Kapi-Mana News : November 8th 2011
21 KAPI-MANA NEWS, NOVEMBER 8, 2011 OPINION / NEWS WOFS* Monday through to Saturday BE IN QUICK, AS BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL ONLY Y AT: UNIT 3, 98 MAIN RD, TAWA (JUST BEHIND BP SERVICE STATION) www.tawaautoservice.co.nz 04 232 9128 *TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY $30 PLEASE PRESENT THIS VOUCHER • Valid until December 2011 • 3539562AG CORRECTION Kapi-Mana News last week ran a story on Papakowhai teen Ella Kane, who won an art competition associated with Pain Month. The website link for Ella's website was incorrect. The correct address is loveandlight.co.nz. The error is regretted. Red versus Blue debate in Mana Mana candidates Kris Faafoi and Hekia Parata will be put under the microscope in a Red-v-Blue public debate in Paraparaumu on Monday. Organised by our sister publi- cation, Kapiti Observer, Kapiti's four main election contenders will debate at Meadows Church. Otaki National MP Nathan Guy will also face off against Labour candidate Peter Foster. Candidates will answer questions on local and national issues from moderator and Kapiti Observer reporter Joel Maxwell. The debate comes as Mr Foster works hard to earn recognition in the unpredictable Otaki electorate against well-known incumbent Mr Guy. Meanwhile, with promotion up the National ranks, Ms Parata must put aside ministerial duties and inertia from a high list ranking to dislodge Mr Faafoi from Mana. Kapiti Observer Red-v-Blue debate, Monday, November 14, from 7.30pm, at Meadows Church, Mazengarb Rd, Paraparaumu. A daily diet of good news, fluff and propaganda SHANGHAI SCROLLS ANDREA O'NEIL ' There is blatant propaganda in the paper, such as a recent article warning parents that fertilisation drugs can lead to illness in mothers and deformities in children. ' It's been said before, but we Kiwis don't know how lucky we are. We whinge about news outlets failing to cover serious issues in society, then turn around and complain about the news being too negative. Journalists don't give intelli- gent commentary, we say, and are the slaves of corporations and PR lackeys. Try living in China. One month here and the whingers would be begging to watch Campbell Live. China's TV news follows a nightly for- mula: First 10 minutes -- China's leaders are great. Sec- ond 10 minutes -- look at all the wonderful things China is doing. Final 10 minutes -- the rest of the world is going to hell in a handcart. My newspaper, the Shanghai Daily, is nothing as bad as that. In fact, I was surprised at first to see how many stories about local corruption and food safety scandals made it into the paper. But these stories rarely impli- cate central government, and are in fact opportunities for the Communist Party to boast that it's cracking down on illegal activity. There is blatant propaganda in the paper, such as a recent article warning parents that fer- tilisation drugs can lead to ill- ness in mothers and deformities in children. The story was clearly in reac- tion to increasing numbers of Chinese parents using IVF to have twins or triplets and get around the one child'' policy. There is also far too much commercial fluff in the paper -- as someone allergic to PR, I've found it trying to be sent to cover stories such as a luxury hotel chain demonstrating its commitment to the environment by commissioning some designer hats (true story). But what is really worrying is the realisation that many important stories will never make it into the newspaper. This is a country of 1.4 billion people, and it is dawning on me that there are violent protests and deaths due to government policies every day, which will never be reported on. Even foreign correspondents here are too few or too scared of losing their visas to give us a full picture of what's happening in China. Changes are afoot, however. China's version of Twitter, Weibo, has become a major source of news, one which the government is struggling to cen- sor. Unflattering stories are increasingly making it into the paper because so many Weibo users are discussing the issue, and it would be an embarrassing and obvious coverup if the gov- ernment did not allow the story to be published. New Zealand news absolutely has room for improvement, which any journalist would admit, but I'm happy to come from a country where the vast majority of news stories are trustworthy and accurate. Even our whingers should be celebrated -- at their best, they serve as a watchdog and moral compass for news journalists. In China, letters to the editor do not exist, and Weibo users adopt pseudonyms to avoid being thrown in jail for speaking the truth. Kapi-Mana News reporter Andrea ONeil is in China on an Asia Foundation scholarship, working for the Shanghai Daily. Follow her blog at: theladyfrom wellington.blogspot.com.
November 1st 2011
November 15th 2011