Monday, 8 February 2010

Not News

The Herald on Sunday yesterday dedicated a third of their front page and most of page 3 to a total Not News story.

It's not Not News because it isn't new. Maybe the rest of the country knew that newsreader Alison Mau was possibly in a new relationship, but I didn't. It probably is new knowledge, for most people, but that isn't sufficient, to my mind, to make it News.

IMHO it's Not News because actually who cares? This story is by no stretch of the imagination in the public interest to report on, because who bases any decision making on the gender of a celebrity's possible current partner? It's not going to change any votes, not going to inform people better about something that affects large chunks of the population, nor should it lead anyone to make judgements about any of those involved. There's no hypocrisy and no one is cheating on anyone else.

Classic Not News.

In fact it seems to me more like prurient gossip, complete with paparazzi pics. And if Ali had a new boyfriend rather than a new girlfriend it would never have made the front page, or the third page. There's more than a whiff of homophobia about this one.

Update: has a news story on the Herald's coverage, including:
Anne Speir, a past TVNZ editor, says she can't and won't speculate on Mau's sexuality and finds the paper's coverage despicable. "A quarter of a century ago Marilyn Waring was outed on the front page of Truth newspaper, clearly nothing has changed, and that deeply saddens me," she says. "Alison is at an age when a lot of lesbians come out but if she is in a relationship with a woman does she, and that woman too, need to be outed like this?"


Boganette said...

I don't know who Ali Mau is. But even if I did know who she is chances are I wouldn't give two shits about who she's in a relationship with.

Boganette said...

Oh and just to be clear - the article itself was fucking stupid and nasty. It was written by a gossip columnist pretending to be a journalist. Just shows that there's no point reading Sunday papers anymore. They're all full of shit.

Hugh said...

Same here, Boganette.

Ironically there are quite a few celebrities whose identities I only become aware of through The Hand Mirror.