The media obsession with X

The media obsession with X

Why are tweets so popular with journalists?

Uncovering the reasons to explain why trust in NZ media has fallen to the lowest levels in the western world is like peeling an onion where, as one layer comes off a new one takes its place – and I continue to be fascinated by the various ways in which kiwi mainstream journalists show blatant bias in their coverage of issues and opinions.

My latest example of this involves an examination of which social media platform journalists choose to quote in mainstream ‘stories’. Most of you will know the answer to that straight away – overwhelmingly, they quote comments on X (formerly Twitter) – often even including tweets, verbatim, in media stories.

But why is this?

Let’s be blunt – if you’re honestly looking for an informed view and wanting to understand what someone thinks about an issue – LinkedIn beats X, hands down. 2.5 million kiwis are on LinkedIn (vs about 750,000 on X) and many of those share their views on all manner of topics on a regular basis.

Unlike other platforms which focus on self aggrandisation and the banal – LinkedIn mostly focuses on weightier topics and frankly, for a journalist wanting enough detail with which to craft an intelligent story on any issue, LinkedIn is pure gold.

By comparison (and despite the very welcome moves by Elon Musk to make X more accessible to everyone), tweets on X are typically elitist, condescending, heavily biased and focus on personal attacks – ironically, all the same traits which have caused trust in NZ media to plummet.

But perhaps there are other reasons which explain the sycophantic media obsession with tweets on X?

Let’s examine a few possibilities:

▶️They’re short. Usually just a couple of sentences long. So they make great soundbytes meaning less work for the journalist.

▶️Prominent NZ tweeters tend be mostly on the political left and operate within a tone-deaf echo chamber which matches, and reinforces, the bias of most journalists.

▶️LinkedIn posts are far broader in their range of opinion and cover every leaning on the political spectrum – so it would be harder for a journalist using LinkedIn as an opinion source to explain why they were only using some content and not other material that didn’t match their own bias.

▶️Some very respected kiwis such as past NZer of the Year Sir Ray Avery, Family advocate Bob McCoskrie, and respected Historian Paul Moon are all prolific on LinkedIn and regularly post very informed comment which runs counter to the NZ Media narrative.

▶️Or is there another reason which TVNZ, RNZ, Newshub, and Stuff Media still haven’t shared with us?

Don’t get me wrong – LinkedIn isn’t perfect and accounts are still suspended or even closed for questionable reasons. But as a platform it still affords a far greater opportunity for free speech on issues which the MSM has tried to quash – and also allows that to take place at a level of detail which encourages intelligent debate and informed opinion.

It’s a privilege which we should not take for granted.

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