South Auckland awash with thirsty journos

June 21, 2008

As you might imagine, the news media is all over the South Auckland = badlands and haven for drunken no-hopers story.

In the Weekend Herald [21 June], reporter Yvonne Tahana has a half-page with two stories under two booze-soaked headlines.

South awash with cheap liquor stores and Manakau alcohol is cola-cheap.

Her language is deliberately poetic under the circumstances:

Cheap alcohol is the result of competition. Pour that into one of the most socio-economically deprived areas in the country and it’s been a cocktail for trouble, community leaders say.

The missing link here is “socio-economically deprived”. The problem is not the alcohol, but the deprivation. Drinking to excess is a symptom, not the cause of the issues.

Luckily I was able to find a shot glass of sense inside the Herald too. John Armstrong’s column was a sober assessment of the situation and it’s worth reading.

Read the rest of this entry »


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