Greens need media training test

Posted June 16, 2012

The Greens have been very conspicuous in the media over the last few months, but they still haven't faced a major media training test. Much comment has been made about them overtaking Labour as the major opposition, but from a media training perspective, they have never had to rigorously defend their policies in the public arena. For example, while Russell Norman constantly criticises the Government in its dealings with China over Labour conditions, Tibet etc, an end to our trading relationship would have a catastrophic impact on the New Zealand economy. This would have major implication for those at the lower end of the income scale, the people the Greens claim to represent. The party's trading policy may not allow trade with China anyway, while the Greens also talk about imposing heavy tariffs on goods that could be made here. This would merely place higher costs on the less wealthy. But the media never push them on these things. Most journalists and presenters give them a free ride and because of this, many voters see them as a viable alternative and purely a party that cares for the environment. Both Russell Norman and Metiria Turei appear to have good media training skills. But until they are seriously put to the test, we will not know for sure. John Key and to a far lesser extent, David Shearer, have to justify their arguments. Key has passed the media training test, while Shearer still has some work to do. It will be interesting to see how Norman and Turei fear when their policies are finally scutinised by the media. If the popularity of their party continues, this must happen sooner rather than later.
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