One of the unending preoccupations of the political blogosphere is media bias. Does the right-wing corporate/left-wing liberal media favor certain parties or ideologies? The assumption is that media bias is hugely important, but this year I’ve been interested in the New Zealand Herald’s glowing coverage of the ACT Party: our largest newspaper gives ACT – a party that often fails to get the endorsement of 1 voter in a thousand in the polls and wouldn’t exist without the electorate seat rort – more coverage than all the rest of the minor parties combined, virtually all of it lovingly positive and yet ACT is still bouncing around between 0 and 0.5%. All that overt support from a major media outlet seems like it’s worthless.
Anyway, today they detail ACT’s ‘alternative’ budget, which was released on Saturday to withering scorn from at least one economist. Naturally there’s no criticism or balancing quote in Audrey Young’s story. (As a special media-bias bonus, try and find a news story by Young in the Herald’s archive which (a) covers a National government policy and contains a balancing quote from the opposition or (b) covers a Labour/Greens policy and does not lead with a quote from the National government.)