Selective Reporting: Same Story, Two Sources, Two Narratives

A nice little illustration of why using multiple sources is important when assessing a news report.

Here we have two news reports on one story. What makes this exercise particularly interesting is the political and social climate in which these two items are presented. They are polar opposites (or to be precise. Antipodean Opposites!) in physical location, and likewise in terms of approaches to dealing with COVID.

Currently, October 2021, New Zealand is still employing lockdown responses based on a recently abandoned “elimination strategy”. We have a relatively small, docile and easily managed population, referred to by PM Ardern as “my team of five million”.

The UK, meanwhile, has a large, heavily diverse population with a history of mistrust of the government and volatile response to unpalatable policies. As a result, the UK has reached the point in The Lock Step Scenario where “increasing pushback” has resulted in abandonment of lockdowns.

When both these articles were published, however, in January 2021, NZs lockdown strategy appeared to be working, whereas the UK was in the grip of a failing lockdown tactic.

A strange reversal of subsequent situations where NZ is back in lockdown Groundhog Day and the UK is now Lockdown-free.

Based on these two contrasting situations, the Mainstream News reporting on a story regarding New Zealand’s evolving approach to COVID as communicated by NZ Director of Health Ashley Bloomfield, is most interesting to compare. Mainly for what the NZ Media sources subtract from the story in order to maintain a certain narrative.

First the UK perspective from The Guardian:

Covid unlikely to die out, says New Zealand health chief Ashley Bloomfield

Director general says virus may become less deadly over time and warned of vigilance needed to keep out new variants

New Zealand director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield
New Zealand director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said coronavirus immunity would be boosted over time by vaccines and natural immunity. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Covid-19 is unlikely to ever die out, even with vaccination efforts, but it could become more transmissible and less deadly, New Zealand’s director general of health has warned.

“If you think about influenza, which was first recorded in 1172 I think, in Europe … these viruses don’t tend to die out … They change over time and in fact what we are seeing with these new variants with the Covid-19 virus is that they tend become more transmissible and less deadly over time,” Dr Ashley Bloomfield told the AM Show on Wednesday.

However, Bloomfield said that vaccines would help humans develop immunity, adding to the natural immunity that people who have been infected will also develop.

He also warned if some of the new variants of Covid-19 escape managed isolation and quarantine, the impact could be greater than it was last year. These mutations have been detected in New Zealand’s managed isolation facilities…READ MORE


I have added bold emphasis for clarity. NZ readers may have already noticed that this reporting does not sit with the narrative we have presented in our own MSM.

Now, here’s the same story, as reported in New Zealand, by Newshub:

COVID-19: Dr Ashley Bloomfield warns the coronavirus will likely never ‘die out’

The Director-General of Health says it’s unlikely COVID-19 will ever disappear despite global vaccination efforts underway.

Dr Ashley Bloomfield also warned if some of the new variants of COVID-19 escape from managed isolation and quarantine in New Zealand the impact could be greater than it was last year. 

Dr Bloomfield told The AM Show on Wednesday viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, don’t tend to dissipate.

“If you think about influenza, which was first recorded in 1172 I think, in Europe – these viruses don’t tend to die out. They change over time.”

COVID-19 is starting to mutate. One mutation that emerged in the UK and another in South Africa, both said to be more infectious, have been detected in New Zealand’s managed isolation (MIQ) facilities.

The UK mutation has forced a national lockdown in England as case numbers and deaths hit record highs.  Britain has also fast-tracked its vaccine rollout and expects every adult in its population to be vaccinated by September. 

“What we’re seeing with these new variants – they tend to become more transmissible and less deadly over time,” said Dr Bloomfield.  “More transmissible ones are the ones that have got an evolutionary advantage, so that’s a reflection of where we are in the pandemic.

“Of course, we are able to develop vaccines for them and that helps us build immunity, as well as the natural immunity that people will get who have been infected – so vaccines are a really big focus for us this year.” SOURCE


Interesting isn’t it? The Guardian (UK) report makes the fact that the virus becomes LESS DEADLY OVER TIME a major emphasis of the story, not only putting it in the sub-header but repeating the statement multiple times through the article.

Meanwhile, the Newshub (NZ) report pushes this important fact to the side, mentioning it once only and buried well back in the report. Elsewhere, quotations are selectively abbreviated to CONSCIOUSLY REMOVE portions of Bloomfield’s statements.

Compare:

Newshub:

“If you think about influenza, which was first recorded in 1172 I think, in Europe – these viruses don’t tend to die out. They change over time.”

Newshub report

Guardian:

“If you think about influenza, which was first recorded in 1172 I think, in Europe … these viruses don’t tend to die out … They change over time and in fact what we are seeing with these new variants with the Covid-19 virus is that they tend become more transmissible and less deadly over time,”

The Guardian

The conclusion is as obvious as the end of your nose: The Newshub report is intended to escalate the seriousness of the forthcoming viral mutations (and thereby utilize fear) by diminishing the FACT that these mutations decrease in severity over time.

Eagle-eyed readers may also note a subtle difference in the emphasis on the role of vaccination between the two articles. With The Guardian “translating” Bloomfield’s words rather than directly quoting. This echoes the UK Government focus on vaccinating even those with natural immunity.

Newshub:

“Of course, we are able to develop vaccines for them and that helps us build immunity, as well as the natural immunity that people will get who have been infected – so vaccines are a really big focus for us this year.”

Newshb

And The Guardian:

 Bloomfield said that vaccines would help humans develop immunity, adding to the natural immunity that people who have been infected will also develop.

The Guardian

A few changes of wording make a big difference. Both articles serve their own governments agenda and focus at the time of publication.

This is why, when researching these topics, we consult multiple sources. This is how the media control the narrative, usually according to political bias, allegiance or direction. And they rely on you NOT DOING YOUR OWN RESEARCH. They rely on your allegiance to a single source.

Hope you enjoyed this insight into the investigative process:

We don’t tell our readers what to think, we share with you the knowledge to do your own thinking!

Martin

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Martin Harris

I have a lovely partner and 3 very active youngsters. We live in the earthquake ravaged Eastern Suburbs of Christchurch, New Zealand. I began commenting/posting on Uncensored back in early 2012 looking for discussion and answers on the cause and agendas relating to our quakes. I have always maintained an interest in ancient mysteries, UFOs, hidden agendas, geoengineering and secret societies and keep a close eye on current world events. Since 2013 I have been an active member of theCONTrail.com community, being granted admin status and publishing many blogs and discussion threads. At this time I'm now helping out with admin and moderation duties here at Uncensored where my online "life" began.

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