The Right Honourable John Key (yeah right) is once again facing a scandal. His time as prime minister has seen many scandals, Kim Dotcom and illegal spying, the Saudi sheep scandal, ponytail gate, Eminem and the copy right controversy. Over the last few days the New Zealand press has been kept busy with the latest controversy surrounding John Key; the prime minister’s lawyer used his relationship with John Key to stop changes being made to the foreign trust regime.
John key’s lawyer spoke to the Minister of Revenue about planned changes to the foreign trust regime in NZ. Apparently JK had promised him that there would be no changes, after all what are mates for? After the Minister of Revenue and JK’s lawyer spoke Inland Revenue was suddenly informed not to go ahead with the review of foreign trusts, seems legit aye? And this is happening in a country ranked the 4th least corrupt in the world. I hate to think what the politicians are getting up to in other countries. I hate to think what our politicians would be getting away with if the media were not free to call them out and make the public aware of their dodgy deals. It is a good thing to have free press that are able to do this. I am glad I live in a country where the press are free to criticise the government and expose corruption. Despite the media currently addressing this issue every time we come to an election the NZ media along with the public seems to forget all about the controversies and the poor decisions made by the National government. Instead come election time all we hear about is how John Key seems like a good kiwi bloke, the kind of guy you want to have a beer with.
Unfortunately having a free press is not the same as having a well balanced, unbiased media that focuses on important issues. A media that focuses on policy rather than personality politics in an election campaign. A media that continues to report on stories such as the foreign trust review until the issue has been resolved rather than until people grow bored of it and a nice story about saving ducklings which will sell way more papers comes along. World Press Freedom Day is a great to remember how important this is and to demand that we have a responsible media that gives us the news with no spin. We can choose independent press that holds to these values rather than the big media outlets, and we can write letters, send Facebook messages etc to media outlets to ensure that they hear our voices and know that we want the news, the real news, and nothing but the news!
P.S. I really like this video where Amy Goodman calls out the media in the United States and how the coverage of the elections affects the outcomes: