Media Minutes…

We do find time for some media indulgence  – more often the media seem like a penance.

Each month we’ll try and mention something outstanding – where posible with a link to something we think is specially worthwhile.

Grandpa Herald…


The front page of the NZ Herald, most days, is repulsive – another celebration of violence and tragedy. The editor outdid himself at the end of October on the day police announced they were laying no charges against the Roast Busters – a full page photo of two of the boys involved, looking victorious.  What did the paper teach teenage boys that day?

“Want to be famous? Rape some drunk 13-year-old girls, boast about it on Facebook, and get away with it!! BECOME CELEBRITIES LIKE US!!”

And what was the message for teenage girls?

“Don’t bother complaining if you’re raped.  There’s no justice.”

However, we  give the paper great  credit for employing Verity Johnson to write a column every Saturday morning. A pity they didn’t put her on the front page instead of the two named Roastbusters, with the headline “talented young woman challenges us all”. Verity is a brilliant writer who gives us insight into the lively spirit, thoughtfulness and compassion so many of our young people share, and into the dark challenges they often face.


…we do watch TV3, for the news and for Campbell Live. Like Verity Johnson, John Campbell has insight, compassion, humour and liveliness of presentation…

..but Maori Television is our daily delight.

Te Kaea, the news, which has English captions at 7pm,  informs us about Maori developments and relevant Pakeha activities, and is presented by beautifully spoken Maori women and men.

As for Native Affairs every Monday nigh,t it is a prize-winning programme, about New Zealand’s future as well as current affair.  It is fearless in investigating difficult issues. And it gives us an understanding of indigenous issues beyond Aotearoa – a perspective almost entirely absent from so-called “mainstream” media (Tragic that the funding for new programmes  runs out every year between now and next March, but at least we can catch up on repeats of some we missed).

So many other programmes are great, too – Kuia and Karanga which celebrate the wisdom of  women, and currently Project Whenua, which features the wonderful research and action being undertaken by various tribal groups to repair damage to land and water. Teams of young Maori people, all over the country, are working to  regenerate native bush and stream life, and create new economic projects based on nurturing the earth and its treasures rather than destroying and extracting.


Thank goodness RadioNZ continues to provide sound news coverage and some good current affairs and interviewing.  But the flippant, jerky format of the new Sunday morning programme is a deep disappointment.

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