Items filtered by date: July 2018 - National Press Club Inc.

Virtue Signalling Supplants Political Correctness as Media Touchstone

Need to recognise and then “price in” new virtue trend claims National Press Club president Peter Isaac who cites Taxpayers Union as operating the true parliamentary Opposition via email

You say that the media has become “disintermediated?”
People now have their own media, Facebook, YouTube, blogs and the rest and so they no longer have to use the established media which derived its power from controlling the distribution of peoples views via the narrow neck of newspapers and broadcasting. So private citizens have become empowered, mediated. They no longer have to beg the favour of journalists in order to put their message out.

Jordan Williams

In the New Zealand context what would you see as the most successful exponent of this trend?
My pick remains the Taxpayers Union. Their success is based on their application of the obvious replication of the old direct publisher to living room technique, which is emails. A contemporary version of pamphleteering.

Many not approving of the stern views of the Taxpayers Union have the option of consigning their emails automatically to the trash/spam bins?
The Taxpayers Union and its emails have become the modern equivalent of the era in which the main opposition to the old Muldoon National Government came from the broadcasting studios. Prior to the advent of Helen Clark the Labour government seemed permanently on the ropes and so television in the form of some still familiar names provided the opposition in practical terms.

You have previously described the Taxpayers Union email missives as clumsy?
They were and are. Yet their bludgeon approach is intensively relevant today. They are the virtual opposition in a way that the old state television studios once were, with Jordan Williams (pictured) in a contemporary version of the old Brian Edwards or Ian Fraser anchor-inquisitor role. Nobody wants to talk about this.

Why so?
The old mainstream media has in the past few months made the transition from a politically correct underpinning to the next phase which is virtue signalling. From pc to vs. Diversity diversifies.

Some supporting evidence?
Their guiding of their audience has now transitioned from political correctness, an intense wariness around any sector which at any time in recent history has been at the wrong end of majority behaviour to one of actively signalling a positive distaste to this state of affairs.

What about the new media?
The original New Zealand blogs took an independent line, even a right wing one. But the most recent new media news-cultural, sites have shown this virtue signalling and this may be due to their connections with the mainstream media.

An example of all this needed here.
The best way to illustrate my point is to cite an example of brutish mainstream enthusiasm and endorsement. Notably on mainstream broadcasting the cruel sport of game fishing is avidly covered and encouraged, almost hysterically so, the longer drawn out the death of the fish the better from the programme’s point of view. For some reason sport fishing in which creatures, which many believe to be sensate, are being killed for entertainment remains very much an approved pastime and entertainment. So the every danger of pc now supercharging into virtue signalling is that the minefields are invisible to all but those who laid them in the first place.

Are we not talking just pc here?
Political correctness era was recognised and thus was priced in and the early blogs and then the Taxpayers Union electronic pamphleteering countered it. This new epoch of virtue signalling is the next stage and engulfs us now. It is the latest progression of advocacy journalism and represents an enhanced fervency on the part of the journalistic practitioners to be seen to be on the side of the angels.

Who are the angels?
They are their angels. This is the sinister part and where virtue signalling differs from the old pc. Who exactly decides who the angels in fact are, and who the villains are? For example, I would have thought that game fishermen, and they are almost always men, would have gone on the list. But then there is a great deal of advertising in these game fishing programmes and this is perhaps why they have been cut such a slack line.

Anyone individual we know?
I would have thought that Mark Zuckerberg would have crossed over. But he remains fixedly an angel. This is why we need now to recognise how virtue signalling has now subsumed political correctness. It is there. We need now to understand its dynamics.

Is the Taxpayers’ Union vulnerable?
They will fade as a questioning/opposing force at the point at which their email political policing over things such as virtue signalling becomes windy and their opinion overwhelms the disclosures which to date has made them compulsory reading, an auxiliary, for the mainstreamers.




Published in Main