The following is a conversation that took place at the Herald’s office yesterday……
Reporter to sub editor…. “I want to run this story on domestic violence in Hamilton. A driver ran over their partner several times and then drove into the Waikato river.”
Sub Ed. Great, I will run it as a lead story coz it will sure help the White Ribbon Week.
Reporter: OK but the victim is not dead he is just badly injured.
Sub Ed: HE?…. Oh shit….. Hang on I will just have a meeting with the editor and get back to you.
Editor:…… Oh bugger, bugger, bugger, why this bloody week? This is now problematic. We have a good thing going with roast busters at the moment and the sales department advises we have picked up a lot of clients advertising dollars that was pulled from Willie Jackson and John Tamihere radio show. Let’s run this story from the basis that the perpetrator is of strong character. Maybe she saves her self from the river some how or maybe she was driven to run over him by extreme circumstance. Get a senior reporter on it and delve into the guys background. I want FACTS, I want the WHO WHY WHAT WHERE AND WHEN on this guy. We got a ball rolling in this paper and it’s rolling in the dough since we made Louise Nicholas ‘Woman of the Year’ and I don’t want this ball to slow down. Do you get my drift?
Sub Ed: Sure do boss but we must be careful. Whilst we can be sure TVNZ are on the same band wagon, bloody Campbell on TV3 is unreliable. He seems to run with a unique sense of social justice. What if this victim guy is clean or even a pro feminist? It could backfire on us.
Ed: That’s why I am Editor and you are sub editor. You are yet to understand our readers. They are not concerned with detail but like most good Kiwis they are concerned with protecting the weak, therefore provided we show this woman as weak in nature but strong in character we will be seen as the knight in shinning white armour. Also, TV3 know about financial reality and they will be sure to rope Campbell in, don’t worry.
Sub Ed: I am just a bit concerned that we are being biased in our coverage of social injustice. It’s been many years now since we were given permission to report on Family Court out-comes and we don’t even send any reporters to view the process. According to many web sites, fathers and their children are being robbed of their relationship. Does this not deserve equal coverage as roast busters?
Ed: Lad, spinning the news is like being in the fashion industry. Readers don’t want to read yesterday’s paper and anti -male pro-feminist misandry propaganda is today’s fashion. Don’t dissect it lad just accept it for what it is. You need to be able to conflate issues of morality, anthropology and social justice into the one big issue and you won’t suffer from dissonance.
Sub ed: Ok your the boss!