Summarised by Centrist
Winston Peters has suggested that mainstream media were ‘bribed’ by the previous Labour government, which has sparked outrage among media members. While Peters’ language and tone may be too strong and provocative, Ananish Chaudhuri says he has a point.
Evidence shows that the last government provided support to struggling media companies, creating an unusual relationship between them and the mainstream media.
This connection was particularly evident in the media‘s response to the Government’s pandemic measures.
When mandates were introduced, it was the NZ Herald’s 90% vaccination campaign that influenced Government policy on COVID vaccination targets. This, Chauddhuri argues, blurs the line between the media’s role in holding the government accountable and formulating policy on the government’s behalf.
Chaudhuri says that, deep down, the media knows there is a kernel of truth in Peters’ allegations and that their independence and integrity took a hit during the Ardern years.