These editors make much of "the communities we serve" yet I've noticed Fairfax's coverage of major events in Chchch has dropped away unless they sponsor it or it is a Fairfax Media Events event - it's a 'community of interest' they serve not actually all the people that make up a community...
They enable Facebook and Google by publishing their own material on line to be reaggregated before the print edition comes out - for no good reason in many cases (ie: not time crucial information).
They have lost their way!
While most of our MSM are off chasing clickbait, RNZ still provides a glimmer of light at the end of an increasingly long and dark tunnel. My apologies if someone has posted this in another thread but I can’t find it anywhere.
I’m referring to RNZ’s excellent work in exposing the widespread abuse of minors in State care between the 1950s and 1980s and this government’s attempts to either cover-up the scandal or at least to make it disappear as cheaply as possible. And damn the victims.
Former Youth Court judge Carolyn Henwood (Dai’s mum) chaired the Confidential Listening and Assistance (CLAS) panel which spoke to more than 1100 victims who had been abused in state care, under the less than watchful eye of the Department of Social Welfare. Her detailed report which recommended an independent enquiry has effectively been shelved by the government.
RNZ’s coverage began Wednesday morning with Kim Hill’s superb interview with Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley which began at 7:28am as a brief discussion before the 7:30am news. The Morning Report producers in their wisdom allowed the interview to run for a full 16 minutes, with Tolley finding herself increasingly out of her depth. Here’s one memorable exchange.
Tolley: “Some of the claimants that have actually made claims and had claims settled have said that in some cases they experienced very good care.”
Hill: “You mean, when they weren’t being raped or abused?"
Tolley insists that the MSD, the reincarnation of the very department which oversaw the abuse, is somehow the correct body to provide victims with an impartial ear. If you haven’t heard that clip yet, please do yourself a favour. See also Toby Morris’ great cartoon (below) which nails the minister’s attitude.
Kim Hill’s interview and in particular Tolley’s arrogance inspired a number of victims to contact RNZ. Kathryn Ryan opened Nine to Noon interviewing survivor Jazmine Bell who was disgusted with the Minister’s comments and her refusal to order an independent inquiry or a blanket apology to victims.
Then add to the mix Aaron Smale’s excellent backgrounder which shows the lengths Tolley and Attorney-General Chris Finlayson have gone to to bury the report and avoid any embarrassing enquiry. The government appears determined to pick off vunerable victims by offering them a small settlement in exchange for signing a confidentiality agreement preventing them from ever speaking publicly about the abuse.
"Make it go away."
This is a national scandal which deserves this type of quality journalism. RNZ’s coverage has inspired other journalists to pick up the mantle, including Toby Manhire’s summary published by the Herald today.
Journalism is still alive at RNZ. And Kim Hill is indeed a national treasure.
Note also the headline’s victim-blaming femme fatale reference
(“crash” should presumably have been added).