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The Watchdogs Have Become Lap Dogs - Peters

The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First, today said that the disclosure of political donations by TV 3 and INL to the National and Labour Parties has reduced those news organisations to being lap dogs instead of watch dogs.

“The media’s role in the political process should be one of complete impartiality and without bias. These political donations bring into public question the degree to which certain media organisations can now say that they showed the required standard of professional objectivity in their coverage of the 1999 General Election Campaign,” said Mr Peters.

Mr Peters said that this sort of bias was behind a Private Members Bill he has drafted advocating that all political polls should be banned throughout an Election Campaign.

“One must certainly question the journalistic ethics of news organisations which broadcast influential political polls in an election campaign whilst making political contributions to the two major political parties.

“The way in which one of those parties attempted to hide the donation highlights that they knew it was wrong and reinforces why New Zealand First has, since 1994, advocated public disclosure of all corporate donations to political parties,” said Mr Peters.

Mr Peters said that the public would have no confidence in the objectivity and professionalism of media coverage in New Zealand whilst such donations were made and hidden from the public.

Ends

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