I caught myself agreeing with every argument in Suzanne Breen’s political column, ‘The unwashed clean up’ (Fortnight). Not because I necessarily share Breen’s political views, but because she has spoken the truth—the media and establishment do not come clean with the people of Northern Ireland.
As an outsider living here for seven years, I have become thoroughly cynical of the local media’s capability for fair reportage of events.
For example, every election is a golden opportunity to investigate party issues and candidate backgrounds. To be fair, the Belfast Telegraph do good constituency profiles, although its polls are very flawed. On the day of the event, television presentations are appalling. I’ll single out BBC Northern Ireland for repeated lack of appreciation of voting methods and analysis of why some candidates win and others lose.
As Breen reveals, when the media constantly presents us its favourites—pro-Agreement camera-friendly darlings—it does us and itself a great disservice. I’d rather learn from reportage, not be exposed to a glorified series of advertisements.