Wednesday, 4 April 2012

advertising as news

so some dude wins a heap of money from a lotto jackpot. good for him. this is news i suppose. but is it really big news? is it front page news, just because he lives in your region? is it headline news, getting coverage on all channels? is it news to the extent that the guy can't even go to work, because of all the negative attention?

it seems to me that there are way too many stories these days about lotto winners, places that sold tickets to lotto winners, and the rise in the jackpot. i know i'm far from the majority, but to me, none of these things are legitimate news stories at all. other people will feel differently, but it really annoys me that our news media are basically providing so much free publicity for an outfit that can afford to pay for it's own.

there is plenty happening around the world, it's not like we're lacking in items for the news media to cover. to waste our news space for advertising dressed as news is just stupid. on top of which, it helps to fuel more gambling, more people losing their money. by giving so much space to winners, it helps fuel the dream of the dispossessed and struggling that life would only be wonderful if they won a pot of money. which means less of an imperative to force structural and political change that would improve their situation.

how about equal coverage of the losers. the ones who struggle, and whose families struggle. they don't often get the front page coverage. but surely they have equal news value, they are equally as important. how about every time we have a story about a lotto winner, we have directly next to it, on the same page, a story about someone who has suffered because of gambling.

having said that, at least there is more coverage of the negative aspects of gambling recently because of the sky city deal. if you haven't caught up with brian rudman's piece, i'd recommend it.

i've seen the PM and other supporters of the sky city deal try out the line that it's aimed at international gamblers. aside from the fact that it's very unlikely to be true, why is it ok to fleece money of overseas visitors, but not nz'ers? why is it supposed to be morally acceptable to have more pokies for international visitors, but not for locals? i sort of covered that point in a post last year. and though they've avoided the racial element in their comments, the point still stands that it doesn't matter who's targetted.


Muerk said...

Well said. Gambling is a scourge on our society, it ruins lives and wreaks families.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention all the times, after a near miss or a lucky escape of some kind, a reporter will say "You'll have to buy a Lotto ticket this week!". It's become so normal for that to be the response to any piece of luck.

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