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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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You know the media is lost when...

11 December 2018

Once upon a time we all looked to the daily newspaper for our knowledge of current affairs and events.

Oh how I miss those days.

If it was printed in the paper then you knew that a team of professional journalists had investigated the issues and sorted the fact from fantasy before a single word was typeset.

Today, not so much.

But it's worse than that actually. I was gobsmacked today to see Stuff.co.nz come out and actually acknowledge in writing that they have a position on a highly contentious issue and that they would be moderating content based on that position.

What am I talking about?

Well here's their statement:

"Stuff accepts the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by human activity. We welcome robust debate about the appropriate response to climate change, but do not intend to provide an avenue for denialism or hoax advocacy. This applies equally to the stories we will publish in Quick! Save the Planet and to our moderation standards for reader comments"

That comment was included as a highlighted text area in this report on sea temperatures published yesterday.

What the hell?

I am sorry but although most intelligent people do agree that "climate change is real", there remains significant debate as to the degree of change that is "caused by human activity" and therefore, for Stuff.co.nz to take a position such as the one stated is not the action of an impartial news reporting publication.

This is really no different to a newspaper saying "we believe that the XYZ party would make the best government so we're moderating our political coverage and user comments to reflect this position".

Utter crap!

Obviously, in light of Stuff's statement, stuff.co.nz is not the place to go if you want objective, researched unbiased coverage of issues related to climate change.

You know the mainstream media has gone to hell in a handbasket when they're even proud to announce that their "beliefs" now carry more weight than their obligation to report the facts and that non-compliant facts or comments will be "moderated" out of existence.

I guess the only light on the horizon is that the MSM is almost certainly headed for extinction and within a decade or so we'll be asking "do you remember those old newspapers and websites run by Fairfax and the other once-great media giants?"

What do readers think?

Should any so-called "news" provider be taking sides on issues that are still subject to some uncertainty (such as the scale of mankind's efforts on the rate of the current climate change being observed)?

Why do we waste our money on this dross?

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