A matter of priorities – Mallard and the Ombudsman

A casual glance at the two major news websites this morning showed some pretty different priorities.

The Herald was running with a story about the Office of the Ombudman. They have not had any extra funding (so no pay rises, or extra staff) since 2007, and have almost twice the level of work they had planned for. Put simply, the organisation that is meant to be a watchdog for the public is in crisis. There is a backlog of over a year for cases before the Ombusman. It’s not good enough.

Contrast that to Stuff. They are running with a story about three concert-goers who bought tickets to a music festival off Labour MP Trevor Mallard on TradeMe. They were unhappy with the price they chose to pay for them, and so they’ve gone to the media.

I’m not sure about the print version of the Herald, but the Mallard story was also blazoned on the front page of the Dominion Post.

I realise it’s easy to get a photo of three people with zany hair outside an MP’s office, but really, which story is of greater public interest?

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