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The media continues to overplay the victim card

In brief
  • Massey University published a study claiming minority and women journalists, reporting on sensitive topics, are being attacked. 
  • The study doesn’t examine context. A lot of said “reporting” is highly provocative and one sided. 
  • Meanwhile, ironically, nobody seems to even question if Centrist has women and minorities (we do) and routinely covers sensitive topics, without incident 

Is the abuse towards many journalists unprovoked or  response to their world view? 

In a study published by Massey University, various segments of journalism’s audience in NZ are accused of contributing to abuse, threats, and self-censorship among journalists. Subsequent news coverage implies that the abuse against journalists is more or less unprovoked as their reporting is assumed to be even-handed. This might not tell the whole story.

The focus of the study

To begin, the study, “An intersectional analysis of Aotearoa New Zealand journalists’ online and offline experiences of abuse, threats and violence”, focuses solely on journalists for Stuff. 

As has been shown by this and other publications, Stuff is regarded as unabashedly one sided and extremely left wing on issues such as co-governance. The publication routinely runs articles criticising others of being racist for opposition to co-governance. 

Furthermore, the study is restricted to only two very subjective research questions: “What are the experiences of newsworkers in Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest news organisation with abuse and violence? How are these experiences shaped by gender, ethnicity and the intersections of gender and ethnicity?” This seems more like an invitation to play the victim card than a legitimate study.

The authors then come to the generalisation that for “journalists who publicly identify as Māori, write stories about racism or issues such as co-governance, and/or use te reo in their reporting, reader feedback can be negative and abusive”. 

From this they say the contemporary environment presents particular safety issues for Aotearoa New Zealand journalists reporting on political and social issues.

Skewed and missing perspectives create biased narratives

The set up and conclusions fail to examine the slant these journalists take when reporting on sensitive issues and overlook (if not tacitly absolve) any provocation by journalists. In their advocacy, some journalists may (perhaps unintentionally) misrepresent, suppress and even deride legitimate viewpoints, thereby fuelling ‘mob censorship’ against them. 

One of the journalists referenced in the study openly admits, when it comes to race, she doesn’t know how to be objective. One of her examples of racism, which we disagree with, is that it was racist that a majority voted not to gratuitously transfer a particular tract of land to local iwis. 

Excuse us, but this whole linked story reads like the author is obsessed with racism and sees everything through racist coloured glasses. Yes, she has some legitimate examples in her version of what happened, but can’t seem to see how some of her remarks look racist to others. Or that constantly asking for special treatment or blaming can generate resentment.

Racial and gendered attacks are unacceptable, but embracing balanced journalism could potentially reduce antipathy towards these journalists. 

It seems like the woke play book is to clear the airwaves of criticism so they can preach their truth with less interference. Hopefully that will never work.

Media Impact, Exploring the Victim Card Phenomenon
“Why is everyone upset? I’m just sitting here!”

Perhaps people are tired of being called racists for simply disagreeing

MP Judith Collins (herself accused of racism by Stuff in the past) has previously noted how many feel “shut down” by accusations of racism or being a ‘Karen’ for having an opinion. 

No hate here so far…

For the record, with millions of views across social media and visits to Centrist.co.nz, the only attacks we’ve received, thus far, have been from mainstream media sources attempting to paint us as far right conspiracy theorists and bigots.

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