Friday 15th March 2019. New Zealand’s Darkest Day.
The country has been in a state of shock. We’ve seen an outpouring of sadness, compassion and questions. And much reflection.
New Zealand is no longer some far-away paradise, immune from the insanity of other nations. We’ve had to confront the shadow of bigotry and racism that does exist within our own communities and ask ourselves whether we’re doing enough to stop it. Casual racism is as insidiously corrosive as overt racism is destructive.
It made me wonder how well our industry is doing.
On Friday afternoon I saw my media team swing into action, working with media owners as they cancelled commercial airtime to respectfully focus on the news. They worked with online platforms to ensure our clients’ comms weren’t insensitively placed next to the tragic coverage. And they were in constant contact with our clients, keeping them informed of ongoing events. It was impressive, just as I assume every other media agency was under these circumstances. Total professionals.
But what about the work we produce? How are we representing the people of New Zealand in 2019? What part do we play in shaping the self-image of modern New Zealand?