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Key bemoans 'hostile' media

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 12:14 15/05/2012
STUFF.CO.NZ

Prime Minister John Key is grilled about his remarks that the media have become more hostile towards him.

John Key
GRANT BRYANT/Fairfax NZ
AGGRESSIVE MEDIA: John Key says he's not moaning about it - it is a matter of fact.

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Prime Minister John Key has sounded off at the media, while insisting he is is not worried about what he sees as its more aggressive mood towards him.

Speaking on NewstalkZB this morning he singled out television news, the Sunday Star-Times and the NZ Herald for particular mentions.

He said the media are "in a more aggressive and hostile mood towards us".

He did not worry about the media "despite what they think".

"I am not that bent out of shape about that - I expected it," he said. Former prime minister Helen Clark had warned him it would happen after the first term in office.

Pressure came on Governments more, because the media becomes more antagonistic.

He said he was not moaning about it - it was a matter of fact.

It did not mean he was enjoying the job of prime minister less, and in fact he had been sleeping better lately and was trying to get to bed earlier - by midnight or 12.30am.

Key said over time the NZ Herald had become more tabloid under its new editor, with sometimes only one big sensational story on the front page.

"The Herald has turned more tabloid - that is an absolute statement of fact."

It was trying to lift circulation, especially casual sales at dairies, and had brought over David Fisher (from the Herald on Sunday) as "an investigative journalist, so-called".

He said former TVNZ political editor Guyon Espiner had left for TV3, and that was a loss.

He could not control "the bit they cut out" or "the seven second sound bite they choose to use" on television news.

There were also "endless headlines where they deliver an angle".

For instance, the Sunday Star-Times a few weeks ago had run a headline saying he had locked in former prime ministers' entitlements.

"I am not locking anything in - it has been in the Civil List Act as long as I have been on this Earth."

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