Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Credit Where Credit is Due

Anyone who has read my older blogs, and friends who have heard me ranting, will know that I am no fan of the New Zealand news media. In fact that is an understatement and just to avoid doubt, let me reiterate - I think the NZ news media is the worst in the Western world. Our broadsheet newspapers are pretentious versions of English tabloids, our television news reports are infantile and our radio station hosts are poor imitations of American shockjocks (and the worst is National Radio, which is simply talkback for the liberal left intelligentsia).

However, giving credit where credit is due, this afternoon I heard an interview that was the exception to the rule. Maggie Barry's interview of Michael Bain, brother of Robin and uncle to David, on Radio Live was superb. She asked all the hard questions such as, why go public now (is it because David is about to seek the return of the estate in court) and why does he have so much faith in his brother's innocence when he had only seen Robin three times in the last 25 years? What's more, she did it without interrupting all the time and being otherwise offensive to the interviewee.

The interview made me remember what a great current affairs journalist Maggie was before she was put out to pasture as a gardening programme host. Around the same time, we had another great journalist and interviewer in Lindsay Perigo. The amazing thing about Perigo was that no one knew he held rabid right wing political views until after he retired as a political journalist. These days no one is in any doubt of the political persuasion of most NZ news media people (witness John Campbell, who was disgracefully sycophantic towards Helen Clark in his pre-election coverage last year).

Bravo, Maggie Barry. The country desperately needs more of your kind in the media.

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