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March 5, 2018 | by  | in Arts Podcasts |
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RNZ Mediawatch

A significant number of the podcasts I talk and write about could be loosely classed as “guilty pleasures” (although I must admit, I feel no shame). However, RNZ’s Mediawatch is no such podcast. It is all pleasure, no guilt.

Mediawatch is an RNZ programme presented by Colin Peacock that can be found both on the radio and as a podcast.  The focus of the podcast is to provide a critical look at how current events are being covered, managed, and reported by the New Zealand media. As well as this, international media and technological advancements that are relevant to New Zealanders are often discussed. The episodes can range anywhere from 4 to 40 minutes and come out on a weekly basis.

Mediawatch is not only an easy way to keep up with current events, it’s a great way to remain critical and actively engage in topical issues. By analysing how a variety of media outlets have covered the same issue Mediawatch exposes the bias, holes or misleading nature of any of the coverage. The programme itself is relatively unbiased and adopts a fact-based tone, rather than one driven by opinion or agenda. By the end of an episode the listener is left to draw their own conclusions and develop their own opinion.

In media studies, the idea that “media is like water” is often referenced. Just as fish cannot see the water they swim in, people are often blind or oblivious to the functioning of the normalised systems they are immersed in. News media has traditionally been heralded as a form of “truth”, an unbiased reporting of information. However, in a “post-truth” age plagued with concerns of “fake news” it is important to question what we consume. This is what Mediawatch offers, and it does so merely by observing New Zealand media outlets, companies, and regulators, and broadcasting the findings. Mediawatch lifts the curtain so that we, the general public, can see the gears turning and check that our news media is functioning responsibly.

This may all sound very dry and boring but friends, I assure you, Mediawatch actually makes for pretty chill listening. The episodes are fast-paced, lively and an easy way to stay informed!

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