• The Herald’s Uncertain Reporting

    When and if the covid pandemic can be regarded as over, I wonder if the Herald will have the courage and self-knowledge to review its coverage of the issue? Such a review would, I am sure, come up with some disturbing conclusions – if recent issues and the treatment of the expert panel’s conclusions on the preferred and recommended strategy are anything to go by.

    The Herald initially published two reports on the expert panel’s recommendations, and it managed to publish them under two quite different and contradictory headlines. The casual reader would have been hard put to glean from the Herald whether the panel had supported an elimination strategy or not – (for those still in doubt, it did).

    The Herald has continued to sing from variable song sheets. It has in recent issues given space to opinions from Mike Hosking (still apparently under the illusion that hurling insults at the government is a substitute for reasoned argument), David Seymour (who is recently sounding more and more twerp-ish,) and Sir John Key (who joins with these other contributors in adhering to the traditional rightwing stance that business must always come first, the public and common sense a distant second).

    New Zealanders have, in other words, been unable to rely on their daily newspaper for sensible, informed and dispassionate reporting and discussion of an important – not to say, life and death -issue. When will the Herald wake up to its responsibilities and put the public interest ahead of its own political prejudices?

    Bryan Gould
    12 August 2021