Friday, October 10, 2008

The wages of spin

The Hive notes that Government agencies are spending lots of money on spin, and I recon that's just the salaries. We spend $36.9 million a year on public-sector communications staff and contractors. That is a 27 percent increase over the previous year. The Hive lists 10 of them that spend 20.6m combined. Social Development heads the list. I'm sure that many communications staff don't know how to spin - they get told what to say.

But the wages of spin are greater than the wages in journalism and some of the spinners aren't even trained journalists. Some probably think a comma is a van, a conjunctive adverb is doing something about an eye infection, and a contraction is what pregnant women have.




Blogger Scalia said...

There is such a thing as a trained journalist?

October 9, 2008 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger Steve Withers said...

Communicating the effects of policy changes to the wider public is part of the government's job. The public is notoriously oblivious to things they probably would rather know if they to speak.

Finding effective ways to communicate with John and Jane Public is hard work.

I'd rather the government made the effort than didn't.

Characterising this effort as "spin" isn't accurate or fair.

I'm don't work in that role or for government, but I can see why it is very important that it be done. Slagging them all off as spinners is simply wrong. But then that's why I can't vote for National. They are too often wrong in saying such things. 'Clever-clever' in a Lucius Malfoy sort of way....not smart.

October 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM  

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