Roses are red, journalism is dead

For only the second time in New Zealand’s history, the country is grappling with uniquely complex moral and philosophical issues.  The debates are earnest.  The stakes are just as important as last time. 

As you are no doubt aware, March 7 ushered in The Bachelor, season two.   At its core, this momentous event explores questions of freedom, chivalry, feminism, love, life, the human condition and style. 

We are lucky in New Zealand – our two leading online news agencies engage in responsible journalism.  They provide us wall-to-wall coverage. 

In past dark-days, important celebrity news was stuck deep in the entertainment section.  TV show analysis wasn’t even a thing.  Horrifyingly, there was once an era where a rose ceremony wouldn’t have been considered newsworthy at all.  

Even in recent history, there was probably a time (thankfully I can’t remember it, but I’m sure there was) where you’d have to click at least twice on a news website before you could get to the really edifying stories.  The ones revolving around the latest enthralling Twitter spat.  

But these days, well, thankfully we are all covered.  Even those of us who, regrettably, cannot watch the Bachelor – we don’t miss out.  Not when there is a glut of quality Bachelor stories and analysis plastered on the front page – right where all the truly important news in this world belongs.

Speaking of the world.  A couple of days ago I opened both leading news websites simultaneously.  Naturally, I was delighted to see they were dominated by the most important story of our age.  Without needing to click anywhere, I was soon reflecting on the important ethical question, ‘is it ok to hate Naz?’, on one site, while I also pondered Naz’s stoic refusal to bite back at Kate Hawkesby’s nasty tweets, on the other.   

However, during this enlightenment session, I was distracted by a story that inexplicably made it to the corner of the front page.  Intrigued by the picture of an earnest square jawed man called John Kerry, I glanced in and was disappointed to find this ‘story’ contained some trifling nonsense about genocide in Syria.  Boring.

The standard of news presentation in this country is generally high, but this creeping trend of mixing trivial geopolitical stories alongside real news is concerning.  As though they are somehow of equal importance.

One can only hope that this trend reverses before it’s too late.  Keep the real news on the front page, and all that inconsequential fluff in the depths of the ‘World’ section.

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