor Claire Robinson, a political marketing expert in the university's College of Creative Arts, reviewed images and column widths in the New Zealand Herald, Herald on Sunday, Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times during the campaign.
She found the papers showed "substantial bias" in their use of images - most of it in favour of Mr Key, who featured in 138 photos, while Mr Goff featured in 80.
Mr Key also dominated the column centimetres, at a ratio of almost two to one.
"Labour and Phil Goff have real grounds to feel they were unfairly treated in print during the last election campaign," Dr Robinson said.
"My research suggests there could be grounds for a complaint to the New Zealand Press Council that the newspapers breached the principle of fairness and balance in their campaign coverage."
Dr Robinson said both leaders received much more positive and neutral coverage than negative coverage from all four papers, but the Herald and Herald on Sunday were generally more positive in their treatment of Mr Key, while the Dominion Post and Sunday Star-Times were kinder to Mr Goff.
During the teapot tape saga, where a conversation between Mr Key and ACT leader John Banks was recorded following a photo opportunity, just days out from the election, Dr Robinson found "a dramatic shift" in image selection by the newspapers - which began to run highly unflattering shots of John Key.
In the final days of the campaign, none of the papers published a negative image of Mr Goff, but before the teapot tape scandal, more than one in three images of him were negative.
She said newspaper editors need to think again about the impact of images, not just words, on their audience.
"It is time they paid serious attention to the ethics of which images they publish, when and how."
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30/11/2012 11:21:53 p.m.
of course!! ive been saying it for 4 years . and its still going on right now they are slime bags stealing your democracy and your right to free and fair elections . who for the 1%ters big money . our nz media is utterly crupt its its bias toward national . and its how they plan to get key re elected again in 2014 tehy are scum ,all the mainstream media are in on this . taalk radio sports talk back , its an unreal con job on the nz voting population .on purpose.
28/11/2012 11:19:06 a.m.
@Kim. Have also had my left wing support messages not displayed. No surprise this particular article is in the 'trending today' column. A conspiracy perhaps?
28/11/2012 10:03:40 a.m.
Following on from my earlier post, the more I think about it the bigger a joke Dr Robinson's findings are.The Rena happened just before the election, so that would cover most of the extra images of Key in itself
28/11/2012 12:39:21 a.m.
An example of Bias and NOT reporting what happened.
On Oct 5th 2011 a disturbed Man Tried To Jump Into Parliament's Debating Chamber.Mr Key said "you should be ashamed of yourselves.” and “That’s down to you”. (refering to Labour). During the incident Mr Key made a throat-slitting gesture at the Labour Party. The Herald posted the story(online) but a few hours later they removed all mention of the throat-slitting!! and it was not mentioned in the print version. The BIG headline in the DomPost was 'Shame on Labour' cry at disturbed man in Parliament and no mention of the throat-slitting incident. Lockwood Smith then tried to ban the Herald reporters for a week as one had taken a photo of the man trying to jump.Thankfully TV3 covered the incident.http://www.3news.co.nz/VIDEO-Key-makes-hand-gesture-to-throat/tabid/419/articleID/228536/Default.aspx
28/11/2012 12:22:09 a.m.
they have been full on biased in favor of national 2008 non stop . i have been saying thia to the media for yers now this backs me up . it destroys peoples chaance at free and faie elections .
27/11/2012 11:05:43 p.m.
And to think that after he won the last election the PM took control over the entire media,that is to say during an election year no TV or media outlet is allowed to play programs that portray this government as having hurt those poor as was evident by the documentary shown by TV3 prior to the last election.If i remember right it was on poverty in NZ during Nationals reign.
This coupled with the governments Sterilisation program leaves one to ponder the question.Wasn't there a leader in history who experimented with sterilisation of the jews and controlled the media for his own propaganda purposes?Wasn't this man also responsible for the deaths of over 6 million jews and over 40 million worldwide?
Time will tell but I believe NZ is treading on very icy waters and may go down a path from which there is no return and this is what worries me most of all.
27/11/2012 5:38:45 p.m.
... anyone not locked into the tribal idiocy that leads to deranged ranting about how stupid and evil the other side is and how nothing that goes wrong is ever the fault of THEIR party and everything's bias against them could have told you this.
it's not just the print media, either. the absolute nonsense that was all the opinion polls in the lead up to the elections was substantially worse. these polls drive all Sorts of stupid behaviour ('strategic' voting, not bothering to vote because 'the other side will win anyway', and so on.)
i pretty much pin the entirety of National's win in the last election on this sort of nonsense.
27/11/2012 4:09:03 p.m.
I not all that convinced that anyone can blame the printed media. Throughout NZs political history, news papers have always shown a bias towards certain political parties. In the past, people actually thought about the party they were going to support. Now-a-days, people seem to be easily swayed. The seem to have lost the ability to think for themselves. In older days, people voted on party policies, now-a-days, they tend to vote on personality of party leaders, not policies. Voters seem to be dumber now compared to days gone by. You cant blame the media for that.
27/11/2012 2:50:04 p.m.
Nice, just have a look at the media now. State owned media ie TVNZ avoid issues that make the Government and National look poor (schools debacle in CHCH). Thanks TV3 for t least keeping the politicians honest.
27/11/2012 12:45:58 p.m.
I don't accept that the bias was restricted to images of John Key/Phil Goff.
My observations locally were that images and positive stories regarding the sitting National candidate were (right up to the front page story & photo on the evening before election day), biased against Labour.
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