Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Herald hyping 'poverty' again

The Herald is running a series on educational under-achievement which starts today. Here's the opening gambit:

Disadvantage remains a major dictator of underachievement in schools. Poor children pass at rates well and a clear gulf in opportunities afforded to students at either end of the decile spectrum, educators say it’s below their wealthy peers, despite efforts to address the disparity. With poverty affecting one in four children, time to act, before another generation are consigned to the cycle.
Obviously there is a glaring omission in the second sentence (update: now fixed) but what struck me, after reading the entire piece, is that the media is the main party guilty of creating the stereotypes the students hate and talk about to the journalist.

It's the media, egged on by left-wing ideologues, that keeps telling children from low income homes that they are living in poverty; that poverty means deprivation, hardship, struggle and under-achievement. That poverty marks and excuses you.

Yet the 'one in four' statistic relates purely and only to relative low income.

Measuring material deprivation looks slightly different.

8 percent of children live in families that lacked seven or more of the above. 18 percent lacked 5 or more.

When will the media stop hyping 'poverty'? Young people clearly don't want or appreciate being stereotyped. 

Being a moderate type I sometimes cringe at Whale Oil's description of media, "Pimping the Poor".

But that's exactly what this series is. Using South Auckland school children to sell newspapers under the guise of social advocacy.


Anonymous said...

We were so poor
That list reminded me of [pre] Monty Python sketch. "Try telling the young people today how tough we had it, and they won't believe you". Growing up in the 1950s and 60s only 5 items would be ticked.

Anonymous said...

Our household income is close to 100K and we lack 4 on the list