Media Slant in Reporting on Economic Performance?

In a recent editorial the Herald stated “[the economy’s] remarkable performance has made a mockery of the most gloomy economic commentary in the past year”. This was under the heading “too good to be true – and we know it”.

In the same issue your Thomas Coughlan says that the Government’s books are in “curiously” good shape. This term is telling. Again, “too good to be true”?

In a similar vein BusinessNZ stated in your Friday issue “… current historically low levels of unemployment, modest Crown debt by international standards, and commodity prices still holding up ..”. This under the headline “storm clouds building”.

In the same issue an item on the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme states “… of banks’ business lending as at November, only 0.4 per cent was non-performing … This is a very low portion by historical standards”. This under the headline “Govt underwrite … wasn’t entirely necessary”.

It seems we just cannot bring ourselves to celebrate our good fortune, even in our Christmas season!

Peter Davis, Kingsland


  1. Hi Peter

    I agree. Media often seem to be pushing an editorial line irrespective of the facts. Disappointed to see Thomas Coughlan falling for it, though, unless ‘curiously’ was editorial.
    Feeling slightly smug about my sub to The Kaka. Bernard Hickey is nothing if not assiduous about research and careful not to stretch the facts.


  2. Bad new sells better than good news, so why not dress up good news with bad news style headlines. Perhaps not a problem in the past when folk actually read the article after being drawn in by the headline, but now in the era of the Tweet, a headline is the content for far too many people.


  3. You’ve hit the nail on the head … again. The heading grabbers offered by the media often do not reflect the content. No wonder the perception that people hold of the media has gone down so much.


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