I'm not going to comment on the Napier shootings but I thought it telling that, suddenly, both TV1 and TV3 found the resources to send a small army of journalists and newsreaders to cover the incident from all possible angles.

They don't appear to be able to find the resources though to do in-depth programmes on 'trivial' matters like the collapse of the New Zealand economy or the wreck that is the New Zealand health system. Or what about an in-depth discusson programme on the failure of neoliberalism? Obviously, in this age when news has become infotainment, such stories are just not 'sexy' enough.

Still there are a few shafts of credible journalistic light still shining out there.

One such light is Democracy Now!, a daily US-based independent news program hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.

The pair have won numerous awards since they started broadcasting in 1996 including the Right Likelihood Award, often referred to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize' for 'developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.'

This is the kind of show that could be broadcasting on a nationwide non-commercial youth radio network (for instance) but, for now, its only available to Christchurch listeners on community radio station Plains FM 96.9. It has been broadcasting the show for several years now.

Democracy Now! can be heard Monday and Wednesdays at 9.30pm, Tuesday at 10.30pm, Thursday and Fridays at 9pm and a repeat play on Saturday at 9pm.


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