Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Coverage of lobbyists questioned

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Coverage of lobbyists questioned

Lobby groups are being given an “easy ride” by the New Zealand media with few being identified specifically as lobbyists except by their organisation’s name, says a Massey University media researcher.

School of Journalism tutor Fran Tyler says it is important for the public to know the identity of paid agents are who are influencing the country’s policy makers.

“Commonly called lobbyists, they are given preferential treatment by both legislators and journalists. Unlike many other Western countries, New Zealand does not require political lobbyists to register, even when given special access into Parliament buildings,” she says.

Some sections of the media have now dropped their normal style of identifying sources when lobby groups are the subject of coverage, she says.

Ms Tyler is presenting her findings at the Journalism Education Association of New Zealand conference hosted by Massey University tomorrow, and says up to 90 per cent of printed news stories about lobby groups don’t identify them as such, or as advocates for particular organisations ranging from Federated Farmers, to ASH and Family First.

“This has an important implication for democracy, as without this information the public may not be aware of the motives behind these groups.”

For three months Ms Tyler monitored New Zealand’s largest news websites stuff.co.nz and nzherald.co.nz. In that time, only ten per cent of the 800 news stories on the two sites that referenced lobby groups used any kind of label to describe the groups’ relationship to lobbying.

Federated Farmers were mentioned 273 times in that period, but they were only identified as a lobby group on three occasions. Various branches of business group the Chamber of Commerce were only described as a lobby group four times from more than 70 mentions on the respective websites, while Family First were only identified one out of ten times on the NZ Herald website and two out of six times on the Fairfax Media-run stuff.co.nz.

“The results reveal there is a failure on the part of the media in New Zealand to inform audiences about the nature of the news making groups they are giving coverage to,” Ms Tyler says.

“Without this clear description the public is left in the dark and not being given the information to make well-informed decisions.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>


Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>


Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>


Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>


Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>


Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>


School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>


IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>


Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>




InfoPages News Channels