Winston Peters bites back at media

By Mackenzie Mccarty

NZ First leader Winston Peters spoke candidly today about the state of the nation's news and political reporting to a Wintec media lunch in Hamilton that included journalism students, politicians and media personalities.

Mr Peters' wide-ranging talk included his thoughts on the John Banks saga, Rupert Murdoch's recent scandals, a disdain for political polls, and his own NZ First party.

Even guests were not immune to the politician's infamous jabs, with TV3's Patrick Gower singled out for not giving NZ First "adequate" coverage running up to the recent election.

However, Peters stressed his belief in the importance of good reporting.

"I happen to believe [journalism] is a very important profession."

He also described the growing importance of social media both in regards to how politicians now use them, and how media use (and occasionally misuse) them to gain story leads and information.

With typical good humour and stinging sarcasm, Mr Peters described New Zealand media in general as lazy in terms of gathering correct information.

"After all, why spoil a good story with the facts?"

Regardless of the criticism Peters was well received by the crowd, which largely consisted of media representatives as well as personalities such as Sir Colin Meads and Dame Margaret Wilson.

Guests laughed and bantered with the politician, and in a closing statement Peters made one concession:

"A lot of media people are good company."

Wintec editor in residence Steve Braunias, who organised the event, took the occasion to bring down the curtain on Media Bites, which he has renamed Wintec Press Club. Two more events will be held this year.


- Hamilton News

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