Stuff’s Bias and Lack of Professionalism in Reporting on China: A Critical Review

Recent coverage by Stuff, particularly the documentary “The Long Game,” has highlighted significant concerns about the objectivity and professionalism of New Zealand journalism regarding China. This documentary, purportedly revealing decades of Chinese interference in New Zealand, appears timed to coincide with Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit, raising questions about its motivations and journalistic integrity.

Several issues reflect poorly on Stuff’s approach:

Outdated Information and Questionable Timing

The documentary relies heavily on stories and information dating back five to six years. If these issues were indeed pressing, why wasn’t the documentary produced at that time? The decision to release it now, coinciding with a high-profile diplomatic visit, suggests an attempt to stir controversy rather than a genuine commitment to timely journalism.

Lack of Objectivity and Evident Bias

Journalism should be grounded in objectivity and truth, not influenced by the biases and opinions of journalists or anti-CCP researchers. The approach taken by Stuff appears to prioritize a predetermined narrative over a balanced examination of facts. This method not only misleads the audience but also reverses the fundamental principles of cause and effect, undermining the credibility of the report.

Narrow Focus and Lack of Diverse Perspectives

Creating content driven by a dislike for China, without a balanced presentation of facts and realities, is unprofessional. A thorough and objective documentary should involve interviews with a diverse range of individuals within the Chinese community, including both supporters and critics of China. The current documentary’s reliance on individuals who are reportedly on China’s top criminal list further diminishes its credibility. For instance, if corrupt Chinese officials who have fled to New Zealand and seek refugee status are interviewed, it is unlikely they will offer a positive perspective on China, which is unfair to Chinese taxpayers and citizens.

Lack of Expertise and Consultation

The journalists involved in the documentary do not speak Chinese and did not consult their Chinese colleagues who are familiar with Chinese politics and society. This oversight is a significant red flag, indicating a deliberate disregard for a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. Such neglect of available resources points to a lack of professionalism and thoroughness in the journalistic process.

Conclusions

The documentary “The Long Game” by Stuff is a prime example of the pitfalls of biased journalism. It lacks the objectivity, balanced perspectives, and professional rigor necessary for credible reporting. By focusing on outdated information and avoiding a nuanced examination of the issues, Stuff not only misleads its audience but also undermines the fundamental principles of journalism.

To ensure the robustness of New Zealand’s democratic structure, it is essential to strengthen our rules and policies. A well-fortified democratic framework will be resilient against any interference, allowing us to focus on internal strength rather than external threats. Trusting in our democracy is paramount, as this confidence far outweighs concerns about external factors. News media must prioritize quality and fact-based reporting to uphold the integrity of journalism and foster informed public discourse.

The link to Stuff documentary The Long Game: The Long Game | Feature video (stuff.co.nz)

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